Best First-Time Motorcycle To Buy?

Now I have my Pa motorcycle license, after the motorcycle safety course, I want to ride on the street. Considering my options, what is the best first-time motorcycle to buy?

My Pa Motorcycle safety course bikes.  Are these  examples of the best first-time motorcycle To Buy?

I decided to buy a motorcycle was the best choice, versus borrowing one, so now left with the question, what is the best first-time bike to buy?

I’m not looking for a specific year, make, or model, but focusing on what type of motorcycle. Should I Buy New Or Used For My First Motorcycle?

Being a new motorcyclist, I was concerned that I would be calling the types of motorcycles by the wrong name in my research. For example, I found out ‘crotch rocket was not a legitimate type of motorcycle.

So A quick search of Wikipedia for street types of motorcycles resulted in these immediate five results, Standard, Cruiser, Sport bike, Touring, sport touring, and Dual-sport.

With this information, I did some searching and thought about the benefits and drawbacks of each type of motorcycle. Remember, your preferences might be different since these are based on my option, and I am only looking to buy a first-time motorcycle, not my forever bike.

Buy A Standard Bike for a First-time Motorcycle?

Old School Looking, Standard Motorcycle.

Standard Bikes are nice. Sometimes called naked-bikes, but I will talk about this type of motorcycle later. The Standard bikes are the old-school motorcycles we see Steve McQueen riding in his photos.

It’s old-school and still around for one good reason, it works. The shape, size, and flexibility make them a great first-time motorcycle, and there are so many used motorcycles on Craigslist and eBay that are standard bikes.

One thing that comes to mind about standard bikes, the seat remind me of those orange 5-speed bikes we had as kids with the long banana seat—nostalgic for me. OK, now back to the present time.

One feature of the standard bike I like is how this style can be customized into a Scrambler motorcycle. Where I live, there are forests, and I might go off-road now and then. To get not OUT into nature, but actually INTO nature, which means not seeing it from a country road, but experiencing nature closer by getting into the woodlands.

So taking a standard bike(hopefully with some ground clearance), putting on knobby tires and a bash plate, and Ta-DA! A Scrambler. Now the Standard bike has some off-road capability. A Scrambler would be the Zombie Apocalypse type of motorcycle I would want, but then I digress.

Wow, just writing this makes me feel I found my first-time motorcycle to buy already. However, I’ll go one. Writing this out will help me decide.

Buy a Cruiser Bike for a First-time Motorcycle?

Man and his cruiser motorcycle.

Let’s face it; the cruiser bike is the bike of middle-aged men. It seems like an open and closed case for this middle-aged new motorcyclist. But, I don’t particularly appreciate living the cliche life, so I am leaning AWAY from this type of motorcycle due to the image.  

The Cruiser motorcycle is built for comfort and style. It has forward foot-pegs to get the body into a recliner position. This body position helps the rider to relax and enjoy the ride. Put on a big cushy seat and could rider forever.  

Now we know the typical manufacturers who dominate the cruiser market, Harley-Davidson’s and Indian. The image of American Steel and Chrome on a loud machine. FYI, I admit I admire the Indian Scout’s looks and power. But, not as a first-time bike and maybe when I want to get into the leather-Daddy image. :p

Mental flashback time. I’m older, so memories of the movie Easy Rider with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper come to mind. Now I know the plot, but I like to remember the images of them riding those choppers on the open road. Yes, choppers are cruisers, just in case you didn’t know.

Darn, my midlife crisis screams of a loud, shinny cruiser, but I must resist, for now.

Buy a Sport Bike for A First-time Motorcycle?

Sport Motorcycle.

The sport bike is what I thought was commonly known as the crotch-rocket, but this name seems more unofficial and can get you NSFW results if you look it up. So please only search for “Sport Bikes” and not “Crotch Rockets.”

The sport bike is built for speed, Low profile, high horsepower, and very agile on the road for cornering. I am told they have very sensitive throttles with little twists resulting in a lot of acceleration.

My “need-for-speed” desires the sport bike, but my back cries just thinking of the rider’s body position hunched over the tank. A sport bike seems out for me, and probably forever with how uncomfortable it looks driving.

One thing I find confusing about motorcycle types is the use of Naked Bikes. Some sources state these are standard bike, and others describe them as sport bikes missing the side panels, fairings. Will have to look into this further, but right now I see a lot of naked bikes designed for speed and having a rider leaning in a forward position like a sport bike has also.

Buy a Touring Bike For A First-time Motorcycle?

Touring motorcycle.

Touring bikes, now we are getting into comfortable riding. You’ve seen these bikes. Bike form-fitted seats, large windscreens, luggage containers, and sometimes all the typical car features (cruise control, loud sound system, cup holders, etc.) but built into a motorcycle.

Names like the Gold Wing, Street Glide, and Electra Glide come to mind. These are nice bikes, large bikes, and high-priced bikes. I love how they look so comfortable riding on the highways, but as a first bike, no. Not today, just not today.

Buy A Sport-Touring Bike For A First-time Motorcycle?

Sport Touring Motorcycle Mountain Background.

Just as the name implies, it’s a combination of a Sport Bike and a Touring motorcycle. It can manage higher speeds, but this motorcycle type can also come with a more comfortable riding position. Often sport touring motorcycles are seen with luggage racks too to help with long-distance touring.

This type seems to bring together the best features of two kinds of motorcycles in an excellent compromise. This type of motorcycle might satisfy my desire for speed and minimize back pain. Again, it’s a larger bike due to the touring aspects, so as a first bike, it looks like still passing on this type of motorcycle.

Buy a Dual-Sport Bike For A First-Time Motorcycle?

Adventure Dual-sport motorcycle.

Now dual-sport bikes, just as the name implies, this motorcycle has a dual role. They can ride both on the road and off the road. Simply put, these are typically street-legal dirt bikes. Adventure bikes fit in this category but will take about those later.  

A couple of features about dual-sport bikes that I like:

  1. It’s like a motorized mountain bike. For most of my life, all I rode are mountain bikes(the pedal kind). 
  2. They are durable—they are designed to take a beating and keep riding.
  3. Replacement parts are typically cheap, as their cheap plastic body parts.
  4. They can look ‘rough’ and ‘dirty’ and should never look brand new. So buying a first-time motorcycle could be the answer for a brand new motorcyclist.

I am leaning towards buying a dual-sport as my first motorcycle, but I love some of the types mentioned above discussed. ISO Cheap Dual-Sport Motorcycles!

Now about adventure bikes. This class of motorcycles seems to be a significant growing sector in motorcycles. I find some search group adventure motorcycles with dual-sports due to their off-road capability.

This feature could be said about Scramblers, but they are in the Standard motorcycle group when I do web searches.

Adventure bikes to me, if I may, a hybrid of dual-sport and touring. Adventure bikes have windscreens, comfortable seats, and luggage capacity. As well as the off-road abilities of a dual-sport, with the more aggressive tires, higher ground clearance, and suspension travel.

I like the idea of getting an adventure bike, but compared to a dual sport, there is an increase in price and weight. An adventure bike is on my wish list, but not sure if it’s at the top for my first-time bike.

Where Do Recommend I Find The Best First-Time Motorcycle To Buy?

So, as you can read, I have a lot going through my head, and still have note settled on what should be my best first-time motorcycle to buy? If you have suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear even experiences, or recommended makes and models for this first-time. Ride Safe Everyone!

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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