If you want to buy your first sports bike to become a confident and skilled rider, you’ll find a list of bikes you can’t miss and tips for you alone.
Choose a good option
By this I mean choosing a bike on which you can sit comfortably and reach the ground with a flat tire or something like that. This small detail helps cyclists to feel safe when holding the rubber side of the bike and speeds up the learning process. Often overlooked in favour of other criteria, I promise you that the will put comfort first and will be the best guide for your choice of the .
Low to start
Keep an engine between 250 and 400 cc, ideally. The bikes in this range are strong enough to move easily if you are of medium size and also very light and manoeuvrable. Don’t worry about growing up on your bike. It probably won’t be the last bike you buy, but a quality bike is easy to resell when you’re ready to move up the career ladder.
On the other hand, none of these sports bikes lack power and performance, so don’t get too cocky when you ride them. After all, most of them have borrowed a dose of technology from their superior siblings.
Find the winner.
New bikes have the charm of not inheriting other people’s faults or problems, but on the other hand, bikes are quickly devalued, so why spend more than necessary?
Many owners take care of their bikes and do well to maintain them. These are the bikes you are looking for, and the can usually be bought for $4,000 (or even for , which is half of the , which is the case for previous years’ models).
Chances are that your first bike will fall off when you learn how to handle it. Even seemingly harmless tilting processes at low speeds leave scars. It’s not that painful to add a new stripe to your favourite paint instead of adding the first one yourself.
Without further ado, here are my favorite used sports bikes for beginners under $5,000.
Kawasaki ninja 250R / Ninja 300
I doubt if there is a more popular sports bike to train than the famous Ninja 250R. She has worked for Kawasaki since 1986 and only really changed in 2008. Even then, it was usually just a renewal of the appearance of the body parts that warmed up the changes.
Most are carburettors (the only possible disadvantage of these engines), except for the last two years, when Kawasaki took fuel injection samples. ABS and clutch assist technology have also been added in recent years, making the 250R lighter and safer to ride.
The Ninja 250R has become the new Ninja 300 for 2016 in some markets. So don’t hesitate to buy a 250 or 300 Ninja a year, which you can find for less than $5,000, and know you’ve chosen a great bike.
General specifications for all Ninjas 250R:
- 249cc DOHC parallel twin engine with liquid cooling.
- Seat height 30 inch
- 6-speed gearbox
- 375 wet pounds
- 32 HP. at 11,000 rpm
- 18 lb. torque at 8500 rpm
- Energy efficiency from 55 to 75 mp
- A new Ninja 300 available for USD 4999 and USD 5299 with ABS
The bikes made for 2008 run at 14,000 rpm, making them real screamers. In the latter case a small gear shift and adjustment was done by lowering the front line in order to obtain a lower end torque. For the new driver this means a more student-friendly linear feed belt.
Their super light weight, excellent handling, low ground clearance and light clutch cable make these bikes very adaptable. Due to the long tradition of the 250R, the parts are easily accessible and affordable for the. Reliability is good and insurance is cheap and generally easy to obtain.
Ninja is known worldwide under different names such as ZZR 250. GPX 250, GPZ 250 and EX250. Roses with a different name always smell good… as sweet as ninja!
For more information about the Ninja 250R, click here: https://www.bestbeginnermotorcycles.com/kawasaki-ninja-250-review/.
Re 播洲 – Personal work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36856718.
Yamaha YZF R3
First introduced in 2015, the new R3 is slim and smooth and has proven its worth, not only for new riders, but also for experienced riders on the track. It’s a clear sign that you’re looking at a very light and agile engine that’s perfect for teaching to push its limits.
Recently I talked to Trevor Deck, the owner of Too Cool Motorcycle School, about the sports bikes he recommends to his students for beginners. First Trevor told me about the Ninja 250R, as I expected, but the next bike he chose was the Yamaha R3. According to him the bike is a great combination of performance and handling and is very fun on the track. It doesn’t look like a beginner’s bike either.
The R3 has significantly more power and torque than the Ninja 250R and 300, but lacks the clutch and ABS options available in the Ninja 300.
Yamaha builds bulletproof wheels with a very low maintenance cost of. The simple design of the R3 is no exception to the rule, and this point is well taken into account when sizing other bikes.
An obvious example is that valve clearances only need to be checked/adjusted every 43,000 km or 27,000 miles. It’s hard to win.
If you want to spend more time riding than your bike, Yamaha is a great competitor for your money.
- 321 cc DOHC liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine.
- Closed circuit fuel injection system
- Seat height 30 inch
- 42 HP. at 10,750 rpm
- Torque from 21 lbs to 9000 rpm.
- 6-speed gearbox
- 368 wet pounds
- 56 megawatts of energy efficiency
- The original price is $4999 , so it could be used for something less.
A complete overview of R3 can be found here: https://www.bestbeginnermotorcycles.com/yamaha-r3-review/.
KTM 390 Herzog and RC390
In this list we now have a comparison between these two very sporty offers from the Austrian construction company KTM. For several reasons they are also my current favorites when it comes to sports bikes in pint format.
These sexual animals did not arrive in North America until 2015, but were available abroad two years earlier.
Although unfortunately the most expensive and difficult to maintain, they are also most noticeable in terms of styling solutions and are equipped with fuel injection and ABS.
Although they are relatively cheap cars, they don’t look like that, thanks to the very cool styling that KTM has invested in Duke and RC.
KTM likes to build engines that are superior to all others, even starter motors. The inverted front forks of the WP are an example of this. This reduces the unsprung weight and improves handling, especially as the Duke and RC are lighter than other bikes. None of the other bikes on the list have the front fork reversed, which is an obvious way to get the best quality for your money.
The relationship of pleasure for these two goes beyond all paintings. These bikes offer excellent performance at low revs, so you can have fun even on higher gradients. Of all the bikes on the list, I think these two have the potential to become long-term cyclists, especially if they ride mainly in the city.
The Duke 390 is essentially a version of the RC390 sports bike. Same frame, engine and gearbox – but with different packaging.
On the Duke you get a much straighter and more comfortable riding position for the rider, while on the RC390 you get slightly better aerodynamics and performance – but just a little bit better.
Here is a video of some guys showing the difference between informal and unauthorized dismantling, which I found on the internet.
Duke v. RC
Remember what I said about comfort first? This also applies to the duke, so I would approach the duke with a very tempting RC.
In addition, the full refit on CRs tends to overburden our $5,000 budget limit, even in the market used. Not to mention the fact that it’s not cheap to replace the tub if you damage it – for the Duke it’s not a problem at all.
- 373 cc DOHC liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine
- Bosch fuel injection system
- 43.5 hp. at 9,500 rpm
- Tightening torque 26 lbs at 7000 rpm
- 340 pounds Wet weight
- 5 High speed gearboxes
- WP Reverse front forks
- 59 mW Fuel efficiency
A complete overview of the 390 dukes can be found here: https://www.bestbeginnermotorcycles.com/ktm-duke-390-review/.
For my latest selection of the best used sports bikes for beginners, I travel back in time to a truly amazing car produced by Yamaha from 1986 to 1994: FZR400.
Logically, I would prefer to talk about the Honda CBR300R, because it is another very good modern version that can be used for less than $5,000, but it is also too similar to the Ninja 300 and R3. If you like ninjas and R3s, but prefer red, be sure to check out Honda – you won’t be disappointed.
It’s too predictable (and you deserve better from me), so here’s… something else.
If you are a confident student who wants a car that stands out from the crowd, but can easily keep up with the above mentioned engines and even leave on the, then this is the FZR for you. You would also like to work on your bike, because these FZR’s are collector’s items (and carburettors) nowadays. Details ofare still available, but it is old school and there will be no clutch assist technology or ABS.
When you’re done, these Yamaha engines were and are exceptional and it’s exciting to learn from them. This engine has an inline 4-cylinder engine, unlike the twins and singles I was talking about until now. This means that the will sound exactly like the big Superbikes we have today, the, but with a slightly higher tone because it will run much higher, at 14,000 rpm red line.
With two or even four times as many cylinders as the other bikes I’ve mentioned so far, the FZR is a completely different animal.
Specifications (look at these figures!)
- 399 cm3 quad in-line engine DOHC liquid-cooled engine
- Carburettor with four 32 mm micunis.
- 60 HP. at 12,500 rpm
- 31 lbs Torque at 9500 rpm
- 6-speed gearbox
- Fully adjustable one piece rear suspension
- Seat height of 31 inches
- 352 pounds. Dry weight
- 36 megapixels
I remember a guy I went to high school with in 1990 who had one of those FZR400’s as his first bike. He smiled wide when he described how much fun driving was. In the end, he was able to get rid of 400 ideas for switching to a larger engine by establishing himself on a Yamaha FZ750.
I couldn’t believe it when he told me his new 750 was , a boring for a lap against 400. How can that be true?
The bottom line is that the 750 was slightly heavier and the driveline was much stronger than the 400 affected by the race.
The power range of the FZR400 starts at about 7,000 rpm and the engine will almost fly. Most of the power in the rev range means that the throttle has to be pushed aggressively to really work. But it’s not necessarily bad to learn. You just have to be ready for action as soon as you hit the accelerator hard.
On the race track, it’s very comfortable to use thanks to its excellent handling, smooth operation and adjustable rear suspension (if you want to enter this racing world).
The FZR is equipped with a full aluminium frame around the engine to reduce weight and give a hard and sporty feel. The Yamaha DeltaBox frame has surpassed the performance of the Yamaha and turned all sports bikes in the 80’s and 90’s into a real powerhouse.
If you want a little more retro in your sports bike and you have the patience to follow one of these rather rare FZR400’s, then the is worth it.
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