Best Learner Approved Bikes

If you're keen on getting a learner motorcycle, there are a few steps to take before you can hit the open road with the wind around your helmet. Continue reading...

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Engine Displacement
124 cc
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Based on 368 reviews
Honda CB125E

Honda CB125E

4.3  (85) Summary
hitch
hitchSouth Australia4 posts
 
Honda CBR500R

Honda CBR500R

4.5  (30) Summary
Jonathan D.
Jonathan D.SA2 posts
 
Great for commutingI appreciate that the engine of my Honda CBR500R responds better to commuting than to extreme sports riding, as this is more applicable to me and that the suspension that feels good in the corners is also compliant on the bumpiest of freeways
Yamaha TT-R230

Yamaha TT-R230

4.6  (24) Summary
Oztog
OztogSydney3 posts
 
Great dirtbike for fun timesChose this for my first dirt bike. I was a moderate level street rider and never had ridden on dirt, this bike made it easy and fun I loved my CRF230. The handling as you would hope from this bike is great as is the suspension which I did aggressively and it performs very well.

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Kawasaki KLR650

Kawasaki KLR650

4.1  (39) Summary
Buzz
Buzz5 posts
 
Yamaha YZF-R15

Yamaha YZF-R15

4.1  (20) Summary
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Jazz
Jazz4 posts
  YZF-R15
Honda NSC110 Dio

Honda NSC110 Dio

4.5  (12) Summary
Rex B.
Rex B.NSW4 posts
 
Yamaha WR450F

Yamaha WR450F

4.2  (14) Summary
george M.
george M.11 posts
 
great handling and buildlove taking my one out on trail rides and on camping trips. always starts first kick and has never stalled on me. Performs extremely well in the harshest of terrains whether it be steep hills or mud.
Honda CBR300R

Honda CBR300R

4.6  (10) Summary
Floyd M.
Floyd M.
 
Piaggio Zip 50 2T

Piaggio Zip 50 2T

4.3  (12) Summary
Edward M.
Edward M.2 posts
 
Blue light, my blue light on dashboard of piaggio 50 cc zip goes on and offMy bike performance is excellent, have been riding it continuously for 3years, I have no complaints Show details
Yamaha MT-03

Yamaha MT-03

4.8  (9) Summary
Rik
RikVIC
 
Yamaha XT250

Yamaha XT250

4.7  (9) Summary
Mill
MillNSW2 posts
 
Yamaha Tricity

Yamaha Tricity

4.3  (8) Summary
Mr Discrete
Mr Discrete72706 posts
 
PerfectThe handling and cornering of this bike is better than any bike I have ever had over many years. Very predictable and smooth.
I wish I could afford the 300 for highway riding with pillion
The 155 is perfect for commute and town and local roads Show details
John
JohnNSW
  125
Kymco Like 125

Kymco Like 125

4.5  (6) Summary
Michael Q.
Michael Q.NSW2 posts
 
Hunter Daytona

Hunter Daytona

3.7  (9)
Farzand S.
Farzand S.
 
bad experiencei have had this bike for 2 years and i bought it brand new. After just 2 months the back wheel was lose or something and chain came off. Then when i went to register it with department of transportation, they told me this company wasn't even registered in their data base.
Hunter Bobber

Hunter Bobber

3.7  (7) Summary
dietrich
dietrich
 
Suzuki Trojan

Suzuki Trojan

4.4  (5)
Chris P
Chris PSA41 posts
 
Matt
MattAU9 posts
 
Grooveknight
Grooveknight
  250cc
Great.....amazingly underated motorbike,I am not the dealer or an employee. I am a bike enthusiasts who was skeptical at first. I was however given this bike and simply cannot fault it. Great value and after first service..silken riding! Seriously great value. Great after market service from dealer in NSW. Im in QLD.

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Adam  Muldoon
Adam Muldoon27953 posts
 
great alrounderthis bike for the price is an awesome machine highly recommend it to anyone wanting something other than an expensive European bike great power great handling fast bought it From Mick Muldoon Motor Cycles In Bathurst with great service and fast bikes go hard on the green machine. came with hand guards

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Kymco Agility 50

Kymco Agility 50

3.1  (7) Summary
Liz T.
Liz T.2 posts
  50
these bikes are gutlessthe performance of my kymco city 50 is terrible and do not pull out of any junction unless there is no traffic in sight its gutless
SYM Jolie

SYM Jolie

4.3  (4)
slepax
slepaxWA6 posts
 
GoodGreat little scooter. Considering it's just a 50cc, it is very light & quick with decent amount of storage space. Fuel consumption is awesome, you would never guess how far you long you can use it with it's little 5L tank.
Very light, fast, very reliable.
It's still just a 50cc, so sometimes it lacks a bit more power. Show 3 replies
Yamaha TT-R230A

Yamaha TT-R230A

4.3  (4)
Stormcloud
StormcloudAU2 posts
 
Yamaha TMAX 530

Yamaha TMAX 530

5.0  (3) Summary
Zak.
Zak.VIC7 posts
 
fimamu10
fimamu10Byron Bay4 posts
  200ie
Yamaha WR250F

Yamaha WR250F

4.7  (3) Summary
Rocketman
RocketmanHamilton48 posts
 
Yamaha WR250R

Yamaha WR250R

5.0  (2) Summary
Display Name
Display NameBrisbane49 posts
 
CFMOTO 300NK ABS

CFMOTO 300NK ABS

3.7  (3) Summary
Dave
DaveWA25 posts
 
was great until problems started and CFmoto not interested in helpingWas looking for bike to ride while on learners permit ended up finding nothing second hand that could compare for price and features like ABS EFI GPS in screen and it is brand new. No regrets with purchase initially but changed reviews as problems started as per update of review and bike is unreliable.. Show details
Dave
Dave  
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Honda CRF300L

Honda CRF300L

4.5  (2) Summary
Wisey
WiseyToowoomba177 posts
 
CFMOTO 300SR ABS

CFMOTO 300SR ABS

4.0  (2) Summary
irateproducts
irateproductsSydney10 posts
 

How do I get a motorcycle license in Australia?

Learner rider getting the keys to a new motorcycle

The steps you need to take differ slightly from state to state, so it’s important to check your state’s RMS or Transport website for details relevant to you.

For example in Queensland, before applying for a motorcycle learner permit, you need to have held a car license for at least a year. However in NSW, this isn't a requirement.

Example - Steps to getting your license in NSW

  1. You need to be 16 years and 9 months to apply
  2. Book a pre-learner motorcycle course. This is a motorcycle learner course that helps you understand road hazards, road rules and surroundings. This is a 2-day course, 3.5 hours per day, with the motorcycle and all gear provided. After finishing, you can now get a LAMS approved bike.
  3. After 3-12 months, you’ll sit a Pre-Provisional course, which includes a written theory test and a practical riding skills test.
  4. You’ll then have your Red P’s for 12 months. If you’re over 25 and hold a full, open Australian car driver’s license, you can progress to an unrestricted motorcycle license. If not, you’ll then move onto your Green P’s. After 2 years, you can then apply for a full rider license - no further tests required.

What is the best motorbike for a learner?

When you’re selecting a new set of motorbike wheels for the first time, it's important to know you’ll initially be limited for choice.

The Learner Approved Motorcycles Scheme (or LAMs Scheme) lists all the available motorbikes you can ride on a learner permit, P1 and P2 license.

While it’s a national scheme, the brands and models of motorbikes available to riders differ according to the state you live in. For example, LAMS approved bikes in NSW will be different to LAMS approved bikes in the ACT.

Always check the list of LAMS bikes available to ride in your state.

What is a LAMS approved bike?

A LAMS approved bike refers to approved motorcycles for learner riders. They're low or moderately powered motorbikes, scooters and three-wheel motorcycles, or trikes, you can choose from.

Difference to other motorcycles

LAMS motorbikes are generally easier to manoeuvre, easier to handle, and built with solid, extremely safe brakes.

A LAMS motorcycle also won't be equipped with the specs to safely try out advanced riding techniques. For example, the more severe cornering and braking possible on some highly powered sports bikes will be rare, if not impossible, to find on a LAMS motorcycle.

These precuations help you build up your biking skills and improve reaction times. In the long run, this will prepare you for riding faster, more powerful non-LAMS bikes if you choose to upgrade when you progress to your full license.

What CC motorbike can I ride on a provisional licence?

LAMS bikes are also built with less powerful engines than other, highly specced bikes available to all motorcycle riders. As a result, they are restricted to the following:

  • Maximum engine capacity of 660 cc: or cubic centimetres. This refers to engine capacity, or engine displacement. It's one measure of a motorbike engine’s power.
  • Maximum power-to-weight ratio of 150 kilowatts per tonne: This refers to the ratio of the motorcycle’s power output compared to weight. This factors in a motorbike’s size relative to its engine power, to give an even more accurate measure of a bike's power.
  • Modifications are limited as they must be listed as allowable modifications on your state's RMS or transport website.

Types of LAMS Bikes

On Road Bikes

Scooters

Scooters are great for navigating urban streets, as they’re compact and low to the ground. However they’re not as useful for driving outside of metropolitan areas.

Pros
Lighter than other motorcycle types - making them easy to manoeuvre and handle
Easier to learn how to ride a scooter than another type of motorcycle, and most models are automatic
Cheaper to buy and run than other motorcycle types, including cheaper fuel
Cons
Less power and acceleration than motorcycles - however there are some sports scooters designed with a 650cc
Smaller wheels makes them more sensitive to the conditions of the road, including potholes, water, and gravel
Limited to the city and suburbs - Not suited to highways off-road riding

Naked or Standard Bikes

These motorcycles lack a windscreen and have an exposed body - giving them the name ‘naked’ bike.

Pros
A good multi-purpose motorcycle - can be driven through city streets or on the highway with equal ease
Lightweight design means it’s not uncomfortably heavy to ride
Cons
More basic functionality means if you’re after something specific, a naked motorcycle is less likely to have it.
Less protection from the elements means more exposure to wind and dirt
Less equipped for long distance rides

Sports motorcycles

Sports motorcycles are designed with both speed and aesthetics in mind. They’re known for their agility and ability to tackle sharp corners easily - however, there are hardly any pure Sports (as opposed to Dual-Sports) motorcycles that are LAMs approved.

Pros
Powerful speed and acceleration
Appealing aesthetics
Cons
Not many LAMS approved sport motorcycles
Uncomfortable riding position, especially on longer trips
Any need for speed is compromised by the fact that you're limited to provisional speed limits

Other On-Road Motorcycles

Classic Motorcycles

These feature a tantalisingly vintage aesthetic, while keeping up-to-date with modern motorbike design and technology. Among them is the 494cc Harley Davidson Street 500, LAMS approved in NSW and Queensland, to name a few states.

Cruisers

Also known as choppers, these often also have an iconic design dating back to the 1950s. They’re designed to sit very low to the ground, which can make navigating corners and curves especially difficult for beginners. They have an exposed frame and no windshield, similar to Naked Bikes.

Off road bikes

Off road bikes, or dirt bikes, differ from the street bikes discussed above. The difference is in the tyres, which are designed to handle the changes in terrain that occur when you go off-road. As a result, they can be ridden through the dirt, bumpy and unsealed roads, and sand.

Keep in mind that unlike on-road motorcycles, many dirt bikes aren’t street legal - so are unable to be registered.

However, there are still popular dirt bikes available to learners. Enduro bikes are popular street-legal versions of motocross bikes, which are less commonly legal. For example both the KTM 500 EXC and KTM 690 Rally are LAMS approved.

Dual-Sport Bikes

If you’re looking to ride both on-road and off-road, dual-sport motorcycles (also known as dual-purpose bikes) are a good compromise. These are similar to Enduro bikes, but are more multi-functional.

What size motorbike can I ride on my learners?

Bike size

The size of any prospective motorcycle is one of the most important buying decisions. Often this depends on your own body size, including height and weight. Riding a bike that’s built too small or too large for your body can be uncomfortable and even dangerous.

Tall riders

For example, if you have a large build and are a 6-foot tall man, choosing a bike that’s more generously sized is going to feel more comfortable to sit on and ride. Also consider the type of motorcycle; as some will be more suited to you, such as a naked or sportstouring bike.

Shorter riders

If you’re a shorter rider, the bikes listed above are going to be less suitable to you. The seat height will be too high, and the saddle too wide to be comfortable.

Whenever you start your bike or get it moving at a green light, this can mean a long stretch down with your toes. This isn't just uncomfortable, it's also unsafe; as you should be able to place both feet firmly flat on the ground when your motorcycle is stopped. Cruisers may be more suitable for shorter riders.

CC and size

A motorcycle’s cc can often be an indicator of its size. For example, a 660cc motorcycle is going to be more supportive and comfortable for a larger rider than a 250cc bike - which was the old LAMS limit before 2008.

Also consider the motorcycle’s weight, centre of gravity, the steering head angle and how far you have to reach to grip the handlebars.

Bike weight

This affects how easy a motorcycle is to ride and manoeuvre. A bike that’s too heavy you’re going to feel the weight of it when you’re learning much more.

You may not feel the bike’s weight when you’re doing high speeds on the highway, but while navigating slow-moving traffic, or even pushing your bike into the garage. A heavy bike will soon be cumbersome, and can increase your chances of dropping your bike.

Price

You can get a LAMs bike for as little as $2, 500 (much cheaper than your standard car). However, for more multi-functional motorcycles, like a dual sports bike, you can easily pay around $10K.

You’ll need to also budget at least $1,000 for gear. This includes a helmet, a riding jacket and jeans, boots and gloves.

Should I buy a second hand motorbike?

While buying second hand is often cheaper (and you might be thinking your LAMS bike will be temporary), it’s not always worth it.

While you may initially snap up a bargain, second hand bikes have more mileage, and more potential issues requiring expensive mechanical work later down the track.

Second hand bikes also aren't protected by a warranty, like they would be if you bought from a motorcycle dealer. So if something does go wrong, you’re not protected under Australian Consumer Law.

If you do still decide to buy second hand, make sure you ask for a roadworthy license from the seller. If you take the vendor’s word for the quality or condition of the bike without proof.

Conclusion

Overall, there are plenty of things to consider when buying your first bike - consider your lifestyle, riding habits, what you prioritise in a motorcycle (for example, speed, comfort or on and-off road capability), your own weight and height for easier handling, and how much you're willing to spend.

Reading reviews before making a significant purchase can be helpful, so you can find a dream LAMS bike.

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