Based on your responses you are a beginner motorcycle rider at about an average rider height, an average rider weight, and yet you also indicated 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., like riding ATVs, jet skis, or dirt bikes). So with these inputs, we’ve come up with some specific motorcycle make/model recommendations at the bottom of this page but first, we want to give you some insight into how your factors drove us to those suggestions.
Riders with average height will want to stay away from the very smallest (in terms of engine/cc size) available out there such as say a Honda Grom as it just may be too small of a bike for your frame and lead to uncomfortable riding. The good news is that there are a lot of great choices (of different makes/models) of the entry-level size motorcycle an average height rider like you can look for.
Riders with about an average weight, have some good options for their beginner years because they are not perhaps so light that we have to avoid a beginner motorcycle that will have an engine that will be too underutilized for their light frame. And, we also don’t need to avoid the opposite that we might for a rider with a higher than average weight (opposite in the sense that we don’t have to be concerned about choosing a motorcycle that is not powerful enough).
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
The most tame recommendation we have, and certainly the safest from an engine size and motorcycle weight perspective is the 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 in at about $4,500 which makes a new motorcycle within the range of many beginner riders.
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.
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: