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Multiple factors contribute to the motorcycle insurance quotes a rider receives. Your driving record, where you live, and the bike you use all significantly affect how much you’ll pay for the necessary coverage.

If you are 18 and freshly graduated from your motorcycle safety class, you’re likely ready to start exploring the open road. Before you think about the make and model you want, it helps to review what you’d like to have on a bike.

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Here are some areas to review.

  • Do I Want a Lighter or Heavier Bike? Lighter motorcycles are easier to control, especially if you’re new to riding them. Opting for a smaller engine size often reduces your risk profile, which means a lower monthly insurance premium.
  • What Is My Riding Environment? Maneuverable motorcycles work better for urban environments, while a sports bike or a touring model might be better for long-distance rides.
  • What Brand Do I Want? Picking a reliable motorcycle manufacturer ensures your bike is easier to maintain. Still, it could also contribute to higher rates if that model is involved in an above-average rate of accidents.
  • Think About the Power. After you’ve decided what kind of riding you want, you’ll need to look at each motorcycle’s final trims and packages. A higher MSRP often translates to higher insurance quotes.

New riders should look for motorcycles that can meet their needs now without having so much power that the bike feels out of control. From an insurance perspective, something heavier, taller, and more expensive will cost more to insure than something smaller and with less engine power.

Best Motorcycles for Young Riders

These options stand out in today’s marketplace if you’re seeking an affordable motorcycle that won’t push your insurance rates too high.

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1. KTM Corner Rocket

This motorcycle offers a 373cc engine with a six-speed transmission for an MSRP of less than $5,500 in 2023. It has minimal fairing and uses a naked frame, but it still delivers a ride similar to a sports bike. The suspension is firm, ensuring corners are handled well. You can add accessories to create a custom experience.

2. Yamaha SR400

Although this motorcycle doesn’t have a fairing, you will receive a 399cc engine. It offers a vintage feel that remains suitable for most riders, right down to the kickstarter. The seat is wide and plush while staying around 30 inches to ensure that most people ride comfortably.

3. Kawasaki Ninja 300

This motorcycle offers ABS while delivering a full-fairing design. With its 296cc engine, you’ll get enough speed while staying in control of the lightweight frame. You’ll sit a little taller in the saddle than comparable models. Still, the higher foot pegs make it easier to navigate a tricky corner. Some models retail for less than $5,000.

4. Yamaha V Star 250

If you prefer a cruiser, this affordable motorcycle could be the perfect commuter bike to handle long-distance trips. It has one of the best fuel economy ratings today while offering many accessories to consider. The bike has less power at 250cc, but its lower seat height and lightweight style suit almost any new rider.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Motorcycle for Young Riders

Safety features are a priority when selecting a new motorcycle for riders under 18. Consider investing in a model with anti-lock brakes, a fairing or windscreen, and a comfortable handlebar height to ensure complete control.

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When your goal is to keep your motorcycle insurance rates affordable, it helps to select a motorcycle with a 600cc or less engine. The maximum savings come from riding scooters or mopeds, but the compromise is that your access to certain highways or areas is limited due to the bike’s speed restrictions.

You could opt for a trike if you prefer more stability. The insurance rates for trikes and motorcycles are competitive, though differences can apply to various providers.

Finding the best motorcycle for 18-year-olds is a process that balances reliability, power, and fun to keep rates affordable. There is a bike out there that is perfect for you!

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Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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