Beginner supersport motorcycles for the A2 licence
If you’re in market for your first motorcycle you want to consider one with a smaller engine displacement. If you’ve settled on buying a supersport, there are plenty to choose from in the 300 to 500cc range. The bikes in this list are all great beginner machines and they also comply with the regulations set by the A2 licence. Your 1000cc dream bike is not going to be on this list, and chances are, you’ll spend a few years on smaller ones before riding a litre bike. However, small motorcycles do come with some advantages over their bigger brothers; the retail price is significantly lower, insurance will always be cheaper and fuel consumption better. Let’s take a look at what are your options today in the supersport segment as an A2 licence holder.
Honda’s entry level sportbike, the 300 CBR with its 30 horsepower is the lowest powered one in the list. However, we all know hp is just a number, and there’s a lot more to consider when talking about a motorcycle. The single cylinder engine pushes enough torque to make the ride dynamic and enjoyable. Keeping with the flow of traffic is not an issue for the CBR, however its beginner friendly power delivery may feel underpowered compared to some of the bigger bikes on the list. To accommodate newer riders Honda offers optional ABS on the CBR300R.
Kawasaki has been present in the entry level supersport segment for the past couple decades with the 250 Ninja. The Ninja 300 can be considered the successor to the 250 and is an improvement in every way. It is powered by a parallel twin engine making it more capable of cruising at highway speeds with less vibration. By default the Ninja is equipped with slipper clutch, which is considered a rarity in the category. What this means, is that it makes for easier, more forgiving gear changes, and a lighter clutch lever. It is the closest thing to a quick shifter, and suits new riders really well.
3) Yamaha R3
Yamaha’s presence in the beginner sportbike segment is the R3. With enough power and character to impress even more experienced riders is one of the best choices in its class. It’s parallel twin engine produces 42 horsepowers at around 9000 rpm and 21 lb-ft of torque. Although it’s a supersport, the seating position is less aggressive than the competitors, making it more comfortable to ride it casually around town. The only thing it’s missing compared to the others is ABS.
Update: the 2017 model (and up) comes with optional ABS
Although the CBR300R’s bigger brother, the CBR500R is above the rest of the motorcycles in terms of engine displacement, due to its peak power output still has a place in this list.
It shares its genes with the CB500F and CB500X as these 3 bikes are built around the same power unit, the 471cc parallel twin engine. With its 47 horsepower output Honda’s 500cc lineup really tops out the A2 licence limits. If you’re looking for a powerful japanese cycle with the build quality we’ve come to expect from Honda, or specifically a 2 cylinder, this is the right choice for you.
1) KTM RC390
KTM introduced the 390 series (RC and Duke 390) in 2013 as entry level motorcycles in their lineup with the slogan, ‘Ready to Race’. As it turns out, it isn’t just a cheap marketing technique. The RC 390 is a proper Moto3 bike and the sportiest, most competitive one in the class. With its high compression single cylinder engine pushing 43 horsepowers and the 0.2 kW/kg power to weight ratio it’s at the limit of the licence restrictions. The sporty DNA shows about every aspect of the bike, sometimes to its disadvantage. The seat on the RC390 is less than ideal for street cruising and more for the track. The mirrors are mostly covered by the driver, making it hard to live up to its purpose.
This however shouldn’t discourage one from the RC. All in all, you get a proper racebike with a punchy engine, strong brakes and ABS as a standard.