The Top 10 Best Budget Motorcycles For You
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If you are looking to buy your first motorcycle or are looking to add another to your collection, you may be interested to know which models will give you the most bang for your buck. There are hundreds of options when looking into motorcycles to purchase. In this article we are going to dive into the top ten best budget new motorcycles for under $5000. These will be ranked based on the initial cost of the bike, the cost to maintain the bike, it’s reliability, and it’s performance.
If you are new to the world of motorcycles and are looking to buy your first, you will want to find yourself a good starter bike that will not break the bank. Fortunately, motorcycles are extremely affordable and there are tons of options that you can purchase for less than $5,000. Now, remember that most of these models will have smaller engines and less power. Even if you are just starting out, they are a great and safe way to get used to riding motorcycles around. Then when you are ready, you can trade-in for a big bike.
If you have got plenty of experience riding motorcycles and are looking to add another one to your arsenal, there are plenty that you can get for a great price. Whether you are looking to save some money on gas, have an easier time finding parking, or just enjoy riding motorcycles around, we will walk you through the best motorcycles out there to make this a reality.
Criteria For What Qualifies A Motorcycle To Be In The Category Of Best Budget Motorcycles
So first, we want to talk about what qualifies a motorcycle to be a part of the best budget motorcycles list. The first and most important thing that we are going to look at is the cost of buying the motorcycle. Obviously, a budget motorcycle has to be affordable.
Going hand in hand with this, is the value you are getting for that price. The motorcycle has to perform well for the price that you are paying. Particularly, we are looking at motorcycles for under $5,000. At that price, there is a huge spectrum of bikes with differing technology, aesthetics, and performance. Some bikes will offer great technology such as digital displays, anti-lock brakes, and adjustable suspension. Some bikes in this price range will not offer any of this.
The second thing that we are going to take a look at is the cost to maintain the vehicle. Different motorcycles can vary quite a bit in this aspect. Some motorcycles require much more maintenance to keep them running correctly. Depending on the bike, the cost of things that you need for this maintenance can be more expensive than others. We will keep the annual maintenance cost in mind as we look at what is the best budget motorcycle.
The third thing that we are going to look at is the reliability of the motorcycle. Certain motorcycle manufacturers are known for being very reliable and others for being unreliable. Likewise, certain models of these manufacturers are more reliable than others. We will keep this in mind while making our list. A cheap bike that frequently breaks down and costs lots of money to repair is not worth the money you spent on it.
The last thing that we are going to be looking at is the bike’s performance. This includes power, speed, handling, and comfort. We want to make sure that the bike does what it is designed for. This will vary somewhat depending on what the bike was designed for. Another big part of this is the aesthetics of the bike. For less than $5,000, you can still get a very nice-looking bike, but you can also get very basic and plain-looking bikes. We will take all of these different aspects into account throughout the article.
Top 10 Budget-Friendly Motorcycles And Their Qualifications
KTM Duke 200
The Duke series of bikes came into the market in 2013 and almost immediately took over the small-displacement premium bike market. After years of success, they released the 200. This motorcycle, while much smaller than some of it is larger family members, is still an outstanding bike, especially for a new rider. For only $3,999 you can get yourself a brand new one. These bikes also offer lots of great tech such as ABS Brembo brakes, liquid cooling, and an inverted WP fork, and mono-shock. If you are looking for a fun, great-looking, beginning bike for a great price, the KTM Duke 200 is exactly that.
This one squeaks in just under our $5,000 limit at $4,945. The BMW S1000R is a fantastic roadster and is actually what the G310R was originally based on. This bike comes with the legendary BMW “M Racing” paint option. It offers a ton of great perks such as tons of digital displays, aluminum wheels, and a great amount of power, for a bike at this price.
Kawasaki Ninja 400
This bike is a screaming deal. If you want to get as much performance as you possibly can for less than $5000, this is the bike for you. With 400cc, 50hp, and 30 ft-lbs of torque, this bike offers a great deal with a very affordable price tag.
This bike is a great medium for riders of every experience level. It also is a very fun bike for someone very experienced. These bikes are made to be taken to the track and ridden hard. 0-60 miles per hour in 4 seconds will put a smile on your face no matter how long you have been riding bikes. This bike also offers several other perks such as LED lights around the bike and bodywork all around it. If performance is your main concern, this is the best you can get for less than $5,000.
This is another great-performing bike that offers quite a bit of nice technology. With this bike, you get a bunch of cool add-ons that are not common in entry-level, small-displacement bikes. One of the coolest of which is the counterbalance shaft. This gets rid of vibrations and makes the bike extremely comfortable on long-distance rides. It also comes with ABS brakes, LED lights, and a chassis built for the track. This bike is a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck.
Yamaha V-Star 250
Our fifth bike on this list is the very best cruiser that you can find for this price. This bike is a screaming deal for what you are getting. This is a great bike for long road trips, commuting around town, and just about any other drive you could think of. Despite being a 250-cc engine, it has a V-Twin powertrain. It also gets exceptional gas mileage at 78 miles per gallon. This bike is hands down the best cruiser that you will find for the price as it comes in new at $4,499.
While many people may not be interested in minibikes, we just had to add this to the list. The main reason is that the price tag for a new bike like this is $2,749. That is an outstanding price for a new bike. For a minibike, this one also looks really good. It has an aggressive natural style to it. If price is your biggest concern, this may be the motorcycle for you.
This is a great all-around bike. It can be used as a commuter to and from work. It can be used for touring and long road trips. It also performs pretty well on the track. It offers a 321cc twin engine that is plenty for someone who is just learning how to ride or even for someone with little experience with riding a motorcycle. Another bonus of this bike is that it looks great. The styling and design match its larger displacement counterparts and gives it a great, yet aggressive look.
This is another outstanding bike that comes from Yamaha. This is an excellent, small-displacement, track bike. It is extremely light and very easy to handle. It offers a 321cc twin engine that provides plenty of power for the price. If you are interested in learning how to race on a track, this is a great bike to learn on. The weight and power are fantastic for learning. It will teach you how to lean hard on turns. It’s slim figure also makes it great for weaving through traffic. This has been one of the best budget bikes on the market for years. You will not go wrong with getting one of these.
Honda Rebel 300
You can get one of these for the low price of $4,499. This is a great bike for driving around town, long road trips, cruising down the canyon, or whatever you want. This bike actually shares an engine with the aforementioned Honda CB300R. The simplistic design of the motorcycle looks great. It is extremely comfy to ride in while cruising around. The height of the low seat really helps to make this possible. If you are looking for an affordable cruiser, this is a great deal.
SYM Wolf CR300i
This was the last bike to make our list. It is a pretty decent, all-around bike. You get a decent amount of power, a top speed of 85 mph, and even a two-year warranty that covers everything on the bike. This motorcycle also features digital instrumentation which helps to complete the look. This bike has come a very long way. In its very early days, it was not the prettiest. The bike has come a very long way because now, it looks and feels great. If you want a well-rounded café racer-style bike, this is another great choice.
Ranking Our Top 3 Choices
As we have seen, there are a ton of great bikes out there that you can get for very cheap. There are bikes in basically every class that you can find for less than $5,000, and brand new. If you need a cruiser, there are cruiser choices. If you want a café racer, there are plenty of options. If you are looking for a decent track bike, there are many varieties. many people are attracted to motorcycles due to their low cost. Now, let’s get into my top 3 bike choices.
Kawasaki Ninja 400
This is my number 1 bike out of all the ones we reviewed. This bike is an absolutely amazing deal. For less than $5,000, you have yourself a track-ready, 400cc bike that looks absolutely fantastic. There is no other bike available that offers this much for that little of a price. 400cc is still enough for a beginner to ride with but it will also please someone with more experience riding bigger bikes. Its lightweight, narrow body really provides some outstanding handling that few other bikes can compare to. Dollar for dollar, there is not another bike that even comes close to this one. That is exactly why we put this bike as the number 1 budget bike under $5,000.
This bike takes second place for many reasons. For a long time, this bike was known as the king of budget bikes. It offers great looks, decent performance, a lot of modern technology, and a great ride for a decent price. I would say that this bike was dethroned only by the Kawasaki Ninja 400. This bike is fantastic for a wide variety of things. It is an extremely comfortable bike if you are looking to go on a long road trip. Its sleek agile body also performs fairly well on a track. This is a very well-rounded bike for a great price.
This is another great deal for an excellent bike. With this, you get a very good sporty bike that offers plenty of power, without being intimidating to new riders. It offers an extremely comfortable ride with a very low seat height and excellent suspension. On top of that, you get an extremely aggressive, attractive-looking bike. It offers excellent technology like ABS brakes to keep you safe, digital displays, and aluminum wheels. All in all, It made our number 3 spot because it is such a great performing bike.
As you can see, there are a ton of fantastic bikes that you can get brand new for less than $5,000. These are just the ones that we thought were the top ten. There are tons more makes and models that you can get for this same and attractive price tag. We have highlighted our top choices. Now, it is up to you to decide what your preferences are and which bike will get you the most bang for your buck.
A Guide to Choosing and Budgeting for Your First Motorcycle
When shopping for your first motorcycle, there are many factors to consider, including your budget and costs, the make and model's features, whether you plan to purchase new or used and finding the best insurance. Learn more about the average costs of your new equipment, tips to help you choose and budget your new bike and what you need to get started as a new rider.
Costs Associated With Owning a Motorcycle
One of the largest considerations when buying a motorcycle is cost. For some, purchasing a motorcycle can be cheaper to own than a car. Before determining if owning a bike is the best option for you, it’s important to consider other relevant costs, such as safety gear, maintenance and purchasing either full coverage insurance or liability-only.
Average Motorcycle Cost Average cost for beginner motorcyclists: $5,000-$10,000 Average cost for experienced motorcyclists: $10,000-$35,000
These prices are based on average rates for motorcyclists. The actual cost of a motorcycle may differ depending on your needs and what you are looking for. Aside from the price of the bike, you should also consider what factors may influence the cost, such as motorcycle features, performance capabilities and purchasing a new versus a used bike.
FINDING AFFORDABLE OPTIONS Buying a motorcycle can be expensive, depending on your preference. By shopping around and determining what you need, you can find your ideal bike within your budget. Determine your goal. When shopping for the best motorcycle, it is important to know why you want one in the first place. Determine what your goal is — commuting, pleasure or weekend road trips — so you can search for the right model. A motorcycle best for commuting daily may be different from the one most suitable for leisure.
When shopping for the best motorcycle, it is important to know why you want one in the first place. Determine what your goal is — commuting, pleasure or weekend road trips — so you can search for the right model. A motorcycle best for commuting daily may be different from the one most suitable for leisure. Shop around. One of the best ways to find an affordable motorcycle is to shop around. Compare prices of bikes that are suitable for your needs and check the features that they offer. Narrow your list to the models you are most interested in.
One of the best ways to find an affordable motorcycle is to shop around. Compare prices of bikes that are suitable for your needs and check the features that they offer. Narrow your list to the models you are most interested in. Compare riding gear. Detail the riding gear you need by order of importance. For instance, a good helmet is a must. But a jacket may not be a priority. If you have a limited budget, choose to spend on the must-haves first.
Riding and Safety Gear
Average Cost of Riding and Safety Gear Helmets: $70 on average; can reach up to $300 Other required safety gear: average of $1,300
Motorcyclists need to have proper riding and safety gear. A helmet is something you can’t do without — it provides protection while you are on the road. On average, a helmet costs $70. But depending on the type and model, you may end up spending up to $300. Other riding gear you may consider are jackets, gloves and pants. These can be costly, so consider buying them later on if you have a tight budget.
STAYING SAFE ON A BUDGET Staying safe on the road is a must. However, it does not have to be costly. By sticking to the basics and your needs, you can get what you need while sticking to your budget. Choose the basics. If you are on a budget, prioritize safety gear. For instance, a full-face motorcycle helmet can be a safety necessity.. With different models available, you can opt for a basic, reliable version at a more affordable price.
If you are on a budget, prioritize safety gear. For instance, a full-face motorcycle helmet can be a safety necessity.. With different models available, you can opt for a basic, reliable version at a more affordable price. Prioritize your needs. Consider what type of riding gear you don’t need right around. For example, do you really need riding pants now? Or, could you buy them later when you have extra money?
Consider what type of riding gear you don’t need right around. For example, do you really need riding pants now? Or, could you buy them later when you have extra money? Shop around. Shopping around and comparing your options is the best way to find more affordable items.
Maintenance and Repairs
Average Cost of Maintenance and Repairs Motorcycle Maintenance: $1,000 per year
You need to make sure your bike is always in its best condition. Not only will it ensure that your motorcycle runs smoothly, it will help keep you safe on the road. To do this, you will have to ensure it gets proper maintenance, including service appointments and oil changes. On average, the cost of motorcycle maintenance is $1,000 a year. That can fluctuate depending on the condition and age of your motorcycle. For example, older models tend to need more repairs. If your motorcycle has incurred damages, you may need to pay more for repairs.
MAINTAINING YOUR MOTORCYCLE Motorcycle maintenance can be expensive and can further increase if there are necessary repairs. Knowing the best approach to motorcycle maintenance can help you save money. Keep your motorcycle in good condition. Ensuring that you get regular service maintenance on your motorcycle can help you save money in the long run. This also includes comprehensive annual reviews. This can help you ensure there aren’t damages that could lead to more expenses.
Ensuring that you get regular service maintenance on your motorcycle can help you save money in the long run. This also includes comprehensive annual reviews. This can help you ensure there aren’t damages that could lead to more expenses. Drive safely. Being a good driver and avoiding accidents can help you prevent expensive repairs.
Being a good driver and avoiding accidents can help you prevent expensive repairs. Do simple maintenance. If you have the knowledge, skills and necessary tools, consider conducting simple maintenance yourself. While you still need to pay for the fluids, filters and parts you may have to use, you are skipping on service charges.
Average Cost of Motorcycle Insurance Liability Only: $141 per year Full coverage: $364 per year
The cost of motorcycle insurance depends on individualized factors and location-specific considerations. Your age, gender and driving history can have an impact on how much your insurance premium would cost. Additionally, where you live can also affect the cost of your insurance. Likewise, the best motorcycle insurance will vary depending on your needs and circumstances.
FINDING THE BEST INSURANCE AT A FAIR PRICE Insurance providers consider several factors when calculating motorcycle insurance premiums. That is why the cost of insurance may vary per person. That said, there are ways for you to lower the cost. Consider the coverage level: Evaluate your needs as a driver. If you are only looking for basic protection in the event of an at-fault accident, a liability-only policy is your cheapest option. However, if you want wider coverage, getting comprehensive and collision insurance may be a better option for you.
Evaluate your needs as a driver. If you are only looking for basic protection in the event of an at-fault accident, a liability-only policy is your cheapest option. However, if you want wider coverage, getting comprehensive and collision insurance may be a better option for you. Shop around: Insurance companies offer different policy features and quotes. Compare prices from at least three insurance providers to get an idea as to how much your premiums would cost. Doing this can also help you find the cheapest insurance company.
Insurance companies offer different policy features and quotes. Compare prices from at least three insurance providers to get an idea as to how much your premiums would cost. Doing this can also help you find the cheapest insurance company. Check for discounts: Some insurance companies offer significant discounts. Find out if you qualify for any of them. Getting quotes regularly can also help you determine if you qualify for certain discounts as your circumstances change.
License and Riding Course
Average Cost of Riding Course License Application Fee: $30 Riding Course: $100
Depending on where you live, the cost of license application and riding courses may vary. On average, these cost $30 and $100, respectively. If you want to further improve your skills and become a safer driver, you can also take additional riding courses, for a fee.
BETTER RIDING EXPERIENCE While taking riding courses may seem like an unnecessary additional expense, it can help you save money over time. Find local courses: Some local organizations offer the most affordable riding training courses. Some motorcycle distributors or brand-sponsored clubs may also have riding programs that would reimburse part or all of the tuition fee the participant paid for.
Some local organizations offer the most affordable riding training courses. Some motorcycle distributors or brand-sponsored clubs may also have riding programs that would reimburse part or all of the tuition fee the participant paid for. Compare prices: Compare courses offered by different organizations. How much do each of them charge? What classes are included? Doing this will help you find the one that has the best course at a fair price.
Compare courses offered by different organizations. How much do each of them charge? What classes are included? Doing this will help you find the one that has the best course at a fair price. Check for insurance discounts: Some insurance providers offer significant discounts to riders who complete safety courses. Ask your insurer if they have the same program.
Average Cost of Fuel and Gas Fuel Cost: $300 per year
The average rider typically spends $300 per year on fuel. How you use your motorcycle and what model you are driving can affect the total cost you may need to spend. For instance, some motorcycles are more fuel-efficient. That means you can save money on gas. Someone who uses their motorcycle often also spends more on fuel than an individual who only takes their bike out occasionally.
SAVING ON FUEL Fuel can be one of the most expensive expenses a motorcycle rider has to prepare for. Making the right decisions can help you save some money. Choose a fuel-efficient model. Generally, choosing a smaller motorcycle may help you save money on fuel. If you plan on using your bike for your daily commute, consider getting a fuel-efficient model.
Generally, choosing a smaller motorcycle may help you save money on fuel. If you plan on using your bike for your daily commute, consider getting a fuel-efficient model. Maintain tire pressure. Check your tires regularly. Having low tire pressure can lead to higher fuel consumption due to the additional drag it causes.
Check your tires regularly. Having low tire pressure can lead to higher fuel consumption due to the additional drag it causes. Take care of your bike. Make sure your motorcycle is regularly maintenanced. That includes the cleaning of air filters, changing fuel filters, adjusting valves and replacing spark plugs. This upkeep can reduce friction as your motorcycle runs and keep it more fuel-efficient.
Budgeting for Your First Motorcycle
Keeping your budget in mind when buying your first motorcycle is essential. This will help you decide on what type of motorcycle to buy, what brand and where to purchase it. Aside from affordability, you should also consider what motorcycle model best fits your needs as a rider. There are different expenses involved in buying a motorcycle. Aside from the bike’s purchase price, you should also consider riding and safety gear, riding courses, maintenance costs, fuel and the average cost of motorcycle insurance. These factors can help you estimate your overall motorcycle budget. Keep the following in mind as you determine your budget costs.
Compare prices online The first thing you need to do is research various motorcycle models. You can review prices online to estimate how much it would cost to buy a new unit.
Determine whether you want a new or used motorcycle Some beginners choose to purchase a secondhand motorcycle because it’s cheaper. However, depending on the condition of the bike, you may end up with additional expenses to maintain it.
Go to reputable dealers Reliability is an important factor when purchasing a bike. If you are not an experienced mechanic, it is best to contact a reputable dealer to find the best models for you. They can also help you estimate how much your first motorcycle may cost.
Budget for your gears Determine the cost of the safety and riding gear you want to purchase. Then, add them to the budget calculation.
5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle
Choosing your first motorcycle can be time-consuming, especially with extensive options available. However, knowing what factors are important to you can help you determine which model fits your needs as a rider and is within your budget.
1 Your driving experience If you are a beginner motorcyclist, you are probably not used to the road challenges bikers face. Make sure you understand what skill level you’re at prior to purchasing your first bike. 2 Your needs as a rider Why do you need a motorcycle? Understanding why and what you need can help you determine what bike is good for you. Different models accommodate different types of riders. Remember to look for a bike that caters to your needs as a rider. 3 Your options Motorcycles have gone through many innovations throughout the years. Make sure the model you choose has features beneficial to you. Additionally, you should consider whether you need a brand-new or used bike. 4 Your ideal fit To ensure you can maintain the bike’s balance while on the road your bike must fit your body type well. Check if the bike is too heavy. You should also ensure that your feet can reach the foot pegs. 5 Your finances A motorcycle can be a huge expense. So, you have to make sure that you are ready financially. Prepare your budget and find a model that fits your financial criteria.
7 Ways to Save Money on Your Motorcycle
A motorcycle can be expensive, depending on the type and model. However, first-time buyers can save money on their bike by adopting certain practices. The following tips can help you save money on your motorcycle purchase.
1 Look for the best deals Some dealers and sellers offer deals to help buyers save money. Don’t jump on the first motorcycle you find. Instead, do your research. Ask dealers questions. Compare prices from multiple sellers. 2 Check online Sometimes, the best and cheapest bike gear can be found online. Consider looking for safety gear from online sellers. That said, you still need to ensure that you are getting good quality equipment. Aside from protecting you, quality riding gear can last a long time. 3 Find discounts Vendors may offer discounts and special promotions. Ask dealers and sellers what discounts they may offer to help you save on costs. 4 Choose the right motorcycle Buying the right bike can help you save money over time since you’ll likely keep it for a long time. When comparing bikes, consider engines, technology and features as well. 5 Drive efficiently By being a smart driver, you can save money on fuel. For instance, maintaining constant speeds is more gas efficient than when you accelerate rapidly and sporadically. Reducing riding weight can also keep your fuel consumption low. 6 Buy the right insurance The right motorcycle insurance can get you the best protection. This can help prevent large expenses in the event of a covered incident. Additionally, insuring your motorcycle with an affordable policy can help you save money over time. 7 Consider used bikes If you’re on a tight budget, consider purchasing a used motorcycle instead of buying a new one. This way, you can save on the bike price. However, make sure that the used bike you buy is in good condition.
What Kind of Motorcycle Should You Buy?
There are multiple types of motorcycles available. When choosing what kind you should buy, consider the models that fit your needs. You should also consider safety. Which is safest for riders like you? How experienced are you when it comes to driving a motorcycle? Understanding the different types of motorcycles can help you find the best option for your first bike. Generally, there are nine kinds of bikes. Each one fits a different kind of rider. When determining the right bike for you, consider how you will use it and ensure it fits your height and size.
Key Takeaways Best for: Weekend Travelers Most popular models: Harley-Davidson bikes and Indians Average cost: $5,000-$20,000+
As the name suggests, a cruiser is best for cruising. This type of motorcycle typically has a lower seat height. It allows the rider to carry small additional luggage. It’s typically best for weekend riding. It can travel long distances as well. For beginners, the best cruisers are those that are light- or medium-weight. It is important to note that cruisers are typically meant for lower speeds and stable power output.
Key Takeaways Best for: All-around driving needs Most popular models: Japanese bikes released from 1970 to 1982, Honda CB1100, Yamaha SR400, Ducati Monster and Kawasaki Versys Average cost: $5,000-$40,000+
The standard bike often has a simple design. It’s a rider favorite because it can serve various purposes. You can fit luggage, a different seat or a tank bag. It has a seat height that is usually in the shorter or middle range. That means, almost everyone, no matter body type, can sit comfortably on it.
Key Takeaways Best for: Long-distance drives Most popular models: Honda Goldwing, Yamaha Venture, Indian Roadmaster, Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Average cost: $10,000-$40,000+
Typically larger than other types of motorcycles, touring bikes offer large storage. Having large fairings help it block the wind and weather. Its engine size tends to be large as well, which means it can maintain highway speeds long. Its ergonomics allow riders to sit for hours. Depending on the model you choose, you can find a motorcycle with special features found in cars. These include GPS, navigation screens, electronic suspension, audio systems, Bluetooth and heated seats.
Key Takeaways Best for: Beginners and city driving Most popular models: Vespa and Piaggio models, Yamaha Majesty, Yamaha Vino and Honda Elite models Average cost: N/A
While some people do not consider scooters as real motorcycles, they are still considered bikes. While they are smaller than other motorcycles, scooters can get you around metropolitan areas. They are lightweight. They are also low on the ground. This allows riders to stay comfortably seated while going through city streets. Unlike other bikes, scooters tend to have limited storage which allows for only a few items.
Key Takeaways Best for: Speed Most popular models: Suzuki GSXR600, Yamaha YZF-R3, Ducati SuperSport, BMW S1000RR and Honda CB600RR Average cost: $5,000-$40,000+
Sport bikes offer speed, agility and horsepower. They are typically expensive. Most models that fall under this type are considered the fastest bikes. Aside from their horsepower, these motorcycles also have high-powered suspension systems and brakes. They tend to have the latest technology. These bikes are typically not ideal for beginners. Instead, they are suitable for individuals who enjoy racetracks and challenging roads.
Key Takeaways Best for: City driving Most popular models: Vespa LX 50 and TaoTao Titan 50, Average cost: $1,000-$3,000+
Many people mistake mopeds for scooters. While they may seem alike, these two types of motorcycles are different. Mopeds have lighter frames and smaller engines. Their design is the same as a bicycle. Unlike other bikes, mopeds have minimal to no storage. It also has no fairings to block wind and weather. A lot of people consider mopeds vintage. That is because there is limited access to this type of bike in the U.S.
Key Takeaways Best for: Off-road trails Most popular models: Kawasaki KLX110 Average cost: $8,000-$12,000
Off-road motorcycles are best for dirt trails. They have taller seats so that they can accommodate high suspension and bumps. They are typically lightweight. They typically don’t have lights and turn signals. That said, they can handle traversing steep hills and trails. Some off-road bikes also have a clutch-less design, making it easier on the hand.
Key Takeaways Best for: Quick weekend drives or long road trips Most popular models: Triumph Trophy, Ducati ST, Kawasaki Concours and Yamaha FJ1300 Average cost: $9,000-$15,000
Sport touring mixes sport and touring bikes. They have taller seats than touring motorcycles. They also have better luggage space than sport bikes. They are ideal for quick trips, but some models can handle longer drives. As for engine sizes, sport touring bikes tend to have mid-range engines. Depending on your choice, you may find a sport touring with GPS, shaft drive and other technology often found in cars.
Key Takeaways Best for: Rough terrains and distance riding Most popular models: BMW R1200GS, Suzuki DR-Z400S, Lightweight KTM 525EXC and Yamaha WR250R Average cost: $5,000-$10,000
Dual sport bikes are great for rough terrains. However, they are typically heavier than off-road bikes. Others may refer to this type of bike as a dual-purpose or adventure sport. Dual sports boast comfort similar to street bikes. But the seat height of dual sports is usually taller. Because of this, they can navigate off-beaten paths. Dual sports have limited storage options, but they allow the outfitting of extra luggage.
5 Tips for Choosing Your Motorcycle
While you are likely excited about buying your first motorcycle, it’s important to know how to find the right one for your needs. Understanding the different types is an essential step in the process. You also need to consider your needs and the features the motorcycle offers can also help you decide.
Consider your budget When choosing a motorcycle, your budget is one of your most important considerations. It will help you determine what type of motorcycle you can afford. Knowing your budget can help you determine if a new bike is your best option or if a used one is just as viable.
Check if it fits your height and weight Comfort is another thing you should consider. Make sure the motorcycle you choose is a good fit for you. Can you manage its weight? Do your arms reach the handlebars? Can your feet reach the foot pegs?
Determine your style Each motorcycle type has its charms. Find a style that defines and represents you. You should also give the bike a try before buying it. This way, you can gauge its functionality and practicality.
Look at the horsepower As a beginner, it’s important for you to check on the bike’s horsepower. Find out which is best for you based on your driving experience. For beginners, it is typically best to start with 600cc.
Determine whether you want customization Customization is something many riders want. If you are the same, ask vendors and dealers whether they offer this service. If they do, then you can decide on what features you want customized. Keep in mind that this can lead to more expense.
Expert Insight for New Riders
Motorcycle ownership comes with responsibilities and obligations. Industry experts share their insights to help you determine if purchasing a motorcycle is a good option for you. What do you think are the most important factors interested individuals should consider before purchasing a motorcycle? Do you have any tips to reduce motorcycle expenses? Any best practices that riders can apply? Margarette Stine Writer at 4WheelOnline READ ANSWERS Gary Durian Engineering Director for Technical Solutions at J.W. Speaker READ ANSWERS Andra DelMonico Automotive Content Marketing at AnDel Marketing READ ANSWERS
Looking for the best motorcycle model can be a bit overwhelming, especially with so many available options. The resources below can help you better understand motorcycle ownership and other relevant information that may be beneficial to you. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws: Learn about the Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws, their history, the effectiveness of using a helmet and the different issues surrounding the laws.
Choose your state and find out what the requirements are to get a motorcycle license.
J.D. Power-NADAguides: Compare the cost of motorcycles by type, make and model.
Kelley Blue Book: Select the make of the motorcycle you are interested in and find out how much it costs. Compare models using KBB’s tool.
Motorcycle Legal Foundation: Expand your knowledge of motorcycle laws in your state and compare how they may differ from other state laws.
Motorcycle Safety Foundation: Learn about the RiderCourse, a training course best for beginners. Find out what the course is all about and how it can help you become a safer motorcycle rider.
U.S. Department of Transportation: Access resources about motorcyclist safety and motorist awareness. You can also find tips on how you can be road-ready.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Get familiar with the regulations set for motorcycle emissions to prevent facing issues in the future.
The 10 Cheapest But Highest Quality Motorcycles Money Can
As hobbies go, motorcycling isn’t always the cheapest. The parts, the maintenance, the insurance, the registration… even the gear can make a hefty ding to your wallet. And that’s to say nothing of the cost of buying the motorcycle in the first place. But is it inevitable that your freedom to ride will come at the expense of your life savings? Not necessarily. Choose your motorcycle carefully, and that first big expense you make will be a lot smaller than you probably think. Fortunately, a cheap motorcycle doesn’t have to mean a poor-quality one. If you want to save on money without scrimping on style, these are the 10 cheapest but highest quality motorcycles money can buy.
10. YMCO K-Pipe
As notes, if you’re just getting into motorcycling, the YMCO K-Pipe could be the bike for you. It’s as novice-friendly as they come, with a semi-automatic clutch that’s a breeze to operate, a mild but not sleepy 123.7cc single-cylinder engine, and a lightweight, easy to manage frame. Looks-wise, it’s a beauty, with an exposed chassis, big 17 inch wheels, and an industrial vibe. A two-year factory warranty comes as standard for extra peace of mind. As for the price, you couldn’t ask for a better deal – expect to pay around $2,349 for the base model.
9. Honda Monkey
If you don’t need the speed of a big bike, a mini is an easy-to-manage, affordable option that offers plenty of fun at a minimal price. Although there’s no shortage of motorcycles within the category to consider, the Honda Monkey is one of the ones that most deserve your attention. Ranked by as one of the best motorcycles on the market for 2021, the Monkey features a classic, retro-inspired design, superb braking and power delivery, LED front and rear lights, and an approachable semi-automatic transmission. Despite the premium quality, it comes in at a very affordable $3899.
8. Kawasaki Z125 Pro
If you want an engaging rider experience but aren’t prepared to pay top dollar to get it, the Kawasaki Z125 Pro could be your ideal match. Small yet with a decent amount of power, it has the looks and the performance of a mini sport bike. Fuel efficiency and reliability are both top-notch, while the frame is lightweight enough to be managed by even the smallest and newest rider. Price-wise, it’s a delight – expect to pay around $3299 for the base model.
7. Cleveland Cycle Werks Hooligun
If you want a budget-friendly ride that comes with big thrills, take a look at the Cleveland Cycle Werks Hooligun. Available in a choice of 250cc and 450cc displacements, the Hooligun delivers plenty of accessible power and comes equipped with a bag of high-end goodies, including a six-speed transmission and a fuel-injected engine with outstanding fuel efficiency and top speeds of over 70 mph. The base price is an equally thrilling $3700.
6. Yamaha V-Star 250
For a small bike with a tiny price tag, the Yamaha V-Star 250 performs almost astonishingly well. As well as being capable of touring, its seat height and weight make it more than adept at whipping around the city at top speeds of over 85mph. Excellent fuel efficiency and a stylish, if unremarkable, aesthetic complete the $4449 package.
5. FB Mondial HPS 125
If you want a bike that’s easy on the eye and even easier on your wallet, the FB Mondial HPS 125 could be the chassis for you. Powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected DOHC single and boasting one of the most eye-catching designs to ever come out of the FB Mondial factory, it’s a superb addition to the entry-level market. Just as tempting as the looks and the performance is the price – expect to get away from the dealerships just $4512 poorer.
4. Aprilia SR Motard 50
The Aprilia SR Motard 50 is going to leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth if you’re expecting some big, burly thrill machine. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something small, lightweight, and guaranteed to get you from A to B without making a fuss about it, it’s perfect. Powered by an air-cooled, four-stroke single-cylinder engine, it offers accessible power that won’t blow your socks off, but will still do the job. It’s small, it’s sporty, and it’s perfect for teens and novices. Expect to part with just $2,199 for the privilege of getting your hands on one.
3. BMW G 310 R
BMW isn’t a name you’d expect to pop up on a ranking of cheap bikes, but even dependable German workhorses can occasionally surprise you. As Motor Illustrated notes, the BMW G 310 R is part of the brand’s Roadster line up, a series that’s rarely known to disappoint and certainly doesn’t here. With its stripped-back style, shiny black rims, and aggressive demeanor, it’s a looker. Thanks to a liquid-cooled, 313-cc single-cylinder engine, excellent fuel efficiency and lightweight frame, it’s not too shabby on the performance front either. The base price starts at a very affordable $4,945.
2. KTM 390 Duke
If you’ve just graduated from motorcycle safety school, the KTM 390 Duke is a great entry-level bike. Recommended by HiConsumption as one of the 8 best beginner motorcycles of 2021, it offers more fun for your dollar than just about any other bike in the category. High-end tech and a lightweight trellis frame ensure excellent safety and superb maneuverability. Despite the low displacement, it still packs enough of a punch to be a blast. The best part? For just $5500, it’s all yours.
1. Benelli TNT135
If you want a bike that’s good to look at, fun to ride, and cheap as chips to buy, look no further than the Benelli TNT135. It’s a mini bike, but a mini bike with an Italian twist and a sleek aggression that knocks socks of the completion. Like the rest of Benelli’s hyper-naked line-up, it’s been stripped down, paired back, and equipped with just the necessary amount of features to guarantee nimble city riding. But tasty though the aesthetic and performance are, it’s the price that really grabs our fancy – at just $2749, it’s one of the cheapest bikes on the market.