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Your First Motorcycle

Honda CB 500Once you have been bitten by the motorcycle bug, it is not hard to start dreaming of what your first motorcycle will be.  Every motorcycle on the road seems to pop out at you, and you can’t wait to own your very own! But what should you look for when you are shopping around for your first motorcycle?

Motorcycle Power

Start small. You may hate the idea. Your friends may tease you (though then they are not very good friends). But it could save your life!

A 500cc is the max we would recommend for any new rider. Please note the “max”. You need to judge for yourself what you feel comfortable with and what you can handle.


As you are getting to know yourself as a motorcycle rider, you may discover things you like and things you do not like about your first bike. It is best to go for a used motorcycle that is not too new, as chances are that you will want to sell the motorcycle in a year or two once you know what you want, and your riding skills improve.

Also be aware that as a beginner, you may have more tip overs and scratch up the motorcycle more than you want (especially if you are as short as I am). Much better to do this on a ’92 then an ’09 motorcycle.

Motorcycle Tip Over

Type of Motorcycle

Where do you want to ride? Are you keen on trying the dirt track? Do you want a street bike? Are you just looking something to get you to point A and point B? Think about what you are going to use the motorcycle for, and what ride you think you will enjoy the most.

Seat Height

Not all riders need to think about seat height. Some of us do, including me (Hilary). You will want a motorcycle were, ideally, you can have both feet on the ground. Both feet flat footed may not be possible, depending on what type of motorcycle you are looking for. Not  a problem, and something you will most likely need to look into.


When you are shopping around for a motorcycle, keep in mind that you will be sitting on this machine for awhile. So when you are at a dealer, ask them if you can sit on the motorcycle. Do your feet comfortable reach the ground? How does the seat feel? How does your arms, shoulder, and back feel when you reach for the handlebars? Hang out on the motorcycle awhile, because you will be on it for more than 5 minutes when you are driving!

This is what I considered when looking into my first motorcycle, which turned out to be a Honda CB500. Right at my limit, and after two years I was well ready to change to a different motorcycle. But it was the best beginner’s motorcycle for me, and with these tips you can find the best first motorcycle for you!