Based on your responses you are a beginner motorcycle rider that has a lower than average height, you indicated your weight average, you indicated you know how to operate a manual transmission, and you also have a higher than average amount of relevant motorcycle riding experiences. We’ll start out by explaining to you how each of these factors you provided to us helps us recommend a beginner motorcycle for you and then we’ll show you our recommended beginner motorcycles. So let’s start with explaining how those factors impacted our recommendations …
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 and yet so your average weight means that we have some potential to recommend one of the handfuls of small cc motorcycles that have recently entered the market and aimed at the starter rider market. When we say small cc, we’re talking anything under 250 cc and there currently are a couple out there from the major motorcycle manufacturers like Honda and Yamaha (they both produce 125 cc motorcycles aimed at the beginner motorcycle rider market). With your average weight, you could consider such an option.
It is good news that you answered that you have a lot of relevant riding experiences AND you can drive manual transmissions. Simply put, that’s going to make learning easier than for your average beginner rider (don’t get cocky though … learning to ride motorcycles is always something you need to take seriously and be safety conscience about). But with your experiences, we feel we can offer you some motorcycles larger than say someone with the same physical qualities but not your experiences. This CAN be good if you happened to want to start with a little bit of a larger motorcycle than the 250 – 300 cc range motorcycles that are commonly recommended for beginners.
Our Recommended Beginner Motorcycles for YOU
2016 Honda Grom
As we discussed in the “Average Weight” section above, there are a small number of sub 250 cc bikes being produced now which are aimed at the beginner rider market. With your average weight, you could go this route as they will generally handle someone of your weight and provide adequate acceleration and adequate power to keep you moving with the flow of traffic. And so, if you want something light (many riders are just intimidated if the motorcycle feels too heavy), something definitely not over-powered, and a value of a motorcycle (under about $3,500 new), a Grom may be a great way to learn to ride motorcycles.
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 its 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” Honda 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: