- These 10 motorcycles are affordable, stylish and fun.
- All ten of these bikes cost less than $7,500, freight and delivery charges excluded.
This is it. This is the summer we’ve decided to drop a hard-earned lump of cash on a motorcycle, and we want to ride to forget this depressing COVID-19 pandemic. However, said lump might not be that big, or maybe we’re just trying to save some dough for rainy days. In any case, here are ten cheap motorcycles to consider for 2020.
Now, we didn’t just choose the most affordable bikes on the market—that would be pointless. We looked at all the mainstream brands that do business in Canada, and sifted through the plethora of model to find various types of cheap motorcycles everyone can enjoy. And when we say cheap, we mean affordable, not, well, cheap.
The following list includes bikes of different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they all cost less than $7,500, freight and delivery charges excluded. Here goes, in alphabetical order.
2020 Aprilia SR Motard 50
USA MSRP: $2,199
Canada MSRP: $2,645
There aren’t many 50-cc scooters on the market anymore, which is a shame, because it’s a great for teenagers and adults alike to get around town without spending a fortune on payments and fuel. The Aprilia SR Motard 50 is the lowest-priced model on our cheap motorcycles list, and it undercuts well-established rivals like the Honda Ruckus by several hundred dollars. It’s powered by an air-cooled, four-stroke single cylinder engine, it’s equipped with 14-inch wheels and boasts disc brakes front and rear. Also, it looks resolutely sporty, and teens won’t settle for a “cute” scooter, so that’s good.
2020 BMW G 310 R
USA MSRP: $4,945
Canada MSRP: $5,500
Wait, what? A BMW on a list of cheap motorcycles? Absolutely.
The G 310 R is part of the German brand’s line of Roadster bikes, and it’s pretty hot with its minimalist set of fairings, its black rims and shiny mechanical bits. Its liquid-cooled, 313-cc single-cylinder engine develops 34 horsepower and provides a fuel consumption rating of 71 MPG (3.3 L/100 km), which isn’t too shabby. It also has a dry weight of 353 lbs. (160 kg), so it’s light and agile, too. With the BMW G 310 R, we can ride on a budget without looking the part.
2020 Harley-Davidson Street 500 / Street 750
USA MSRP: $7,599 (Street 750)
Canada MSRP: $6,999 (Street 500)
Sure, it’s the most expensive bike on this top 10 list of cheap motorcycles for 2020, but are a Harley that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is definitely worth our consideration. In Canada, the Street 500 was “built to shred the city streets,” according to the American brand, and it features a liquid-cooled 494-cc V-twin engine that delivers 30 pound-feet of torque and a fuel economy rating of 3.6 L/100 km. In the U.S., the Street 500 isn’t available, but the Street 750’s slightly bigger engine develops 43.5 pound-feet of torque and provides up to 55 MPG.
Weighing in at 492 lbs. (223 kg), The Street 500/750 is also a bike that’s easy to handle. And since it’s a Harley, it’s got that sinister look with its blacked-out trim and rims, and only a touch or two of chrome trim.
2020 Honda Grom
USA MSRP: $3,399
Canada MSRP: $3,699
This pipsqueak may seem a little costly compared to more conventional models on this cheap motorcycles list, but the Grom is a totally different proposition. Its air-cooled, 125-cc single-cylinder engine isn’t a powerhouse, and the bike can eventually reach about 60 mph (100 km/h), but its main purpose is to glide through the urban jungle, not to blast down the highway. The Grom weighs just 229 lbs. (104 kg), so it’s extremely manoeuvrable, and so much fun. Yeah, we’ll look like a circus bear pedaling a miniature bicycle aboard the Honda Grom, but who cares? This thing brings a smile to our faces. An honourable mention to the Kawasaki Z125 Pro, which hit the market a couple of years after the Grom, and is a couple hundred bucks less—but the Honda now has a cult following, and lots of available aftermarket accessories, if we’re into customization.
2020 Honda Rebel 300
USA MSRP: $4,499
Canada MSRP: $5,499
This long-standing Honda cruiser is available with two engine choices, but the smaller, liquid-cooled 286-cc single is enough for leisurely rides through the city and the countryside, right? It’s also equipped with disc brakes front and back, rear-wheel ABS (optional in the U.S.), and a comfort-tuned suspension with a good amount of travel. For 2020, the Rebel 300 is available in Canada in Graphite Black, which looks very cool nonetheless, while U.S. buyers can also choose Matte Fresco Brown or Matte Blue Jeans Metallic. This year, the Rebel receives ride and handling enhancements as well as an assist-slipper clutch to make the bike even easier to use.
2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
USA MSRP: $4,999
Canada MSRP: $5,699
Many people may recognize the Swedish Husqvarna brand as a manufacturer of chainsaws and other mechanical products, but it also sells bikes, and the new Svartpilen 401 looks amazing with its naked frame, industrial-grade design and knobby tires. It’s powered by a liquid-cooled, 373-cc single that develops 44 horses and 27 pound-feet of torque, enough for zippy performance around town, with big brakes to bring the Svartpilen to a halt in a hurry. The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 could’ve also made this top 10 cheap motorcycles list, which is very similar to the Svartpilen and priced the same, with only a few styling and feature distinctions. Husqvarna is now owned by Austrian manufacturer KTM.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 400
USA MSRP: $4,999
Canada MSRP: $6,299
There are many cheap motorcycles in the sport bike category, but the Kawasaki Ninja 400 has a little something extra that pleases us. The racy bodywork doesn’t give away the fact that its liquid-cooled, 399-cc twin-cylinder engine is the smallest of the Ninja model range, yet it produces 48 horsepower and 28 pound-feet of torque for brilliant performance. And, the bike weighs in at 366 lbs. (166 kg), so it’s manageable too. We can get the awesome KRT Edition for a few extra bucks, which tacks on the Kawasaki Racing Team colours and graphics package.
2020 KTM 390 Duke
USA MSRP: $5,499
Canada MSRP: $5,999
The wedge-shaped 390 Duke boasts an aggressive design, and can be decked out in two colour schemes: orange with white trim, or the other way around. The 390-cc, liquid-cooled single punches out 44 horsepower, and with a dry weight of 329 lbs. (149 kg), the little Duke is nimble and quick. It can also stop on a dime thanks to its large front and rear brake discs and standard ABS. According to KTM, its most-affordable bike’s suspension is “perfect for all aspects of riding, from relaxed cruising to hammering around on closed circuits and everything in between.”
2020 Suzuki DR200S
USA MSRP: $4,649
Canada MSRP: $5,099
A dual-purpose bike is good for those who want to head off the beaten path, but still want some on-road ride quality as well. The Suzuki DR200S fits the description of a cheap motorcycle with its affordable MSRP of around $5K. It’s equipped with an air-cooled, 199-cc single-cylinder engine as well as tried-and-tested mechanical components, while its weight of 278 lbs. (126 kg) makes it utterly nimble on the trails. The recently refreshed DR200S now features reshaped seat and fuel tank for increased comfort, as well as new styling.
2020 Yamaha SMAX
USA MSRP: $3,799
Canada MSRP: $4,099
Last but not least, there are quite a few bigger and more comfortable scooters out there, and the Yamaha SMAX is a good example. It houses a four-stroke, liquid-cooled 155-cc single-cylinder engine that is said to deliver 81 MPG (2.9 L/100 km), while producing 10 pound-feet of torque. Of course, it also features an automatic transmission for a simpler riding experience, and there’s ample room for an extra passenger on board. The SMAX is practical as well, with a 1.1 cubic-foot (32-litre) storage compartment under the seat and dual lockable helmet holders, while the 2.0-gallon (7.5-litre) tank provides decent range. At around $4,000, Yamaha’s scooter deserves rightfully its place on the top 10 cheap motorcycles for 2020.