Harley Davidson is an iconic American brand that is known for its powerful and stylish motorcycles. If you’re a beginner looking to get started with your own Harley, it can be tough to know where to begin. With so many different models to choose from, it’s important to find the right one for you. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best Harley Davidson motorcycles for first-time riders. From cruisers to touring bikes, we’ll explore the features and benefits of each model, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to your first ride. So, let’s get started and find the perfect Harley for you!
For first-time riders, it’s best to start with a smaller, lighter motorcycle that’s easy to handle. The Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 750 are great options for beginners, as they have a low seat height and are lightweight, making them easy to maneuver. They also have a low center of gravity, which helps with stability. Additionally, the Street models have a liquid-cooled engine, which is easier to handle in traffic and offers better fuel efficiency than the air-cooled engines found in some other Harley models. Ultimately, the best Harley-Davidson motorcycle for first-time riders will depend on individual preferences and needs, but the Street 500 and Street 750 are great places to start.
Factors to Consider for Beginner Riders
Comfort and Fit
Ergonomics and seat height are crucial factors to consider for first-time riders when choosing a Harley Davidson motorcycle. A comfortable and well-fitting bike is essential for building confidence and ensuring a pleasant riding experience. Rider position and handlebar design play a significant role in determining the level of comfort and control that a rider experiences. Wind protection and noise reduction are also essential factors to consider, as they directly impact the rider’s ability to focus on the road ahead and maintain control of the motorcycle.
Ease of Handling
When it comes to choosing a Harley Davidson motorcycle for first-time riders, ease of handling is an essential factor to consider. A motorcycle that is easy to handle will give the rider more confidence and make riding a more enjoyable experience. Here are some aspects to consider when evaluating the ease of handling of a Harley Davidson motorcycle for first-time riders:
Weight and Balance
The weight and balance of a motorcycle are crucial factors that affect its handling. Heavier motorcycles are generally more stable at high speeds, but they can be more challenging to maneuver in tight spaces. On the other hand, lighter motorcycles are easier to handle, but they may be less stable at high speeds. First-time riders should look for a motorcycle that is not too heavy, as this will make it easier to handle and maneuver.
Suspension and Steering Geometry
The suspension and steering geometry of a motorcycle play a significant role in its handling. Motorcycles with good suspension and steering geometry will handle better on different types of roads and surfaces. First-time riders should look for a motorcycle with a comfortable suspension system that can absorb bumps and provide a smooth ride. The steering geometry should also be smooth and responsive, making it easy to turn and maneuver the motorcycle.
The braking performance of a motorcycle is another crucial factor to consider when evaluating its ease of handling. First-time riders should look for a motorcycle with good braking performance, as this will help them stop the motorcycle quickly and safely. A motorcycle with reliable brakes will give the rider more confidence, especially when riding in traffic or on busy roads.
In conclusion, when choosing a Harley Davidson motorcycle for first-time riders, ease of handling is an essential factor to consider. Motorcycles with good weight and balance, suspension and steering geometry, and braking performance will make riding a more enjoyable experience for first-time riders.
Maintenance and Cost
When it comes to choosing the best Harley Davidson motorcycle for first-time riders, it’s important to consider the maintenance and cost factors. These factors can greatly impact the overall experience of owning and riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
- Engine size and fuel efficiency: One important factor to consider is the engine size and fuel efficiency of the motorcycle. Smaller engine sizes typically require less maintenance and are easier to handle, making them a good option for first-time riders. However, larger engine sizes may offer more power and performance, but also come with higher maintenance costs.
- Repair and maintenance costs: Another important factor to consider is the repair and maintenance costs associated with each model. Some models may require more frequent maintenance or have more expensive parts, which can add up over time. It’s important to research the specific maintenance requirements and costs for each model to determine which one is the most cost-effective option.
- Resale value: Finally, it’s important to consider the resale value of each model. While some models may hold their value better than others, others may depreciate quickly. This can impact the overall cost of ownership and make it more difficult to sell the motorcycle in the future.
By considering these factors, first-time riders can make an informed decision when choosing the best Harley Davidson motorcycle for their needs and budget.
For first-time riders, safety should be the top priority when choosing a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Fortunately, Harley Davidson offers several models that come with advanced safety features that can help keep riders safe on the road. Some of the most important safety features to consider include:
ABS and Traction Control
ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) and traction control are two features that can help riders maintain control of their motorcycle, especially in slippery or uneven road conditions. ABS prevents the wheels from locking up during hard braking, which can help the rider avoid skidding and maintain control of the motorcycle. Traction control, on the other hand, helps prevent the rear wheel from spinning out of control during acceleration, which can also help the rider maintain control.
Electronic Stability Control
Electronic stability control (ESC) is a feature that uses sensors to monitor the motorcycle’s lean angle, acceleration, and deceleration, and can automatically apply the brakes or adjust the engine’s power output to help the rider maintain balance. This feature is particularly useful for first-time riders who may not have the experience to intuitively adjust their riding style to maintain balance.
Daytime Running Lights
Daytime running lights (DRLs) are a safety feature that helps make the motorcycle more visible to other drivers, especially during daylight hours. DRLs are typically brighter than the motorcycle’s regular headlights, and can help increase visibility and reduce the risk of accidents.
Overall, choosing a Harley Davidson motorcycle with advanced safety features can help first-time riders feel more confident and secure on the road. By considering ABS, traction control, electronic stability control, and daytime running lights, riders can choose a motorcycle that will help them stay safe and have a positive riding experience.
Beginner-Friendly Harley Davidson Models
The Street 500 is a great option for first-time riders due to its lightweight and easy handling, low seat height, and comfortable riding position. The engine is powerful and fuel-efficient, making it an ideal choice for those who are new to motorcycle riding.
One of the standout features of the Street 500 is its lightweight design, which makes it easy to maneuver and control. This is particularly beneficial for first-time riders who may feel more confident and in control of a lighter vehicle. Additionally, the low seat height allows for a comfortable riding position, reducing the risk of fatigue or discomfort during long rides.
The Street 500’s engine is also designed with beginners in mind. It provides ample power for a smooth and effortless riding experience, while also being fuel-efficient, which can help reduce the cost of ownership. This combination of power and efficiency makes it an excellent choice for those who are new to motorcycle riding and looking for a reliable and easy-to-ride vehicle.
In conclusion, the Street 500 is a great option for first-time riders due to its lightweight design, low seat height, and powerful yet fuel-efficient engine. Its beginner-friendly features make it an ideal choice for those who are new to motorcycle riding and looking for a reliable and easy-to-ride vehicle.
Sportster Iron 883
Retro Styling and Comfortable Seating
The Sportster Iron 883 is a great option for first-time riders due to its retro styling and comfortable seating. Its design is inspired by classic Harley Davidson motorcycles, making it a great choice for those who want to experience the iconic look and feel of a traditional Harley Davidson bike. The seating is also comfortable, providing a smooth and relaxed riding experience.
Lightweight and Easy to Maneuver
One of the benefits of the Sportster Iron 883 is its lightweight design. This makes it easy to maneuver, especially for first-time riders who may be more cautious on the road. The lightweight design also makes it easier to handle in tight spaces and when making turns.
Good for Short Riders and Women
The Sportster Iron 883 is also a great option for short riders and women. Its smaller size makes it easier to control and maneuver, especially for those who may be less physically imposing. Additionally, the comfortable seating and lightweight design make it easier to handle for those who may not have as much upper body strength.
Classic hardtail look with modern features
The Softail Slim is a perfect choice for first-time riders who want to experience the classic hardtail look of a motorcycle, but with modern features that make it easier to handle and more comfortable to ride. This model has a distinctive look that is characterized by its minimalist design and the absence of a rear fender, giving it a sleek and stylish appearance.
Smooth power delivery and easy handling
One of the key features of the Softail Slim that makes it ideal for first-time riders is its smooth power delivery. The motorcycle is powered by a 107-cubic-inch engine that provides plenty of power for cruising and short trips, without overwhelming new riders with too much power. The engine is also designed to be very responsive, with a smooth torque curve that makes it easy to handle at low speeds.
In addition to its smooth power delivery, the Softail Slim is also known for its easy handling. The motorcycle has a low seat height and a narrow frame, making it easy for riders to put their feet flat on the ground when stopped. The handlebars are also positioned in a way that makes it easy to steer and maneuver the motorcycle, even for those who are new to riding.
Good for cruising and short trips
The Softail Slim is a great choice for first-time riders who are looking for a motorcycle that is ideal for cruising and short trips. The motorcycle has a comfortable seat and a smooth ride, making it perfect for exploring the local area or taking a weekend trip. The motorcycle’s small size and easy handling also make it a great choice for riders who are new to the sport and are still learning how to navigate city streets and highways.
Overall, the Softail Slim is a great choice for first-time riders who are looking for a beginner-friendly motorcycle that is easy to handle and has plenty of power for cruising and short trips. Its classic hardtail look, smooth power delivery, and easy handling make it a popular choice among new riders, and its small size and comfortable ride make it perfect for exploring the local area or taking a weekend trip.
The Low Rider is a popular choice for first-time riders due to its comfortable seating and wind protection. This model offers a relaxed riding position, which makes it perfect for longer rides and touring. The Low Rider is also easy to maintain and repair, which is a great advantage for new riders who may not have much experience with motorcycle maintenance.
One of the standout features of the Low Rider is its suspension, which provides a smooth ride and absorbs bumps and vibrations. This is especially important for first-time riders who may be more sensitive to discomfort on the road. Additionally, the Low Rider’s wind protection is top-notch, thanks to its fairing and windshield, which help to reduce wind noise and protect the rider from the elements.
Another benefit of the Low Rider is its reliability. This model is known for being easy to start and run, even in cold weather. It also has a simple electrical system, which means that there are fewer components that can fail or cause problems. Furthermore, the Low Rider’s engine is durable and easy to maintain, which makes it a great choice for those who are new to motorcycle ownership.
Overall, the Low Rider is a great option for first-time riders who are looking for a comfortable, reliable, and easy-to-maintain motorcycle. Its smooth ride, wind protection, and user-friendly features make it a great choice for those who are new to the world of motorcycling.
Road King Special
The Road King Special is a great option for first-time riders who are looking for a powerful engine and comfortable seating. This motorcycle is ideal for touring and highway cruising, providing a smooth and stable ride even at high speeds.
One of the standout features of the Road King Special is its advanced safety features. For example, it comes equipped with anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and electronic security systems, which help to prevent accidents and keep the rider safe.
Additionally, the Road King Special has a comfortable and spacious seat, which makes it a great choice for longer rides. The ergonomic design of the motorcycle allows for a natural riding position, reducing fatigue and increasing comfort.
Another benefit of the Road King Special is its powerful engine. This motorcycle is equipped with a 107 cubic inch engine, which provides plenty of power for acceleration and hill climbing. The engine is also fuel-efficient, which means that riders can enjoy long rides without having to stop frequently to refuel.
Overall, the Road King Special is a great choice for first-time riders who are looking for a powerful and comfortable motorcycle that is easy to handle. Its advanced safety features and comfortable seating make it a great option for riders who want to feel safe and comfortable on the road.
Stripped-down Bobber Style
The Street Bob is a stripped-down bobber style motorcycle that is designed to provide a raw and minimalist riding experience. With its sleek and streamlined design, the Street Bob is perfect for riders who want to feel the wind in their hair and the road beneath them.
Powerful Engine and Easy Handling
The Street Bob is powered by a powerful engine that delivers ample torque and acceleration, making it perfect for first-time riders who want to feel the thrill of the open road. The motorcycle’s handling is also very easy, with a low seat height and a narrow frame that makes it easy to maneuver, even for riders with limited experience.
Customizable with Aftermarket Parts
One of the great things about the Street Bob is that it is highly customizable, with a wide range of aftermarket parts available to enhance its appearance and performance. Whether you want to add a custom paint job or upgrade the exhaust system, the Street Bob is the perfect motorcycle for riders who want to make it their own.
In conclusion, the Street Bob is a great choice for first-time riders who want a motorcycle that is both powerful and easy to handle. With its stripped-down bobber style, powerful engine, and customizable nature, the Street Bob is the perfect motorcycle for riders who want to experience the thrill of the open road in a unique and personalized way.
Making the Final Decision
When it comes to choosing the best Harley Davidson motorcycle for first-time riders, there are several factors to consider. These factors include personal preferences and riding style, budget and availability, and availability of parts and accessories.
Budget and Availability
Another important factor to consider is the budget and availability of the bike. First-time riders may not have a lot of money to spend on a motorcycle, so it’s important to choose a bike that fits their budget. Additionally, some Harley Davidson motorcycles may be more difficult to find or may have a longer waiting list, so it’s important to consider availability when making a decision.
Availability of Parts and Accessories
Finally, it’s important to consider the availability of parts and accessories for the chosen motorcycle. First-time riders may not have a lot of experience with maintenance and repairs, so it’s important to choose a bike with a wide range of available parts and accessories. This will make it easier for them to keep their bike in good condition and avoid costly repairs down the road.
Overall, when making the final decision on which Harley Davidson motorcycle is best for first-time riders, it’s important to consider their personal preferences and riding style, budget and availability, and availability of parts and accessories. By taking these factors into account, first-time riders can make an informed decision and find the perfect Harley Davidson motorcycle for their needs.
1. What makes a Harley Davidson motorcycle a good choice for first-time riders?
A Harley Davidson motorcycle is a great choice for first-time riders because of its reliability, ease of handling, and comfortable ride. The motorcycles are designed with a low center of gravity, which makes them easy to balance and control, even for those who are new to riding. Additionally, Harley Davidson offers a range of models that are specifically designed for beginner riders, with features such as low seat heights and lightweight frames.
2. What are some good beginner-friendly Harley Davidson models?
Some good beginner-friendly Harley Davidson models include the Street 500, Sportster Iron 883, and the Low Rider S. These models offer a balance of power, handling, and comfort, making them ideal for first-time riders. The Street 500 and Iron 883 have smaller engines, which make them easier to handle and more fuel-efficient, while the Low Rider S offers a comfortable and stable ride for longer trips.
3. What are some things to consider when choosing a Harley Davidson motorcycle for a beginner?
When choosing a Harley Davidson motorcycle for a beginner, it’s important to consider factors such as engine size, weight, and handling. A smaller engine size is generally easier to handle and more fuel-efficient, making it a good choice for beginners. Additionally, lighter weight models are easier to maneuver and handle, while a comfortable ride and easy-to-use features can make the learning process more enjoyable.
4. How much does a beginner-friendly Harley Davidson motorcycle cost?
The cost of a beginner-friendly Harley Davidson motorcycle can vary depending on the model and features. Generally, entry-level models like the Street 500 and Iron 883 start around $7,500, while higher-end models like the Low Rider S can cost upwards of $15,000. It’s important to consider not only the initial cost of the motorcycle but also ongoing maintenance and operating costs when making a purchase.
5. What kind of training or licensing is required to ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle?
In order to ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle, you’ll need to obtain a motorcycle license or endorsement from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This typically requires passing a written test and a riding skills test, and in some cases, completing a motorcycle safety course. It’s important to research the specific requirements in your state and to seek out training and instruction from a reputable source to ensure you are well-prepared to ride safely and confidently.