We often get asked, via our YouTube channel, which sports motorcycle is best for new riders, beginners oe even older riders getting back into motorbiking. So what motorbike is best? Which is the easiest, safest. most forgiving motorbike on the market? Which sports bike should you buy for your experience? Is a supersports bike suitable?
The very first argument that pops up is the ‘Capacity’ argument…. Specifically, should any new or inexperienced rider ever be allowed on a bike with a capacity of one litre/liter or more?
Of course, this question is somewhat out of date as the performance of some under-1000cc bikes is astonishing. Particular examples of bikes that really need an experienced rider are the MV Agusta F3 or Brutale, which are 800cc, the Yamaha MT-09, Triumph Street Triple and the Ducati Panigale 899/959 which has 900/960cc/ . These bikes are electrifying and, indeed, due to their lighter weight and engine tune they accelerate at least as quick and are therefore equally as dangerous. It also not really about pure capacity as some 1200cc nakeds, cruisers, or street bikes, with sitting-up positions, are simply much easier and safer to ride as the steering is more intuitive, visibility is better, and the performance and delivery will almost certainly be lower and more relaxed.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and some riders will be fine on such low slung, built-for-a-purpose machines, especially as they may have ridden in their youth.
Perhaps one of the greatest factors of all in gauging the suitability of a sports bike for a new rider (noob!) is ‘personality’. This is basically how a person generally behaves on a motorbike, how their mind works, what sort of mindset they get into. For example, if one is a naturally cautious, thoughtful or methodical then they are likely to get on a bike and never get anywhere near the performance of their motorcycle. However, if the rider is all about thrills, adrenaline and passion then they are more likely to keep pushing the bike until it may cause them some trouble.
Then there are the bikes which have a mad personality themselves! A few bikes come to mind here, two high capacity and one lower capacity bike. The larger engined bikes are the KTM Super Duke1290 R and the Aprilia Tuono, which are light, very powerful and have enough torque to power wheelie all day long. This might sound like fun to the maniacs and stunt riders amongst us but for a new rider this is simply terrifying. The smaller engined version of this sort of mad machine is the MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR (or Dragster version) which is far less powerful than the KTM but even lighter, still a beast and with a twitchy throttle so manic you would think it was broken! Both machines are completey unsuitable for beginners.
So which are the bikes that are good for new riders to learn more about riding fast and to hone their skills? What are sensible sports bikes to buy after passing your test? Well, in no particular order. we would recommend the following. They all have sensible power, have straighter handlebars, smooth delivery and a comfortable position. They are all ‘F’ versions which mean that they have a fairing. This makes life a bit easier overall with more protection but you can always opt for the naked version of each bike.
Honda CBR 650F
Honda’s famous middleweight CBR is known for being forgiving. It brings together comfort, styling, practicality and a decent lick of speed in one cost effective package.
If you are on a budget, then go for the CBR 600F which was the prevoius model and also a great sports bike for a beginner or new rider to enjoy. Ade’s CBR600F Review
Kawasaki’s version of the CBR above is a whole 1K cheaper when new. It retains all of the CBR’s best points perhaps in a more spirited way but falls just a little short on overall quality but still a very fine bike and the 1K saving helps finance an aftermarket exhaust!
Like the CBR it has ABS and a comfy seat and position.
Suzuki’s easy to ride sports bike is the GSX 650 F, which in the ABS version is nearer the price of the Honda than the Kawasaki.
This all-rounder has a slightly lower seat, adjustable levers and arguably better suspension.
Obviously there are a lot of great naked street bikes out there but these are the three main sports style bikes that are somewhat suitable to have as your first sportsbike, in my own humble opinion of course.
Which one would you choose??