Posted: 22 Dec 2013
Ok, you’re aged between 19 and 23 and have just taken the plunge and passed your A2 test. Well done. So what are you going to ride? You’ve got up to 46bhp to play with and that doesn’t have to be boring, so here are ten machines we’d be happy to spend our cash on…
A mini adventure, well mid capacity at any rate. The 650 GS is perfect for you to get to grips with a lighter more manageable adventure bike and will handle anything you can throw at it. Get it loaded up, get on a ferry and explore the continent. It doesn’t have to break the bank either; there are loads of used bargains out there. Less than £4k will get you a year old bike with a few extras thrown in.
Gilera Fuoco 500
The Fuoco is the meaner looking version of the tilting Piaggio MP3. This one comes with all the same great attributes as the (by comparison) conservative looking MP3 but it looks like something out of Mad Max. The extra front wheel gives you greater stability and an extra front disc brake for increased stopping power. £3500 is about what you should be paying for a 2008 model.
When it comes to making bikes to suit licence requirements Honda have it sorted. The CB500X is a great first ‘proper’ bike for a newly qualified novice. It’s also the kind of bike that appeals to a returning rider, or somebody wanting to swap the car for an economical, good-looking bike from a name they can trust. New for 2013, so there aren’t many used bargains out there yet but it only costs £5099 new. Also check out the CB500F and CBR500R.
Honda VT750 Shadow
Looking for a custom bike? The Honda Shadow fits in nicely with A2 requirements and looks good too. The Shadow Black Spirit has bobber styling with plenty of black detailing to accentuate the (yes you’ve guessed it) black paintwork. The 745cc V-twin engine makes 44bhp in a lazy fashion and the bike can be yours for £7599.
Kawasaki ER6-F (restricted)
The ER6-F is one bike that often gets overlooked but it is a very capable and surprising machine, every time I ride one it reminds me just how good they actually are. In restricted form it’s A2 compliant and it gives you a chance to get used to the size and weight of a mid capacity bike whilst still on a restricted licence. £2000 will get you a fairly low mileage 2008 model. Ride it until you’re old enough to derestrict it and it’ll save you trading up straight away.
Photo: Schedl R via KTM
The Duke 390 is not only stylish but it is also quick, agile and not badly priced either. £4499 for a brand new funky looking naked bike with added Austrian attitude thrown in. It makes 43bhp, is light, has a nice low seat height and is easy to ride but still one of those bikes you’ll just love getting on. For 2014 the Duke comes with ABS as well.
Moto Guzzi V7
Classic cafe racer looks and A2 compliant, that’s the Moto Guzzi V7. It’s got a certain charm about it, mainly down to its styling with lashings of chrome, it also has a lazy riding position and characterful V-twin engine. £4595 will get you a 2009 model.
Piaggio Beverly 350
Don’t knock modern scooters; they’re fantastic and practical. This unfortunately named Piaggio Beverly 350 Sport even comes with traction control and ABS. It also has a lively 33.3bhp engine, great brakes and decent handling. Give one a try before dismissing them because they are very useable. We’ve seen 2012 models for as little as £2995.
Suzuki Inazuma 250
Aimed squarely at the new rider or commuter the Suzuki Inazuma is about as novice friendly as they come. It makes 24bhp, weighs 183kg, does 85mpg, 85mph and has a nice low seat height. It’s also priced competitively at £3408, a bargain new bike, perfect for a year round workhorse.
The MT-03 deserved to sell better than it did, it’s got quirky good looks and a forgiving easy to ride nature, making it perfect for the novice. The 660cc 45bhp single cylinder engine (taken from the XT660, which is also A2 friendly) has plenty of low down grunt and a bit of character. The bike handles well too, so is great for a blast around the twisties. £2900 will get you a 2008 model.