Best Lightweight Motorcycles for beginners

Best Lightweight Motorcycles for beginners

There is nothing easier for a beginner rider than manoeuvring on a lightweight motorcycle. They are easier to handle and far less complicated. This further allows them to learn the basic skills before advancing to more powerful motorcycles.

Starting from 125cc, we have compiled a list of popular motorcycles that are light in weight including sports, naked, scrambler and enduro. These bikes have a dry weight of less than 200 kilograms, which makes them agile and manageable, therefore, perfect for getting around the city, on dirt and even on the track!

So if you are looking for a lightweight motorcycle, and are having a hard time finding an ideal one, then look no further. Our team of experts have compiled a list of best motorcycles that are less than 200 Kg for beginners as well as intermediate riders. Let’s take a look.

15 Best Lightweight Motorcycles

KTM 1290 Super Duke RR

KTM 1290 Super Duke RR

The most extreme ‘ready to race’ naked street bike; the all new KTM 1290 Super Duke RR is a lethal combination of style and power. The key objective of KTM was to achieve 1:1 power to weight ratio, and in order to do so the engineers had to come up with a number of weight saving enhancements. A complete set of lightweight carbon fiber bodywork ensures that the bike remains below 200 kilograms and yet KTM has somehow managed to aesthetically design it as a race bike.

To add to this, the all new forged 7 spoked wheels have further reduced the weight by 1.5 kilograms and the upgraded lithium-ion battery also saves a massive 2.5 kilograms.

The engine is powered by a 1300cc V-twin that produces a massive 180 Horsepower and 140 NM’s of torque. Besides, the Super Duke RR is equipped with race derived WP pro components and Slip-On line exhaust.

You also get an access to whole new world of features; starting from rear wheel traction control to throttle response, and not to forget a whole host of riding options including performance and track mode!

Displacement: 1301 cm³

Dry weight: 180 Kg

KTM 390 Duke

KTM 390 Duke

On the second place we have another KTM, but this time with a much smaller displacement to cater the beginner motorcycle segment. We’re talking about the KTM 390 Duke. Weighing just over 155 kilograms, KTM manufactured a dynamic 373 cc displacement motorcycle that produces a decent 44 horses.

The upside-down front fork and lightweight cast aluminum swing arm provides superb handling. Lightweight and powerful, the KTM 390 Duke is ideal for conquering the urban roads or the countryside.

The single-cylinder engine has a pleasant torque that assists in a great pick up. The newer version comes equipped with an ABS system as a standard (Supermoto ABS). So, if you are a beginner, then the likelihood of falling from a locked front wheel is significantly reduced. And even if you fully squeeze the front brake lever, the wheels won’t lock themselves up, instead will stop really smoothly.

Additionally, an advanced electronic dashboard indicates the mileage, average consumption, average speed, gear shift, and side stand.

Displacement: 373 cm³

Dry Weight: 149 Kg

Husqvarna 701 Supermoto

Husqvarna 701 Supermoto

We have been captivated by Husqvarna 701 Supermoto since its launch. With a dry weight of just 147 Kilograms, it is worthy of being on 3rd position in our list. Every detail in this bike is thought out so that riders can get all the extreme sensations on the track. The 701 Supermoto receives its modernized single-cylinder from Duke with a second balance shaft, shorter stroke, and Unicam valve control.

The Supermoto features Brembo radial four-piston calipers on a 320mm floating disc at the front and a single-piston caliper on a 240mm floating disc at the rear. Off-road braking modes are available via an optional key, which allows the front brakes to support ABS while simultaneously disengaging ABS from the rear if required. You can also turn off the ABS completely.

It is fully equipped for on-road and off-road riding; you get headlights, tail lights, mirrors, number plate mountings, ABS, traction control, easy release slipper clutch, and a new LCD instrument cluster.

Displacement: 692.7 cm³

Dry Weight: 147 Kg

Ducati Monster 797

Ducati Monster 797

Ducati Monster 797 embodies a timeless design and that’s the reason it is relevant even after 25 years! This bike combines sport, style, compactness, practicality and cutting edge technology and definitely appeals to Ducati fans all through the world. In addition, it allows you to become a member of the Monster owners club.

The 797 is a classic mid-nineties bike that combines state-of-the-art technology in the form of a Trellis frame and an air-cooled L-twin cylinder. The 193 kilograms of weight is evenly distributed and the low saddle height makes it convenient for riders with short inseams as well! The steel fuel tank and the head lamps are almost similar to the Monster 1200 while the instrument cluster is the same as the monster 821. Tight chassis, compact dimensions, ATCP clutch, and 320mm Brembo callipers deliver the typical monster feeling.

Although the bike is a tad bit more expensive than its rivals but the Monster is an icon of 25 years and the 797 is the most convenient way to get a slice of that legacy.

Displacement: 803 cm³

Dry weight: 166 Kg

Yamaha YS 125

Yamaha YS 125

First introduced to the western market in 2017 as a successor to the YBR 125, the Yamaha YS 125 is one of the most popular bikes for beginner riders. The model is based on a single cylinder 2-valve air-cooled injection engine with a volume of about 125 cm³; producing about 11 Horsepower @ 7500 RPM and 10.8 NM’s of maximum torque.

The most recent version has been redesigned starting from headlight housing to tail. Components have also been upgraded starting from engine to exhaust manifold.

Apart from the engine, you also get an upgraded classic telescopic fork, a steel frame and a swing arm that is complemented by simple shock absorbers. Apparently, the chassis remains unchanged, with the exception of the seat, which has become 15 mm higher.

Displacement: 125 cm³

Dry weight: 129 Kg

Kawasaki KLX 250

Kawasaki KLX 250

The Kawasaki KLX 250 enduro motorcycle is one of the brand’s longest-running projects. It first appeared in 1979 in the North American market. It is based on 2T (two-stroke), which was used on the KX125 enduro of its own production. The engine was redesigned for 4T, doubled in volume, and adjusted in compliance with European emission norms.

The legacy of the KLX as a cross bike continues even in the latest models; a perimeter frame made of light steel, a 26.5° rake, coupled with an adjustable long-travel telescopic USD front fork, a Uni-Trak® rear suspension with an aluminum swing arm and a pure off-road clearance of almost 30 cm!

Kawasaki continues to provide riders with the ultimate in class comfort with the ERGO-FIT adjustable handle bar attachment system and adjustable footrests to suit a wide variety of riders. With an output of 22 HP and a weight of 138kg, the KLX 250 feels anything but slow.

Displacement: 249 cm³

Dry weight: 138 Kg

Kawasaki Z125

Kawasaki Z125

The model of the budget naked motorcycle Kawasaki Z125 first appeared in 2019. It was released in parallel with the sports version of the Ninja 125, which were aimed to be compliant with A1 license holders (Europe).

Z125 has a single cylinder, 4-valve liquid-cooled unit, with a volume of about 125 cc, producing 15 Horse power and 12 Nm’s of torque. The frame of the motorcycle is tubular steel. The suspensions are simple; in the front there is a classic telescopic fork with a diameter of 37 mm, in the back there is a swingarm with Uni-Trak® progression and a monoshock adjustable by spring preload.

It has a six-speed gearbox with a sporty clutch, wide handlebars, 290 mm front and 220 mm rear disc brakes with dual piston calipers.

Displacement: 125 cm³

Dry weight:  146 Kg

Yamaha MT-07

Yamaha MT-07

Launched in 2013, Yamaha MT-07 targeted most of the global markets, including Japan, Europe, North America (since 2015 under the name FZ-07) and Oceania. Amongst the main features; the Yamaha MT-07 has 689cc, in-line, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that gives around 75 horses of power and 68 NM’s of torque.

The 2021 MT07 range includes improved brakes, some tweaks to the engine which makes it both euro 5 compliant and much more responsive on the road. It has wider and adjusted handlebars and led lights all around.

It has a 270° crank for a linear torque delivery, the max torque is 67 NM produced at 6,500 RPM and the max power is 74 brake horsepower produced at 9,000 RPM. The two-cylinder crossplane engine will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best engines of the era. On paper you have only 73.4 horsepower, but in reality it seems to be more than that!

Displacement: 689 cm³

Dry weight: 179 Kg

Suzuki SV 650

Suzuki SV 650

In 2017, the Suzuki SV650 was completely reborn. It underwent a facelift and became a fashionista. The all new SV650 has a much more powerful 645cc 90° V-twin, that produces around 70 Horses of power and weighs just 165 Kg.

SV’s engine has been captivating for as long as it has existed. It is designed to tackle any traffic chaos with an ease. Due to the characteristic forward tilt of the engine, it visually resembles Ducati engines, often referred to as L-shaped engines.

The engine received a Euro 5 update and is now even more fuel efficient. The seating position is nice and deep, together with the narrow bench, this ensures that even smaller people have a secure stance.

As it turns out, the motorcycle is in huge demand, both among beginners and among those who desire a simple and unpretentious means of transport in urban cities. Moreover, a number of countries have held mono cups for SV650 owners, and in the USA, this motorcycle has become the most popular bike on track days!

Displacement: 645 cm³

Dry weight: 165 Kg

Benelli BN 125

Benelli BN 125

With its angular design, eye-catching red frame and the Benelli lion on the tank, the BN 125 is recognizable from a distance. The air-cooled four-stroke engine with electronic injection is not only low in emission, but is also extremely economical (consumption of just 1.7 Liters/100 Km. The bike is aesthetically pleasing and is designed especially for urban use, aimed primarily at the younger generation of motorcyclists.

The single-cylinder 125 cc four-stroke air-cooled engine is capable of developing a power of 11.1 Horse power at 9,500 RPM and a maximum torque of 10 NM at 7,000 RPM. It has a 5-speed gearbox, steel tube trellis frame and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

The BN 125 uses an upside-down telescopic fork at the front and a mono spring strut at the rear. It has a single disc with a diameter of 260mm and 240mm at the front and rear respectively.

Displacement: 125 cm³

Dry Weight: 142 Kg

Aprilia RS 660

Aprilia RS 660

RS 660 is lightweight, compact and it’s got a lot of RSV4 elements in it. It has a three headlight cluster and a fairing with winglets. These winglets not only create downforce, but they also pull air away from the rider. This makes handling much more easier.

The RS 660 is a 100 BHP motorcycle with a 41mm fork up front and 320mm Brembo calipers. At the same time, about 80% of the torque is available at 4000 RPM. In fact, the engine is derived from the 1100cc V-4 of Aprilia RSV4, from which the front pair of cylinders were taken. The weight of the motorcycle is just 169 kilograms and if you compare that with the kind of performance that it has, you won’t have to look any further!

Of course, the RS660 has received a complete set of modern electronic assistants. The rider can choose from five engine modes; three for the street and two for the track. It comes with an ABS as standard, and has traction control as well. The motorcycle is equipped with a quickshifter and, what is most surprising for a bike of this class is cruise control!

Displacement: 659 cm³

Dry weight: 169 Kg

Triumph Trident

Triumph Trident

The Triumph Trident 660 is the most affordable model of the British brand, created to compete in one of the most popular segments, where almost all manufacturers are represented (street bike).

Trident is powered by a 660cc, liquid-cooled, three-cylinder in-line engine. This is the only 3-cylinder engine in this segment. Its maximum power is 80 Horse power with a peak torque of 64 NM. 90% of peak torque is available in the range of 3600 and 9750 RPM. The engine is equipped with a 6-speed gearbox and a slipper clutch as a standard. You can also get a quickshifter as an add-on if you desire.

The chassis are made of steel tubular frame, it has an inverted Showa fork and a monoshock. The license plate and rear indicators are mounted on a console bracket, and the curb weight is around 189 Kilograms.

Displacement: 660 cm³

Dry weight: 189 Kg

Honda CB125F

Honda CB125F

The light weight budget bike, Honda CB125F, first appeared in 2015, replacing the Honda CB125E. The model was intended for sale in European countries and is distinguished by a very simple design. Talking about the most recent version; engineers managed to reduce the curb weight of the motorcycle from 128 to 117 kilograms, it received a new steel frame and an electric starter, which is also an alternator.

The 124 cc air-cooled two-valve single-cylinder engine with fuel injection is compliant to Euro 5 standards making it extremely fuel efficient (11-liter fuel tank is enough for 800 kilometers). Engine power has also increased slightly, and so is the peak torque.

The CB125F now has a center stand, LED headlights and brake lights, digital instrument cluster with gear indicators and fuel consumption gauge, redesigned large Honda CB styling, engine start / stop button, longitudinal flash button and a combined braking system which distributes the force evenly between the 240mm double piston caliper disc and the 130mm drum.

Displacement: 125 cm³

Dry weight: 117 Kg

Triumph Street Triple R

Triumph Street Triple R

At 168 kilograms, the Street Triple R by Triumph is one of the lightest mid-size roadsters on the market. It is also among the best in its class, and is recognized as the best model in the British brand’s Street range, alongside the S and RS version.

The new Triple R gets an even more robust street fighter look, a more agile handling around the curves and a more powerful  765 cm³ engine (compliant with Euro 5 standards) that outputs 118 HP at 12,000 RPM and 77 NM at 9,400 RPM.

There are three riding modes available on the new three-cylinder naked bike: road, rain and sport. They adjust the settings for throttle response and traction control and can be selected while driving via the Street Triple R’s LCD instruments. The rain mode limits the peak power to 100 HP, while ABS and traction control ensure even more safety.

Displacement: 765 cm³

Dry weight: 168 Kg

Honda CMX 500

Honda CMX 500

Honda’s CMX 500 Rebel is one of the lightest and easiest motorcycles for novice riders. Weighing only 190 kilograms, it has been designed to be as ergonomic as possible.

In addition to its light weight, it also has a low handlebar and a low saddle of 690 mm that is particularly helpful for short riders. It is therefore not only ideal for beginners, but also for experts with small inseam length (less than 1.75 meters).

The new version of the Honda Rebel 500 receives a number of technical and visual differences. Firstly, the appearance of the motorcycle has the features of a bobber. Secondly, the spoked wheels are replaced with cast ones. Thirdly, there is practically no chrome left on the motorcycle; instead, parts are covered with matte black paint. Fourth, the classic analogue instrument cluster has been replaced by a fully electronic one.

In addition, the bike has an LED headlight, rear brake light and turn signals, as well as an Assist & Slipper clutch, and a gear indicator on the dashboard.

Displacement: 471 cm³

Dry weight: 190 Kg

Kawasaki Z400

Last but not the least, if you prefer Kawasaki, you can turn to one of the most popular and recent models of the brand: the Z400, which is none other than the “roadster” version of the Ninja 400.

It has earned the designation “light” not only because of its low weight of 167 kg (ready to ride), but also because of the extremely forgiving engine that is accessible to beginners. Although the 33.4 kW (45 PS) produced by the 399 cm³ in-line two-cylinder are at the upper limit of the A2 license class, these little horses are unleashed in a gentle and very linear manner.

Whether in the chaos of traffic, on the highway, or in the endless zigzag of winding mountain roads, not only the low weight, but also the comfortable, upright sitting position makes the handling a child’s play.

Displacement: 399 cm³

Dry weight: 167 Kg

Bottom Line

Our touring crew has been driving motorcycles of all categories and performance classes for around 10 years. We are happy to pass on all our experiences and reviews here. In order to give our readers a simple overview when looking for a new motorcycle, we are offering the guides on almost every topic. We create these guides based on the frequently asked questions and try to include every query asked by our readers. We hope you enjoyed reading our editorial recommendations, feel free to write us back in case you need more information.