In the real world your first motorcycle should combine the most positive traits that fit your unique needs. You need to consider price, availability, maintenance, and the type of riding you plan to do.

If you are working for strapped for cash, frugal, or simply want to get into motorcycle riding for the cheap, then here are great budget-friendly beginner motorcycles that will get you from point A to point B.

Kawasaki Ninja 250R

The Kawasaki Ninja 250r is considered by most to be the best beginner bike because of its long history and availability of parts.
Any of these 250 Ninjas between will be dirt cheap, and perfect for a beginner motorcycle.Kawasaki

This happens to be the first beginner motorcycle I ever rode and it will forever be etched in my mind as the premier starter bike. Sure, the Rebel is slower and lower so it's easy to ride, but as an 18-year old guy, it just seemed that the Ninja was way cooler. Plus, the market is saturated with them so you can pick up a good used bike almost anywhere.

Honda Rebel

The pint-size Honda Rebel have a low seat height, get more than 50 mpg, and are probably the cheapest bike to insure on this list.
Right now you can pick up a Honda Rebel for a song in cities across the USA.Honda

If you want to ride, like the cruiser look, and don't mind having a top speed of 87 mph, then the Rebel is worth a look. There seems to be a bunch of bobbed Rebels on the market too. So you don't necessarily have to buy a stock version because customized units are everywhere. Just make sure to take a close look at the bike and maybe pay a local shop to inspect it for you. As long as you get a good one, you're going to spend many happy miles behind those Rebel bars.

Yamaha V Star 250

Another budget-friendly cruiser, the Yamaha V Star 250 is another great beginner motorcycle if you are looking for a cruiser.
They've been around for a while now so the used bike market is starting to warm up.Yamaha

This classic cruiser may not have the name association the bikes above it do, but the V Star models are proven reliable. They are no-nonsense bikes that can take a fair bit of abuse and keep on rolling down the road. Still, you can pick up a 2014 model for anywhere between $1,200 and $1,800. That's a great deal and they are available in many different cities right now.

Suzuki DR250

The Suzuki DR250 is a great budget-friendly dual sport motorcycle from Japan.
This is the quintessential small-displacement dual-sport of its time. It is light, cheap, and gets great mpg for a bike built before the 2000s. These are available all day long for under $2,000.Suzuki

Dual sport motorcycles are great beginner bikes because they are made to take some abuse. If you are a taller beginner, or want to do some off-road motorcycling, then the Suzuki DR250 is a great, cheap choice to learn on.

Kawasaki EX500

The Kawasaki EX500 is the 250 bigger brother, and is another cheap option for a beginner.
This bike is basically a big-bore 250 Ninja. It is bigger and obviously a bit more powerful, but overall it is a great beginner bike.Kawasaki

They used to be the hottest motorcycle in the newspaper, but once they were phased out of manufacture they lost popularity among new riders. But that doesn't mean they aren't a great beginner bike. Low-mileage examples should be under $2,000 and a quick scan online showed many of them still on the market in that price range.

Yamaha FZR400

If you’re looking to go to the track as a beginner, the classic Yamaha FZR400 is a great choice.
One of the most coveted track bikes of the '90s is alive and well today.Yamaha

Now that the craze has resided after 30 years of hoarding by the few folks who didn’t destroy them, the original 400cc supersports are popping up all over the place. Think of this as the holy grail of beginner sportbikes. If you find a clean example for anywhere near $2,000, then grab it up and enjoy the ride. If you are looking for a larger bike, the FZR600 is equally impressive though it may be a little bigger than what the average beginner rider might be willing to deal with. But it’s worth checking out if you find one.

Buell Blast

A single-cylinder motorcycle is easy to handle for any beginner, and the American Buell Blast is no different.
There was a point when Buell was firing on all cylinders, and at that time it introduced the Blast as the ultimate beginner bike.Buell

The Blast had its merits and to this day it is a superb starter cycle. Its low seat height, torque-heavy single-cylinder engine, and rudimentary controls have proven to be dang near bulletproof after decades of use. Watch close and you'll find a Blast for under $2,000 in most major cities.

Suzuki SV650

Beginner-friendly power and easy-to-handle ergonomics make the Suzuki SV650 a top contender for a cheap beginner motorcycle.
At one point the demand for SV650 motorcycles far outweighed the supply for these fantastic track bikes. As a result, many of them found their way to the garbage bin after serving time as beginner trackday bikes and racebikes. Their combination of user friendly V-twin power and comfortable ergos was only rivaled by their low price point and bountiful aftermarket products.Suzuki

You can still see grids full of classic SVs at a racetrack near you, but finding a clean, street-legal version is almost as easy. Just keep your feelers out and, when one pops up, have cash ready because it won't be around for long if it is in good shape. Expect to pay anywhere in the realm of $2,000 but there are lots of well-used ones for less and just as many pristine versions for a bit more.

Keep in mind that many of these motorcycles are models and eras that I have seen work out great for my buddies. There are quite a few options out there, but most of these are the cream of the crop, so if you stumble across one, grab it before someone else does.