TG Friday List: 11 bikes perfect for newbies

Just got your bike license? Then here’s our pick of 11 novice-friendly options to consider!

2017 BMW G310R1

Welcome to the new year and, if you happen to have ‘get a motorcycle license and go riding’ on your list of resolutions, then you’re in luck! We’ve recently scanned the market and found that the discerning newbie has got a huge pool of bikes to choose from.

To keep things simple, we’ve decided to stick to brand new bikes – especially ones recently launched and updated – with engine displacements no smaller than 250cc that are also lightweight and cost less than RM40,000.

So, if you’re ready to gear up and go start a lifetime of riding, here’s our pick of bikes you ought to seriously consider starting with.

TZJ 8932

1. Kawasaki Versys-X 250
We start with Kawasaki’s entry into the burgeoning mini-adventure segment, the Versys-X 250. We’ve ridden Team Green’s newest quarter-litre machine not too long ago and, simply put, it’s checks all the right boxes as far as bikes of this genre goes.

TZJ 89531

Unlike the bulk of its rivals that feature single-cylinder hearts, the Versys-X 250 holds the edge with its 250cc parallel-twin heart delivering adequeate low- and mid-range grunt for the rough stuff without sacrificing too much top-end power for highway cruises.

You don’t need a B-full license to own and ride one and, at RM23,789 (excluding insurance and registration), it’s also very affordable. Read our test-ride report on this quarter-litre adventurer by clicking here – Rides:Kawasaki Versys-X 250

WEB TG Rides KTM250Duke390Duke 16

2&3. KTM 250 Duke & 390 Duke
Want a sporty streetfighter instead? Then you need not look further past Austrian brand KTM and its new lightweight Duke offerings. Launched in 2017, the heavily revised new 390 Duke and 250 Duke siblings have it all – good looks, rev-happy single-cylinder hearts, and relatively sharp handling.

WEB TG Rides KTM250Duke390Duke 2

Of course, the range-topping 390 Duke is the one you’d be lusting for, especially when you consider the 44hp and 37Nm churned out by its 373cc single-cylinder that rev past 11,000rpm. Still, that doesn’t mean its smaller 250 Duke sibling is any less fun with its decent 30hp and 24Nm headlining figures.

No matter which you choose, both Dukes promise to deliver on the KTM brand’s “Ready>>To>>Race” ethos brilliantly, not forgetting their relatively affordable RM21,730 (250 Duke) and RM28,800 (390 Duke) base price tags too. Find out more about these two Austrians in our test-ride report here – Test-ride:KTM 250 Duke & 390 Duke.

2017 BMW G310R2

4&5. BMW G310R & G310GS
Now, if you’re willing to go the extra length and obtain a B-full license, the choices get significantly better and it includes two Beemers! Specifically, you’re within reach of the BMW G310R naked and the G310GS adventure models.


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Both share the same innovative 313cc single-cylinder heart, with the differences lie in their respective style and suspension setups. Best of all, they’re relatively affordable too thanks to their RM26,900 (G310R) and RM29,900 (G310GS) base price tags.

We’ve recently tested the G310GS version and, in a nutshell, this bike proves that size isn’t everything when it comes to ability. You can read up on it in our upcoming February 2018 issue as well. 

CB500 2018 Featured

6,7&8. Honda CB500 series
Next up comes Honda’s entry-level middleweight trio that’s designed to thrill. We’re talking about the CB500 series that’s just been refreshed for 2018, boasting sharp new colours and a rich spec sheet featuring things like full-LED headlights and ABS.

CBR500R Supersports 2018 002

No matter which of the three you might choose, be it the naked CB500F, the sport-styled CBR500R, or the adventure touring CB500X offshoot, what’s guaranteed here are universal easy of mastery and, typical of any Honda, the unrivalled mechanical reliability of its 471cc parallel-twin motor.

On top of that comes the CB500 series’ relatively affordable price tags that starts from as low as RM31,363.28. Click here to know more about Honda’s venerable middleweight trio – Refreshed 2018 Honda CB500 series announced.

WEB TG Rides Kawasaki Z650 Ninja650 2

9&10. Kawasaki Z650 & Ninja 650
Here the newest sub-RM40,000 bike duo to enter our market, and it comes from Kawasaki yet again. Surely, if you’re a fresh B-full license holder with plans of upsizing in the coming years, both the Z650 and Ninja 650 stand as the perfect starting point.

WEB TG Rides Kawasaki Z650 Ninja650 7

To refresh your memory, both are direct replacements of Kawasaki’s previous ER-6n and ER-6f offerings, packing all-new looks, revised 650cc parallel-twin hearts, not forgetting the addition of the all-important ABS suite – a critical feature for any bike above 500cc.

For their size and what they stand to offer, the RM35,605 (Z650) and RM37,189 (Ninja 650) price tags make them good bargains too. You can read our ride impressions of both by clicking here – Rides: Kawasaki Z650 & Ninja 650.

2017 Yamaha MT 07 nightfluo

11. Yamaha MT-07
Now here’s another entry-level middleweight from another top-notch Japanese powerhouse, which is non other than Yamaha. Specifically, we’re talking about its MT-07 naked that’s locally assembled by Hong Leong Yamaha Motor (HLYM).

2017 Yamaha MT 07 blue

Though it’s been around for a while now, HLYM has given it a new of colours to keep things fresh. What’s certainly a gem here is its rev-happy 686cc parallel-twin that makes 73.7hp and 68Nm – relatively serious figures for an entry-level middleweight indeed.

Moreover, its RM36,795 asking price (sans insurance and registration) makes it rather affordable too. Want a bike that’s both competent for the daily and spankable for the weekends? Little else comes close to matching what this Yammy has to offer.

Thoriq Azmi
Author: Thoriq Azmi
Former DJ. Driver, rider & word-stringer @ Top Gear MY. Geek. Leftie. #fuelledbythoriq