Based on your responses you are a beginner motorcycle rider in the higher height grouping, in the moderate weight grouping, and lastly, you either don’t know how to operate a manual transmission or you don’t have much of those relevant experiences we described in the previous section. Based on those factors we’ve produced three motorcycle recommendations for you but before we go there, let’s first explain how these different factors about you provided guide us into recommending beginner motorcycles to you.
Riders with higher than average height need to make sure the motorcycle they are choosing for their beginner years is not too small as a lot of recommended starter bikes are on the smaller size. And, there are a new group of starter bikes that are popular, such as the Honda Grom and the Yamaha 125Z. Both are nice starter bikes for someone that is not on the taller side like you and so we do not recommend you start with an option like one of these but definitely go with a more traditional-sized starter bike.
Riders with average weight (as opposed to a rider in the higher than average weight range) don’t generally have to worry about choosing a motorcycle that will not be able to handle their weight load and so that would allow you to be able to go with the smaller beginner bike options that are commonly recommended for beginners (the 250-300 cc range). But, as you indicated in the height selection, you are above average in terms of height, so even though a smaller beginner bike (say under 200 cc) may have the power to move you around well enough, the frame and configuration of the motorcycle may not be accommodating to someone your size, so again, stay away from the very small bikes that some beginners gravitate to these days.
Without knowing how to operate manual transmission or if you do not have a lot of relevant experiences (e.g., driving dirt bikes, mini bikes, ATVs, etc.) we will then hesitate to recommend motorcycles above say the 500 cc range as you will have enough challenges simply learning to ride that you don’t need to also manage a heavier than a necessary bike. Yet, with your taller than the average frame, we don’t want to put you on a motorcycle that may not be conducive to your long frame. So with that, our recommendations as you’ll see below keep you at the 500 cc range or lower. You’ll have to see which seems to fit your frame well enough and yet which will have enough power to get you around.
Our Recommended Beginner Motorcycles for YOU
2017 Honda Rebel 300
Probably the most successfully marketed beginner motorcycle of all, the Honda Rebel, has for decades been a go-to bike for beginner riders. Honda has not rested on its laurels but instead, update and upgraded its hit of a motorcycle over the years recently upgrading the engine size from 250 cc to its current 300 cc form. And, they’ve worked hard to give the Rebel 300 an appealing look with a unique combination of the old school, new school, and minimalist school elements. Lastly, at a 27″ seat height it is even lower than its “little brother Grom,” yet with a more than double the size motor which may appeal to you if you’re thinking that a Grom’s 125 cc is going to be too small for you.
2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400
Way back in 1983, Kawasaki invented a class of motorcycles by introducing the Kawasaki Ninja 250. The bike was a big success as it found a sweet spot for a motorcycle that offered beginner-level power yet with inspiring sport bike looks and a great price. The other manufacturers eventually offered competing options and Kawasaki has evolved its Ninja ever since with the most recent evolution coming in 2018 when Kawasaki upgraded its previous Ninja 300 series to a Ninja 400. These little Ninja’s have always been great starter bikes and for a rider with your level of relevant experiences, a Ninja 400 may be a great way for you to learn to ride..
2008 Suzuki GS500
For a taller rider like yourself, someone who knows how to operate a manual transmission, and for someone who has good relevant riding experiences, you really could consider going into the 500 cc range and still have a motorcycle that won’t overpower you and let you begin your starter years with a bike that is more likely to fit your frame than some of the smaller options out there. The GS500 is a good solid bike Suzuki made for years but abandoned when manufacturers seemed to gravitate either to larger bikes (600+ cc) and to smaller engine bikes (400 or less cc) for market reasons. However, there are still a lot of used GS500s out there that will work out well for you and save you money at the same time.
For a list of other recommended motorcycles for beginners, check out our beginner motorcycle blog section that has a variety of articles for folks looking into learning to ride motorcycles such as: