Based on your responses you are a beginner motorcycle rider with an about average height and with a higher than average weight. You also responded that you either do not know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle or you do not have a lot of relevant riding experiences (e.g., mini-bikes, dirt bikes, jet skis, etc.). So when we consider all those factors, we come up with some recommended beginner motorcycle makes and models at the bottom of this page but first, let’s explain how those factors led us to those recommendations:
Riders with average height will want to stay away from the very smallest motorcycle options out there (smallest in terms of engine/cc size) such as say a Honda Grom or its competitor the Yamaha 125Z as those micro-street bikes may simply be too small of a bike for a rider like you with an average height. So we’ll stay away from those and move up to the lowest powered motorcycles that still have the frame size for someone like you to ride comfortably and properly.
Higher Than Average
Riders with a higher than average weight may find that the recommendations on the smaller end of our list below (ex. 300 cc Honda Rebel) may simply not be powerful enough to allow you to accelerate within the normal range and you may cause more than one driver following you to become frustrated. Additionally, if the motorcycle is underpowered, accelerating properly on highways and maintaining appropriate speeds at the higher speed limits (65-75 MPH) may be difficult.
Lastly, you indicated you do not have a lot of relevant riding experiences and/or you can not operate manual transmissions yet so we will avoid pushing the envelope a bit and stay away from recommending beginner motorcycles that may be a little bit bigger or a little bit more powerful than a safer size/cc than we would generally recommend to a rider of your physical stature.
Our Recommended Beginner Motorcycles for YOU
2017 Honda Rebel 300
A perennial classic for beginner riders is the Rebel 300 and is probably the most successfully marketed beginner motorcycle of all time. Honda continually updated and upgraded its hit of a motorcycle over the years recently upgrading the engine size from 250 cc to its current 300 cc form. Keep in mind though, depending on how much heavier you are than say “average,” a 300 cc engine may not be enough for you and if so, you’ll have to step up to say a 400 – 500 cc based motorcycle.
2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400
Taking a step up in power and weight, we introduce a Ninja to the recommendations. 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.
2006 Suzuki Boulevard S40
Suzuki Boulevard S40
If you think you may need to go even higher in engine size than the Ninja 400 then the most common step up is to move into the 600 cc range (yes there are 500 cc models but that hasn’t turned out to be a spot that a lot of manufacturers target so you’ll find more in the 600 cc range). The S40 is a somewhat unique 650 cc single-cylinder engine design that gives the bike a very retro/classic look and feels. So if you think you need the power of say a 600+ cc motorcycle and you’re looking for a brand new bike you can roll out of the showroom and have that classic cruiser style for under $6,000 brand new, check out the S40s at your local Suzuki dealer. Or, because Suzuki has been putting out this model for decades, if you’ve got a tighter budget, there are many older models that are still reliable, great looking, (see 2006 pictured), and even more affordable!
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: