When you turn 16 you’re able to drive a 50cc motorcycle. You won’t be riding one for long because passing the CBT, which you’ll need to be able to do so, kick-starts the timer on when you need to take the full bike test. But that doesn’t mean you need to settle for a bad bike during this time, and Bikesure is here to take a look at some of the best motorcycles for 16 year olds.
While anyone looking for a 50cc scooter is spoiled for choice, as you can see from our guide to 50cc scooters, the number of motorcycles with this engine size is far smaller. Scooters are generally perceived as safer for beginners, and as there is a limited window of time when you can only drive a 50cc bike most people choose the cheapest option. That aside, there are still some interesting picks out there.
7 best motorcycles for 16 year-olds
Lexmoto’s 50cc’s are both solid, affordable choices for young riders. £1250 for the modern styled Aspire or £1099 for the more classic look of the Hunter is not bad for a solid but unflashy beginner’s bike. It’s this price point that has made the Aspire the best-selling 50cc motorcycle in the UK in recent years
For 2020, Lexmoto are also offering the Cypher, an electric motorcycle equivalent to 50cc. The £1850 price tag is obviously more, but it’s still one of the cheapest electric bikes and if you’re just after something for short journeys it could well last you longer than an equivalent internal combustion bike.
AJS JSM 50
AJS’s 50cc offering is a sporty, 2-stroke dirt bike with a vibrant design that will definitely pass a lot of 16 year old’s “cool test”. At £2300 it’s not going to be everyone’s choice, but if it’s yours then you should get a lot of enjoyment from that money.
The Spanish manufacturer has one of the largest ranges of 50cc bikes, but they are also pretty pricey. Their cheapest model, the MRT 50LC, goes for £2900 with a deluxe version for £3600 for the true heads. De-restriction kits are available for them, which will give them a longer lifespan once you’ve passed your test and perhaps help to justify the initial cost more.
Bullit’s 50cc range includes the £2500 Hero, which has a rather appealing retro-modern design. They also offer the Heritage 50cc monkey bike for £1500, which might be a good choice for the less tall. It does have a very distinctive, non-traditional look though, so it won’t appeal to everyone.
This compact bike has an interesting chunky silhouette, and its short wheelbase gives it great agility making it a perfect beginner’s vehicle. At £1500, it’s a good choice if you’re after something with a lot of personality. Like Lexmoto, WK have launched an electric version, the e-colt, for £1899.
Currently owned by Piaggio group, this Spanish brand has been in existence since 1922 and specialise in 50cc motorcycles. In that, that’s all they make. The Derbi Senda range is available in supermotard and enduro variations, with the road going supermotard available in four different colour schemes. You’ll need a minimum of £2,800 to get one, with some versions costing slightly more so it’s not ideal for anyone on a tight budget.
Unbeaten world champion in the “bike most 16 year-olds would pick if money was no object” category for many years running, the RS50 is £4000 and then some’s worth of finely tuned 50cc sports bike. Now, highly desirable bikes like this can often be picked up second hand, but given their target market you should take extra care in checking them before you buy to avoid taking on something that needs constant repairs because of previous dings, hard riding and accidents it’s been involved in.
More Bikesure buying tips for young bikers
Bikesure’s guide to buying mopeds has lots of great tips that are applicable here to make sure you’re not buying a lemon.
As you can see, you’re not particularly spoiled for choice at the moment, but there are some great machines out there. The arrival of competitively priced electric bikes into this arena is interesting and we could well be seeing more of this kind of thing soon.
While low-powered petrol bikes don’t necessarily make sense for most people, they could be an ideal solution for people looking for socially distanced urban travel. If this is the case, there could be more reasonably priced electric bikes suitable for teenagers coming onto the market.