Getting Started with Motorcycles
Motorcycles for beginners that fall under the category of sportbike are currently available from three of the four major Japanese manufacturers; Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki. Rumor has is that that the fourth, Yamaha, may be joining the market in the near future.
Honda currently sells the CBR250 – available in either standard or ABS models starting at around $4199. This smaller size sportbike entered the US market in 2011, until that time, the smallest sportbike Honda produced was the CBR600. The Honda CBR600 is a popular and fast motorcycle often purchased by riders with a little more experience. Honda was looking to take away some of the market share that Kawasaki had dominated for many years with their Kawasaki Ninja 250.
The Kawasaki Ninja 250 became the Kawasaki Ninja 300 in response to the unveiling of the Honda CBR250. A little bit larger than the original Ninja 250, the Ninja 300 also comes in a standard or ABS model with a starting price around $4999. The Kawasaki Ninja is still considered the favorite of motorcycles for beginners.
Suzuki makes the GW250, the least expensive of the three motorcycles for beginners, starting at $3999. Suzuki launched the GW250 in 2013 and the bike has received some great reviews as an entry level motorcycle. It lacks the bodywork seen on the Honda CBR250 and Kawasaki Ninja 300 and is a more upright, naked style sportbike.
The need for an entry level sportbike is important to manufacturers. As the motorcycle rider gains skill and experience and becomes ready to move up to a larger motorcycle; brand familiarity, a relationship with their local dealer, and manufacturer incentives can keep them loyal to the brand they started out on.
It appears that Yamaha is may be ready to enter this arena, giving consumers searching motorcycles for beginners one more option. The YZF-R3 and R3 names have been registered as a trademark by Yamaha Motor Corporation in both the US and the European Union. Yamaha Motor Corp uses the name R1 and YZF-R1 for their 1000cc YZF-R1 superbike and the R6 is the name for the YZF-R6 600cc supersport bike. Makes sense doesn’t it?
With all four manufacturers out their competing for the newest of riders, pricing should remain competitive among motorcycles for beginners. As those riders move up to higher cc bikes, the availability of used motorcycles for beginners will also increase, hopefully getting even more motorcycle riders on the road.