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Good First Motorcycle

There are many choices for a good first motorcycle.  First, let’s start with the basics were looking for in a good first motorcycle.

Engine Size:  This is the most important characteristic of a good first motorcycle. You don’t want to make the mistake of potentially buying a bike that is to big and powerful for your skill set.  This leaves you vunerable to accidents that could have been avoided with a smaller size engine.  It can also make for a terrible riding experience for a new rider.  At Bay Riders Group, we recommend students purchase nothing bigger than 500cc for their first motorcycle.  Even still, if your only doing local and city commuting, we recommend nothing bigger than a 250cc for your first bike.

Seat Height:  This is the second most important factor when purchasing a good first motorcycle.  Quite often, new riders end up purchasing a motorcycle that is to tall for them.  This makes it extremely difficult to control the motorcycle, especially on hills.  The good news, it’s very easy to tell if a motorcycle will be to tall for you.  Simply sit on the motorcycle on a flat surface, straighten your handle bars and put your kickstand up.  Place your hands on the bars in the riding position you will be in normally.  If you are flat foot in this positon, the motorcycle is a good height for you.  Even still, if you are almost flat footed, bordering on the balls of your feet, this can work for normal riding.   However, keep in mind that on hills you will probably be on your tips of your toes.  If you are on the tips of your toes while on the flat surface, the motorcycle is to tall for you.  How is seat height determined?  Seat height for motorcycle is measured in the same way your pants are, by the inseam.  For instance, if a motorcycle has a seat height of 32″ but you only have an inseam of 29″, the bike will most likely be to tall for you.

Weight:  The bigger the motorcycle is and the larger the engine size is, the more the motorcycle will weigh.  When choosing a good first motorcycle, the new rider will want the weight of the bike to be as low as possible.  This makes the bike that much more nimble and is also much easier to control in corners, especially while learning and perfecting new skills.  To much weight on your first motorcycle can also be very intimidating, scaring some new riders away from the sport all together.


Based on these characteristics, we at Bay Riders Group have chosen a few good first motorcycles that are perfect for new riders.

1.) Honda Nighthawk 250- These are very easy to ride motorcycles.  They have decent power for a 250cc, while still maintaing low weight and low seat height.  These are also freeway legal, although we wouldn’t recommend long trips on the freeway due to them topping out in speed at 75-80 MPH.  This bike is perfect for new riders 5’2″ and taller.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Nighthawk_250

2.) Honda Rebel 250- This is the cruiser version of the Honda Nighthawk.  Same engine, same weight, but an even lower seat height.  This bike is perfect for new riders 4’11” and taller.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CMX250C

3.) Kawasaki Ninja 250/500- This is more of a sport bike type of feel.  These are a tiny bit taller, having seat heights ranging from 30-32″.  They are still very light and have decent power for a small displacement engine.  Preference is towards the 250cc, but if doing long freeway trips, we do recommend the 500cc version of this bike.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_Ninja_250R

4.) Suzuki GZ250- This is Suzuki’s version of the Honda Rebel.  It is a cruiser style motorcycle with a very low seat height.  Weight is just a bit more than the Rebel, while still maintaining a light weight frame.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_GZ_series


If you need any help with the purchase of your first motorcycle, please feel free to contact Bay Riders Group.  We are here to assist you with making the purchase and even transporting your new motorcycle back home for you.

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