Best Harley Davidson For Beginners (Voted By 100 Harley Riders)

We asked 100 Inspirational Harley Davidson owners to share their thoughts on the which is the best Harley Davidson motorcycle for beginners. The responses are amazing to say the least. I hope this helps you.

I recently set out on a quest to find out exactly which Harley Davidson motorcycle would be best suited for beginners – which includes myself.

So let me be honest. I’ve never owned a Harley Davidson, and to tell the truth, I never really understood them growing up. All I ever really thought about Harley’s is that they’re loud and annoying and I wasn’t sure why anyone would buy one.

Those thoughts were from over 20 years ago. I’m now reaching into my 30’s and I can definitely see the appeal in owning a Harley, but more than that, being a part of the community – something which I’ve only recently come to learn in the last few weeks.

I mean, let’s get real here. I’ve been searching Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and all the other social platforms, asking (feels more like harassing) Harley owners for their answers to a few simple questions.

Initially I was quite nervous to do this. I expected responses similar to what you might expect from Paul Teutul Sr. from Orange County Choppers – one of my favorite shows growing up. However, much to my surprise, each Harley rider that answered my list of questions was more than happy to be involved and help out by sharing their thoughts. Some of these short answers turned out to be impressive essays which you will see below.

This willingness to go above and beyond sacrificing a few minutes of precious time to answer my questions has given me an entirely new outlook towards the Harley Davidson rider and the Harley community. A community to which I am being pulled in closer and closer with each interaction.

The Question:

What Harley would you recommend for beginners just starting out? Why?

Before we get to the answers, I want to say thank you to all the guys and girls that helped make this happen. If you would like to participate, head over to this post which explains the 3 simple steps to getting involved, and also features some of the most AWESOME pictures AND stories from each and every single Harley rider that took a few minutes to share their thoughts.

As my way of “paying it forward”, I’ve embedded some of the most inspirational Instagram pictures chosen by the owners and riders whose answers you are about to read. Please give them a like and consider following these amazing humans and their two wheeled machines.

The Answers:

  1. Dyna Low Rider/Superglide. I know so many people that start out on Sportster’s and within 1 year they’re selling it to upgrade to a bigger bike. Why not just start with the bigger bike. The bike I learned to ride on was a raked out wide glide.

  2. I had an HD Sportster 883 and I think that was a great bike to get comfortable on, especially for a smaller rider. At 5’2” and 115 pounds, I needed to get used to maneuvering a motorcycle before I could go with something bigger.

  3. It should be a Harley that you feel comfortable on, that you can handle well, that is not too big, too high or too heavy! I prefer a Sportster (48 or Iron) or a Softail model to start with (Softail Slim)

  4. If living in America – a Sportster. Great style, character and customization options. In Australia we have awful laws and so the only Harley you can ride as a beginner (for two years) is the Street 500.

  5. Sportster especially, but it s not a rule, you can ride anything as long you are capable and calm.

  6. HD Sportster. The bike rides like a bicycle but lets you feel the spirit of Harley Davidson.
  7. That’s a difficult question. It depends on your needs. I owned a Sportster 883 are first but for my height it was too small and had less power. I think you should try them. Start with a Softail and maybe put on some crash bars when your a beginner. And maybe don’t buy a brand new one.


  1. Recent widow & Mom of 2 Adult Sons, alright I just turned 59. Anyway, I’ve always ridden on the back of a Harley, never attempted to drive one. Can’t ask my boys because I’d get lots of backlash. Anyway, I’m in good working condition for my old age, any suggestions for the right first bike?

    1. Hey Teresa! Love that you’re reaching out for advice. Definitely a good idea before getting into it. Check out this article we put up which will teach you a few things too look for before you buy a motorcycle and we’ve also suggested a few great options for lady riders. Hope it helps you and I wish you many happy safe miles!

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