These 10 motorcycles are affordable, stylish and fun.
All ten of these bikes cost less than $8,000, freight and delivery charges excluded.
If there’s one thing that COVID-19 taught us, is that we should enjoy life at the fullest, and for some, that means finally splurging on a motorcycle to chase the virus-induced blues away. However, we still have responsibilities and our budget is limited, but here are a bunch of motorcycles to consider for the 2021 riding season.
We’re not simply listing the most affordable machines on the market. Rather, we looked at all the mainstream brands open for business in Canada and the United States, and found a selection of bikes everyone can appreciate. By the way, cheap doesn’t mean cheaply built, but low priced and attainable.
These motorcycles all have one thing in common: they all cost less than $8,000, freight and delivery charges excluded. Here they are in alphabetical order.
2021 BMW G 310 R
USA MSRP: $5,045
Canada MSRP: $5,650
The G 310 R is a member of BMW’s Roadster model line, with a minimalistic design that’s sure to please. Aside from the sinister Cosmic Black color scheme, the refreshed 2021 BMW G 310 R can also be chosen in Polar White, mixing Kyanite Blue accenting with black 17-inch wheels, or Limestone Metallic that blends with white with red frame and wheels. The liquid-cooled 313-cc single-cylinder engine develops 34 horsepower, matched to a six-speed gearbox. Top speed is rated at 143 km/h.
2022 Honda Grom
USA MSRP: $3,399 (Grom ABS: $3,599)
Canada MSRP: $3,899 (Grom ABS: $4,099)
It’s tough to overlook the 2022 Honda Grom on the list of cheap motorcycles to consider. It may be low on displacement and power, but it’s light and nimble, and a hoot to ride. This city bike features an air-cooled, 125-cc single-cylinder engine, now more efficient as it’s connected to a new five-speed gearbox (up one gear). It also gets new styling and colours, a reshaped and flatter seat, a slightly bigger fuel tank and a revised LCD display. Although only the Pearl White colour scheme is offered in Canada, the U.S. market also gets Matte Black Metallic, Queen Bee Yellow and Candy Blue.
2022 Honda Monkey
USA MSRP: $4,199
Canada MSRP: $5,299
Minibikes are trendy again, and the 2022 Honda Monkey is a modern interpretation of the brand’s classic models. The cheeky Monkey is powered by an air-cooled, 125-cc single-cylinder engine and a five-speed gearbox, both new for the 2022 model year. It also comes standard with anti-lock brakes for added safety. Weighing in at 231 pounds (105 kilograms), the Monkey is perfect for the urban jungle, and is available in Pearl Black or Banana Yellow in the U.S., in Pearl Nebula Red / Knight Silver Metallic in Canada. Yes, it’s now available in north of the border as well.
2021 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
USA MSRP: $5,299
Canada MSRP: $5,899
The 2021 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401’s striking design is sure to please, with its silver, black and bronze finish, its minimalistic bodywork and wire wheels. It’s equipped with a liquid-cooled, 373-cc single that develops 44 horsepower and 27 pound-feet of torque, along with a six-speed gearbox and disc brakes front and rear. One could also choose the Svartpilen 401, similar in design as the Vitpilen, but with a more rugged appearance, black wire wheels and knobbier tires.
2021 Kawasaki Ninja 400
USA MSRP: $4,999 (KRT Edition: $5,599)
Canada MSRP: $6,399 (KRT Edition: $6,599)
Powered by a liquid-cooled, 399-cc twin-cylinder engine developing 48 horsepower and 28 pound-feet of torque, the 2021 Kawasaki Ninja 400 offers good performance and sporty looks at a very reasonable price, and fits accordingly on this list of cheap motorcycles to consider. Three color schemes are available, including Metallic Spark Black, Pearl Nightshade Teal / Metallic Spark Black, and Metallic Graphite Gray / Metallic Magnetic Dark Gray. There’s also the KRT Edition that wears the Kawasaki Racing Team colours and graphics package.
2021 KTM 200 Duke
USA MSRP: $3,999
Canada MSRP: $4,599
Don’t let the low displacement fool you. The new 2021 KTM 200 Duke packs a four-stroke, 199.5-cc single that develops 26 horsepower. The lightweight bike also features high-performance upside-down WP forks, 17-inch wheels and big disc brakes with standard ABS. It also looks quite appealing with its black and white bodywork, accented by orange striping and wheels. Here’s a nimble little city bike that isn’t afraid of highway stints.
2021 Piaggio Liberty 50
USA MSRP: $2,399
Canada MSRP: $2,645
In the 50-cc scooter category, the 2021 Piaggio Tyhoon 50 combines style with an air-cooled, four-stroke 49.9-cc single that develops 3.2 horsepower and 2.3 pound-feet of torque—perfect for both teenagers seeking freedom before moving up into an automobile, or adults who just want an urban runabout. It’s also quite efficient with a manufacturer-estimated consumption of 2.8 L/100 km or 84 U.S. mpg. The Liberty 50 also scores on the convenience front with an underseat storage bin that can swallow a full-face helmet, while a USB socket is optional to charge our smartphone.
2021 Suzuki DR-Z400S
USA MSRP: $6,899
Canada MSRP: $7,599
A dual-purpose bike offers the versatility of being able to hit the trails, yet is comfortable enough for road trips, and the 2021 Suzuki DR-Z400S suits that description very well. Its liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 398-cc single-cylinder engine and five-speed gearbox make for good all-around performance, while the long-travel suspension can handle all types of terrain. The DR-Z400S also looks rugged with its gray and black color scheme, highlighted by a yellow stripe down its fuel tank.
2021 Yamaha TW200
USA MSRP: $4,799
Canada MSRP: $5,399
The 2021 Yamaha TW200 is a dual-purpose bike that’s ready for an adventure off the beaten path, thanks to its knobby fat tires, rugged construction and reasonably good suspension travel, yet it’s road-legal for getting to and from the trails. It features an air-cooled, 196-cc single-cylinder engine and a five-speed gearbox, a powertrain that may not be the most sophisticated around, but offers low maintenance for worry-free riding. Its 278-pound (126 kg) weight also makes it quite nimble, too.
2021 Yamaha V-Star 250
USA MSRP: $4,499
Canada MSRP: $5,299
Those who prefer a classic and comfortable touring bike will find a lot to like in the 2021 Yamaha V-Star 250. Its air-cooled, 249-cc V-twin engine provides smoothness and sound, while its relatively low weight of 324 pounds (147 kg) and its reasonably low seat height make it an easy bike for beginners as well. The V-Star 250 is an affordable cruising bike for those who don’t need the all-out performance of a big-displacement engine, and fits well in this list of cheap motorcycles to consider in 2021.