If you've earned your stripes on a 250cc but are ready for something with a bit more heft, 300cc motorcycles are ideal. The category is filled with some very solid options that deliver speed and fun by the mile, but that are still manageable and approachable enough not to intimate newbies.
Best of all, there are enough varieties of 300cc bikes around (sportbikes, adventure motorcycles, naked, etc) to suit fans of any genre. If you're not sure which option to choose, take a look at these beauties on our list of the 10 best 300cc motorcycles money can buy.
10. KTM RC390
Ever since its debut, the KTM RC390 has enjoyed immense popularity. Its responsive single-cylinder engine produces a respectable 44bhp, but is light enough to make it a great option for novice riders.
The 820mm seat provides a decent amount of legroom, while the fuel efficiency can't be complained about. If you're looking for a lightweight, easy-to-handle motorcycle that handles the daily commute just as well as longer rides, it's an awesome choice.
9. Kawasaki Ninja 300
Ranked by Hot Cars as one of the fastest 300cc motorcycles around, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 is no ordinary 300cc motorcycle. Back in the day, 300cc bikes were little more than hyped-up mopeds. If they could get past 80 mph, it'd be a minor miracle.
Motorcycles like the Kawasaki Ninja 300 changed that. Sure, it's as easy to handle in traffic as you'd expect of a 300cc, but it delivers enough speed and performance to please advanced riders as much as new ones.
Its lightweight frame and adjustable seat make it a comfortable, easy-to-ride option. The design is classic enough to appeal to most tastes. Overall, it's a great bike with a great price point and an equally great combination of performance and utility.
8. Sinnis Terrain 380
The Sinnis Terrain 380 might be one of the newest entries to the category, but it's already winning a lot of attention. Released this year as an accompaniment to the equally applause-worthy Sinnis Terrain T125, the Sinnis Terrain 380 is a great step up for riders who've already tested their mettle on entry-level bikes and are now looking to dial things up a notch.
Its 8-valve liquid-cooled parallel-twin and six-speed gearbox combine to create an adventure bike that's good to go long after the tarmac ends. A seat height of 820mm gives plenty of leg room, while the lightweight frame keeps things manageable. As mid-sized adventure bikes with attainable price points go, it's hard to beat.
7. Yamaha R3
The Yamaha R3 is a great little all-rounder with personality and charm to spare. Ranked by motorcycle.com as one of the best 300cc motorcycles on the market, the R3 marks Yamaha's first stab at the entry-level market.
As first attempts go, you couldn't ask for better. Blessed with the same classic stylings as the R6 and R1, the R3 is a great-looking bike with a host of goodies. The price is just as attractive as everything else: expect to pay no more than around $4,999 for the base model.
6. Yamaha MT-03
As one of the fastest 300cc bikes on the road, the Yamaha MT-03 is perfect for riders who yearn for speed. Its lightweight frame has been stripped of all unnecessary additions, creating a hyper-naked motorcycle that's perfect for city riding.
The twin-cylinder engine, which trots out 41 horsepower, is responsive and gentle enough to ensure excellent power control. Visually, it's a head-turner, with a bold face and sleek, sharp lines. If you're looking for a daily commuter that's ideal for novices yet still delivers plenty of fun for more experienced riders, it's a dream.
5. Honda CB300R
Honda has a great range of 300cc and under motorcycles, with the CB300R being one of the most popular. Its retro styling might be ideal for fans of the old school look, but its fittings and features are resolutely 21st century.
An upgraded Showa shock, 41mm inverted fork, and radial-mount brake calipers all combine to create a bike that delivers superb performance and a supremely comfortable ride.
The absence of unnecessary bodywork keeps things lightweight and manageable. Described by Honda as a 'stepping stone bike' for those looking to progress from a 125 without making too much of a leap in terms of power or capacity, the CB300R is a ton of fun with a very attractive price point of just $4,699.
4. Kawasaki Versys-X 300
Named by MPW as one of the best 300cc motorcycles for 2021, the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 is a great option for riders looking for a motorcycle that can tour, commute, and even manage a bit of off-roading when the occasion calls.
The balanced parallel-twin 296cc engine with 39bhp and 19 ft-lb of torque delivers smooth, controllable power that hits in gently. For riders looking for an adventure bike that's small and easy to learn on (not to mention incredibly priced at just $5,399), it makes an excellent option.
3. Honda Rebel 300
Ranked by RX Riders Place as one of the best 300cc motorcycles on the road, the Honda Rebel 300 is an excellent choice for new riders looking to progress beyond entry-level 125cc bikes. The engine delivers smooth, easy-to-control power with up to 27 bhp.
Adding to the performance is a 6-speed transmission and hydraulic disc brakes with very handy antilock technology. Small and approachable yet capable of delivering plenty of fun, the Rebel 300 makes a great choice for newbies. Prices start at a very reasonable $4,749.
2. KTM 390 Duke
With its lightweight frame, its superb stability, and its manageable power delivery, the KTM 390 Duke is understandably one of the most popular 300cc motorcycles around. Its single-cylinder, 4-stroke engine delivers precise, easy-to-control power and impressive top speeds of 104mph.
A 32.7-inch seat offers enough legroom to be comfortable, while still letting you put a foot down where necessary. Weighing just 149 kg wet, the 390's featherweight appeal and outstanding, manageable performance are ideal for newer riders.
The torquey engine, TFT display, three-way switchable ABS, WP suspension, and bold aesthetic, meanwhile, are guaranteed to please just about anyone.
1. BMW G310GS
A motorcycle that carries the GS legend has a lot to live up to. Fortunately, the BMW G310GS does it with style. As well as offering a very attainable entry point into the world of BMW, the bike's suitability as a tourer, a commuter, and even an offroader makes it a solid option for riders looking for an adventure bike to learn on.
Its long-distance ability is topnotch, as is its very impressive top speed of 105mph. It may not have the power or speed of beasts like the S1000RR and R nineT, but it's blessed with the same quality and the same old good looks. If you're looking for a safe, affordable way of getting on the BMW bandwagon, it's a no-brainer.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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