Affordable Sport Bikes Every Motorcycle Enthusiast Should Ride
With motorcycle technology constantly advancing, prices for high-end sports motorcycles have skyrocketed.
If you are looking for an affordable sports motorcycle, you will most often have to look to the second-hand market. That’s not exactly a bad thing, with several affordable options. Between the 1990s and the early 2000s, Japanese manufacturers went to war, all competing to provide customers with the best sportbikes money could buy. At the time, sporty mid-weight motorcycles also exploded in popularity, all of which can now be bought for a song.
The Italians also occasionally got in on the act with their V-twins, with Aprilia having had its first chance at making a one-litre bike and Ducati finding some semblance of reliability.
ten Yamaha YZF-R1
After Honda bowled everyone over in the early 90s with its class-defying CBR900RR FireBlade, other manufacturers were forced to think on their feet.
It took a while, but Yamaha fought back in the best way possible. Increasing displacement to 1000cc while maintaining the weight of a 750cc bike helped them overtake Honda and just about everyone else, establishing the liter bike class as we know it today .
9 Aprilia RSV Mille
After dominating every other manufacturer with their small-displacement two-stroke race bikes, they finally got down to making a true superbike.
No one knew what to think of the Rotax powered bike in the early 2000s, but today we know it’s one of the most underrated sport bikes of all time and it’s remains affordable to this day.
8 Kawasaki ZX-6R
At present the ZX-6R is the only true supersport class motorcycle available in new condition, although there are now many new parallel twin contenders, it is a 4 cylinder howler in line.
It’s still one of the fastest bikes in its class and even though it’s an aging rig, it will still dominate on the track.
seven Honda CBR954RR Fireblade
So much noise is made about the original 900 FireBlade, but in reality, by modern standards, it is just a fast, uncomfortable and dangerous motorcycle.
The 954, on the other hand, is the more polished version of that raw stock machine, it’s also much more comfortable, and the chances of it ever killing you aren’t quite as high.
6 Ducati 749
Redesigning a legend like the 916/996/998 is an impossible task, so when the 999 was launched alongside the 749, it met with a lot of resistance.
In reality, both bikes were significantly better, with an improved chassis and more reliable motors (at least comparatively speaking). The 999 is getting more expensive these days, but the 749 is still affordable.
5 Yamaha R6
If you want a budget trail bike, look no further. Older Yamaha R6s can be really cheap, but if they are, they’ve most likely been beaten.
It’s possible to find one in reasonable condition, but if you’re willing to spend more, Yamaha still technically sells a track-only version (pictured) which, for a dedicated track bike, is affordable.
4 Suzuki RGV250
In the early 90s, there was a veritable arms race going on between manufacturers all trying to make the fastest 250cc two-stroke sport bike, so they could compete on the track.
The Suzuki may not be the fastest, but today it’s one of the most interesting baby superbikes money can buy, and as long as the sharp nature of a two-stroke doesn’t don’t mind, this will make a fun project. Pristine bikes are anything but affordable, but there are still plenty that have made it through the odd gravel pit, just make sure the frame is straight…
3 Kawasaki ZX-25R
In the 1990s licensing and tax restrictions combined to create a demand for small displacement four-stroke sport motorcycles. This gave rise to this unusual class of high-revving inline-4 bikes.
Over time parallel twins became more efficient and demand dried up, but Kawasaki saw an opportunity and launched this throwback bike that will be able to dominate the 300cc class bikes on the track. It’s also surprisingly affordable if you’re lucky enough to live in a country where it’s available.
2 Honda VTR1000 SP2
It’s arguably the most interesting motorcycle Honda has ever developed, not because it’s advanced in any way, but because it’s unlike almost any other Honda ever.
After being beaten by Ducati with their larger displacement V-twin, Honda developed these bikes specifically to beat Ducati on the track. It worked and the homologation bike also sold in big numbers because it was so affordable. It’s still affordable, but make no mistake, this is a track-focused machine without any fuel-efficiency comforts to speak of.
1 Suzuki GSX-R1000
If you’re looking for an affordable one liter bike, look no further than the K5 Gixxer, it’s become something of a legend over the years with a near perfect balance of power and handling.
It is as comfortable as you might expect so using it as a shuttle is not advised, it also has no safety features so if you are new to motorbikes don’t even think about it .
A sportbike can be a lot of fun…unless it comes with a lot of problems – like the ones we’ll take a closer look at here.
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