Many people think that when it comes to learning how to ride a motorcycle sport bikes are out of the question for beginners. However this is not entirely true as there are many sport bikes that look nice, have some serious power, but are still able to be tamed by even the most novice rider.
It is important to understand that motorcycles in the 600cc+ range are in fact more finely tuned for riders who understand how to utilize all the “race” features of motorcycle. Again though, that does not mean that a beginner can not learn these things as he/she goes along. In fact, on smaller 250cc bikes the rider will never experience these fined tuned features so it would be as if the rider never truly learned about the bike in the first place. Now then, to make that statement clearer if your goal is to simply learn how to ride and keep a motorcycle up on two wheels then a smaller 250cc option might suit you better.
While the bikes posted below are shiny and new it is highly recommended that you buy a used bike while you learn to ride. It is inevitable that you will drop one whether that be on the road or in your driveway. If that happens it will hurt (financially) a lot less if your bike is used and not a $15,000 2011 model.
As with anything else being learned though, practice and patience are key. So here it is, the top ten sport bikes for beginners over 250ccs:
#10: Suzuki GSXR 600
Ah the Gixxer. Even if you don’t know the first thing about motorcycles or sport bikes you will likely recognize this one. The GSXR is a very popular sport bike due to it’s light weight, nice power range, and fairly decent price for how it performs.
The GSXR 600 is definitely a good looking bike with lots of sharp angles and clean edges. As far as raw power is concerned this motorcycle can get up there with the best of them. Is it a good starting bike though? You might be surprised that many first timers learn to ride on this very bike. It is lightweight and pretty forgiving making it a good starter bike. However, it is important to note that the GSXR is made with racers in mind so it will be a little touchier than other 600cc motorcycles.
Something to note also, GSXR models 08′ and up have different mode selections available that allow the rider to truly control how much power is being harnessed from the bike.
#9: Suzuki SV650
The Suzuki SV650 is a bit of a roadster mixed with some sport bike style. Many opt for this choice because it is viewed as a good “beginner bike” for those who still want to have a decent looking bike for their first. This bike doesn’t get up as fast as some of the others, but the brakes are very responsive so it may be a challenge for those who are ready to pay attention to the fine details.
#8: Yamaha YZF R6
The YZF R6 is definitely a looker. Sharp fairing design with clean cut edges make this a gorgeous 600cc sport bike. I have known many people who have this as their first bike and they have had great experiences with them. The bike is lighter than most 600ccs and handles like a dream. The downside? New ones are fairly expensive!
#7: Suzuki Bandit 600
This motorcycle is yet another that has plenty of power but isn’t as torquey as some other 600cc options. The bike handles nice and can get up to pretty good speeds once the rider gets comfortable with it. It should be noted though that this bike is pretty heavy for a sport bike making low speed maneuvers very difficult which can mean trouble for novice riders.
#6: Suzuki Katana 600
While not nearly as ferocious looking as its GSXR cousin, the Suzuki Katana 600 is still a very nice bike for beginners looking to get into riding. One of the advantages of this bike is the fact that it sits a little higher so the rider isn’t completely leaned over the handle bars.
This is great for beginners as it allows them to get a feel for riding a motorcycle around and through traffic. Another plus is that this bike is considered a “sport touring” so insurance rates are typically much cheaper! The only minor flaw with this bike is that it is a bit on the heavy side. If you are a smaller rider you may want to consider a smaller, lighter option.
#5: Honda CBR 600
The Honda CBR 600 is another lightweight sport bike that has the potential to be fast but still easy enough to handle for beginners. The CBR 600 looks great and is of really high construction quality. This bike’s light weight and smaller size make it perfect for beginning riders who are nervous about handling a larger bike around corners and what not.
Many who learn on this bike do give one piece of advice though: The bike sits a little higher than most so if you are on the shorter side you may either want to get this bike lowered or opt for a different motorcycle.
#4: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
While this bike may be intimidating to look at it can also be a very good starter bike as well. The weight and positioning of this bike is nice and can accommodate riders of average to tall heights. This motorcycle has plenty of power but can be handled if the rider is patient with the bike and learns to control the throttle. Don’t underestimate the engine size, while it’s 650 cousin may sport 50ccs more, this bike actually totes more power so be cautious.
#3: Suzuki GS500
The GS500 might not be the first bike in mind when it comes to sport bikes, especially to beginners who are looking for a mean looking motorcycle. However, don’t be fooled by appearances as this bike is an extremely easy one to learn on while still retaining a lot of power. The lack of too much fairing and bodywork allows for less wind resistance and an easier first rider experience.
#2: Kawasaki Ninja 650R
The Kawasaki Ninja 650R engine size may seem too large to be considered for beginners, but don’t let numbers misguide you. This bike has a nice weight to it, good seat placement, and the way it handles corners can quickly be learned by new riders. The parallel twin engine also provides for a smooth ride and transition into motorcycles. The aggressive design of this bike is nice to look at as well.
#1: Ninja EX500
So here it is, in my (and many others) opinion the best sport bike for beginners to learn on. While I understand that this motorcycle’s looks may not hold a candle to the other bikes listed in this post that doesn’t rule it out as a bad bike. In fact, ask almost anyone who has experience riding and they will likely tell you that this is the bike they learned on or a bike that they would recommend learning on. It is very light, easy to maneuver, and is very economically friendly (cheap!).
If you are an absolute beginner this is likely the best introduction to sport bikes you can get. If you are looking to purchase your very own sport bike, I recommend checking out Sheriff Auctions to see if you can get some great deals on used motorcycles. Riding a used motorcycle can still be fun and save you a TON of money while learning or even if you are veteran rider! Enjoy!
* Remember, it is important to always wear safety gear when riding and to respect a motorcycles power. The ability to handle a motorcycle ultimately falls on the rider and how responsible he/she is with the machine.
Images obtained from Google