The Royal Enfield Himalayan is a retro-styled midsized modern classic capable of on and off-road adventure. It’s a great bike for a dirt rider looking to venture onto the street for the first time or a low cost option for a newer rider looking for a no frills do-it-all motorcycle.
The new 660cc triple-cylinder streetbike from Triumph costs less than $8,000 and has the power and technology to be fun for new and intermediate riders. The Trident features traditional British styling for riders looking for a midsized roadster that offers a classic and contemporary look in an easy to ride package.
The Honda Rebel is a popular choice among entry-level street riders because it’s a highly manageable 250cc motorcycle with classic cruiser styling that has enduring appeal. The bike is also comfortable, light in weight and easy to maneuver—that’s why it’s the ride of choice for many motorcycle-training facilities across the United States.
To say that my history with motorcycles was minimal would be an understatement. I had never ridden “anything,” and 26 years ago had ridden on a bike as a passenger for about an hour. My husband, Mike, rides bikes and has raced dirt bikes his entire life. When he retired, and a girl friend of mine got her motorcycling license, I decided to take the leap and work towards getting mine.
Kawasakis Ninja 250R has long been a popular choice for beginning riders who prefer the look of a sportbike but like a comfortable sit-up seating position. The smallest Ninja has been replaced for 2013 with a new 300cc platform featuring a slew of updates that promise the novice plenty of rideability and two-wheeled excitement to foster the learning process while ensuring the bike won’t be quickly outgrown.
Sensible riders cut their motorcycle teeth on an easy-to-ride, small-displacement bike, but as skill and confidence grow, so does the hunger for a bigger motorcycle. Many of these little trainer motorcycles that are so accommodating at parking lot speeds lose their composure on the highway, if they can reach highway speeds at all.