When I think starter motorcycle, I immediately think of street bikes, like the Honda CBR300R, but there are a number of dual-purpose motorcycles or adventure bikes out there that are perfectly suited for someone who wants to learn how to ride and lives in an environment the has both paved and unpaved roads.
One of the best small displacement adventure bikes out there in my option is the Yamaha TW200. The TW200 definitely isn't the only model out there like this, so make sure to check the offerings from other motorcycle manufactures as well.
The TW200 is a motorcycle with beefy front and rear tires, and a reliable 196cc single cylinder engine. Yamaha has been making this bike for a while now and it has a good reputation among people who use it as it's intended. I've had people complain about speed limitations, but that's silly, because that's not what this bike is for.
It's great for zooming around town, tooling down a trail or having a little fun off the beaten path. It's not a complicated bike, and it wouldn't take too much to maintain and learn how to handle. For all of those reasons, I think it's an excellent choice for a beginner.
Of course, if you're interested in doing some highway cruising, you should look elsewhere. That's not the TW200's forte, however, if you're interested in doing some off-road riding as well as around town riding, this thing will get the job done with no issues at all.
You can pick these motorcycles up for a few thousand bucks if you look hard enough. There aren't as many of these out there as, say, a Honda Rebel, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you shouldn't have too much of an issue.
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