There will be 2 million new riders joining the motorcycle world over the next 10 years. What types of bike are they going for?
It’s official, retro is in. New rides are embracing the lighter and more affordable designs that manufacturers are producing.
These bikes have an old-school cool feel about them. Think back to when it was about the ride, and not how souped up the engine is, or how much chrome you have.
So what’s the best motorcycle to channel your inner easy-rider? We’ve got 10.
1. Kawasaki Z900RS
This Z900RS is going to give the ultimate in retro looks and modern performance combined into one affordable package. Coming in at around $10,000, this retro cool bike is a fresh take on Kawasaki’s classic Z1 from the 1970s.
If you’re looking to ride in comfort, you’ll appreciate the ergonomic positioning of your body and the thickly padded seat. Performance wise you’re looking at a 948cc inline four-cylinder beast of an engine.
It also comes with ABS brakes, dual on the front and single on the back. This will give you plenty of stopping power and control.
Plus you can’t forget that iconic and instantly recognizable Kawasaki green coloring. Don’t fret though, if green isn’t your color it also comes in a red/black color combo.
2. 2019 Honda Monkey
Honda is looking to duplicate the success they had with the Rebel by introducing the Monkey. If you’re familiar with Honda, you’ll know the Grom, a staple in the minibikes market. Think of the Monkey as the Grom’s retro brother.
It’s incredibly affordable at under $5,000. Those who have been riding for years may remember the Z50 “monkey bike” from Honda.
It comes with a 125cc engine and four-speed transmission. There are small 12 inch wheels and the whole bike only weighs 231 pounds. You have two colors to choose from, Banana Yellow or Pearl Nebula Red.
If you’re only looking to race about the urban jungle, then the Monkey will allow you to do it in retro style. If you’re looking for more of a long distance adventure, then keep moving along, this is not the bike for you.
3. Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
It’s no secret that Harley has struggled in recent years, even lowering their shipments in 2018 to 231,000-236,000. For 2017 their shipments were 241,498.
Harley hopes to capture that new rider market by producing tough looking powerful bikes. The FXDR is a perfect example of that.
The bike isn’t cheap coming in just over $20k. But for your money, you are getting the iconic Harley name and performance.
Harley took the Softail frame and made it tough with some lean angles, inverted forks, and a more forward leaning riding position. The motor is a 114 V twin with an impressive 119 lb/ft of torque.
4. Suzuki SV650X
If you are shopping for your first bike ever, then this is one of the best bikes for you to be looking at on this list. It’s a fun ride and manageable for someone at any skill level.
With the SV650X, Suzuki went for more of a cafe racer look. Now if you ask us, it isn’t the most authentic cafe racer look, but there are some elements that make it lean that way.
The clip-on handlebars were moved forward to make your position feel sportier. The seat is more cushioned and has the classic crossbody stitching that you typically see in a cafe racer. There are also new fairings and graphics for that final visual touch.
Suzuki left the performance of the bike alone though. It has the same 649cc twin engine, performance suspension, and ABS brakes.
5. Can Am Ryker
There’s a lot of debate over whether the Can Am bikes are truly motorcycles. Whether you are for or against, you can’t deny the rise in their popularity over the last decade.
The latest in the trike builder’s line is the Ryker. This stripped down sporty model is about half the cost of the previous Spyder model.
It has a lower stance and improved handling, so feel free to take it through those twisties with your fellow two-wheeled riders. You’ll be able to keep up with the 600cc twin engine from Rotax. If that isn’t enough power for you though, there is also a 900cc model.
Be sure to check out the Rally Edition. This model beefs up the Ryker’s performance stats for those who want to ride something badass. It’s got a raised suspension and off-road ready tires.
6. BMW G310GS
When you think of BMW, affordable isn’t usually the first thing you think of. Prepare to have your assumptions proven wrong. BMW is bringing you the G310GS for just over $5,000.
This smaller stature bike continues the legacy that BMW has built in the adventure bike market. Its seat height will appeal to those who are shorter in stature with a 32.9inch seat height.
If you want to get off-road but aren’t looking for a long distance touring bike, then you’ll want to check this bike out.
7. Yamaha YZF-R3
The Yamaha R3 is another bike that is perfect for those beginner riders that are looking for their first bike. The purchase price is super affordable at around $5,000. plus the 321cc twin cylinder engine isn’t too powerful for someone still learning.
This little bike got a redesign to give it a much tougher look so that it better matches its big brothers in Yamaha’s sport bike line. The gas tank also received some reshaping to help riders tuck in to give you a more aerodynamic shape.
There are two color options for you with this bike, and they’re pretty boring. You can go with the classic Yamaha blue or black.
8. Indian FTR1200
This is not like the bikes you are familiar with coming from Indian since their explosive relaunch in 2013. This sporty and mean looking option is perfect for chasing those sport bikes into the curvy mountain roads.
Everything about this bike is based on performance, from the huge inverted forks to the Brembo brakes, to the 1203cc twin engine with 120hp.
It has a stripped down naked look with the exposed frame reminiscent of the Ducati Monster or the Kawasaki Z650.
You won’t be putting fringed leather side bags on this bike.
You have three color options, and they are all dark and tough. Pick from Titanium Metallic over Thunder Black Pearl, Indian Red over Steel Grey, or Race Replica.
9. Royal Enfield Continental GT
Most riders aren’t familiar with Royal Enfield, although they should be, as the company has been building motorcycles for over 100 years. In fact, it was one of the first companies to start building motorcycles.
The British founded company that now resides in India has struggled recently to capture the American rider’s attention. The build quality just hasn’t been there and their lineup has been lacking.
This is changing though as the company gets serious about upping the quality. That’s where the Continental GT comes in. This 650cc engine bike is showing promising performance.
The styling is straight out of the 1970s. If you want the most authentic retro one of a kind bike out there, this is the bike for you. Since they aren’t huge in the US, you probably won’t run into anyone else with the same bike as you.
10. Ubco 2×2
The final bike on our list is probably one that you’ve never heard of, and you might think looks more like an awkward bicycle than a traditional motorcycle. We chose it though because of its affordable innovation.
This little bike from New Zealand is more about utility than performance and style. It’s electric with a range of 75 miles. What’s impressive though, is that the company claims you can conquer a 25% grade with up to 220 pounds aboard.
Almost anyone can ride the bike thanks to the super light weight of 140 pounds and low seat height of 31.5 inches. That light weight comes from the fact that the framework is minimal and there are no fairings to speak of.
We hope you like white because that’s your only color option.
Which One Is the Best Motorcycle for You?
So now that we’ve gone over the best motorcycles that are coming out in 2019, all that’s left is for you to check them out. Before you buy any motorcycle, you should look at it in person.
You’ll want to sit on them, see if it feels comfortable. Then when you’ve narrowed down your choice to one or two take them for a test ride.
Pick the bike that you feel most natural on. Remember that your motorcycle is an extension of you, so while these retro looking bikes may look like your style, they may not fit your riding style.
Is this your first time buying a motorcycle? Check out these beginner’s buying tips.