Types of Motorcycles: Beginner Rides

While you may have a specific preference regarding how some types of motorcycles look, it’s important to get a motorcycle that matches what kind of riding you will be doing, and fits the right seat height, traction control and other features to fit that purpose. Look, just because that souped-up sportbike or beefed up cruiser you’ve had your eye on looks pretty, that doesn’t mean it will suit your beginner’s needs. It’s best to stay safe until you learn the ropes of riding and know you’ve got the hang of proper motorcycle safety.

To decide on the best starter motorcycle that suits your needs, let’s first go over the types of motorcycles.


Cruisers are what you’re thinking of when you picture a bike with a low seat, usually with a large engine. While most bike manufacturers make types of cruisers, the beefy Harley-Davidson look is probably the first thing you will think of with this category. These bikes lean you back and aren’t made for racing or high-performance situations (which you shouldn’t be getting yourself into as a beginner, anyway. -tisk-tisk- )

Best Cruiser Motorcycles for Beginners:

> Harley-Davidson Street 500
> Harley-Davidson Iron 883
> Harley-Davidson Street 750
> Kawasaki Vulcan Classic
> Yamaha V Star 250
> Honda Shadow
> Honda Rebel 250


Sportbikes are what you hear being called “crotch rockets.” These babies are designed for higher speeds and high performance. They have a forward-leaning riding position and lots of power, and this type of speed and performance will usually take awhile for you to get used to. Brands such as Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki motorcycles are popular models of crotch rocket for sale all over the place, and especially seem to vibe well with younger riders.

Best Sportbikes for Beginners:

> Suzuki SV650
> Honda CBR 500
> Yamaha FZ-07
> Kawasaki Ninja 250
>Yamaha YZF-R3

Standard Motorcycles

The “Standard” category of motorcycles is kind of the catch-all option for bikes that have a combination of elements from all classes of motorcycle. When compared to a cruiser which leans you back, and a sportbike which leans you forward, standard bikes have an upright riding position, and generally have an engine that falls mid-range regarding performance. Standard bikes are one of the best motorcycles for beginners since they will let you get the hang of things without the distractions of unnecessary power or extreme performance, and the styling is hip enough for the younger generations who don't want a sports bike. Remember, you don’t want to get a bike that’s more than you can handle for now.

Best Standard Motorcycles for Beginners:

> Suzuki GW250
> Honda CB300F
> Yamaha SR400

Dual Sport

This is the category that includes dirt bikes and supermoto bikes. They sometimes have higher seats, smaller engines, and lighter weight than what the other bikes we talked about. Some of the best dual sport bikes are great motorcycles for beginners because, as long as they are street legal and can be ridden on public roads, they’ll help you get used to the way things feel and work on a motorcycle.

Best Dual Sport Motorcycles for Beginners:

> Suzuki DR 200
> Kawasaki KLX250S
> Honda CRF230M



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