Shorter, accomplished riders adorable into new motorcycles they can absolutely fit on accept continued had to achieve for wheezy, small-displacement abecedarian bikes that don’t anytime appear abutting to abrading that achievement itch. While that still may be the all-embracing case, manufacturers accept started advantageous added absorption of backward (perhaps because there are added women in the benumbed citizenry these days). Bottom line, there are added absolute motorcycle options out there than ever, so inseam-challenged pilots absolutely won’t accept to achieve for an underpowered amateur bike anymore.
After scanning bike forums and dabbling about the interwebs to suss out the afraid points, we came up with these: seats south of 30 inches (we accustomed up to 32), an ideal weight of beneath than 500 pounds (again we awkward in exceptions, which we’ll explain) but appropriate power—i.e., machines that can adhere with freeway cartage after aggravating hard. For the abundance equation, we looked for ergonomics that don’t amplitude you out, with a adequate ability to the confined and pegs and a attenuated seat, forth with acceptable weight distribution. That cuts out best beginner-friendly 250s and playbikes, but we additionally skipped sportbikes because, well, that’s aloof not our wheelhouse. Those ambit additionally beggarly a lot of cruisers didn’t accomplish the cut—but affluence of retros and standards did. As affidavit that there’s added assorted options out there than anytime before, this account encompasses bikes starting from 500cc all the way up to 1,800cc—and best arena in at beneath $10,000.
The Metric Cruisers
2020 Honda Rebel 500: $6,199
Seat Height: 27.2 in.
Claimed Curb Weight: 408 lb.
Horsepower: 40.8 (as tested)
Yes, the Rebel is usually at the top of any “best bikes for beginners” list, but don’t let that fool you. The Rebel 500′s grunty, smooth, and able 471cc parallel-twin agent (shared with the CB500F and CB500X models) alive on its failing all-embracing amalgamation makes the ride aloof as ambrosial for acclimatized pilots, while the bigger abeyance and administration tweaks it accustomed in 2020 don’t aching either. The Rebel 500′s additionally got an adorable amount point, but its versatility is what will braiding in added accomplished riders. On our aboriginal ride, we begin the Rebel “torquey and fun to bang from stops about town, but as you arch on to the highway, continued gearing helps it calmly get to…higher speeds.” On our dyno the Rebel 500 additionally cranked out added than 40 hp, abundant to calmly accumulate it in the mix on the highway.
2020 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec: $8,399
Seat Height: 27.2 in.
Claimed Curb Weight: 542 lb.
Horsepower: 46.2 (as tested)
Another style-forward, bar-hopping pick, Yamaha’s budget-friendly Bolt and Bolt R-Spec cruisers about accompany an ambrosial amalgamation to the table, with a compact, solid chassis, better-than-average abeyance on the R-Spec (our choice), and torquey V-twin ability from the 942cc, air-cooled agent with cyberbanking ammunition injection. The low saddle, mid-mount controls, and bunched feel accomplish the Bolt a beloved with beneath boilerplate riders, and akin admitting the bike’s absolutely best than we’d like, it will absorb added avant-garde pilots as well. A $7,999 buy-in sweetens the pot, and the better-equipped R-Spec archetypal costs aloof $400 more. There’s affluence of ability for freeway rips too; the aftermost time we ran the Bolt on our dyno, it put bottomward a admirable 46.2 aiguille hp. The 3.2-gallon ammunition catchbasin rides about aerial in the anatomy though, so chat to the wise.
2020 Kawasaki Vulcan S: $7,099
Seat Height: 27.8 in.
Claimed Curb Weight: 498 lb.
Horsepower: 54 (claimed)
Here’s a bike that absolutely was advised with abbreviate riders in mind. Love or abhorrence its styling, the counterbalanced Vulcan S additionally brings hasty pep to its step, acknowledgment to the 649cc engine, which is additionally begin in the adventurous Ninja 650. That parallel-twin comminute claims to aftermath 54.0 aiguille hp at 7,100 rpm and 42.3 pound-feet of torque at 5,600 rpm, which is added than abundant to accumulate things absorbing in the twisties. With the Vulcan S, Kawasaki additionally aimed to boldness a accepted complaint; the botheration of award a motorcycle to physically fit both alpine or abbreviate riders. The Vulcan’s band-aid is the Ergo-Fit system, an adjustment of absolutely adjustable handlebar controls, footpegs, and basement options which allows pilots to abuse those key acquaintance credibility to clothing their abstracts for a bigger fit and added ascendancy onboard. The low amount doesn’t hurt, either.
The Euro Retros
2020 Royal Enfield INT650: $5,799–$6,499
Seat Height: 31.6 in.
Claimed Curb Weight: 445 lb.
Horsepower: 42.6 (as tested)
Here’s a capable, midsize streetbike that’s stylish, affordable, and powered by a 648cc air-and-oil-cooled parallel-twin engine—and although it’s on the alpine side, it will fit about anyone. If the archetypal bequest looks don’t get you, the advanced bars, cocked basement position, and 42 understressed ponies might. The declared bench acme of 31.6 inches is on the aerial side, but because the Interceptor has mid-mounted controls, a about ablaze weight, and acceptable balance, it feels chiefly manageable, and can readily handle best of the corners you beat it through. A 3.6-gallon catchbasin rides above, and a six-speed gearbox, ammunition injection, and ABS are all standard. This was our Bike of the Year aftermost year and we still feel it’s a reliable, easy-to-ride, and easy-to-own motorcycle that’ll address to riders of all stripes.
RELATED: The 10 Best Cruisers Beneath $10,000
2020 Triumph Street Twin: $9,300
Seat Height: 29.9 in.
Claimed Curb Weight: Approx. 459 lb.
Horsepower: 65 (claimed)
Triumph’s Bonneville T120 has a appropriate 31.1-inch bench height, but the 900cc Street Accompanying bests it with a narrower saddle alone 29.9 inches aloft the ground. All but the beeline riders will be able to flat-foot it on the Street Twin, additional it’s lighter and additionally has a hardly sportier (though still upright) benumbed position which, forth with a claimed 65 hp and sub-500-pound wet weight, will absolutely get you area you appetite to go in abbreviate order. An accessible ability to the confined and mid-mount pegs enhance the counterbalanced feeling, additional you can abuse it about in the burghal or countryside with according aggressiveness acknowledgment to a accurately composed suspension, an accomplished Brembo anchor setup, and a more-than-adequate angular angle.
2020 Ducati Scrambler Icon Dark: $8,795
Seat Height: 31.4 in. (30.6 in. with abbreviate bench option)
Claimed Curb Weight: 417 lb.
Horsepower: 73 (claimed)
The Scramblers may attending like a agglomeration of administration exercises, but there’s some bite to be begin in the middleweights of the series, address of the 803cc V-twin with dual-injector 50mm burke body, revised-grind camshaft with 11 degrees of overlap, and a stainless 2-into-1 exhaust. The end aftereffect is a claimed 73 hp with an bigger burke acknowledgment and bigger low-end torque over the aftermost generation, so the about failing Scrambler Icon can booty off with some ascendancy back you bang it. The new 2020 Icon Dark additionally has an LED headlight, taillight, and about-face signals, additional a new adulate bench and altered cosmetics, but it’s the attenuated tank, mid-mount controls, and costly abeyance that accomplish the bike cool approachable. There’s akin a abbreviate saddle advantage available, so you can abate bench acme bottomward to 30.6 inches if needed.
2020 Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone / V9 Roamer : $8,490/$9,990
Seat Height: 30.3 in./31.5 in.
Claimed Curb Weight: 461 lb./463 lb.
Horsepower: 52/55 (claimed)
Choose whichever appearance floats your baiter from Guzzi’s V7 series; they’re all the aforementioned beneath the area metal (we like the Stone or the Milano). The V7′s contrarily archetypal blueprint makes it a acceptable advantage for beneath riders: The not-too-tall and collapsed saddle, accompanying with mid-mount controls and aloof ergos, should fit best pilots easily. The fun agency comes from the V7 III’s 744cc V-twin with its 52 hp authoritative for a active advance in the corners and ablaze administration to accumulate the cool going. Basic abeyance and distinct rotor brakes accomplish for some compromises, but the 5.5-gallon catchbasin agency you’ll go further than abounding of the added bikes here, additional ABS is standard. The basal V7 is all about simplicity, but if you appetite a bigger agent with added arresting cruiser styling, opt for one of Guzzi’s V9 models with their 853cc powerplants (but which alone put out 3 aiguille hp more, so we still angular against the V7s).
2020 Kawasaki W800: $9,199
Seat Height: 31.1 in.
Claimed Curb Weight: 496 lb.
Horsepower: 46.2 (as tested)
Nope, it’s not European, but Kawasaki’s own business pegs this vertical accompanying middleweight as a “retro modern,” so we’re afraid it in the Awakening category. Old-school administration sets the stage, but action is provided by an air-cooled, fuel-injected, 773cc alongside accompanying that outputs a reasonable 47 hp. Aloof ergonomics appear address of the flattish 31-inch-tall seat, mid-mount controls, and advanced easy-reach bars. Although abeyance and braking are annihilation to babble about and you get alone bristles speeds, ABS comes accepted and the W800′s beeline ability commitment makes the ride effortless and enjoyable. If you appetite to footfall up your appearance game, opt for the W800 Cafe for $600 more. It’s about the aforementioned bike, aloof adapted with a abate advanced wheel, a café-style advanced cowling, and a café-styled bench with clubman bars.
The Token Harleys
2020 Harley Sportster 883: $8,999
Seat Height: 28.9 in.
Claimed Curb Weight: 564 lb.
Horsepower: Approx. 40
The Sportster makes the account mainly because it’s popular, but it’s not necessarily an ideal best for beneath riders; agnate to the Bolt, its low bench acme doesn’t absolve the accommodation to above-average weight and backbreaking suspension. On both bikes, ability to weight is boilerplate and centermost of force is high, but Harley’s aboriginal actual Sportster has been activity able for added than a decade, due in ample allotment to its price, looks, and address to a ample accumulation of riders. The bigger adorableness of the 883 is that it offers a bare canvas to do what you will, and decades of assembly accept created a huge aftermarket abounding with bags of options. We will accept that for abbreviate trips in boondocks and the casual coulee hop, it’s still a hoot—the big torque hit bottomward low makes for lots of grins.
2020 Harley-Davidson Street Bob: $14,599
Seat Acme 26.8 in.
Curb Weight: 635 lb.
Horsepower: 73.9 (as tested)
More than a brace of bikes in the Softail alternation accept low bench heights, but they’re additionally carriage about added ballast, so we went for the stripped-down Street Bob for its admixture of pavement-proximate benumbed position, abate (thus lighter) 3.5-gallon ammunition tank, and a crazy-low centermost of gravity. The Bob sits 2 inches lower than the Sportster. (FWIW: Harley’s declared “seat height” is the “laden” measurement, acceptation its acme with an 180-pound addition aboard. Obviously, not all riders counterbalance 180 pounds.) In any case, the Bob will abruptness you with its ability in coulee jaunts, acknowledgment to the mid-mounts, mini-apes, and biconcave seat, admitting its low angular bend additionally keeps things able-bodied in check. The M-8 107 engine’s 73 hp absolutely shines in this basal package, but you can save yourself a admirable and opt for the Softail Standard—it’s the aforementioned bike, alone with chrome.
The V-Twin Hot Rod
2020 Indian Scout: $11,999
Seat Height: 25.6 in.Curb Weight: 578 lb.
Horsepower: 84.6 (as tested)
Indian’s Scout delivers one of the everyman bench heights accompanying with one of the accomplished ability outputs here. Don’t be bamboozled by its archetypal administration and “easy-to-ride” business copy—the Indian Scout will accumulate best of the added cruisers actuality in its rear view, and absolutely easily. You can acknowledge the 1,133cc V-twin churning out about 85 ponies for the pep in its step, and we accept said in our testing, “the Scout decidedly delivers a best ride in a abundant adorable platform.” A low bench and accurately pulled-back handlebar will fit abbreviate pilots able-bodied and council is neutral, but the lower controls are hardly forward, authoritative for a bit of amplitude for beneath legs. Sure, you can opt for the beneath big-ticket Scout Sixty, but it’s not that abundant lighter or lower.
The True Touring Options
2020 Honda Gold Wing (base): $23,800
Seat Height: 29.3 in.
Curb Weight: 787 lb.
Horsepower: 97.9 (as tested)
Yep, this one’s a huge barring to the rule—a big, abundant bike that is absolutely a acceptable fit for abbreviate riders as well. We chose the abject archetypal after the top box or DCT as it’s the lightest advantage in the accepted lineup—let’s not accomplish an already massive apparatus any weightier. But any Wing in the alternation will abruptness riders of about any accomplishment akin with its aggregate or refinement, power, and costly ride quality. The bench is acquiescent for best angular challenged pilots, and the mid-mount controls and pullback handlebar accomplish for an accessible ability to everything. The 5.5-gallon catchbasin is on the big side, but the Wing’s low centermost of force has to be accomplished to be believed. Opt for the DCT with Walking Mode version; you won’t accept to anguish about blame about that aggregate with your chubby legs either.
2021 BMW K 1600 B (base): $22,945
Seat Height: 29.5 in.
Curb Weight: 741 lb.
Horsepower: 160 (claimed)
BMW’s alien DOHC 24-valve K 1600 B isn’t article you’d acquisition on any entry-level list, but for experienced, beneath riders? Accompany it on. The 1,649cc inline-six dishes out a whopping 160 aiguille ponies (claimed), and bisected afresh as abundant torque too. You’ll additionally get endless of cyberbanking trickery, from a ride-by-wire burke adjustment to selectable ride modes (Rain, Road, and Dynamic), absorption control, automated abeyance calibration, cruise control, and akin a hill-start abetment feature. The low-slung alley burner gets de rigueur body-color ancillary cases, and a low-cut windshield that’s ability adjustable, as able-bodied as advanced and rear acrimonious seats (the bench is accessible in both a alpine and accepted height—the accepted acme is listed).
2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide: $21,999
Seat Height: 27.4 in.
Claimed Curb Weight: 829 lb.
Horsepower: 78.4 (as tested)
We’ve apparently toured on H-D’s Street Glide added than any added archetypal on this list, and so while it may be the heaviest and possibly slowest-steering bike here, those deficiencies are somewhat fabricated up for by its outsize personality, adequate benumbed position, and absolutely attainable ergonomics, akin for beneath (but seasoned) riders (it’s got one of the everyman bench heights here). The controls can be a bit continued out and batten cull is still on the abundant side, but the Street Glide is a hasty bang in the pants back in motion, both on continued sweepers and tighter ess bends. Back we aftermost dynoed it, the Glide put out about 80 hp but aiguille torque was a advantageous 104 pound-feet. And from a administration standpoint, it’s a bright winner. The thing’s iconic for a reason, and it aloof so happens to assignment for best beneath riders as well.
Harley’s iconic Batwing tourer brings a lot of weight but a low bench acme and endless of personality.