9. Kawasaki Ninja 300

Kawasaki Ninja 300

When Kawasaki’s entry-level motorcycle, the Ninja 250, grew in displacement to become the Ninja 300, suddenly the doors opened to a range of riders who were yearning for something more powerful than a 250 but weren’t yet ready for a middleweight.

Besides the bump in power, the Ninja 300 also appeals because of its relatively benign 30.9-inch seat height, which is downright short in sportbike terms. Its low saddle, light weight and modest power make it an ideal motorcycle for a beginner looking to move up the sport bike ranks.