Most Affordable Motorcycles of 2024 – Budget-Friendly Rides

Buying the first motorcycle is a thrilling milestone, marking the realization of a childhood dream for any rider. Unlike seasoned enthusiasts with a checklist, beginners navigate unfamiliar terrain, especially when it comes to affordable riding options. Let’s explore the most affordable motorcycles and guide novice riders through the maze of options.

The entry-level motorcycle market is flooded with choices. From Chinese knockoffs like Yamaha MT-03 and Kawasaki Ninja 400 to BMW G 310 GS, sporting diminutive 100cc engines, the choices may seem promising on paper but can lead to a regrettable pickle within a few months. We’re set on the path of helping you choose cost-friendly motorcycle models that align with both your dreams and financial constraints.

The Rise of Economical Riding

In recent times, there has been a notable shift in the motorcycle market towards affordability. Riders are increasingly leaning towards cost-effective options, signaling a growing trend that challenges traditional notions of high-priced two-wheelers. While some opt for the most affordable electric motorcycles (along with those who believe electric cars are the future), others are looking for cost-efficient bikes running on fuel.

According to Statista, the worldwide motorcycle market is on a path of significant growth, with projected revenues reaching US$145.50 billion by 2024. This optimistic trajectory anticipates an annual growth rate of 3.07%, foreseeing a market volume of US$164.20 billion by 2028.

The dominant segment in this market is on-road motorcycles, expected to contribute significantly with a projected volume of US$102.50 billion in 2024. The unit sales are estimated to reach 60.01 million motorcycles by 2028, reflecting the sustained global interest in these two-wheeled wonders. In the United States, a notable trend shift is observed as consumers increasingly favor electric bikes, aligning with a growing environmental consciousness in the motorcycle market.

Documents on a wooden surface
Notably, riders steer towards sustainable, cost-effective, and thrilling journeys on two wheels

Factors Influencing Motorcycle Affordability

Imagine driving your bike at night or simply cruising down the famous routes in the USA. What a sight to behold that would be. But beginner riders might be curious about the cost of owning entry-level motorcycles or investing in best-value motorcycles. Before you prepare a budget, keep in mind that the price tag varies significantly, depending on factors such as the type of motorcycle, condition, and when and where you make your purchase.

The Low End

Looking for a budget ride? Scooters or motorcycles from private sellers might range from $500 to $1,500, but beware of unexpected repair costs. While initial expenses are low, these bikes often have higher maintenance costs and lower fuel efficiency.

For the Average Rider

Opting for an average bike with low mileage (around 10,000 miles or less) will likely cost between $3,000 and $6,000. Buying in this range means the previous owner absorbed the initial depreciation, offering a good balance between cost and quality.

Higher-End and Luxury

Interested in premium brands like Harley-Davidson or Ducati? Prices vary significantly. A new Harley-Davidson can range from $8,000 to $36,000, while Ducati models typically start around $20,000 and can soar to $100,000 for limited editions. Brand and condition play a pivotal role in the price.

Time of Year

The season can impact prices. Shopping for a used bike in winter, especially in certain regions, might yield better deals.

New or Used

Deciding between new and used bikes involves trade-offs. Buying new from a dealership may skip potential issues, but it often comes with additional fees. Dealership bikes can range from $7,000 to $8,000, factoring in taxes, delivery, and prep fees.

Gear Available

Essential protective gear, including a full-face helmet, gloves, jacket, pants, and boots, adds to the initial expense. Prices vary, but investing in quality gear is crucial for safety and can range from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand.

Fuel Economy

Motorcycles generally boast excellent fuel economy, averaging around 43 to 56 miles per gallon. While fuel costs are relatively low, they contribute to the overall cost of owning and riding a motorcycle.

Motorcycle Insurance

Insurance is a critical consideration, especially for higher-end bikes prone to theft. Costs vary based on factors like driving record, age, and circumstances, ranging from a hundred dollars to over four hundred dollars per year.

Licensing for the Bike

Acquiring a Class M license is essential for motorcycle riders. Depending on your age and state, a permit may be required for six months or more, adding another aspect to the overall cost of motorcycle ownership.

Yamaha MT-03 – Affordable Performance

The Yamaha MT-03, the latest addition to the MT lineup, may share design characteristics with its elder sibling, the MT-07, but it stands out as an entry-level yet unique streetfighter. Boasting a well-rounded riding experience, the MT-03 is designed to cater to the needs of riders seeking both power and manageability. Its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $4,999.

At first glance, the resemblance to the MT-07 might lead to a case of mistaken identity, but the MT-03 sets itself apart by emphasizing a harmonious riding experience. Its parallel-twin engine, while offering enough torque for quick acceleration, is tuned for manageable power output, instilling confidence in riders, especially those new to the world of motorcycling.

One standout feature is the upright ergonomics, a notable selling point for beginner riders. The MT-03’s ideal posture for sitting ensures that riders can embark on extended journeys with ease. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking to explore the open road without compromising on comfort.

Simple controls, delivering a balance of handling and handlingLimited braking power may leave some riders wanting more
The seat height (30.7 inches) allows easy maneuverabilityTaller riders might find the seating position slightly cramped
Seamless engagement of the clutch enhances the overall riding experience

MT-03 Engine Specs

Motorcycle engines are also defined by their displacement, measured in cubic centimeters (cc), which directly correlates to the power output. This being said, here are the specifications of the engine for this bike:

  • Engine type – Four-Stroke Parallel Twin, 321cc, Liquid-Cooled,
  • Bore x stroke – 68.0mm × 44.1mm,
  • Fuel delivery – Fuel Injection,
  • Compression ratio – 11.2:1,
  • Transmission – Constant-mesh 6-speed; wet multi-plate clutch,
  • Maximum torque – 21.83 lb-ft @ 9010rpm,
  • Maximum horsepower – 41.4 hp @ 10,750rpm.

The MT-03 for Urban Riders

The Yamaha MT-03 price and features make it the urban rider’s dream, offering a sleek and agile solution for city commuting. With a low seat height, it effortlessly navigates through crowded streets, while its balanced power delivery ensures responsive handling in city traffic. The upright ergonomic provides comfort and visibility, making it ideal for extended rides in urban environments. The compact design not only adds a stylish flair but also contributes to easy maneuverability and hassle-free parking.

A black Yamaha motorcycle with a helmet on top
Yamaha MT-03 ignites the spirit of exhilarating urban adventures

Kawasaki Ninja 400 – A Budget-Friendly Speedster

The Kawasaki Ninja 400, a stalwart in the Ninja lineup, continues to captivate a new wave of young riders with its refined engine tuning and impressive performance, making it an ideal choice for navigating both city traffic and open highways. Its starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $5,299.

Navigating rush-hour traffic becomes a breeze with the Ninja 400’s finely tuned 399cc liquid-cooled engine. This bike excels at cruising when at lower RPM, offering a smooth ride for riders looking to glide through congested streets without constant shifting. The ease of handling in traffic is a testament to Kawasaki’s attention to detail in optimizing the engine’s performance.

Once the urban landscape is left behind, the Ninja 400 unleashes its power with a simple twist of the accelerator. The 6-speed transmission seamlessly translates the 399cc parallel-twin engine’s capabilities into an exhilarating highway experience, making it effortless to accelerate and enjoy the open road. The slipper-clutch assist adds a layer of safety during aggressive downshifts, enhancing the overall riding experience, especially when conquering corners.

Comfortable for riders of varying heightsSlightly underpowered for some enthusiasts
Versatile as an all-round sports bikeAbsence of upside-down forks in the front suspension
Confidence-inspiring chassis for enhanced controlFew choices for colors may leave riders craving more variety

Ninja 400 Engine Specs

Besides the Kawasaki Ninja 400 cost-effectiveness, the bike has more to offer. Let’s take a look at the specs of the engine found in this bike:

  • Engine type – Four-Stroke Parallel Twin, 399cc, Liquid-Cooled,
  • Bore x stroke – 70.0 x 51.8mm,
  • Fuel delivery – Fuel Injection,
  • Compression ratio – 11.5:1,
  • Transmission – 6-speed,
  • Maximum torque – 27.28 lb-ft @ 8,000rpm,
  • Maximum power – 44.8 hp @ 10,000rpm.

Ninja 400 – Ideal for New and Seasoned Riders

The Kawasaki Ninja 400 stands as a bridge between novice and experienced riders, catering to a broad spectrum of biking enthusiasts. For beginners, its user-friendly 399cc engine provides an accessible learning curve, ideal for city commuting. Versatility in design accommodates riders of varying heights, ensuring comfort for all.

For the seasoned rider, the 6-speed transmission and punchy parallel-twin engine offer dynamic highway experiences, while safety features like the slipper-clutch assist enhance control. Regardless of experience, the Ninja 400 consistently delivers a harmonious blend of user-friendly features and dynamic performance, making it a standout choice for riders at any level.

Two green Kawasaki Ninja motorcycles
Kawasaki Ninja 400 elevates the riding experience

BMW G 310 GS – Adventure on a Budget

BMW is a company that also seeks innovation, as seen with its color-changing car. However, when it comes to bikes, its venture into the mid-sized ADV market, the G 310 GS, is a testament to the company’s prowess in crafting a lightweight and compact adventure tourer. While lacking some high-tech features seen in premium GS Range models, the G 310 GS carves its niche with distinctive qualities that justify its price point. The starting MSRP of this bike is $5,890.

The G 310 GS boasts a 19-inch front wheel and a 17-inch rear wheel, providing riders with a seamless and stable experience on both tarmac and off-road terrains. While it may lack adjustable front forks and switchable ABS, its design caters well to riders who primarily stick to paved roads with occasional off-road escapades, making it an ideal companion for weekend camping trips.

Agile and nimble handling define the G 310 GS, making it easy to maneuver in various scenarios. Additionally, it offers impressive fuel economy, enhancing its practicality for riders seeking efficiency in their adventures.

Agile and nimble handling for versatile ridingSlightly underpowered compared to competitors
Impressive fuel economy, contributing to cost efficiencyFaces tough competition in the mid-sized ADV market

G 310 GS Engine Specs

BMW motorcycles are renowned for their engineering excellence, and their engines play a significant role in establishing the brand’s reputation for reliability, performance, and innovation. If you want to go on BMW G 310 GS adventure biking, you should explore the engine specs of this bike:

  • Engine type – Liquid Cooled, 300cc, Single Cylinder,
  • Bore x stroke – 80.0 mm × 62.1 mm,
  • Fuel delivery – Electronic Injection,
  • Compression ratio – 10.9:1,
  • Transmission – 6-speed,
  • Maximum torque – 20.66 lb-ft @ 7500 rpm,
  • Maximum power – 34 hp @ 9500 rpm.

G 310 GS – Balancing Cost and Capability

The BMW G 310 GS adeptly strikes a balance between affordability and off-road capabilities, offering an inviting entry into the adventure touring domain without compromising its prowess on diverse terrains. Designed as a practical companion for riders on a budget, it excels in occasional off-road adventures while remaining an efficient and nimble partner for spontaneous getaways. The G 310 GS embodies BMW’s commitment to making adventure accessible, ensuring the thrill of exploration remains within reach for a broader audience.

BMW G 310 GS motorcycle parked on the grass
Conquer horizons and embrace versatility with BMW G 310 GS

Choose the Right One Among the Most Affordable Motorcycles

A diverse array of budget motorcycles in 2024 caters to a wide spectrum of riders, and picking among the best economical motorcycle choices depends on individual needs. The Yamaha MT-03 excels in urban landscapes, while the Kawasaki Ninja 400 bridges the gap between novice and experienced riders. BMW’s G 310 GS offers affordability and off-road prowess.

In the end, the best affordable motorcycle for 2024 is a subjective choice, dictated by personal riding styles, preferences, and the adventures riders aspire to undertake. As the motorcycle industry continues to innovate, riders can revel in the diverse options available.

That ensures the pursuit of two-wheeled dreams remains both thrilling and accessible. Whether you want to learn how to be a better rider, or you’re a seasoned motorcycle enthusiast who knows all of the rider responsibilities, there’s a wide range of options to choose from.