2014′s Best Motorcycle Bargains

Lists, Reviews -


Motorcycle Bargains

Shopping for a new bike? You’re in luck. You can now get a better bike than ever, cheaper than ever, with better performance. Here’s 2014′s best motorcycle bargains.

Aprilia RSV4 R
Aprilia RSV4 R

1. 2014 Aprilia RSV4 APRC — $13,999
A 180 bhp, exotic Italian literbike for $14,000? The RSV4 R is one of the smoothest, fastest, best handling bikes out there and you can get it for cheaper than a Yamaha R1. Compared to that bike, it has smoother fueling, higher quality suspension, a more powerful motor and a real V4, as well as a superior electronic rider aid system. ABS is a grand more, but only really worth the upgrade if you plan on commuting.

Yamaha FZ-09
Yamaha FZ-09

2. Yamaha FZ-09 — $7,990
Things aren’t perfect in the FZ-09′s suspension or fueling departments (a common Yamaha niggle), but you are getting a 113 bhp, 63 lb.-ft. triple for $1,400 cheaper than a Triumph Street Triple. A killer naked all-rounder, you could commute on the FZ-09 on weekdays, then scratch on it at weekends. Or on the way home… The choice is yours.

Star Bolt
Star Bolt

3. Star Bolt — $7,990
Or, if style is more you thing, the Star Bolt is superior to the Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 in every conceivable way, while retailing for over $400 cheaper. As a bonus, it also features massively superior build quality to the new 2014 Harley-Davidson Street 750, while only costing $490 more.

Honda CB500X
Honda CB500X

4. Honda CB500X ABS — $6,499
If you’re like most people in the US and live in an urban area, you’ll find this little Honda to be a superior, more practical ride than either the Suzuki V-Strom 650 or Honda NC700X. Combining little bike accessibility and flickability with big bike comfort and practicality, the CB500X has found a just-right formula that’s equally brilliant in town, on a mountain road or slogging down the highway. We think it’s worth the $500 premium over the CB500F for its more spacious riding position and surprisingly effective fairing, too.

2014 Kawasaki NInja 1000
2014 Kawasaki NInja 1000

5. Kawasaki Ninja 1000 — $11,999
Want a fast bike that can do it all? Commute, tour, luggage, passenger, maybe even a track day? The Ninja 1000 is probably the most versatile sport motorcycle on sale today, making pretty much any sport tourer look overpriced, overcomplicated and, now that it makes 140 bhp, making most of them look slow, too.

Read More, Page Two >>

Related Links:
Yamaha’s Triple: 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 Review
More Bargains: The Best Street Motorcycle Helmets Under $300
Life With A Cheap, Small Bike: Honda Grom Long Term Review — Month One

  • 200 Fathoms

    Link “Read More, Page Two >>” not working…

    • Jeff

      Click the link and in the URL of the new page remove the “s” after 2014. Presto-chango.

      • 200 Fathoms

        Yeah, was just letting them know it was broken.

    • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

      I had the same problem. Try going back and clicking the number 2 link

    • http://www.rideapart.com/ Nolan Zandi

      Hi all, we’re still working on this. It seems to be that our engine takes about 5 minutes to register new articles (obviously not acceptable). We hope to have a fix by today

  • Stephan Alessi

    80% urban riding in NYC and 20% short weekend trips. CRF250L vs. CB500X. Which one do I want?

    • George Herbert

      500X. at least that is that I am thinking for spring…

    • panthalassa

      unless 50% of your 20% is unpaved, i think most would steer you toward a 500. all accounts suggest that it’s happy to sit at 70ish on the superslab without undue strain and with some roll in reserve; a 250 thumper, prolly not so much.

      • Piglet2010

        I thought a 250 single was a tiddler, not a thumper?

        • panthalassa

          mayhap my slang needs correction; i thought all singles were thumpers, and that tiddlers were a subcategory for even smaller engines, like 200 and down.

          • Piglet2010

            Well, there is no standard, but a TW200 is definitely a tiddler and a DR Big is definitely a thumper. DR-Z400S – who knows?

    • roma258

      If you want to do any dirt riding (and you should), get the CRF250L. If you’re staying on pavement and gravel, get the CB500X. Just got a Super Sherpa and it’s a freaking laugh in the city. I’d imagine it’d be even more so on the CRF. And plus taking it off-road is amazing, just opens up a whole different dimension of riding.

      • Piglet2010

        The only thing I really have against buying a CRF250L is that it is likely to soon be replaced by a “CRF300L”. In this class of bike, 3 or 4 more horsepower make a huge difference in highway ability.

      • Telemachus_1

        250s get stolen way too easily, especially hondas.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler


      • JerseyRider

        My biggest fear is that I purchase a 500x and Honda turns around and gives America the cb650f… I’d have some serious buyers remorse. I should probably get the triple and call it a day.

        • appliance5000

          I hear you – but the 500 is a parallel twin (and a very sweet one) and the 650 is an inline 4 – different beasts. They look good though.

    • Sean McBee

      I do 80 city/20 freeway and my CB500X is perfect. It’s a blast in town and it’s got enough guts to cruise the freeway comfortably. Definitely go for the CB500X.

  • http://www.motopraxis.com/ Aakash

    The best bargain is always going to be a used bike.

    • Rameses the 2nd

      Want a Speed Triple and have a FZ-09 budget? No Problem. There will be at least half a dozen of those available on your local Craigslist next season with less than 5000 miles each. Unless I win a lottery or something like that, I am never buying a brand new bike again. It’s surprising how many people are bored with their brand new toys so quickly.

      • LS650

        Well, I don’t think it’s all due to boredom: people move across the country, lose their jobs, decide that paying for a baby is more important than paying for a moto, etc. etc.
        Life changes, and sometimes so do priorities.

      • Adam

        Interestingly enough my local Triumph place has the NEW 2012 Street Triples for $8k out the door. Here in LA those taxes and fees add up to ~13% of the cost of the vehicle. Or you could use the flyer to negotiate with other dealers.

        I bought my 2009 KLR650 for $5k out the door from them which I was pretty happy about at the time.

        600 mile maintenance is a huge bummer though…in the future Ill try to negotiate that in to the purchase price.

        • http://www.motopraxis.com/ Aakash

          Not a bad deal on those Street Triples. I’d still rather pick up a used 2010+ Street Triple R for the same coin. The adjustable suspension is worth it.

        • appliance5000

          The first service on the Honda is about $300.00. If you’re getting new one for $3000 I’d go for it.

      • http://www.motopraxis.com/ Aakash

        Bored of…or scared of.

        • Rameses the 2nd

          Bored, Scared and unexpected life circumstances are all valid reasons for abundence of almost brand new bikes available on Craigslist. However, I think most people don’t realize that being a biker is not nearly as easy and convenient as owning a car. A season is all it takes to put reality in front of them and the bikes go on Craigslist. I am generally against buying stuff on credit/financing, so I rather buy a used bike, pay in full, and save my money. That being said, if someone has their heart set on a new motorcycle and they can afford it, I think they should go for it.

          • Sean Wallace

            I can’t argue with Rameses logic one bit. I am dying to buy the new FZ-09, but if I wait a year I will be able to buy a used one with an upgraded exhaust a discount.

    • Kr Tong

      Rsv4? Honda vtr 1000.
      Mt-09? SV650

      • bammerburn

        I have a VTR-1000 and a SV650. Both are awesome bikes, but I have a small niggling feeling that the RSV4 and MT-09 are levels above those bikes.

        But then again, the VTR and SV were $3k, and $2k, respectively. $5 for two classic bikes? Can’t really go wrong with that.

    • Piglet2010

      If no one bought new bikes, there would no longer be used bike bargains.

      • Jack Meoph

        That’s why I had to buy a 2014 Ducati 796 abs last month. I was concerned about future used bike owners getting a good deal.

        • http://www.motopraxis.com/ Aakash

          We appreciate your charity

        • Maximus

          I’m more concerned with how the previous owner treated it… Something fails on a car? You break down. Something fails on a motorcycle? You break.

    • JT

      Not necessarily it depends on what fits your needs. I’m wondering if the CB500X is the new best option for a RTW trip.

      • Bruce Steever

        Nah. Good, but not world ready. Look to a DR-Z or KLR for that sort of thing.

        • Eric

          Anything is possible if you have the balls and the know-how, this hometown hero has RTW on a 1948 Indian Chief, 1962 Panhead, and several more. Even rode to Magadan on modified 2003 Sportster. http://www.motosapiens.org/forum/

      • Bill

        With knobby tires, my scooter can be a RTW option.

        • JT

          Wow, I’ve never thought of a scooter with knobbies. That might be one of the sexiest things ever. I studied in Firenze for a bit and I remember the hot girls on scooters there and wished America had the same thing.

    • Afonso Mata

      Let’s read the first sentence on this article: “Shopping for a new bike? “

    • David E

      Indeed. I was thinking I might buy the new Vstrom in 2014, but filled that niche in my garage with a used bike in late 2013 instead. Buying used seems to take more time to shop though.

  • Brian

    I think the best new bike bargain is almost always going to be a leftover of the previous model year ( or 2 years old if they don’t have adequate turnover of their inventory). Usually they are such stellar stunning deals, and all for taking something brand new that has been sitting or isn’t as fresh as everything else.

    • Piglet2010

      Yep. Three of my “new” bikes were one to two years old when I bought them – all with full warranty and less than 2 miles on the clock.

  • JerseyRider

    A video of Jamie tearing it up on an FZ-09 would be epic.

    • SteveNextDoor


      “We’re here with the nuuu Eff Zee Ooooh Niiine from Yam-uh-haa. It’s going to be aaawe-sooome!” (sound of tires squealing)

      • Guy Simmonds

        I’d just like to point out most Brits will pronounce it as “Zed”. Just sayin’ :P

        • SteveNextDoor

          “Ruffians? Hooligans? Speak English!” –Bill Hicks :P

    • Lee Scuppers

      Any video of Jamie would be welcome. Bring back the scotsman!

      • Afonso Mata

        Subscribe to his MotoGeo channel on Youtube. He’s been releasing some videos lately. i.e. world premier on the 899 Panigale

      • Dan Thomas

        Scotsman?!?! Hope that was sarcasm ;-) He’s from gods own county… Where they make the puddings!

    • mulderdog

      where is Jamie lately ? or is it my mac, lord knows it seems to have a lot of other issues…..

  • Theodore P Smart

    Nice pic of Wes looking very Honda-like

  • ookla_the_mok

    How close was the NC700 to making this list?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      If it wasn’t for the CB500X, it absolutely would be on here.

      • ookla_the_mok

        Thanks for the response. I knew y’all loved the NC700, so this follow-up helps me maintain overall context.

  • Von

    I still can’t get past the adventure styling of the CB500X. I’ll probably get the F even though the X is the better bike. Compromises.

    • Bruce Steever

      The F feels a bit better, more centralized and with a slightly better front end. The X is the way to go if you need the extra room or smidge more fuel.

      • Von

        Thanks, yeah I’m shorter so the F is probably better for me

  • CruisingTroll

    I don’t think either the FZ-09 or the EBR 1190RX deserve to be on the list. They may very well be cracker jack bikes, but to put a first year clean sheet design bike onto any list of “Best Motorcycle Bargains” is silly. For something to be a bargain, not only must it be relatively inexpensive, but it also has to be reliable so that maintenance costs don’t eat one alive. Perhaps both will rate the list next year….

    (yes, some of the others may be clean sheet first year bikes as well, in which case they don’t rate either.)

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Man, I wish I could spend the rest of my life living in the 1970s too. Say Hi to Elvis for me.

      • CruisingTroll

        Right, because we know that Yamaha never builds a bike that turns out to fall woefully short of it’s initial promise. (FJR1300 AE, harrumph)
        And we know that a new company, even one made of up veterans in the industry, is going to nail it the first time out the gate. (Victory V92).
        Both the MT-09 and EBR 1190RX may turn out to be great bargains, heck, “probably” wouldn’t be a stretch. I simply think you’re being premature in making that call.
        But hey, what do I know? I’m not a jaded motojournalist. I’ll just go back to my poker game with Elvis, and you can go back to your lunch date with Miss Cleo.

      • grb

        One thing Ride Apart is severely lacking to be a dependable source for motorcycle buyers is reliability information (same as maintenance and repair costs), sites like Consumer Reports never recommends and put cars on their top lists until they have sufficient reliability data. I think thats what CruisingTroll is trying to say, which would be a good point to consider.

    • Bruce Steever

      Why does being a clean sheet design matter in the slightest? $8k can buy you a Suzuki 650cc twin, a Kawasaki 650cc twin or a raucous 850cc 135mph triple. Seems like value to me, even if you might need to budget for some suspension and fueling work later…

      • CruisingTroll

        It matters from the perspective of reliability. How many times have you heard “never buy a first year model”? What sort of value is a bike that spends half of the first riding season getting warranty work? Or a bike that is spec’d with an alternator that is woefully underpowered, or suspension that is optimized for a 125lb person (greaaaat if you weigh 125, not so hot if you weigh 225), or… these are the sort of flaws that show up in new models, and even more so in clean sheet designs, often enough as to increase the risk, and thus lower the value, of the bike. Most of them are resolved by the manufacturers by the second year… i.e., the builder gets the bugs out.

        If you HAVE to budget for suspension work, then should be factored in to the “bargain or not” calculation.

        • Bruce Steever

          Fair enough, but a Japanese bike is usually a safe bet.

          As far as budgeting for add-ons, the FZ-09 needs a a couple hundred dollars in EFI tuning and maybe $1000-1500 in suspension. Still under $10k, and still a good deal.

          • Piglet2010

            But a Japanese bike will typically be under-sprung for anyone who weighs more than 150 pounds or so.

            • Bruce Steever

              Mostly true, no disagreements, but some Japanese machines are finally starting to show up with more reasonable spring rates for American riders. An example is our current Ninja 1000, which is actually in the right spring range.

  • akaaccount

    I’m actually kind of hoping that the EBR bikes don’t stay rare for long.

  • Jason 1199

    Good article, but the bolt could never touch the 883′s resale value. That and HDs perceived brand desirability make the $400 price difference insignificant

    • Piglet2010

      I would rather have a Bonnie for that money.

      Oh wait, I did buy a Bonnie for that money.

    • Bruce Steever


      There, fixed it for you.

  • Mr.Paynter

    Need. A. Street Triple R

  • contender

    That ‘Strom would replace my starting-to-get-haggard TLS AND my frequently-broken Ulysses. Hmm…

  • Reid

    Street Triple R is my all-time dream machine. I will have one some day…unless Kawasaki decides to get in on this recent triple trend and make a better-than-worthy successor to the H1 ^.^
    My dad rode one of those back in the day and I think it’d be a great tribute to him if we had the “same” bike.

  • Michael

    I always thought that the Royal Enfield would be a good, reliable bike for the money. They have been made for years and the parts are easy to get. A dealership recently opened in my area and for under $7k they are a good deal.

    • JohnnyWaffles

      Pretty sure they were reviewed on here and the consensus was they are overpriced compared to their (poor) build quality. Too bad, I was hoping it would be a great refresh but instead it’s more like all the Hollywood remakes coming out.

  • RyYYZ

    Is the Buell actually street legal? Assuming I was to spend around $19,000 for a bike (plus assorted taxes and fees, to be sure), it certainly couldn’t be one that’s only usable on the track. There may be people who have $20K for a track-day toy, but I’m not one of them.

    I’d like to see Yamaha build a Fazer 9 – an FZ-09 with a half fairing to make it more useful for longer rides, poor weather, etc. Oh, and keep the price the same, please. ;)

  • Critical

    “As a bonus, it also features massively superior build quality to the
    new 2014 Harley-Davidson Street 750, while only costing $490 more.”

    Pretty bogus claim when you haven’t tested the 750. Try to maintain some
    credibility and let off the brand bias. Why is everyone riding the Bolts

  • Dale Warren

    I’m currently riding a ’95 Nighthawk 750 and a DR650. Since riding the DR, I’ve noticed how much I like the lighter weight and handling of the DR/ On my last long trip on the Nighthawk, I was really concerned about the weight. I’m aging and really hate picking that bugger up if I drop it. I’m considering replacing the Nighthawk with either the CB500x vrs the 750x. Will the 500 really outperform the NC on long highway trips, especially concerning comfort and load? I know that you guys like both bikes, is it the price or the performance that puts the 500 ahead.

    • Vitor Santos

      I think they are giving too much love to the cb500x. Its a great bike, dont get me wrong, its a good deal if you want to save some money upfront. But i think the 750 is a better deal on the long run, especialy for what you want. On long highway runs and fully loaded the nc is a much better option because of that really torquey engine, i think the cb will strugle a litle in those conditions. Especialy the new 750 which should have a lower rpms cruising and a even smother engine. Plus you get better mileage with the nc.

    • John

      They like the 500 because it is light, fun and revvy, whereas the 700/750 is more of a serious long distance bike (though I’m skeptical of that seat). Kids who grew up on 10,000 redlines don’t believe in shifting before about 8000 rpms so…..yeah. Also, by all accounts, the 750 ought to be very easy to pick up because of the low Cg, maybe easier than the 500. I don’t think anyone has ever suggested that the 500 outperforms the NC except in town or maybe for running around in canyons. Remember, there are people who only ride bikes for fun, not for transportation.

  • http://statesofmotion.blogspot.com/ FastPatrick

    Still no pricing/availability for the new small KTMs?

    • John

      The KTM Duke and Freeride are about $6000 and $6500 in Mexico (not including sales tax) if that helps. Which is pretty reasonable actually.

  • John

    The CRF250L is light? Sure, for a 500, it is light.

  • John

    “If I was buying a new bike in 2014, it’d be this one.” If I WERE, writer man.

  • Johnny Nightrider

    If I was all of you I would buy the 2015 FZ09.The fueling thru the throttle is right on and the suspension is on also as well as its more comfortable than a 2014 FZ09.Or do what the 2nd says and buy a used Fz09 on craigs list with low miles and use the money you save on a new one to get the suspension front and rear fixed and have the fueling flashed so its not so abrupt in A and standard.I had to sell my 2009 FZ6 last August because my father passed away and needed funeral expenses.It had 5000 miles on it with a extended warranty good thru 2015.The person who bought got a heck of a deal as I never did any burnouts .wheelies,stoppies,or go deep into the red line.Never crashed and it had extras on it.THe man who bought it was very happy to have the bike.My next bike will be a 2015 Yamaha FZ07 and I will do wheelies,burnouts,redline it and take into its top speed many times.My last bike I went 110 mph once.I’m going to get every bit of fun out of the FZ07 and if and when I sell it I will know that I got every dollar and mile out of it.