The motorcycle industry has come to realise that not everyone can afford a high-end motorcycle worth tens of thousands of dollars and have started to release plenty of smaller, less expensive bikes. Some bike enthusiasts may be less than enthusiastic about buying a smaller and ‘cheaper’ machine, but I’ve trawled through all the options and have found the 5 coolest modest that pack a great punch without breaking the bank. Without further ado, here are the top 5 best buys for motorcycles to look out for in 2018.
2018 BMW R Nine T Pure
Arguable the most sought-after bikes in the BMW line, the R Nine T range of retro-styled roadsters are turning heads but are unfortunately very expensive. Thankfully BMW has finally released a lower price model which will save you thousands of dollars, but still offers most of the good stuff.
The Pure still features the 110hp horizontally-opposed twin engine which echoes the sounds and vibrations of pure 70s and 80s BMW, but what is missing is the expensive Ohlins suspension, huge brakes, and some brightwork – fortunately none of this detracts from the experience.
2018 Indian Scout Bobber
Polaris acquired the classic Indian brand in 2011 and the company has enjoyed a popular revival. Of the Indian bikes, the Scout is arguably the most universally loved and their most progressive bike yet is the new Scout Bobber.
By shortening the fenders, lowering the suspension by an inch or two, pulling the foot holds closer to the rider, and installing flatter handlebars, the Scout has successfully received a sportier makeover. The V-Twin develops a solid 100hp, black is the standard colour, and ABS brakes are available at an extra cost. You’ll be tempted to skip placing bets on Aussie sports and ride this bike instead, without question!
2018 Suzuki GSX250R
Suzuki may be one of the last companies to come to the table with an entry-level small displacement bike, but the new GSX250R is certainly worth consideration. With a design that is a bit of a mashup between the Suzuki Katana and ultra-performance GSX-R ranges, the GSX250R features a 248cc parallel twin engine which will deliver 25hp when you rev it hard.
Besides the low price and excellent fuel economy, the benefit of these smaller displacement bikes is that they’re easy to ride and the GSX250R is no different.
2018 Kawasaki Z650
The Z650 can best be described as a sport bike in disguise as it offers the same basic parallel twin engine and chassis of the Ninja 650. With a strong midrange thrust, the light lever feels and standard slipper clutch make for a smooth and comfortable ride on both backroads and city commutes, and the low 30.9” seat height means that even those of smaller stature could use the Z650 as a daily rider. The design is forward-thinking and the contrasting green paint on the frame rails adds a very cool touch to the overall look.
2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The entirely new Bobber model was launched earlier in 2017 and become an immediate hot-seller for the British brand. The classic bobbed-fender hot rod style is achieved with unique and finely executed details and is minimalist and tough-looking in its design. The parallel twin rests in a unique chassis with 1200cc of displacement and 77hp and 78lb-ft of torque which certainly isn’t enough to outrun cruiser bikes, but is more than enough to have plenty of fun.