As hobbies go, motorcycling isn’t always the cheapest. The parts, the maintenance, the insurance, the registration… even the gear can make a hefty ding to your wallet. And that’s to say nothing of the cost of buying the motorcycle in the first place. But is it inevitable that your freedom to ride will come at the expense of your life savings? Not necessarily. Choose your motorcycle carefully, and that first big expense you make will be a lot smaller than you probably think. Fortunately, a cheap motorcycle doesn’t have to mean a poor-quality one. If you want to save on money without scrimping on style, these are the 10 cheapest but highest quality motorcycles money can buy.
10. YMCO K-Pipe
As ChapMoto.com notes, if you’re just getting into motorcycling, the YMCO K-Pipe could be the bike for you. It’s as novice-friendly as they come, with a semi-automatic clutch that’s a breeze to operate, a mild but not sleepy 123.7cc single-cylinder engine, and a lightweight, easy to manage frame. Looks-wise, it’s a beauty, with an exposed chassis, big 17 inch wheels, and an industrial vibe. A two-year factory warranty comes as standard for extra peace of mind. As for the price, you couldn’t ask for a better deal – expect to pay around $2,349 for the base model.
9. Honda Monkey
If you don’t need the speed of a big bike, a mini is an easy-to-manage, affordable option that offers plenty of fun at a minimal price. Although there’s no shortage of motorcycles within the category to consider, the Honda Monkey is one of the ones that most deserve your attention. Ranked by popularmechanics.com as one of the best motorcycles on the market for 2021, the Monkey features a classic, retro-inspired design, superb braking and power delivery, LED front and rear lights, and an approachable semi-automatic transmission. Despite the premium quality, it comes in at a very affordable $3899.
8. Kawasaki Z125 Pro
If you want an engaging rider experience but aren’t prepared to pay top dollar to get it, the Kawasaki Z125 Pro could be your ideal match. Small yet with a decent amount of power, it has the looks and the performance of a mini sport bike. Fuel efficiency and reliability are both top-notch, while the frame is lightweight enough to be managed by even the smallest and newest rider. Price-wise, it’s a delight – expect to pay around $3299 for the base model.
7. Cleveland Cycle Werks Hooligun
If you want a budget-friendly ride that comes with big thrills, take a look at the Cleveland Cycle Werks Hooligun. Available in a choice of 250cc and 450cc displacements, the Hooligun delivers plenty of accessible power and comes equipped with a bag of high-end goodies, including a six-speed transmission and a fuel-injected engine with outstanding fuel efficiency and top speeds of over 70 mph. The base price is an equally thrilling $3700.
6. Yamaha V-Star 250
For a small bike with a tiny price tag, the Yamaha V-Star 250 performs almost astonishingly well. As well as being capable of touring, its seat height and weight make it more than adept at whipping around the city at top speeds of over 85mph. Excellent fuel efficiency and a stylish, if unremarkable, aesthetic complete the $4449 package.
5. FB Mondial HPS 125
If you want a bike that’s easy on the eye and even easier on your wallet, the FB Mondial HPS 125 could be the chassis for you. Powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected DOHC single and boasting one of the most eye-catching designs to ever come out of the FB Mondial factory, it’s a superb addition to the entry-level market. Just as tempting as the looks and the performance is the price – expect to get away from the dealerships just $4512 poorer.
4. Aprilia SR Motard 50
The Aprilia SR Motard 50 is going to leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth if you’re expecting some big, burly thrill machine. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something small, lightweight, and guaranteed to get you from A to B without making a fuss about it, it’s perfect. Powered by an air-cooled, four-stroke single-cylinder engine, it offers accessible power that won’t blow your socks off, but will still do the job. It’s small, it’s sporty, and it’s perfect for teens and novices. Expect to part with just $2,199 for the privilege of getting your hands on one.
3. BMW G 310 R
BMW isn’t a name you’d expect to pop up on a ranking of cheap bikes, but even dependable German workhorses can occasionally surprise you. As Motor Illustrated notes, the BMW G 310 R is part of the brand’s Roadster line up, a series that’s rarely known to disappoint and certainly doesn’t here. With its stripped-back style, shiny black rims, and aggressive demeanor, it’s a looker. Thanks to a liquid-cooled, 313-cc single-cylinder engine, excellent fuel efficiency and lightweight frame, it’s not too shabby on the performance front either. The base price starts at a very affordable $4,945.
2. KTM 390 Duke
If you’ve just graduated from motorcycle safety school, the KTM 390 Duke is a great entry-level bike. Recommended by HiConsumption as one of the 8 best beginner motorcycles of 2021, it offers more fun for your dollar than just about any other bike in the category. High-end tech and a lightweight trellis frame ensure excellent safety and superb maneuverability. Despite the low displacement, it still packs enough of a punch to be a blast. The best part? For just $5500, it’s all yours.
1. Benelli TNT135
If you want a bike that’s good to look at, fun to ride, and cheap as chips to buy, look no further than the Benelli TNT135. It’s a mini bike, but a mini bike with an Italian twist and a sleek aggression that knocks socks of the completion. Like the rest of Benelli’s hyper-naked line-up, it’s been stripped down, paired back, and equipped with just the necessary amount of features to guarantee nimble city riding. But tasty though the aesthetic and performance are, it’s the price that really grabs our fancy – at just $2749, it’s one of the cheapest bikes on the market.