Based on your responses you are a beginner motorcycle rider that has a lower than average height and your weight is higher than average, and you also indicated you know how to operate a manual transmission and you have a higher than average amount of relevant experience. We’ll start out by explaining to you how each of those factors helps us recommend a beginner motorcycle for you and then we’ll show you our recommended beginner bikes so read on …
Riders with lower than average height need to make sure the motorcycle they are choosing for their beginner bike years is simply not too “tall” for that rider. A key measurement you want to focus on will be to make sure the “seat height” (the distance from the road to the top of the motorcycle’s seat) is not too high. If you are not sure how a high seat height can be a problem, read our extensive article on how to choose the best seat height for a beginner motorcycle rider.
Riders with higher than average weight, have to be careful not to go with a beginner motorcycle that simply will be too underpowered. With other beginner riders, we may recommend, for example, some beginner motorcycles that are under 200 cc (engine size). For you, that could be risky as these lowered powered motorcycles may struggle to get you up to and maintain proper speeds on the roads (particularly if you plan to do some interstate driving that may require you to briskly accelerate up to highway speeds).
The good news is that you indicated you have a lot of relevant riding experiences and you can drive manual transmissions, so the challenge of learning to ride a motorcycle is less profound. So, with that piece of information, we feel more comfortable providing you with some more powerful beginner motorcycle options that we wouldn’t feel as comfortable recommending to a rider without your background and skills.
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.
2021 Yamaha MT-3
Yamaha has worked hard to provide a beginner-oriented motorcycle in the “Naked” street bike genre. After having tons of success in the higher cc range, they’ve finally put out a smaller 300 cc (technically, 321 cc) powered option and the results are impressive. At 373 lb, it is the heaviest of our recommendations here but with a 30″ seat height, the bike should be a good fit for most beginner riders in the low to medium height and weight ranges. The 2021 version of the MT-3 comes it at about $4,500 which makes a new motorcycle within the range of many beginner riders.
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.
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: