Motorcycling is an expensive hobby, especially when you start adding hidden costs like a proper helmet, riding gear, maintenance, tires, parts, aftermarket components, those which are initially left out while thinking about that dream bike.
While this continues to stay true for the most part, the technological advancement of the last decades has made it possible for manufacturers to offer budget friendly options and alternatives to some of their most cherished and highly expensive motorcycles.
There’s nothing more freeing than to roll on the throttle and chase those white lines on the asphalt to wherever that road may lead you. And there’s nothing better than to be able to do that on a budget.
That’s why we rounded up some of the finest and most affordable motorcycles you can get today. Here they are:
- 24. Benelli TNT135
- 23. Honda Grom
- 22. Honda Monkey
- 21. Honda CT 125 ABS
- 20. Yamaha TW200
- 19. Yamaha YZ250
- 18. Cleveland Cyclewerks Hooligun
- 17. FB Mondial HPS 125
- 16. KTM Duke 200
- 15. Suzuki Boulevard S40
- 14. Honda CB300R
- 13. Yamaha V-Star 250
- 12. Kawasaki Versys-X 300
- 11. BMW G310R
- 10. Honda Rebel 300
- 9. Suzuki TU250X
- 8. Royal Enfield Himalayan
- 7. Kawasaki KLR650
- 6. Suzuki V-Strom
- 5. Suzuki DR-Z400
- 4. Yamaha MT-03
- 3. Suzuki SV650
- 2. Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
- 1. Kawasaki Ninja 400
24. Benelli TNT135
The TNT135 is Benelli’s take on mini motorcycles, and we have to be honest, they did a really good job, especially with that price tag of about $2,750.
The bike is good looking, aggressive in its lines, and comes with an exotic dual pipe exhaust that will surely impress some bystanders. It looks like a streetfighter, or actually its kid.
23. Honda Grom
We continue our journey into the mini-bike section with the Honda Grom, which is the lightest motorcycle the Japanese manufacturer has ever built. Repeat this number several times in your head: 125 pounds.
Contrary to what you might expect when you first see the bike, it’s actually super fun to ride, and a joy to take it around the world – we meant to say neighborhood.
22. Honda Monkey
Now we get to the serious stuff, the Honda Monkey. You took it seriously, didn’t you? Well, you could, actually, because the Monkey is quite a capable little machine.
It’s powered by one of Honda’s greatest engines ever made, the air cooled 124.9cc SOHC single cylinder, and has quite a lot of fun tricks up its sleeve.
The price follows form and rises only to an affordable $4k, so there’s no reason not to buy yourself a specimen. Unless you want to go too far away and feel comfortable all the way there.
21. Honda CT 125 ABS
The Honda CT 125 ABS is a more serious little bike than the previous 3 we wrote about. And this time we mean it.
Based on the successful Cub range that started its story all the way back in 1958 and reached well over a million units in sales, the newly out Trail 125 Hunter Cub is a scrambler variant of the aforementioned.
It’s probably the most adventurous scooter or mini-bike, or whatever you want to call it, and it does its intended job wonderfully.
Just take your time and have some patience, because its top speed only reaches just a little bit above 50 mph. On the other hand, it’s one of the most fuel efficient bikes out there.
And probably the one to have in case, you know, zombies start to roam free on the city streets.
20. Yamaha TW200
One of the most affordable motorcycles in Yamaha’s lineup is the TW200, a unique type of bike ready to take over any kind of terrain.
Its distinctive design, with those fat and high traction tires, makes it stand out from the dual-sport motorcycles crowd. It’s powered by an air cooled and fuel injected 199cc thumper.
The biggest advantage of this bike, besides affordability, is the low seat height, that in the world of tall off-road ready machines feels like an oasis in the desert.
19. Yamaha YZ250
Speaking of off-road ready machines, the Yamaha YZ250 is a wonderful and high-performance choice that offers a great bang for the buck.
The model hasn’t changed much since its introduction in 1999, and that means only one thing. It’s a good motorcycle.
18. Cleveland Cyclewerks Hooligun
The Cleveland Cyclewerks Hooligun is unbelievably capable as a dual sport or supermoto, depending on your flavor of choice.
The liquid cooled and fuel injected 450cc SOHC single cylinder engine delivers good performance, and the price tag of only $3,700 some peace of mind.
17. FB Mondial HPS 125
With a neo cafe racer look, the FB Mondial HPS 125 is known as the “Hipster”.
Though it’s manufactured in China, it’s still a good overall motorcycle worthy of all those $4,500 you’d have to pay for it.
16. KTM Duke 200
The KTM Duke needs no introduction, but its 200 model may need a little bit of encouragement. And not because it doesn’t live up to the standards of its bigger 390 brothers, but because some people think it’s too small.
It may be, for some, but for the beginner rider on a budget, is almost perfect. And it also comes with enough of the latest and greatest tech borrowed from its more powerful siblings.
15. Suzuki Boulevard S40
A perfect cruiser for the beginner riders, the Suzuki Boulevard S40 comes with a manageable 652cc single cylinder engine that delivers 31 hp and weighs around 381 pounds wet.
The 28 inch seat height makes this motorcycle available to almost anyone, so short riders won’t have to fear not being able to reach the ground with their feet. And with a starting price of about $6,200, they won’t have to worry about robbing a bank to get it either.
14. Honda CB300R
Part of Honda’s Neo Sports Cafe revolution, the CB300R is the smallest of the Big Red’s modern day cafe racer lineup. But that doesn’t mean it’s not capable.
It’s got plenty of performance and high tech ready to impress any rider, and a price tag just short of $5,000 that will impress any rider’s wallet.
Features include a 41mm inverted fork, track derived steel chassis, LED lighting, ABS, and a good 30 horses for some fun on the road. It’s comfortable as well, so longer tours should pose no problem to the rider’s bottom.
13. Yamaha V-Star 250
The Yamaha V-Star is one of the most competent touring bikes out there, and the 250 model shows no sign of weakness.
It’s powered by an air cooled 249cc V-Twin, with plenty of juice to make it to 85 mph and do that comfortably. It’s the perfect bike for commuting and cruising around with a big grin on your face.
While some may dream of Harleys and Indians, the humble rider on a budget should get this one. It only costs around $4,500, and does the same thing as a $30,000 cruiser after all.
12. Kawasaki Versys-X 300
A relatively new and small entry on the adventure touring bike market, the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 is capable enough for what most people want. And since it weighs only 385 pounds, or 175 kg, it makes a lot more sense for off-road adventures than riding a big, heavy bike.
The smallest member of the Versys family may not pass other vehicles on the highway with ease, but highway riding is boring at best and usually best avoided on a motorcycle. If you love riding a bike on the highway, you probably don’t dream at an adventure bike anyway.
Also, keep in mind that you’ll probably want to install a skidplate for some serious off-road fun.
11. BMW G310R
Fast, performant, and affordable, the BMW G310R might is a good choice for the street rider. The liquid cooled 313cc single develops sufficient power to comfortably take you anywhere, and the tech package is impressive.
Inspired by the bigger S1000R brother, the G310R features upside down gold anodized forks, cast aluminum wheels, a good 30.9 inch seat height, and a multifunction digital display that shows fuel level and gear position indicators. The price rises to a little under the $5k mark.
10. Honda Rebel 300
The Honda Rebel 300 is one of Honda’s most approachable models. Its low seat and affordable cost makes it a perfect choice for the shorter rider with a shallow pocket.
It’s gentle and nimble, handles well, and reliable. If you get over the plastic parts that make it uglier than its older variants, there’s nothing to criticize on this bike.
9. Suzuki TU250X
For the fans of classic motorcycles, one of the most affordable and beautiful models on the market right now is the Suzuki TU250X. It’s a sight for sore eyes in an industry filled with sharp angles and futuristic designs.
The air cooled 249cc single cylinder engine has received the latest technological improvements, so you can expect reliability, fuel economy, and enough power to calmly take you anywhere.
8. Royal Enfield Himalayan
The Royal Enfield Himalayan is a horse for a different type of rider. An adventurer that wants an analog experience.
With its simple air cooled single cylinder, the Himalayan presents itself as a bare bones adventure motorcycle that’s ready to navigate harsh terrain and take a beating without complaining.
Though it lacks the power for fast road riding, it’s extremely capable off-road. It’s got its fair share of issues, but nothing so bad as to ruin the experience. There’s switchable dual-channel ABS, integrated skid plate, and a simple instrument cluster.
7. Kawasaki KLR650
The Kawasaki KLR650 has always been a favorite for those who want an almost indestructible bike that can do anything. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles.
It doesn’t excel, but it will never let you down. It’s no wonder many people take it around the world through the harshest environments. It’s a tried and true motorcycle that has been around for quite a while.
6. Suzuki V-Strom
For those who want a trusty and reliable touring motorcycle that can get them anywhere and don’t care if it’s the ugly duckling, the Suzuki V-Strom is the way to go.
Its reliable V-Twin is one of the best motorcycle engines ever produced, which is why the V-Strom has so many admirers. It’s the soul that matters, not the looks.
And the price, which rises to around $8,900 for the 2023 650cc versions, or goes even lower if you get a used one. Which makes more sense when you think about that super durable engine.
5. Suzuki DR-Z400
Another gem of the dual-sport world is the Suzuki DR-Z400. The DR bikes actually started the dual sport movement back in the ’90s, and the DR-Z400 is seen as the holy grail of dual sport motorcycles.
It’s ugly and almost indestructible, which is exactly what you want from such a bike, isn’t it? And an affordable price, speaking of which, for the 2022 model, it rises to around $7,000.
But if you find one on the used market, it’s worth considering, since it’s a bike that will probably outlive you.
4. Yamaha MT-03
The naked world couldn’t do without the Yamaha MT-03, a cheap and versatile naked bike that does a lot of things well, from daily commutes to touring and canyon riding and even performs well on the track.
And when you think it only costs $4,600 new, it’s hard not to consider buying it.
3. Suzuki SV650
For the untrained eye, the Suzuki SV650 may seem like a boring motorcycle that isn’t much fun. But go to any race track, and you’ll probably see quite a few SV650s there ready to go.
With a long manufacturing history, the SV650 has matured and is better than ever.
2. Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 is a new bike, but it has already proved itself. It’s powered by the same liquid cooled 373cc single that’s on the 390 Duke, but it looks a thousand times better. No offense, Duke.
The features are top notch, and the price of $5,000 makes it a steal.
1. Kawasaki Ninja 400
Everybody likes the Ninja. It’s one of the best superbikes out there, and it was obvious that Kawasaki needed to make an entry level and budget friendly variant as well.
That is the Ninja 400, powered by a 400cc parallel-twin that makes it a super capable entry level bike. With 50hp, a top speed of 125 mph, and a cost of only $5k, it’s no wonder why many rush to get it.
It’s forgiving and fun at the same time, with even seasoned riders preferring this as a track ready machine.
There you go. Some of the best and cheapest motorcycles on the market right now.
From adventure ready little beasts to track ready machines, there’s plenty of choices for those on a budget or just starting out fulfilling their motorcycling dreams.