According to the 2014 NHTSA overview, motorcycle riders are killed in road traffic accidents 27 times more frequently than drivers and passengers in vehicles, and they are 6 times as likely to be injured. To a large extent, these hard figures arise from the recklessness of many motorcyclists who violate traffic rules and bypass basic safety requirements. In particular, NHTSA findings show that 35% of motorcycle riders’ deaths were the direct result of their speeding, which is higher than speeding statistics on any other vehicle type. Another fact is that more than 40% of the motorcyclists killed in single vehicle crashes had a higher BAC than permitted. And finally, 22% of the fatalities involved riders who had no valid motorcycle endorsement. It is no wonder that NHTSA harps on the necessity to practice motorcycle permit test, to enroll in a rider education course and to pass a road exam in order to get properly licensed and to obtain strong on-motorcycle skills.
So, prior to choosing a bike, you need to start from learning traffic rules and then move to a free motorcycle license practice test – this will help you get prepared for your DMV written exam and go thoroughly into safety matters. Only when having profound theoretical knowledge about the safety requirements, you can proceed with on-road training and practice your motorcycle license test. And here we come to the vital issue of choosing a right bike for a beginner.
Practice Your Motorcycle Riders Permit Test and Choose the Safest Motorcycle for On-road Training
While practicing your free DMV motorcycle practice tests, you can delve into types and models of motorcycles in order to choose the best bike for you. Though there are no statistics on motorcycles safeness based on their models or something like NHTSA safety ratings for motorbikes, we can still rely on IIHS and NHTSA studies. They show that standards and cruisers are generally safer than touring or sport bikes – the first ones feature 5.7 fatalities per 10,000 registered motorcycles, while for touring bikes the figure is 6.5 and sport bikes are almost twice as deadly as standards. Obviously, it makes sense to choose your first bike from the safest types, even if you are going to master riding race tracks or to break into long distance travels in the future.
Practice your motorcycle permit exam and consider bikes for training with regards to motorcycle engine size. According to IIHS statistics, almost half of cruiser/standard bikes involved in deadly crashes had engines larger than 1,400 cc. A minimum death rate was observed in cruisers and standards with engines smaller than 1,000 cc. So, cruisers and standards featuring engine displacement up to 1,000 cc will be a good starter choice. Let’s take a look at some popular bikes, which are quite for the job.
- Suzuki TU250X is a lightweight street bike with a 249cc four-stroke, two-valve engine, which is rather flexible for a beginner while providing a decent in-city ride. It boasts the comfortable 30 inches ride height, good observation, responsive digital ignition, linear power delivery and light clutch. The bike provides a tight turning circle and high maneuverability, which is an advantage for a beginner.
- Honda CMX250C Rebel is a cruiser that features a 234 cc two-valve engine and weighs 306 lb. It is known as the main model used in the MSF training courses, and this speaks for itself. The Rebel 250 is light, small and nimble enough to ensure your complete control over the bike and fun riding, while its front disc brake provides sufficient power for fast stopping.
- Suzuki SV650 is a more powerful street motorcycle with its 645 cc V-twin engine, but it is recommended for beginners due to the comfortable riding position, smooth and natural throttle response, precise clutch control and nice disk brakes. Besides, it can be easily upgraded instead of buying a new motorcycle when you become an advanced rider.
- Kawasaki Z650 is a good choice if you don’t mind buying a really old bike made in the 80s. It is one of those Universal Japanese Motorcycles that combine the power, reliability and simple design accessible to riders with minimum training. It features a 652 cc inline four engine, upright and open seating position, light weight and strong disc brakes.
- KTM Duke 390 is another standard option for an entry-level rider. It has 373 cc 4-stroke engine and single discs, while weighing 306 lb. It is powerful enough for highways, boasts a nice center-of-gravity and seems to be rather mechanically simple for rookie riders.
The Worst Bike for Your Practice with a Motorcycle Learner Permit
There are also some bikes that attract with their style and power, but you’d better stay away from them until you are experienced enough. Certainly, streetfighters, sport, touring and off-road bikes are among them, and here are few examples of the most dangerous motorcycles for beginners:
- Suzuki GSX-R1000 sport bike scares with its treacherous performance, sharp, yet unforgiving steering and no rider aids available.
- Ducati Streetfighter 1098 is another sport bike that is famous for its de-tuning for the street (in spite of some customization) and crazy engine of a path racer.
Be sure to choose a safe motorcycle for your on-road training after you pass your free motorcycle practice test and DMV exam!