Riders and car enthusiasts have a few things in common; both of them feel a sense of pride whenever someone compliments their vehicles and when they simply look good riding them, the latter is especially true to esteemed owners of two-wheeled crotch rockets. The budget will always be at the top of every rider’s mind no matter how expensive or affordable their motorcycles are and saying that the prices vary for these machines is an utter understatement since the range of costs for motorcycles is just astonishingly wide. However, there are a few diamonds in the rough that are under $5,000 (about the same price as a brand new entry-level Rolex) that look like they cost more than double of what they go for.
Motorcycles also have numerous types that have different styles and characters and you just have to pick one that suits you and your needs best. If you want to ride through from state to state then maybe a scooter isn’t the one for you and if you wanna have some fun off-road, a sports bike shouldn’t be on your shortlist either. With this list, buying the best motorcycle for you won’t be that much of a chore nor burden. If you do decide to heed our suggestions then get ready to have some eyes staring your way as these will make you more appealing to gaze at. Aside from looking good, these pelvic girdle thingamabobs will put some wind in your hair and give you joy no other vehicle can match.
20 Suzuki GW250F
Priced at less than $4,500, the GW250F is a spectacular bargain! Its big bike looks will definitely turn some heads and those not in the know will think that it costs well over $10,000. Surprisingly, the many people who have tried this motorcycle out have reported it to be incredibly easy to ride on. Big features on a bike are a definite plus and they make it look more imposing out on the road. If by chance you are one to brag about the material things in life but don’t have deep pockets to show then the GW250F might just be the one for you.
19 Honda Rebel 300
It's absolutely no surprise that Honda keeps popping up on our list, they simply make brilliant motorcycles we can't say no to.
The Honda Rebel is in a class of its own, as its styling is very much different from that of the more popular CBR line.
We take it as a breath of fresh air if we're getting a bit tired of the superbike look. Not only does it look good, the 300cc engine packs a punch as well and it's sure to bring a smile to your face. The all-black look is the way to go if you want to seem more dashing.
18 KTM Duke 390
Another popular brand enters the list in the form of the KTM Duke 390, a relatively capable sports bike that can train beginners and can be used as a stepping stone towards bigger bikes with higher displacements. There are non-ABS models but you can buy a Duke 390 installed with an ABS for a few hundred dollars more, I’d say that the extra feature is worth the money but hey, to each his own. Its top speed is by no means impressive but the acceleration will surely put a smile on your face and the styling is contemporary.
17 BMW G310R
BMW has translated their expertise in making world-class automobiles into two-wheeled rockets and they've done an excellent job. Of course, to get the full experience, one would have to try riding the thousand cubic centimeter motors; however, the G310R will have to manage. This piece of art looks exceptional.
What's more surprising is even though the BMW badge would fool someone into thinking that the thing costs more than a brand new Toyota but nothing can be farther from the truth.
The blue and white propellers are a symbol of wealth in many countries, riding a motorcycle from a brand as prestigious as BMW will certainly up your status at face value.
16 Suzuki GSX250R
As the name reveals, it has a 248cc engine but they simply rounded it off to 250cc which everyone does to make the name more attractive. The sleek and stylish bodywork is one of the GSX250R’s biggest assets and rightfully so, the bike looks very aggressive and ready to bite someone’s face off. It’s jam-packed with other features as well such as a standard adjustable rear shock, a telescopic fork at the front, a comfortable seat even for riders who are on the short side, and new 17 inches 10-spoke wheels. Long rides will be a possibility for this one since it holds a 4-gallon tank capable of a 280-mile range.
15 Kawasaki Ninja 400
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 costs $4,999 which is only a single dollar shy of our maximum. You'll certainly get your money's worth with the Ninja. It's the perfect mix of performance and appearance in a relatively budget-friendly package.
The 400cc engine is no joke; it's tried and tested through years of consistent updates.
Putting down the power into the ground is a manual gearbox with a one-finger squeeze clutch so we do suggest learning how to operate manual transmissions on smaller bikes before moving on to the bigger displacements.
14 Yamaha Star V-Star 250
We have a lot of faith in Yamaha for bringing us yet another amazing motorcycle. For less than $4500, this is pretty much the best bang for your buck motorcycle. It certainly won’t be the most popular 250cc bike out there but it boasts of a low seat, amazing gas mileage (which we appreciate at the current oil prices), lightweight, and plenty of torque to work with during your daily commute. Though classified as a cruiser, it is quite small but is styled kind of like a big bike with dual exhausts and an ample amount of chrome.
13 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
Priced at just under $4,000, this Kawasaki work of art can be described by quite a number of words and “amazing” is definitely one of them. A 39 horsepower engine really doesn’t sound too intimidating but the power to weight ratio is nothing to scoff at. The manual gearbox of the Kawasaki Ninja 250R is respectable in its own right as the drive is very engaging for the rider as all manual gearboxes are. There is a wide variety of colours the 250R comes in and you can take your pick that matches your style. We’ve thrown around the word sleek a couple of times already, still, the Ninja 250R body is exactly that.
12 Honda CBR250R
The Honda CBR250R is a popular model in Honda’s fleet of vehicles since it offers great performance and striking appearances.
One would be fooled to think that it costs more than at least $10,000 to buy but in retrospect, the CBR 250R really does look like it’s punching above its weight when talking about looks.
Performance is decent as well, it’s common to see a group of enthusiast riders on CBR’s tearing up mountain roads and winding corners all around the globe. It has a distinctive presence and a refined style fit for a gentleman.
11 Yamaha XV535 Virago
The distinct V-twin air-cooled engine of the Virago is a beautiful thing to behold and we deeply appreciate Yamaha for keeping the engine visible for bystanders to see. One thing about the XV535 is it has chrome, a lot of it; in fact, so much so that you can even count the components on the bike that aren’t covered in chrome. Some people like to keep it fresh and modern, while on the other hand, some are hell-bent on keeping it old school. While the Virago is for the latter, its styling can be admirable even if you’re not into classic looking bikes.
10 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 EFI
The name is distinctly British; you don’t see a lot of motorcycles being made in the United Kingdom so that’s a plus. Its top speed of 87 miles per hour is a daring feat for such an open vehicle but it does pump a lot of adrenaline in our veins. The retro design is reminiscent of a time when there weren’t a lot of problems in the world. A certain type of people give value to things that were kept running for a long time and the Royal Enfield really does imitate a premillennial personality, a rare characteristic to find in bikes.
9 Yamaha YZF R3
Yamaha's Supersport YZF R3 is technically for beginners, a rather powerful motorcycle for beginners at that.
Along with Honda's CBR, it's quite a popular choice for intermediate riders and quick learners.
There's a reason why the R3 is common, that's because it's pretty much all you can ask for in a motorcycle and the expenses don't pile up that much. It's less intimidating than the more insane bikes out there but it would be foolish not to consider the R3 as a legitimate crotch rocket. The sporty touch is something all of us speed freaks appreciate deeply.
8 Suzuki TU250X
If the classic and timeless look is what you're going for then the Suzuki TU250X might just be the bike for you. It's easy to imagine a post-war marine riding one since it really embodies the 60's vibe some of us crave. The air-cooled engine gives off a raspy sound similar to what a Porsche 911 engine would sound like but smaller. Even though this Suzuki looks old, it's packed with modern technology to make your ride around town more comfortable and user-friendly. The retro personality only attracts sophisticated people, bear that in mind.
7 Suzuki Savage LS650
Though it is technically dubbed as a cruiser, its size isn’t that imposing that a smaller built person could easily topple over and break a leg or something. An engine displacement of 650cc is more than enough for some spirited driving and it could propel a heavy set grown man to cruising speeds along a highway in a comfortable fashion. The Savage LS650 would seem in its natural habitat outside a biker gang bar but that in and of itself is a clear reminder of how great this air-cooled Suzuki looks. It’s by no means imposing but contains the right amount of oomph.
6 Yamaha TW200
Most would argue that dirt bikes don't really endow the rider with the feeling of eating their breakfast with a golden spoon. However, the Yamaha TW200 begs to differ. People who know a thing or two about motorcycles will offer you a courteous nod or a tip of the hat when they see you riding this peculiar motorbike.
These people have the knowledge that riding such a refined dirt bike takes a lot of care and attention.
The same people will be at off-road trails, and, with your grippy tires, you’re capable of showing them how motocross is done.
5 Honda Shadow VT750 Ace
Produced from 1998 to 2003, this full-sized motorcycle has the proportions of a proper chopper and an engine to match. The massive 750cc engine sits plump under the gas tank and thanks to its lower profile, the center of gravity is closer to the ground as well. This makes the bike more manageable when at a stop which we’re sure our smaller comrades will appreciate. Honda builds bikes that stand the test of time and are aesthetically pleasing, a pair that goes hand in hand for the best motorcycle experience.
4 Honda GROM
Honda is one of the most prominent entities in the motorcycle industry has a thing or two up its sleeve when it comes to designing two-wheeled machines. Despite only having a single cylinder and 125cc, it is particularly useful if you’re only planning to use it in areas that have speed limits because you couldn’t go over the speed limit even if you wanted to. Whatever faults the GROM has, it definitely makes up for in a sleek looking body and amazing fuel efficiency. It has a noticeably smaller radius for wheels and that just means that you can park it anywhere and you can go through tight squeezes in traffic.
3 Vespa LX150
Without a doubt, Italians have singlehandedly influenced the whole world in terms of style; they dish out iconic design cues seemingly with every single year that passes. Not much can be said of the power and performance a Vespa is capable of; however, a timeless look that even the most prominent figures in our society instantly recognizes is a clear indication that a character who rides a Vespa is sophisticated, to say the least. Aside from the extremely desirable look, even the biggest motorcycle makers are guilty of trying to imitate, it can also hold a lot of stuff in its rather large compartments.
2 Aprilia Scarabeo 200
Out of the few scooters listed here, the Aprilia is the most powerful among them with a whopping 19 horses! All jokes aside though, it wouldn’t be right to treat the Scarabeo 200 as a mere Vespa knock-off for they are worlds apart. It arguably has better handling than its competition since it has a more rigid body compared to the Vespa and the Honda PCX, a feature its makers were proud to present. We wouldn’t be even surprised if we see someone like Donatella Versace or some similar character that has a sizeable bank account riding a stylish Scarabeo.
1 Honda PCX
It’s hard to resist a motorcycle that has a 12V AC adaptor for charging your phone while on your daily commute in all honesty. Along with that, you’ll have incomparable ease and convenience when going around the city. The Honda PCX is one of the most tolerant bikes for beginners as the automatic transmission is strikingly forgiving. Although it isn’t as original and iconic as the Vespa, the PCX can hold its own against other motorcycles in its segment. The slim body of it can allow you to slip through traffic and maneuver in tight parking lots that are common in large metropolitans lacking parking spaces.
Sources: PopularMechanics.com, MotorcycleNews.com, Yamaha