Last year (mid-2005) when I was reading some online forums about motorcycling, a lot of people were asking about what are good motorcycles to learn on.
There are a few features that this beast should have. It should be:
- inexpensive (to buy and to run, ie, insure);
- well-mannered (ie, not twitchy like race-bred crotch-rockets);
- forgiving of mistakes;
- not too powerful
The consensus was, there are basically three motorcycles that fit this profile almost perfectly, and all would be good choices for first-time riders:
- Suzuki GS500
- Kawasaki EX500R (aka Ninja 500R)
- Kawasaki KLR650 (a dual purpose motorcycle)
They all cost around 5000 USD new, 3000 USD used.
Here are some pix of the 2006 Kawasaki EX500R (it also comes, like the 2006 KLR, in an ugly lime green color):
It looks racier than it is. It’s a basic, upright seating-position, small twin. It happens to have some racy-looking stripes, but they don’t make it go any faster.