A good option for those who did well in the MSF course but are either new to riding or on the smaller side - the KTM 390 Duke is a great bike. It has plenty of power (check out Google reviews) if you need to get on the highway and so you won't outgrow it quickly, but is light enough for the new rider. It is a new bike for 2015, but at a very affordable price point. I love mine!

Seattle, WA
Saturday, April 11, 2015
I went from my Vespa LX150 (150cc) to Triumph Thruxton (900cc) it's definitely a bigger and definitely a bike not a scooter, but it felt pretty good from day one. Still does. I imagine a sportster or something sometimes, and I often feel like I have to work more on long rides than my husband or our friends, 'cause they're all kick-back after fourth gear with their feet on the front footrest. That said, I wouldn't trade. Just like to try other people's bikes every on once in awhile to see how it is. And of course, I ride my little Vespa about running errands (can't really put the bag of groceries on the Thruxton without looking silly!) The Ninja 650 seemed like a decent choice around buying' time -- I can put feet flat on the ground and then some -- but ultimately, the posture on those seems like so much more work. I think I made the right choice.

Trixie Dix
Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I've been reading a lot of places that the Kawasaki Ninja 500 is actually a pretty decent bike to start on. I've been checking into this style more because I live in the city and traffic is crazy here. I want something with a little bit more get-up and go if I need to get out of the way. Not to mention it's very windy. With a 250cc motorcycle many riders report the bike being too light for hard interstate winds causing the bike to "go all over the place'" whereas the 500 has more weight and stands up to it better.

From reading, it sounds like the 500 doesn't take as much finesse to use safely but still has enough power for some interstate traffic (including camping, with lots of rests!).

San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Thank you! I've taken the MSF class and been riding a scooter for two years (and 4500 miles). My instinct has been telling me that I don't need a less than 500cc motorcycle but all I've been hearing is "start small." It's like I've been letting myself get talked out of what I feel is the best bike for me. Thanks for the great guide.

Jenny Dowding
Sacramento, CA
Thursday, June 28, 2012