If you’re a new rider and you think a cruiser is right for you, it’s important not to go too large from the get-go. Dropping a full dresser with just a few weeks or months under your belt can be expensive and leave a bad taste in your mouth about riding all together. There are those who chose a large bike to start with, dumped it, sold it back to the dealer and said goodbye to their dream of riding almost as quickly as they got started. Don’t let that be the case for you.
Photo: Honda’s Rebel 250 is a popular starter bike new riders can use to graduate to a larger bike once they’ve put a few thousand miles under their belts. Resale values are solid as a rock.
It’s simple enough to start off with a small bike and graduate yourself up to your dream bike over months and miles of experience. We’d like to say putting 3,000-5,000 miles under your belt in the first year of riding is enough to hit the comfort level of moving up to the next size bike, but of course everyone is different, so this is just a rule-of-thumb to work with. In the end only you can know when you’re comfortable to go to the next level.
Another nice thing about starting small is you can buy a used bike and turn around and sell it shortly after getting back as much or more than you paid for it.
Nice starter bikes in the cruiser category include Honda’s Rebel, Suzuki’s TU 250X, Royal Enfield’s Bullet series and Yamaha’s V-Star 250. None of these will achieve your dream of riding a hog just yet, but they will provide the means to hone the skills you need to ride a larger bike later. And they all have a good return on value when it’s time to resell.
And don’t let the Harley salesperson tell you a Sportster 883 is a good starter bike – it is not. Too much bike for the beginning rider. Note all the bikes mentioned here are 500cc’s and below. Let’s be logical.
If you’ve been riding for some time and your skills and agility are at the point you can handle a larger bike, then the world is your oyster. If you’re moving from the under 500cc category, we’d advise you consider a 600-1,000cc bike. Maybe one more buy and sell experience before jumping into a Triumph Rocket III, H-D Fatboy or otherwise.