Considering one can purchase a variety of new cars for the same figure, it can be difficult to justify the purchase of a new $20K-$30K motorcycle — especially if the bike isn’t being used for commuting, grocery-getting, and other daily around-town duties. Fortunately, the two-wheeled space has grown increasingly competitive over the last few years, with a slew of new motorcycles than can now be had for less than five figures.
While there’s no shortage of bikes being sold for under $10K, the reality is that these machines are seldom created equal, with some offering markedly better performance and bang-for-your-buck than others. With more than 300 sub-$10K models from which to currently choose, it can be difficult to sort through all the available options in order to hone in on the few standout offerings within this price point. So, with this in mind, we’ve broken down the segment to shine a light on the best new motorcycles for under $10,000. In addition to counting down our picks for the best sub-$10K scoots, we’ll also be delving into what to look for when shopping for a motorcycle and how to find the bike that’s right for you.
The Best New Motorcycles Under $10,000
Best Adventure Bike
Benelli TRK 502X
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
BMW F 900 R
Scrambler Ducati Icon Dark
Best Sport Bike
Best Electric Bike
CAKE Kalk INK&
Best Naked Bike
Indian Scout Bobber Sixty
- Show more
Moto Shopping 101
The Main Factors To Consider Then Buying A New Motorcycle
While there are dozens of factors one can take into account when shopping around for a new motorcycle, we’ve broken down half a dozen of the most pivotal to factor in when looking to buy a bike. Below, we’ll briefly delve into each of those six areas.
Style Of Bike: Motorcycles come in a wide variety of styles, making it well worth your while to explore the different genres that are on the market before pulling the trigger on your purchase. For more info on this, be sure to check out our guide to the different types of motorcycles.
Weight: Lighter motorcycles are markedly easier to control. As a result, it’s important to review the weight of a particular bike, as this will play a major role in how easy it is to pilot. While many new bikes feature reduced power modes, one still has to contend with the full weight of the bike regardless of what engine map is being used.
Engine: As the heart of the motorcycle, an engine is extremely important. When looking at this area, you’ll want to consider engine size (displacement), the number of cylinders, engine configuration, cooling system, cam setup, and power output.
Power: When coupled with a bike’s curb weight, a motorcycle’s power figures give a real-world idea of how it will perform, as well as how it stacks up against the competition. These numbers are conveyed via horsepower and torque figures — both of which are typically measured at the crankshaft.
Running Gear: While a bike’s speed and power are largely owed to the engine, its handling and braking capabilities mainly boil down to its running gear. This includes the chassis itself, as well as the front and rear suspension components, and the braking hardware.
Technology & Safety Features: Over the last few years, major manufacturers have been bestowing bikes with an impressive host of tech and safety features. This includes elements such as smartphone connectivity, onboard diagnostics, lean angle-sensitive antilock braking systems, and advanced launch, wheelie, slide, and traction control systems, just to name but a few.
Selecting A Steed
Finding The Moto That’s Right For you
There’s a myriad of factors one should use to help guide their search when shopping for a new motorcycle, however, there are two primary areas that should trump all others. The first of these two factors is your intended use, as this will help narrow down the type of bike that will be best for your intended riding applications (such as a cruiser for touring, an ADV bike for off-roading, a sport bike for track days, etc). The next main area to think about is your skill and experience level, as this will help dictate what size engine you should opt for. A good general rule when kicking off your riding career is to stay under the 500cc mark, as these machines will be much more forgiving and easier to learn on compared to full-sized cruisers or superbikes.
Benelli TRK 502X
- Offers outstanding bang for your buck
- Comes standard w/ host of off-roading parts
- Great suspension for the price
- Has 5.5” of travel & 8.6” of ground clearance
- Can be built out as upgraded, extremely-capable off-roader for under $10K in total
- High center of gravity
- Requires a few mods to unlock full off-road potential
Best Adventure Bike: As a fully-loaded mid-sized adventure bike with a roughly $7,000 MSRP, the Benelli TRK 502X offers some of the best bang for your buck of any ADV model currently in production. For seven grand, you get a half-liter twin-cylinder engine cranking out 47hpand 34ft-lbs of torque. Riding on an off-road-ready (19” F, 17” R) spoked wheel-set, the TRK 502X also boasts fully-adjustable suspension setup with a 50mm inverted fork and a rear monoshock affording 5.5” and 5.7” of travel, respectively. Add in 8.6” of ground clearance, modern ADV styling, a high-mount exhaust, and a suite of crash bars all as standard, and it should be abundantly clear why Benelli’s X-spec adventure bike earned a spot on this list.
Engine: Liquid-Cooled 500cc Parallel-Twin
Power: 46.9HP & 33.9FT-LBs
Curb Weight: 469.6LBs
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
- Affordable turnkey cafe racer w/ classic cafe style
- Powered by traditional parallel-twin
- Includes ABS-linked Brembo brakes & gas-charged shocks
- Constructed around Harris Performance-developed frame
- Doesn’t feature an inverted/USD fork
Best Retro-Inspired: Royal Enfield’s Continental GT 650 is a retro-inspired cafe racer with modern performance and reliability. Crafted around a double-cradle frame, the Continental GT 650 features a circular headlight, a knee-dented tank, a sweeping set of reverse cone-style chrome mufflers, rear-sets, and a pair of clip-ons that together afford a fairly relaxed riding position that still allows for a hunched-over “attack” stance in the corners. The immense popularity of this model has also given way to a host of available aftermarket parts and even a few transformative bolt-on kits.
Engine: Air & Oil-Cooled 648cc Parallel-Twin
Power: 47.6HP & 38.3FT-LBS
Curb Weight: 445.3LBS
BMW F 900 R
- Fantastic & affordable commuter bike
- Fitted w/ adjustable handlebars & seat (30” to 34”)
- Does 0-60 in 3.7 seconds
- Has adaptive LED headlight & connected TFT display
- Equipped w/ electronically-adjustable Dynamic ESA suspension
- Gear Shift Assist Pro feature allows for clutchless shifting
- Price quickly adds up when fitted w/ factory options & upgrades
- ABS is non-switchable
Best Roadster: The F 900 R is a sub-$10K BMW roadster with distinctive muscular styling, high-end running gear, and thoroughly modern performance capabilities. Tipping the scales at 465lbs at the curb, the F 900 R is kicked along by a water-cooled 895cc twin-cylinder engine that pumps out just under 100hp and 67ft-lbs of torque — figures that afford the Bavarian-built roadster a 125-mph top speed and a 0-60mph time of only 3.2 seconds. In typical BMW fashion, the F 900 R comes loaded with premium componentry and a robust suite of tech, including an inverted fork, a 12V socket, a 6.5” TFT display with BMW Motorrad Connectivity, adjustable hand brake and clutch levers, all-LED lighting, and multiple ride modes including a dedicated rain mode.
Engine: Liquid-Cooled 895cc Parallel-Twin
Power: 99HP & 67FT-LBS
Curb Weight: 465LBS
Scrambler Ducati Icon Dark
- Fantastic neo-retro style
- Offered w/ wide range of factory accessories
- Loaded w/ tech including TFT display, quick-shifter, & suite of rider aids
- Safety features include cornering ABS, traction control, & multiple ride modes
- Has extended 7,500-mile service intervals
- Finicky clutch/transmission
Best Standard: Modeled after the Italian marque’s original Scrambler motorcycles from the early 1960s, the revived version of the Ducati Scrambler was first launched in 2015 and now accounts for more than one-quarter of the Bologna brand’s overall sales. The only full-sized member of Ducati’s Scrambler family available for under $10,000, the Icon Dark-spec is a blacked-out version of the base model Scrambler Ducati that sports machine-finished aluminum belt covers, interchangeable aluminum side panels, a new flatter seat design, and blacked-out cylinder heads contrasted via brushed aluminum cooling fins. In addition to the new matte black livery, the Ducati also boasts dual-channel Bosch Cornering ABS, a Ducati Multimedia System-ready display with fuel and gear indicator levels, and a hydraulic clutch with an adjustable lever.
Engine: Air-Cooled 803cc L-Twin
Power: 73HP & 48.8FT-LBS
Curb Weight: 417LBS
- Engineered to be more practical, road-friendly sport bike
- Uses MT-07 parallel-twin wrapped in YZF-R6 bodywork
- Has top speed of nearly 140mph
- Wide range of available aftermarket upgrades
- Lacks power & acceleration of four-cylinder R6
Best Sport Bike: Sharing its name with a turn-of-the-millennium-era homologation special, Yamaha’s new YZF-R7 is an incredibly unique sports bike that actually makes for a fairly reasonable and practical commuter. The R7 is essentially just the Japanese moto brand’s MT-07, with the same chassis and CP2 twin-engine, only they’ve been dressed in the sleek MotoGP-inspired bodywork of Yamaha’s popular YZF-R6 — all while costing $3,200 less than the 600cc i4 supersport. On top of featuring a 3.5” TFT display, the R7 also gets an impressive suite of tech that includes a six-axis IMU-regulated slide, lift, and traction control systems that all work together — and collectively comprise a best-in-class control tech package.
Engine: Liquid-Cooled 689cc Parallel-Twin
Power: 72.4HP & 49.4FT-LBS
Curb Weight: 414LBS
CAKE Kalk INK&
- Sleek on/off-road-capable Swedish-made dual-sport
- Premium through & through
- Armed w/ over 185ft-lbs of torque
- Offers tremendous power-to-weight ratio & insanely fun riding experience
- Super nimble & flickable
- Incredibly light weight comes at cost of small battery w/ very limited range
Best Electric Bike: With a sub-140lb curb weight and more than 185ft-lbs of intently-accessible torque on tap, the CAKE Kalk INK& provides one of the most unique riding experiences on the planet. Like all INK-spec bikes from CAKE, this street-legal dual-sport features several downgraded components that allow for a more accessible MSRP. Kicked along by a 10-kW interior permanent magnet motor, the INK version of the Kalk& sports the same sleek design as the regular bike that has a blacked-out finish and lower-specced non-Öhlins suspension that now offers 7.87” of travel — versus the non-INK-spec’s 8.03”. Whether off-roading or commuting, the CAKE Kalk INK& is simply one of the most fun and thrill-enducing vehicles we’ve ever had the pleasure of piloting.
Engine: Interior Permanent Magnet Motor
Power: 13.4HP & 185.86FT-LBs
Curb Weight: 137LBs
- Modern naked take on Kawasaki Ninja superbike
- Incredibly smooth engine w/ gobs of usable power
- Comes w/ multiple power mode, traction control, & slipper clutch all as standard
- Tech includes smartphone connectivity & customizable sound tuning
- Also sold in SE-spec w/ Öhlins fork
- Aggressive appearance not for everyone
Best Naked Bike: In terms of dollar-for-dollar performance, it really is hard to beat Kawasaki’s Z900. Powered by a potent liquid-cooled 948cc inline-four, the Z900 puts down 113hp and just over 73ft-lbs of torque — figures that enable the 467-pound naked sportbike to achieve a top speed of over 150mph and the ability to reach 60mph from a complete standstill in only 3.1 seconds. What’s more, the Z900’s $9.2K MSRP also gets you a TFT display with connectivity to Kawasaki’s RIDEOLOGY app, high-performance suspension and braking packages, multiple power modes, antilock brakes, and a traction control system. In addition to the special 50th Anniversary Edition variant, Kawasaki also sells a top-of-the-line SE-spec Z900 for $10,699 that gains an Ohlins S45 monoshock, an upgraded fork, Brembo brakes, steel-braided lines, and a host of other noteworthy upgrades.
Engine: Liquid-Cooled 948cc Inline-Four
Power: 113HP & 73.1FT-LBS
Curb Weight: 467.5LBS
Indian Scout Bobber Sixty
- Offers stellar value
- Powered by modern liquid-cooled liter-sized V-Twin
- Made in America
- Incredibly conducive to customization
- New-rider friendly while powerful enough to allow for ample growth
- Would benefit from better rear suspension
- Uncomfortable stock seat
- Priced at just over $10,000
Best Cruiser: The new king of the entry-level cruiser class, Indian’s Scout Bobber Sixty offers a lot of performance and a lot of bike for just $9K. Built around a lightweight cast aluminum frame, Indian’s SBS gets a modern fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 60cu engine with blacked-out cases that’s mated to a five-speed transmission. The bike also takes a myriad of visual cues from the custom motorcycle scene such as its chopped rear fender, bobbed seat, dual-shotgun pipes, and side-mounted license plate holder. The non-ABS-spec base model also comes in a murdered out black-on-black livery.
Engine: Liquid-Cooled 61ci (1,000cc) DOHC 60° V-Twin
Horsepower: 78HP & 65FT-LBS
The Best New Motorcycles You Can Buy Under $5,000
Don’t have close to five figures to throw at a new bike right now? Then be sure to head over to our guide to the best new motorcycles you can buy under $5,000 for an accessibly-priced list of new-rider-friendly scoots.