So, you have decided you want to become a rider and you want to know what cc is good for a beginner motorcycle. Get a motorcycle and hit the open roads. Or you have just decided to invest in a ride that will not run you dry for gas every month or take hours of your life trying to find a space to park it. Either way, you have made a fantastic decision!
Getting your first motorcycle can be as exciting as it is nerve-racking. There are so many models to choose from and, most importantly, so many speed options.
What CC is good for a beginner motorcycle? A good CC for a beginner motorcycle is anywhere under 600CC. Motorcycles that are under 600CC are safer, easier to handle, and much cheaper compared to faster and bigger motorcycles. Some states will even allow you to drive bikes under 50CC without having to acquire a license or a learner’s permit.
To make an informative decision on what CC is best for a beginner motorcycle rider, you need to know the difference between each CC power and the pros and cons of each one. Keep reading for a quick informative guide on how to choose your first motorcycle’s CC to get the best, safest, and most exhilarating experience of your life.
What CC Is Good for a Beginner Motorcycle?
Before we go deeper into the best CC for a beginner motorcycle and how to choose it, let’s get a quick definition of what CC is. CC stands for Cubic Centimeters, and it refers to the amount of space the engine’s fuel-air mix can take. The higher the CC, the bigger the space and the more fuel your bike can burn. Therefore, your motorcycle’s power and speed depend on how much CC it has.
In casual motorcycle conversation, people would use the term CC to refer to how fast a motorcycle can go. The higher the CC, the faster you can go. But let’s be sane for a second; as a beginner, how fast should you even go on your first rides?
How Fast Should a Beginner Motorcycle Be?
We know you want to go “higher, further, faster, baby.” But as a beginner, you should start slowing for your own safety. And besides safety, it will be a lot easier to get a handle on a motorcycle below 600CC than on a faster model. There are multiple options below 600CC, so you will still have the choice to choose an engine that suits your rider’s capability.
Let’s take a quick look at these options:
|50CC||Up to 30mph|
A 50CC motorcycle is the best option for young, inexperienced riders. It’s the slowest engine power out there, but that means it’s also the safest. It is considered so safe that some states require no registration to drive one, just an age limit of 15 or 16 years old. A 50CC bike is suitable for running errands and riding around the town.
|125CC||Up to 60mph|
A 125CC motorcycle can go double the speed of a 50CC. It is suitable for more experienced riders and ones for whom this isn’t the first time on a bike. Some states do not require a license or a permit for a 125CC bike, but they do require the completion of a motorcycle education program. A 125CC bike is suitable to ride in the countryside, where the roads are faster than in the city.
|300CC||Up to 100mph|
For a more experienced beginner or a very fast learner, the 300CC is one of the fastest lightweight engines out there. It’s still beginner friendly but packs a speed of up to 100mph, with some models even exceeding this speed. A 300CC bike definitely requires the rider to have a license or at least a learning permit to drive it.
|600CC||Up to 130mph|
A 600CC is the strongest engine we would recommend for a beginner. It can go to up to 130mph and sometimes even faster, depending on the model of the motorcycle. This engine requires more control than the smaller ones, and even though you can drive slowly, it still has the potential to go very fast. A 600CC is a good first bike and will be harder to outgrow quickly, like the ones before.
Why a Higher CC Is Not a Good Idea for Beginners?
Simply put, you don’t learn to drive in a Lamborghini. The higher the CC, the more power, the faster the bike, and the bigger the consequences. Learning to ride a motorcycle will have a lot of trial and error, and that’s okay and expected.
It’s better to fall and brake at the wrong time riding a slower bike than doing it with a high-speed, high-power motorcycle that can hurt you or others. Start small and learn the basics of safe driving on a machine you can easily control and when you feel comfortable enough on it, upgrade to a higher CC.
Despite what you may think, a lower CC does not necessarily mean a slow bike, and there are plenty of fast 250 CC bikes out there, but speed is not the only thing to consider when getting your first bike. Plus, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
When Can You Move to a Higher CC Bike?
You can move to a higher CC when you get comfortable enough in your low CC bike that your skills can now handle a bigger, stronger model. After you understand all the basics of riding, such as braking, cornering, turning, and throttle control, you can look into upgrading to a higher CC model.
What Motorcycle Is Best for Beginners?
Now that we’ve talked about the different CCs recommended for beginners let’s take a quick look at some of the coolest motorcycles that fall under each of these engine powers.
If you’re looking for a simple 50CC bike that can take you around the town in style, then Mash Fifty will do the trick. It’s a reliable 4-speed with electric ignition. The Mash Fifty 50CC is a great starter bike that can teach you valuable skills for a beginner, like handling, cornering, and braking.
It’s also considered to be on the cheaper side of the 50CC bikes, with a price average of $1,999.
Honda is a reliable name when it comes to motorcycles, and the Honda CB125R is one of the best options in the 125CC category. The 4V single-cylinder engine packs a lot of power in a strong-looking body. It features upside-down front forks and an LCD dash that makes it stand out among other 125CC bikes. It’s easily manageable and beginner friendly.
Its price is around $4,499 for a new one, but the Honda name is worth it.
Another bike and another Honda. In the below 600CC category, Honda has so many amazing options, and the Honda Rebel is a classic that can’t go wrong. It’s a great bike for when you’re ready to pack up more power and speed beyond the 125CC. It has a low 27-inch seat, a reliable engine, and a 6-speed transmission with hydraulic brakes. A great ride for beginners who are ready for more.
Its price is very reasonable for its features, standing at $4,399.
An iconic bike for when you are ready to graze that line between beginner and pro. This bike has a sleek, lightweight design and is easy to handle and control for both beginners and pros. It has a parallel twin 4-stroke single engine. The Royal Enfield is great for riding on open roads or for taking short, fast trips on the highway.
Its price point is about $6,699 for a new one, or you could look for a cheaper used one.
Is a 1,000 CC Bike Too Much for Beginners?
A 1000CC bike has too much power for a beginner. These bikes are considered to be race bikes as they are super-fast, very powerful, and hard to control for non-experienced drivers. We will not recommend driving a 1000CC motorcycle if you have no previous extensive driving experience.
Is 200 CC Good for Beginners?
200 CC is suitable for beginners, especially ones who are used to driving and could use something higher than 50/125CC. A 200CC bike can help you hone your handling, braking, turning, cornering, and throttle skills while not giving you too much power that can cause accidents for a beginner.
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Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative Government, educational, corporate, and nonprofit organizations:
About the author:
Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America, total he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. In addition, he functioned as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.
In 1985, He is the Founder AGV Sports Group in cooperation with AGV Helmets
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