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What motorcycles should beginners not do?

Avoid These 5 Motorcycles At All Costs If You’re a Beginner

Riding a motorcycle is great fun, but there are a lot of things beginners need to know before buying your first bike. Here are the five bikes you should avoid for your first purchase.

5. Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883

If you’re a diehard Harley fan and you refuse to ride any other brand of bikes, then this is still not a good motorcycle for you as a beginner. There are better Harleys, like the Street 500, for beginners. The main reasons why the Iron 883 isn’t great for amateurs is due to its performance.

This bike boasts a massive engine that only gets 45 hp. The size of its engine, along with its overall weight, makes it difficult to control, especially at low speeds. It’s also not a cheap motorcycle, starting at about $9,000. This is a fine starting price for a bike, but there are better, cheaper motorcycles for beginners. For example, the Street 500 only costs $6,700.

4. Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Although the Ninja 650R was recently updated, it’s still not a great bike for beginners. Sure, it’s stylish, and at a starting price tag of $7,400, it’s pretty affordable. However, it’s simply too powerful and too hard to control for a novice. It has a 69-hp engine, which isn’t too strong, but its sensitive controls makes it a very difficult motorcycle to ride, according to HotCars.

3. BMW F800GS

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Despite being on this list, the F800GS isn’t a terrible motorcycle; it’s just terrible for beginners. Designed as an adventure bike, it’s good for all types of terrain. However, that’s also why it’s not good for amateurs. With a heavy and powerful 85-hp engine, it has a lot of horses for a beginner to learn to use. Plus, its overall weight and dimensions make it hard to control as well.

Furthermore, because it’s a good motorcycle for a lot of situations and terrains, it has a lot of features meant for those circumstances. The result, however, is a hefty price tag of about $12,300. That’s quite expensive for a bike, especially one for a beginner.

2. Yamaha YZF-R6

The YZF-R6 is an improved version of the R6 series of bikes, however, it’s still a terrible motorcycle for novices. It comes with many safety features that make it somewhat appealing, but those features come with an overly powerful engine that makes riding the YZF-R6 difficult for beginners.

It’s also a heavy motorcycle, and its 117-hp engine is too much to handle for anyone who isn’t used to riding a motorcycle. Starting at about $12,200, it’s very expensive. Regardless, those new safety features, like an anti-lock braking system, make the YZF-R6 a fine motorcycle to ride on.

1. Honda CBR1000RR

The worst bike for beginners, according to HotCars, is the CBR1000RR. It’s too heavy, it’s too powerful, and it’s too expensive. This motorcycle comes with a massive, nearly 1-liter engine that pumps out 189 hp. Beginners will struggle to handle this much power. It’s also expensive, starting at about $16,500 and some trims can go up to $25,000.

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Best beginner motorcycles | 125cc-600cc for learners and new starters


You may be able to lean on the experience and advice of a family member or friend, or, like many, you may be delving into the world of two wheels un-assisted. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, Visordown is here to help, as we pick the best motorcycles for new and upcoming riders currently on sale.

In this article, we’ll be listing the best beginner motorcycles and updating the list as new bikes get released. Most of the motorbikes in this article will have been ridden and tested here at Visordown, and if we haven’t had a chance to test them yet we’ll make it clear in the sections below.

You can also read our best electric motorcycles article here.

Best beginner motorcycles | 300cc to 660cc

Yamaha R7 | Best beginner motorcycles – sports bikes

Specs and features

Price (UK)

Power (BHP)

Torque (lb-ft)

Weight (kg)

Seat height (mm)

A2 compatible — yes

Pros and cons


· Supremely accessible and exciting engine


· Cramped for taller riders

· LCD tricky to read clearly

· Town riding becomes tiresome quickly

The 2022 Yamaha R7 launches right into the heart of the newly ignited middleweight sportsbike market, alongside bikes like the Aprilia RS660, and Kawasaki Ninja 650. Featuring the DNA of the R6 and R1, it’s a bike designed to bridge the gap between the CBT-friendly R125, and the bigger R1 and R1M.

Out on the road and track the R7 is a delight to ride. It’s a featherweight of a bike, and that brilliant CP2 engine at its heart impresses even the hardiest of track riders. And it’s more than just an MT-07 with fairings bolted on too. The chassis, suspension, and brakes for the R7 are all revised compared to its naked sibling. As a result, it’s more focused, accurate, and a hoot to ride on the road and track.

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More information on the Yamaha R7 can be found here.

Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory | Best beginner motorcycles – performance nakeds

Specs and features

Price (UK)

Power (BHP)

Torque (lb-ft)

Weight (kg)

Seat height (mm)

A2 compatible — yes — with restriction

Pros and cons


· Track-focused ultimate mid-weight naked

· Easy-going character around town


· Menus are a bit fiddly

· Wheelie control either on or off

· Pricy compared to the competition

Taking the excellent Aprilia RS660 as its base, the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory mates easy going ergonomics, with RSV4-derived electronics and a manageable chassis package. With just under 100bhp on offer, it is one of the more powerful machines on this list, and with just 181kg to shift, it’s a perfect road bike for those looking for B-road bliss, if sometimes considered a little spicy to be on our best beginner motorcycles list.

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We tested the Tuono 660 Factory earlier this, riding it on the road and also at the fabulous Cadwell Park circuit in Lincolnshire. On the road, it feels like just about all the bike you’d need for maximum grin factor, and on the twisty and narrow Cadwell Park track, it was a match to some of the bigger, faster V4 machines.

It’s not without its grips though, multi-level wheelie control and fiddly menus being the main two, although for pure riding pleasure on the road there really isn’t much to dislike about Aprilia’s brilliant middleweight weapon.

More information on the Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory can be found here.

Honda CB500X | Best beginner motorcycles – adventure bikes

Specs and features

Price (UK)

Power (BHP)

Torque (lb-ft)

Weight (kg)

Seat height (mm)

A2 compatible — yes

Pros and cons


· Extremely accessible engine

· Big-bike adventure-ready look and feel

· Lots of luggage and accessory options


· Suspension can feel budget off-road

· Buzzy bars at speed

· Crosswinds can be an issue

A firm favourite with riders new and old, the Honda CB500X is one of the most popular bikes in the A2/new rider adventure motorcycle sector. Using the venerable 471cc parallel twin that is shared across this and three other Honda models, the CB500X is a bike for everyday commuting and touring, with some light off-road world thrown in.

Its simplistic specs and easy-going nature make it a perfect choice for riders looking to move up from the CBT licence bikes, yet is also a prime choice for those already riding bigger machines and just looking to gain their adventure bike spurs.

It’s frugal too, with motorway cruising returning upwards of 100mpg, meaning that 250+ miles between fill-ups are a very real possibility

More information on the Honda CB500X can be found here.

KTM 390 Duke | Best beginner motorcycles – easiest to ride naked

Specs and features

Price (UK)

Power (BHP)

Torque (lb-ft)

Weight (kg)

Seat height (mm)

A2 compatible — yes

Pros and cons


· Friendly single-cylinder engine character

· Decent-spec WP suspension


· Build quality can be questionable

· Comfort over distance isn’t great

· A favourite among bike thieves – invest in decent security!

The KTM 390 Duke has been around since 2013 and is a firm favourite with new riders and those moving up the ranks. The 390 Duke features funky, youthful styling, a punchy single-cylinder engine, and sweet handling. Simply put; it’s a weapon in town and fun once you get out of it.

It’s a bike that hasn’t seen massive, mechanical updates since it first launched, instead being steadily evolved, with facelifts and technical upgrades along the way.

It’s an engaging thing to ride, with a rev-happy engine that doesn’t red-line until around 10,000rpm, and still delivers some shove further up the rev range. It’s not without its faults, as with any bike, and the biggest gripe from owners is the build quality. The TFT dash can allow water inside if left in the rain, and electrical gremlins are two of the most common complaints we hear from owners online. It’s also a popular bike with thieves, so make sure you get some top-spec security – and remember to use it after every ride!

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More information on the 2022 KTM 390 Duke can be found here.

8 Great Beginner Motorcycle Riding Habits

The Best Beginner Riding Habits That Every New Motorcycle Rider Should Focus on Learning

There are a few things that it will take you a few months to learn once you finally get your motorcycle and you start riding regularly.

If you are lucky you will have a riding mentor with some experience help guide you and tell you some of these tips, but if you don’t then feel free to study this guide.

This is a lot to remember at first so when I started riding I would only concentrate on doing one thing really well for the whole ride, like looking through the turn for example.

Eventually this becomes automatic and you can concentrate on building other good habits.

Beginner Riding Habits List

1Keep heels in
2Loose on top, Tight on bottom
3Take turns outside-inside-outside
4Don’t brake in a turn / Accelerate through turn
5Look through turns
6Keep visor closed
7Assume you are invisible
8Assume everyone is out to get you / Escape plans

1. Keep heels in

If you ride a sportsbike then you will notice that right next to the pegs where you put your feet are little diamond shaped metal plates separating your foot from the inside of the bike. They aren’t just there for show, you should use them, and it’s easy to do.

All you have to do is move your foot closer to the bike until your heel is pressed against the plate. I find that when I ride this makes me feel much more stable and in control. It’s a little thing to do, but it really does make a big difference. If you doubt me then try it for a week or so, and then the next week try putting your feet in their old positions not touching the plate, it will feel like your feet are hanging out in midair!

I know some riders might think that tip is too obvious, but I am a great example since I did not do this for my first 3 months of riding until my mentor pointed it out to me one day.

2. Loose on top, Tight on bottom

The best position for your body when riding a motorcycle is to make sure your bottom is tight, and you’re loose on top. What does that mean? It means that you squeeze your thighs together enough so you are gripping the tank, and that you are pressing into the bike with your ankles as well. This will keep you very stable and attached to the bike should you happen to roll over a large bump at 60+ mph.

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While being strong and stable on the lower half of your body is ideal, on the top half you really want to be as loose as possible. My test is if you can’t wiggled your elbows like a chicken while riding then you aren’t loose enough. Many a new rider has crashed from getting a death grip on the handlebars to the point of not being able to control the bike well in a turn.

If you are tight on bottom and loose on top you will really feel a difference in the twisties.

3. Take turns outside-inside-outside

Turning in a car is cake compared to turning on a motorcycle, you don’t have to worry about lean angle, entry speed, or not being able to brake in the middle of the turn.

The general rule of thumb for taking turns on a motorcycle is to line it up so you enter the turn on the outside, traverse the turn through the inside, and then exit on the outside. This lets you look farther through the turn for possible danger and lessens your lean angle so you can take the corner faster.

I practice taking almost every turn this way, even when I am on surface streets.

take corners outside inside outside motorbike

4. Don’t brake in a turn / Accelerate through turn

Braking during a turn is a big no no. If you are leaned over in a corner the first thing that is going to happen is the bike will start to straighten up immediately. If you are past the apex of the turn then you might be able to save it if the road happens to straighten up pretty quick, but if you hit the brakes before the apex…. Bad news.

I remember two times specifically when I was taking a corner in the hills and I got spooked because I came in too fast (too fast for me at the time was actually BELOW the posted speed limit for that turn, so I wasn’t breaking any land speed records), I hit the brakes in the middle of the turn and the bike straightened up and I ended up on the side of the road in the dirt.

Thankfully, both times I managed to keep the bike upright and slow down before I hit a fence or the canyon wall. Those two incidents forever etched into my mind the importance of never braking in a turn. The ideal way to take a turn is to brake BEFORE you even get there at all, then once you are leaned over you roll on the throttle and accelerate through the turn.

5. Look through turns

Another big lesson is to look through a turn. They really grind this into your head when you take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course (MSF) as they have you almost over exaggerate the amount you turn your head while looking through the corner.

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If you have already formed the bad habit of only looking in front of you, or just a little bit ahead while turning then by looking as far as you can ahead you will open up a whole new world.

Roads will seem to get really wide and a whole lot less scary, and you will be able to take turns faster because of it.

riding tip - keep visor closed

6. Keep visor closed

I think it might be the law in California (anyone want to look that up?), but even if it isn’t you should wear eye protection when riding a motorcycle. Bugs, dirt, rocks, phonebooks, chairs, etc… all have a tendency to fly right towards my eyeballs when I’m riding my motorcycle. The only time I usually have my visor lifted is at a stop light, and if I really need to get some extra airflow while riding I will open it maybe an inch or so, but that’s all.

I have had prehistoric sized bugs hit my face shield multiple times while riding, so much so that I had to wipe it off with my glove in order to see properly.

I would hate to see what happens if I happened to have my face shield up when a hornet was making a kamikaze run for my retinas.

7. Assume you are invisible

You’ve probably heard this before, but just in case you haven’t, when you are riding a motorcycle just assume you are invisible. I have had people look right at me, make eye contact, and then continue to drive right for me like I wasn’t even there.

Use the quickness and namelessness of your vehicle to your advantage and throttle your way out of situations like that.

The best advice though is to try to avoid them as much as possible by pretending you and your motorcycle are made of the stuff predator wears.

8. Assume everyone is out to get you / Escape plans

After a few close calls with people on cell phones and inattentive drivers I have made it a habit to always have an escape plan when riding.

If I am in the far left lane going faster than the lane directly to my right, I ALWAYS assume that there is some asshole just waiting for me to ride by so he can shove into my lane and me into a guardrail. Most people won’t do things like that on purpose, but through negligence they will happen.

It is the best to pretend you are the running man and everyone in the world is out to get you (+10 points for two Arnold Schwarzenegger movie references in one article!). If you always have an escape plan then you will be much less likely to get in an accident.

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