Based on your responses you are a beginner motorcycle rider with above-average rider height, a higher than 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 above-average height will definitely want to stay away from some of the beginner rider marketed motorcycles being produced in recent years like the Honda Grom and Yamaha 125Z. With your frame, they are simply going to probably feel cramped to you and perhaps a bit like a mini-bike. However, there certainly are more conventional starter bikes for someone of your size, and we’ll have some recommendations below that as you’ll see really cover a wide part of the motorcycle engine size spectrum.
Higher Than Average
Beginner riders with higher than average weight, need to avoid going with a beginner bike that simply is not going to be powerful enough to move you around within the normal traffic acceleration rates and up to the posted speed limits. You won’t find in our recommendation the common 250-300 cc models because the chance is, with your above average height and weight, those bikes are likely to be overwhelmed by your body. However, we certainly will recommend some bikes that can get you around and still be modestly powered enough to be something you can handle and learn on.
And, since you answered that you either don’t know how to drive a manual transmission car and/or you don’t have a lot of experience on recreational vehicles that could lower the learning curve, then although we need to recommend a large/powerful-enough motorcycle for your, we need to be careful and not overdo that and put you on something that may be too much bike for you to learn on. So with that, we’ve recommended a couple of motorcycles below that fall in the 400-650 cc range. In the end, of course, you’ll have to make your own decision on what feels like it has enough but not too much power/weight for you to safely learn on.
Our Recommended Beginner Motorcycles for YOU
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.
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.
2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
A totally cool retro-looking bike that is part of a bigger comeback by a 100+ year old motorcycle company (Royal Enfield) is the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 made in the country of India and now available in the USA and most of Europe. At 650 cc, this is larger than your typical beginner bike but the very standard/traditional configuration of the motorcycle is just about ideal for a new rider to learn on. At 450 lb though, that weight will show up at stop signs and moving in and out of parking lots so be prepared for that challenge if you go this route. But overall the Interceptor 650 could be a good fit for your physical stature and the larger than normal beginner bike engine could keep you from wanting to upgrade as soon as you feel you’re no longer a beginner rider.
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: