Fast, light, sleek motorcycles designed for maximum performance, for racing or spirited road riding. They are distinguishable by their full fairings and the rider’s tipped-forward seating position.
The 600cc and higher motorcycles available today are incredible machines that are without a doubt too much bike for a beginner to handle. Remember, with your first motorcycle, you shouldn’t be trying to hard impress anyone. This is a bike that you are going to learn the basics on. You can take a Kawasaki EX250 to it’s limits and learn what that feels like, you will not be able to do the same on a Ninja ZX-6R. So if you want to learn how to ride a really fast motorcycle well at its limits, you need to start with something more manageable. You will learn faster and these bikes don’t really lose much in resale value, so when you are ready to trade up, you won’t have lost much or any money.
#1 Beginner Sport Bike:
Kawasaki Ninja 250R (New Version Released 2008) – Retails $3,999+
Specs: 0-60mph: 7.7 seconds
Weight: 375lb wet
Top Speed: 95mph
Horse Power: 26.4 at 11,000 rpm
The Kawasaki Ninja 250R is the quintessential beginner sports bike. While some people scoff at the 250cc motor, you’ll be able to learn how to handle the bike at its limits (a more powerful bike will be faster, but you won’t know how to really handle it). While older versions looked more like toys, this new model is a beautiful bike that is prettier than many 600cc motorcycles. The 250R will maintain its value and many dealers are still selling them for above MSRP. Check for them used with low mileage as original owners look to trade up to larger cc motorcycles.
Kawasaki Ninja 650R – Retails at $7199, used from $3000
Specs: 0-60: 3.8 seconds
Top Speed: 130+ mph
Engine: 649cc Parallel Twin
Horse Power: 71hp at 8500 rpm
This is a good beginner bike for someone who does not want to start at 250cc. As you can see from the basic specs, this bike is much more powerful than the 250R. It is good as a beginner bike compared to similar displacement sports bikes because of its upright seating position. The handlebars are higher meaning that you don’t need to lean as far forward when riding. It makes a good commuter bike and is still fun in the turns. You can find them used for a great deal, new they aren’t cheap.