Being a beginner rider means you have a whole world of motorcycles ready and waiting. This can mean limitless possibilities but also an overwhelming number of options. One of the biggest problems you will run in to is that every person will have their own opinions on what makes the perfect bike for a beginner. Some think it is a bike with some power, and others believe it should be a small bike that offers easier handling with less weight.
The answer to all the questions that come up will depend solely upon you and what you want to start out with. Unfortunately, there are a few rules that you should follow when choosing your first bike. Such as making sure the size of the motorcycle fits your body size and stature. The bike must also fit the need that you have for it, such as a street bike for street applications or a dual sport for off-road adventurers. If sport bikes call your name, the next step is to decide what manufacturer to consider. Kawasaki is one of the most popular motorcycle manufacturers because its Ninja lineup of sport bikes is ideal for beginners and experienced riders alike.
Updated May 2023: With the Kawasaki Ninja range there is a bike for every kind of rider. The great thing about this is that as you gain experience on one of their more beginner-friendly models, you can scale up within the range. Here's why the Ninja is the best sport bike for beginners.
15 Kawasaki Ninja Sport Bikes Are Reliable
If the big four Japanese manufacturers get one thing right, it is mechanical reliability. Kawasaki is no different, with an established reputation for motorcycle reliability. This reputation for Kawasaki motorcycle reliability comes from decades of reliable performance, it isn't uncommon to see used Kawasaki Ninjas that are years, if not decades, old. They have a ton of miles and are still running just as strong as the day they rolled off the production line. While a beginner may not ride their first bike for decades, this reliability makes it possible to purchase, ride, and sell a used bike.
14 Ninja Motorcycles Are Easy To Maintain
Motorcycles do not need to be overly complicated. Kawasaki understands this and focuses on building bikes that just make sense, they don't overcomplicate things mechanically. The simple design and engineering make it easier for beginners to learn about their bike, how it operates, and how to care for it.
In addition, the simpler the bike is, the fewer components there are to break or malfunction. Beginners don't need a finicky motorcycle engine that is high maintenance. Some of the maintenance tasks owners can do themselves are checking the fluids, changing the oil, and maintaining the chain.
13 Easy To Upgrade Within The Range
The Kawasaki Ninja lineup is extnesive, the smallest bikes have 400cc engines, while the largest bike is the Ninja ZX-14 with a 1,300cc engine. While a beginner rider has no business on a ZX-14, the bikes on the opposite end of the lineup are perfect for beginners. For some beginner riders, the 650cc model is the best choice for their first bike. But, there really is a Ninja bike for everyone.
12 Ninja Motorcycles Are Lightweight
A beginner rider does not need a massive bike that weighs several hundred pounds, larger bikes are difficult to handle and take plenty of experience for safe operation. This is what makes Kawasaki Ninjas perfect because they are lightweight bikes. The lower curb weight is easier to manage, making them safer for someone with limited riding experience. These bikes have enough power to get up and go but aren't overpowered.
11 A Lightweight Ninja Is Easy To Learn On
When turning through corners while cruising down the road, you first learn to lean with the bike. You do not turn the handlebars to get through the corner, but rather, lean the motorcycle in the direction you want to go in and keep it leaned over until you need to travel in a straight line again. The Kawasaki Ninja makes this basic maneuver easy for beginners to master because the 400 models are lightweight bikes that allow ease of movement.
10 The Kawasaki Ninja Is Easy To Move Around Manually
Another great benefit of the Kawasaki Ninja being under 400 pounds is that most people will be able to move it around easily. That means that it can be moved around in the garage without starting it up or backed into a parking spot easily. More importantly, though, is if you ever tip the bike over, which happens to beginners more often than you might think, it is relatively easy to pick up.
9 Small Displacement Kawasaki Motorcycles Have Big Bike Looks
Kawasaki was one of the first motorcycle manufacturers to give their small sport bikes an overhaul. It realized that motorcycle enthusiasts didn't like that small bikes were obviously small. Beginners on their small bikes would stick out like a sore thumb because they were obviously a beginner on a small motorcycle. Kawasaki fixed this and made learning to ride more approachable by giving the smallest bikes in the Ninja lineup big bike looks. Check out the full fairings set with accenting decals and similarly styled headlights. They have color schemes that are similar to those on larger bikes.
8 Kawasaki Has An Extensive Support Network
As beginners become more confident, they will want to ride further. However, there is some risk that comes with this. Thankfully, Kawasaki has an extensive dealer network. As beginner riders strike out on their rides, the network of dealers is there to act as a safety net. Should their bike break down or need servicing, they are never too far away to get help. This network of dealers also makes it easier to get parts for repairs. That way, riders are never stuck waiting too long.
7 Ninja Sportbikes Are Responsive
Riding a sport bike is a popular choice for beginners because the bikes are fun and responsive to ride. This is especially true for Kawasaki Ninja motorcycles, these bikes have a lower center of gravity and centralized weight distribution. New riders find them easy and comfortable to ride, making it easier for beginners to learn how to handle a motorcycle. A gentle lean to the left or right, and the bike will follow. As a beginner gets more confident, they can lean into the curve more and feel the bike responsively lean with them.
6 Ninjas Are Affordable
The 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 400, in any trim level, can be found brand new for under $6,000, which is an affordable way to get yourself into a good street bike. The only downfall of the Ninja when it comes to being your first bike is that the fairings are all one piece and made from plastics that can crack and break easily. When this happens, the entire piece will need to be replaced. Otherwise, the purchase price and the maintenance costs are well within reason. In fact, they are below what you would expect to pay for many other motorcycles on the market.
5 Value For Money
Just because your beginner motorcycle is affordable does not mean it should also have poor build quality. Kawasaki does a solid job at building motorcycles that are a good value for the money, this makes them worth the investment for a beginner rider. In addition, Kawasaki has managed to continually build solid bikes for decades. This makes it easier to buy a bike because you don't have to worry about buying a dud bike. This isn't always the case with other manufacturers with a spotty history, making it harder for beginners with limited knowledge to know which model years are worth buying.
4 Kawasaki Motorcycles Have A Good Resale Value
The Kawasaki brand is one of the big four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, making it one of the most popular motorcycle brands in the United States. There is a strong demand for new motorcycles, and the used motorcycles market is just as active. As a new rider, you may not be ready to spend the money necessary to buy a new motorcycle. Especially when you consider that you'll want to upgrade to a larger bike sooner rather than later. When the time comes, you'll appreciate Kawasaki motorcycles' strong resale value. This lets you get the most money for your bike, giving you more cash for your next bike.
3 Kawasaki Superbike Features
One disappointing trend is the lack of features that small displacement bikes seem to have. Just because the engine is small doesn't mean you don't want to need the same features that you find on larger superbikes. Kawasaki engineers listened to riders and addressed this issue. You will discover that Kawasaki motorcycles have more features on the smaller bikes comared to other manufacturers. This could include multiple ride modes, upgraded suspension, or even steering dampers.
2 Ninjas Have A Forgiving Clutch
One of the most challenging aspects of a motorcycle to learn for most people is the clutch. Thankfully, Kawasaki added this into the equation when they designed and built the Ninja, which makes the bike easy for new and advanced riders. The Ninja is equipped with a slipper clutch, which means that when you come into a corner too fast and need to downshift more quickly than you should, instead of getting into a position where the back tire will hop or lose traction, the clutch will slip and allow the engine speed to stay matched with your actual speed.
1 Stopping Made Simple
Learning to ride a motorcycle is not as easy as it may look, especially when discussing accelerating and decelerating. Snapping the wrist to power up will take a little getting used to, with one of the biggest problems is giving it too much throttle. This can cause the bike to go out of control in a number of ways. As for stopping, the bike has a great ABS system installed that will stop the bike on a dime. Still, it is best to learn how to come to a smooth, even stop without engaging the ABS.