There is nothing more capable of putting butterflies in your stomach than the prospect of purchasing a new motorcycle. From young to old, heading down to your local dealership and picking up a factory fresh bike can be the joy of a lifetime, but finding the best bike that fits your budget is not always the easiest task.
Depending on what type of motorcycle you are interested in pursuing, there are numerous manufacturers from various countries offering a wide range of options and variants to suit the needs of most riders. For those looking to not break the bank on their new machine, these manufacturers are competing more feverishly than ever for this entry level buyer’s dollars, so the motorcycles available are packed full of features and reliability that you might not find on older used models. If your budget has you limited, take a look at our top picks for the best motorcycles under $5,000 to find out what is the perfect new ride for you.
Honda Rebel 300
The bruiser cruiser
Honda has always been known for offering high quality machines that run for a lifetime at an affordable price, and their Rebel 300 delivers on both of those points in spades. With decades of experience catering to the entry level riders, this new iteration on the long running Rebel line of small displacement cruisers lives up to the winged brand’s promise that you’ll meet the nicest people on a Honda. Riser bars and forward foot controls provide a relaxed riding posture, while the peppy single cylinder provides enough low end torque to have this junior cruiser barking like the big dogs. But unlike traditional American iron, the Rebel 300 is liquid cooled, so you’ll never have to worry about losing your cool if the wheels stop rotating. If you are looking for the perfect entry level bike that puts your feet out front, your hands up high, and your bank account out of the red, the Honda Rebel 300 is the perfect new bike for you.
Engine: 286cc Single Cylinder
Colors: Red, Blue, Black, Silver
The dirty bird
For those that think the two wheeled adventure only starts to get good once you reach the end of the highway, the Suzuki DR200S is the dual sport you have been waiting for. A shrunken down version of the Japanese brand’s hugely popular large displacement off-road romper, the DR200S is packed full of all the essentials you will need to have a great time once the going gets rough. Oil dampened coil spring suspension cushions the ride both front and rear, borrowing tech from Suzuki’s RM-Z performance lineup, while an electric starter makes sure you’ll never be left kicking when you stall on the backwoods trails. A front mounted disc brake provides the stopping power while a drum brake on the rear gets the bike slowed, though the docile single cylinder pretty much ensures you’ll never get too wild on the trail. If you are into crunching a little sand between your teeth during your ride but not over committed to the terra firma feeling, the Suzuki DR200S is going to be a superlative selection.
Category: Dual Sport
Engine: 199cc Single Cylinder
Colors: Yellow, White
BMW G 310 R
The utility knife
Though BMW has long recognized for their flat twin cylinder boxster style motors, the German manufacturer is not one to miss out on the small displacement fun as their G 310 R proves with flying colors. An upright posture is fostered by a riser set of moto style handlebars and mid mounted foot controls, making this a standard by definition, but the little Beemer has a ton of sport in its soul. Like all other members of the BMW family, high performance components abound on the baby Bavarian. Inverted forks soak up the bumps up front while an ABS system makes sure the cast aluminum wheels never clamp too tightly, both features you won’t see on any other bike on the list. For those that want to get what is possibly the most versatile little city bike on the market, and likely the most bang for your buck of bikes we have gathered, the BMW G 310 R will be the ideal addition to your home stable.
Engine: 313cc Single Cylinder
Colors: White, Blue, Black
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 EFI
The sophistic sled
For those of you that have never heard of the British bike maker Royal Enfield, let their Bullet 500 EFI be the lovely introduction to one of the longest running motorcycle manufacturers on the planet. Sticking to the heritage that the brand has been built on since 1901, the Bullet 500 is a no-frills standard that is going to get the job done for a very long time. As the name implies, this half liter employs an electronic fuel injection system as opposed to a mechanical carburetor to prime the single cylinder, giving updated life to the relic powertrain. Adjustable rear suspension allows for dialing in the perfect ride characteristics, while dual disc brakes on the front wheel supply ample stopping power when needed. The classic two up saddle provides plenty of comfort for a passenger while the five speed transmission ensures you’ll have enough juice to get two healthy adults up to pace. If a classic look is as important to you as having two wheels and a set of handlebars, then the Royal Enfield Bullet 500 EFI is going to be the retro ride of your dreams.
Engine: 499cc Single Cylinder
Colors: Black, Green
The track star
Not all affordable bikes need to be slouches, slags, or simpletons, as those that yearn for high performance machines will get exactly what they are looking for in the Yamaha YZF-R3. Following in the fabled footsteps of its racing forefathers, the R3 gets heaps of hand-me-down technology that make this the most capable sport bike for the price. The twin cylinder, fuel injected power plant pushes high RPM performance through its forged aluminum pistons, a feature seen on the elder super sports offered by the tuning fork branded manufacturer. Disc brakes front and rear provide excellent stopping power and adjustable suspension allows you to dial in the preload resistance, both features you will enjoy as you start to push the limits of the entry level racer. For those that aspire to be the next Rossi of the the neighborhood roadways, the Yamaha YZF-R3 is going to be the bike that rockets you to the top of the bush league podiums.
Engine: 321cc Inline Twin Cylinder
Colors: Blue, Black
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MOTORCYCLE TYPES
Not sure exactly what kind of bike is going to be the best fit for you? Have a look at our guide to the types of motorcycles to find out what saddle style is supreme.