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The best motorcycles for beginners

Our favorite motorcycles for beginners will get you out on the road this spring

Few vehicles encapsulate open road freedom like a motorcycle, but you have to start somewhere. From cruisers to three-wheelers, here are our picks for the best motorcycles for beginners.

It’s that time of year again, when warmer temperatures begin to waft over the frozen land and the urge to leave our Netflix hibernation cocoon starts to itch like a mild case of hives. Ah, spring: the season that assures us that life does indeed go on and that eventually, it’ll be summer.

Clearly, the first way to celebrate the (hopefully) imminent rise in atmospheric warmth is to start shopping for motorcycles. Okay, maybe that’s just me. But if you’ve been thinking about getting your own two- or three-wheeled adventure going as well, here are some best bets to get started riding right.

Go for a cruise(r)

There are a huge number of cruisers out there, but if you’re just starting out, Yamaha’s approachable Star Bolt series — hey, I didn’t give it the goofy name — is a great way to get rolling. With a simple fuel-injected air-cooled 942cc V-Twin, belt drive, a low seat, and good road manners, the Bolt is a good fit for beginners who want one bike to learn on and grow into.

The bigger powerplant means it’s not going to have spasms out on urban freeways or the open road, and the low seat makes it easy to paddle around town for learners. Plus, it looks great right out the door for a hair under eight grand. And once you get some miles under the saddle and feel like personalizing it a bit, there’s a deep Yamaha parts catalog and aftermarket for the bike. Be sure to budget for some boots, gloves, helmet, and appropo leather jacket. Notable options from other makers include the Harley-Davidson Street and Sportster series (the 48, 883 Iron and T bikes), and the Indian Scout series.

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