No.10 - Suzuki TU250X
If your two-wheeled experience is limited to squeaking around the block on a rusty Huffy, your best bet is to opt for the least likely to cause pants-wetting motorcycle on the market. The Suzuki TU250X is one of them, sporting a docile 249cc air-cooled, single-cylinder engine, upright riding position, and 75 mph top speed. Not to mention the Suzuki TU250X’s Bonneville-like style and passenger-friendly seat. At just under four grand, the Suzuki TU250X is a stellar starter bike.
No.9 - Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD
What happens when you take a Ninja 1,000 engine from the '80s, slice it in half and stuff it into a cruiser body? The Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD comes to life! With its bulletproof parallel twin engine, the Vulcan 500 LTD is not only reliable, but it possesses enough power to hang with bigger 850s. The bike’s low seat height, wide rear tire and dual exhaust pipes contribute to the bike’s classic styling. If you see yourself as a future highway warrior, then the Vulcan 500 LTD is an excellent start.
No.8 - Honda CRF230M
If you’re a dirt rider trying to bridge the gap between gravel pits and asphalt, the Honda CRF230M is right up your alley. Honda’s supermotard cousin of the Honda CRF230L dirt bike delivers exceptional gas mileage and exceedingly manageable power, thanks to its air-cooled single cylinder. The Honda CRF230M is more of a commuting machine than a competition supermotard, ideal for riders looking for a lightweight, durable machine to flog around the city.
No.7 - BMW F650 GS
No.6 - Suzuki GS500F
No.5 - Ducati Monster 696Few brands stimulate the saliva gland to the obscene extent that Ducati tends to, and many of the Italian empire’s hundreds of thousands of loyalists will remain with a Duc for their entire lives. If you have lots of money and a burning desire for pristine Italian architecture on two wheels, then a Ducati Monster 696 is the beginning of the red carpet. With its signature trellis frame, fuel-injected, 80-horsepower, L-twin engine, and stubby tail section, the latest Monster 696 is the definition of Italian innovation. A pair of upside-down Showa forks, radial Brembo brakes and USB-equipped digital instrument panel boost the Monster’s quality meter over many bikes in this price range.
No.4 - Yamaha FZ6R
No.3 - Harley Davidson Sportster 883 LowHarley’s classic V-Twin melds with dual chrome pipes and rear piggyback shocks, showcased by minimal bodywork. Horsepower is low and torque is a passive 55 lbs.-ft, so there’s nothing to be afraid of on your first hog. Slip on those chaps and bust out the tassels -- your first Harley is a Sportster.
No.2 - Triumph Bonneville
Coogan’s Bluff. Steve McQueen was rarely seen without one. The Triumph Bonneville is testament that classic style can outlive half a century, for today the bike is aesthetically unchanged from its 1959 debut. At 50 years old, the Triumph Bonneville is still running strong with an air-cooled 865cc parallel-twin engine, featuring EFI and an output of 67 horses. With upright seating and scintillating British style, the Triumph Bonneville is a legend in the motorcycle world and a must-have as your first bike.
No.1 - Kawasaki Ninja 500RThis is the complete package: 51 mpg, aggressive style, a budget-friendly price tag, and gallons of fun -- all courtesy of the Kawasaki Ninja 500R. With its bikini fairing and belly pan, this tame Ninja oozes sexy sportbike style without compromising comfort. A liquid-cooled 498cc parallel-twin engine fires off enough torque for the twisties, while its lightweight chassis works wonders for handling. The Kawasaki Ninja 500R requires minimal maintenance and will last you for years to come. If you’ve been touched by the Ninja after seeing
Top Gun, then the Kawasaki Ninja 500R is your Maverick.