Riding a motorcycle for the first time can be rather intimidating. Not only are you exposed to the elements and at the mercy of the road etiquette of other motorists, you’ve also got a hunk of steel in between your legs capable of propelling you to pretty dangerous speeds (depending on the bike of your choice, of course). That said, getting on a motorcycle is a very personal choice, and your first motorcycle should be chosen based on how well it fits with your skill level, budget, and overall lifestyle. With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the 5 best motorcycles for first-time riders, depending on certain use case scenarios.
Honda PCX 150 - the urban runabout
The most common and understandable choice for first-time two-wheel venturers is undoubtedly the scooter. After all, scooters present themselves with extremely friendly riding characteristics, budget-friendly price tags, and unparalleled urban comfort. Perhaps one of the best premium scooters in the market today comes in the form of the Honda PCX 150. Equipped with a 149cc single-cylinder engine which pumps out around 14 horsepower, the PCX 150 makes for an easy ride, while having enough power to take you for longer trips. Its low seat height makes it easy for beginners and shorter riders to confidently maneuver the bike, even at low speeds. The Honda PCX 150 comes with a price tag of P133,900.
Yamaha MT-15 - the sporty streetfighter
Those of you who want something sportier and more conventional could be better served by the next contender in our list. Produced by the folks at Yamaha, the MT-15 is arguably one of the best-looking 150cc-class naked streetfighters in the market. It gets pretty decent tech, too, in the form of a 155cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine with Yamaha’s Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) technology. This gives this beginner-friendly bike a power output of around 19 horsepower. While this bike does have quite a bit of grunt for first-timers, its lightweight and manageable seat height make it easy to grow into. The MT-15 embodies Yamaha’s classic philosophy of Kando, which translates to a deep feeling of fulfillment out of something beautiful and of exceptional value. That said, this capable lightweight naked bike comes with a sticker price of P159,000.
Honda CRF150L - go anywhere with ease
If you’re one who enjoys going beyond the confines of paved roads, then a dual-sport motorcycle is the best bike for you. While performance-oriented dirt bikes from European manufacturers may be a tad too overwhelming for first-time riders, the Honda CRF150L certainly isn’t. Big Red has long been known for its highly capable and durable range of CRF dual sport motorcycles, and the CRF150L is the smallest, most beginner-friendly bike in the bunch. Boasting a set of Showa inverted forks and adjustable mono-shock, this bike is plenty capable off-road, while being friendly enough for first time riders, thanks to its 149cc liquid-cooled engine which pumps out 13 horsepower. The Honda CRF150L comes with a sticker price of P134,900.
Vespa Sprint 150 - fashion is life
If you’re a fashion-conscious individual who likes to stand out from the crowd, then it goes without saying that a Vespa would make for the perfect fit to your lifestyle. Vespa has become synonymous with chic culture, and has cemented its name as a stylish and fashionable scooter. Head over to the posh side of town on any Sunday morning, and you’re bound to come across groups of Vespa aficionados with their scooters decked out in all sorts of charming accessories. The Sprint 150 is one of the most popular scooters in the Vespa stable. Equipped with a 155cc four-stroke, air-cooled engine, the Sprint 150 produces 13 horsepower, providing quite a bit of pep in its step, despite its cute and charming aesthetics. Starting at P205,000, it’s one of the more expensive options in the scooter market, but its heritage and charm more than make up for the premium price tag.
Benelli Leoncino 500 - the friendly Lion Cub
The last entry in our list comes to us from Chinese-owned Italian motorcycle manufacturer Benelli. The Leoncino, which translates to Lion Cub, is Benelli’s middleweight standard motorcycle. Designed with unmistakable retro styling, the Leoncino 500 is a modern-day iteration of Benelli’s legendary Leoncino from way back in the 1950s. Ideal for those looking for an entry-level expressway-legal motorcycle, the Benelli Leoncino 500 is equipped with a 500cc parallel-twin engine which produces 46 horsepower. While these power figures are rather daunting for a first-time rider, the Leoncino features very linear power delivery thanks to its unique firing order. It’s low seat height paired with its stable riding characteristics make it easy for beginners to grow into this bike. The Benelli Leoncino 500 comes with a sticker price of P369,000.