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Yo can`t be serious;The BSA 650 Lightning w/right foot shift.1 up and three down pattern makes an excellent first bike.1967 vintage.

The Speed tripplecomes from the correct country,though.
 

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Which beginner bike a rider should buy would depend, to a certain extent, on the personality and level of responsibility of the rider. I've known folks that could have ridden 600cc sportbikes as their first bikes-- but I'm not one of them.



If I had it to do all over again, and started riding today, I'd want to ride a used GS500E. Cheap as dirt to purchase, I'd be able to resell it for cost (if I ever wanted to), it's light, simple, free of plastic bodywork, and it's a 500cc twin. As a beginner, I like middleweight twins because they put out broad, tractable power. They don't need to be revved to give fairly lively acceleration.



Avoiding the big depreciation hit, especially when I drop it, will help keep some cash in my pocket for when I stepped up from the GS500E to the Hayabusa turbo...
 

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Kawasaki Ninja 250

This is a great beginner bike for many reasons:
[*] Inexpensive
[*] Great Gas mileage
[*] Good handling
[*] When first learning, bike is very forgiving when ridden conservatively (below 6000 RPM)
[*] As experience grows, bike is still fun since it can be ridden aggressively (above 6000 RPM)
[*] Sporty but comfortable enough for touring
[*] Maintenance is easy, so can learn maintenance while also learning to ride
[*] Comparatively low seat height inspires confidence for shorter riders
[*] Easy mods (i.e. tires and suspension) so that the bike can grow with your skills
 

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GS500E does make a great first streetbike. I put about 12,000 miles on one in one year. But I think a dual purpose bike that's actually ridden off and on road is the best way to go for a beginner. Learn bike control in the dirt, and little slips and slides on the road don't faze you. That's how I learned.
 

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bikes made for lots of years, with lots of used examples make the best bikes. I currently ride a yzf 600 r and it hasnt changed since 1997. For insurance, repairs and learing how to wrench and ride your own bike, it makes sense to go with a long running, used model.
 

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IMHO, there is no one best first bike.

I think the point should be made that many of the world's top sports bike riders started out riding dirt bikes, and it was there they learned the skills that are necessary to stay alive on a sports bike.

Therefore, I believe people should be encouraged to ride dirt bikes first, before they think about buying a sports bike.



That said, for those buying a first road bike I would recommend any of the following three (used) bikes:

Honda CBR 250 R (Baby Blade)

Honda Spada

Kawasaki ER6



The reason for my recommendation of the smaller cc bikes is that learners WILL drop their bikes at least once, and when you're only doing 60kp/h on your CBR250R, it won't hurt as much as dropping an R1 at 160k/ph. (You might actually live.)

Also, small bikes are light, so when you forget to put your kickstand down and the bike falls on you, you won't break your leg.

 

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I don't understand why there is this great resistance against riding dual sport or dirt bikes! Off-roading is the greatest training for street riding anywhere. Dual sport bike are fantastic.



You street-cred guys have got to get ove the image problem!!!!!
 

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I'd recommend a used small displacement (approx. 250cc) enduro as a first bike. The new rider should spend a lot of time learning to ride it offroad so he can gain necessary skills and coordination with the controls before facing automobiles on the road.



I have friends whose first bikes were anywhere from 750 to 1450cc streetbikes. Big mistake, they still have minimal skills at controlling the bike in an emergency scenario and will probably never improve much as they have no way to practice them.
 

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I'd normally say keep it under 500cc, but I know of two exeptions...

Moto Guzzi Breva 750

Suzuki Marauder (if they still make the 800).

They're both very smoothly controllable, and not given to scaring the crap out of a novice with sudden eye flattening acceleration.



My first was a Suzuki 350 two-stroke streetbike, and right at 6000 RPM it would positively lunge.
 

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The best bikes for learning are the little dual-sports like the Suzuki DR200, the Yamaha XT225, or the Kawasaki KLR250. They're great on either the street or the cow-trail. Then they are worth keeping when you are ready to upgrade to a bigger bike, because the small dual-sports are superior to bigger bikes in many ways. They're dirt-cheap to insure, so you might as well hang on to them anyway. Sometimes I think I get more smiles to the gallon on the little enduro than any other bike. Tuck the little bike in the back of the garage as well as the newer, bigger, bike and you'll be happy!



Klay
 

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At risk of incurring the wrath of many "dualies & dirties, I respectfully submit that machines designed to perform in two disparate environments are not necessarilly the way to go. Among other undesireable features are seat height, compromise on/off road tires, and engines that simply aren't designed to operate efficiently on urban thruways. Since accessing off road venues is as difficult for 85% of Americas metropolitan-based riders as finding a local track available with instruction, what would be the point of opting for a machine that will likely never see mud and whatever training value that may have offered? I believe the more rational road is with a small displacement machine designed specifically for the street and a rider who is MSF trained.
 

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You Nut!

We need bikes we can buy here in the USof A! We don't even know how far a kilometer is. Is that like a furlong?

I don't know what a Spada is, and they call the ER6 a Ninja 650 here. Good reccomendation for a taller, more mature, better trained (and wealthier) rider.

I wish we could get the CBR250R here; I'd race one! The best 250 sportbike sold is the tired old 250 Ninja, which has a 20 year-old designe. Fun but it's more like vintage racing than a modern sportbike experience.

Once plugged into the metric converter, you suggestions are very good. Thanks, Stefan!
 

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I believe that the best type of bike for the new motorcyclist is a 250cc to 400cc trail bike. Kawasaki KLR250, Honda XR250L, Yamaha XT250, etc. are the sort of thing I mean.

These bikes are cheap to buy and fun to ride. The ergonomics make them easy to control.

If new riders have an opportunity to ride "off then he/she has a really good opportunity to learn quickly how to hanle a motorcycle in adverse conditions; skills that will stay with him/her for the rest of their riding days.

I started with an XL125 Honda (with the exhaust pipe that went down under the motor and up into an ugly chrome plated thing! The exhaust was replaced with some raucus thing and all the steel mud guards were replaced with "MX plastic" ones - really cool! I then moved on to a Yamaha DT250 (the blue, first monoshock model; now there was a really good bike. A flirtation with a Kawasaki Z500 was followed by a Yamaha XT600 (good bike for the road and fire trails but not as good a trail bike as the 'DT'. Now in retirement I ride a Vespa ET-150 and wish I had purchased a Kawasaki KLR650 or KLE500 for similar money.

Regards,

Peter
 

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After taking the MSF class, I had absolutely no problems starting on an older 600cc supersport. Once I got used to the subtleties of the riding position, I found it just as agile and easy to handle as the dirtbikes in the MSF class. I also appreciated the dual front disk brakes and narrow clip-ons for city riding, and when I move to a newer model it can easily become a track bike.



And, for the proponents of getting a "naked" bike so you don't have to worry about scratching plastics if you dropped it -- mine plastics came pre-scratched, so that wasn't an issue!
 

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It doesn't matter if you never take them off road; The little dual sports are the best for beginning riders. They're just so much fun and are so friendly and versatile that you'll be trying all sorts of stuff much sooner than with any pure street bike...with much less possibility of negative consequences. It's just a hoot to ride a little bike at the limit. You'll like it so much you'll never want to get rid of the little bike no matter what more "serious" bike you end up with.



You'll learn what a bike does at the limit much, much, faster



If you start out with a bigger bike like a 600, your creative process will be stifled to some extent no matter what your learning curve is.



If you've never owned a little dual sport, get one right now...it's not just a matter of needing something to learn on, it's just something every rider is going to have an absolute blast with, especially a beginner. I can hardly describe how much innocent fun hooligan stuff I've done with that little bike and how happy I've been with it. I would be crushed if I didn't have that little dual-sport in my line-up of bikes. (I have multi-bike syndrome real bad) I ride the wheels off of of it and you can't imagine the fun I get out of it.

Almost all of it is street riding, but the little bike is a temptress...I end up where I shouldn't be down alleys and sidewalks and trails.



Just get one, especially you people wondering what to learn to ride on. You won't regret it.



Klay
 
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