In the world of motorcycles a great deal of attention is given to the fast and the loud, but often people just require a compact, reasonably powerful, unintimidating bike to get around town with. Standard street bikes offer the same traffic-dodging practicality as the bigger bikes, but with a lower cost of ownership. Here are the best bikes displacing 100cc to 550cc that will do an excellent job of getting you around.
The CBR 300R is a nimble and enjoyable city bike that will please both veteran and rookie riders with its tight dynamics and solid quality. An upgraded 250CBR, the 300R takes its clean and sporty looks from its bigger siblings. A light clutch, easily managed power delivery and plenty of low-RPM torque makes the reasonably-priced CBR 300R distinctly easy to own.
2. BMW G 310 R
Super-smooth to ride and exciting to look at, the G 310 R is equipped with a silky-smooth running 28Nm single-cylinder motor. The bike revs freely and will accelerate all the way to 145km/h - all while offering as much as 35km/litre in terms of consumption. A great way into a storied motorcycle brand, the G 310 R will slip into your day-to-day life perfectly.
To the untrained eye, the Ninja 300R looks every inch a fully-fledged sports bike. Aggressive looks shouldn’t deceive, however, because this bike’s show is more spirited than its go. This swift-looking city commuter can post a respectable sub-10 second 0-100km/h time and will run on to top 170km/h, all while offering great fuel economy from the parallel twin motor, and costing as little as a quarter of some of the sports bikes that its menacing looks emulate.
4. KTM Duke 390
Arguably the king of street bikes, this KTM offers a flexible and accessible package with high build quality. The 373cc single-cylinder motor offers a brilliantly pliable source of tractable torque, and enough power for safe freeway running. Affordable and practical, there aren’t many reasonably-priced all-rounders quite as good as this.
It’s a Vespa, yes, but forget slow, underpowered two-strokes that are impossible to start and pollute the environment. The GTS 300 leaves those reputational issues for dust. Equipped with a reliable 278cc four-stroke motor, the GTS 300 is surprisingly sprightly, corners well and will handle freeway speeds safely. The Vespa 300 GTS is an honest bike for those without off-road or sports bike pretensions, and offers timeless Italian style as a bonus.
6. Yamaha TMax
It flies in the face of conventional wisdom that a scooter might be fun, but here it is nonetheless – about as close to a sports scooter as you’re ever likely to get. The TMax is a maxi-scooter with serious sporting aspirations. It has superb throttle response for a twist-and-go, and is genuinely a nicely-balanced bike, and as comfortable as you’d expect a maxi-scooter to be. The 530cc motor offers an overabundance of power and the bike is a happy high-speed cruiser.
To find the perfect bike for your daily commute and more, AutoTrader South Africa has a wide range of new and used motorcycles for sale. For the past 25 years, AutoTrader South Africa has been the leading media marketplace for the buying and selling of cars, bikes, boats, and commercial vehicles. Whether you are looking for a brand new bike or are in the market for a pre-loved model, you’re sure to find your ideal set of wheels on AutoTrader.