Bang for your Buck: 6 Street Bikes Under $5,000 for 2023

6 2023 street bikes for $5000
Whether you’re about
to test for your Class M license, or just itching to add a new toy to the stable, you’d be surprised how far your dollar goes in the entry-level street bike market. Features like standard ABS, inverted forks and slipper clutches are becoming increasingly common on budget-friendly offerings, and most big-name brands have at least a bike or two priced under $5,000.

While you shouldn’t expect to rule the roost on a sub-$5,000 machine, these budget street bikes boast impressive features and technology for the price, not to mention curb appeal that suggests you paid significantly more. You’ll find dozens of bikes on the web for under $5k, but for our list, we wanted to focus on full-size bikes that most anyone could hop on and enjoy for years to come.

BMW G310R
BMW G 310 R
A BMW for $5k? The compact naked G 310 R from BMW Motorrad expands the brand’s appeal to the entry-level market. Offering 34 hp, a low 31” seat height and a slipper clutch, the G 310 R has the look and feel of a more expensive bike.

BMW G310R
For its first foray into sub-500 cc territory, BMW collaborated with Indian TVS to build a premium small cc naked bike for global sales. Designed in Germany and assembled in India, the G 310 R has sharp lines and great naked bike appeal befitting the BMW badge.

The bike is based around a 313 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder, with the cylinder head rotated 180 degrees to push the center of gravity forward. Punchy for its size, the DOHC engine delivers 34 hp at 9,250 rpm, which is strong for the class. Power is delivered through a six-speed transmission with a slipper clutch, which prevents the rear-wheel from locking up during aggressive downshifts.

BMW G310R
Based on a basic steel spaceframe, the G 310 sports an inverted fork and a rear monoshock, which is adjustable for spring preload only. Brakes are single disc front and rear, with standard BMW ABS. The bike weighs 362 pounds at the curb, which combined with the low seat height, makes it super accessible for most any rider.

With an MSRP of $4,995, the BMW G 310 R is a compelling choice for city streets and curvy backroads. It’s light and powerful for the class, and its 10,500-rpm rev limit should make any trip a fun one. [BMW Motorrad]

KTM 200 Duke
KTM 200 Duke
Imagine having the 390 Duke’s attitude in a more accessible package, all for $1,500 less. That’s the idea behind KTM’s 200 Duke, a model that’s existed in other markets for several years, and now makes its U.S. debut.

The entry-level Duke has all the aggressiveness and sporty character we expect from a Duke, and enough crossover with its big brother to feel familiar as well. The bike is based on a lightweight steel trellis frame, with a sharp front end, large headlight and a minimalist fairing.

KTM 200 Duke
Suspension components are borrowed almost entirely from the 390, with an inverted WP APEX 43 mm inverted fork and APEX monoshock in the rear. The rear has been shortened slightly to bring the seat height down to an accessible 30 inches.

KTM 200 Duke
Sure, its 199.5 cc DOHC four-stroke is one of the smallest in the naked bike class, but the 200 Duke’s single-cylinder has some grunt. Power figures from KTM come in at just over 25 hp, and the engine feels torquey down low like its big brother. A six-speed transmission and hydraulic clutch make the most of the displacement, and single discs with standard ABS keep things under control.

With an LCD display, ABS and a switchable supermoto mode, KTM’s 200 Duke is loaded with cool features and attitude worthy of the Duke name. MSRP is just $4,199, and for that, the little Duke is more than just an exciting bike for the money. [KTM, Schedl R., KISKA]

Honda CBR300R
Honda CBR300R
If you want quality at an affordable pricepoint, I’m going Honda every time, and the brand has multiple offerings under $5,000. For this list, I’m going with the CBR300R instead of the Rebel or any of the minis, because it provides the most mph for your Benjamins.

300 is the new 250, and the CBR250R made the leap to 300 back in 2015. To get technical, the CBR300R is powered by a DOHC 286 cc single with a six-speed, which is essentially the same mill as the CB and CRF models. Tuned for higher rpm operation in the CBR, the engine produces 30 hp at 8,500 rpm, and it’ll spin to 10,500 rpm. Honda’s 300 single is a bulletproof engine, even if it isn’t the most exciting, and it gives the CBR a unique feel.

Honda CBR300R
The single-cylinder slims the whole bike down compared to other models, and combined with its low 30″ seat height and 354-pound curb weight, the CBR300R feels comfortable and flickable in corners. Its posture is less aggressive than your average sports bike, given the raised clip ons, making it an easier adjustment for less-experienced riders. It’s worth noting that the CBR300 is a smaller bike, and best suited for smaller riders.

Priced at $4,899 (or $5,099 with optional ABS), the Honda CBR300R is worth considering if you’re after a worry-free and approachable street bike. It looks the part with aggressive styling and crisp Honda quality, and it’ll certainly go the distance. [Honda]

Royal Enfield Hunter 350
Royal Enfield Hunter 350
For dedicated city commuters, or super green riders dipping their toes into motorcycles, Royal Enfield’s air-cooled standards offer quite a bit of charm and utility for a rock-bottom pricepoint. Royal’s Hunter 350 model is a more nimble take on the brand’s 350 platform, offering sharper handling and unique cosmetics for as little as $3,999.

Expectations should be conservative when you’re looking at a full-size that’s priced like a mini, but the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is a pretty capable machine within its intended purpose. For city riding and occasional highway use, the 349 cc engine provides a sufficient 20 hp at 6,200 rpm, and the five-speed transmission shifts easily with minimal clutch effort. Seat height is an approachable 31 inches, and the Hunter is roughly 30 pounds lighter than the Classic 350.

The basic steel chassis, suspension and powerplant are fairly standard items on the Hunter 350, but dual-channel ABS, a USB charge point and tubeless tires are nice additions. The combination of analog and digital gauges is also a solid improvement over the Classic, and is compatible with Royal’s Tripper navigation system. [Royal Enfield]

Yamaha MT-03
Yamaha MT-03
When you’ve got a good thing going, try making a smaller version. Like the other brands on the list, Yamaha hit sub-400 cc paydirt by building a beginner-friendly naked bike around the venerable YZF-R3 platform.

Billed as your entry to the dark side, Yamaha’s MT-03 builds on the popular MT lineup by providing a sporty naked-bike experience on the cheap. In passing, the MT-03 could easily pass for the MT-07, as it receives the same edgy plastics and eye-catching color schemes, but at a $3,000 discount.

Yamaha MT-03
More than just aggressive looks, the 321 cc parallel twin from the YZF-R3 is good for 50 hp in the MT-03, which is a distinct advantage among its peers. Power is funneled through a six-speed transmission, but the MT-03’s clutch pull has been reviewed as a bit harsh.

The MT-03 uses a KYB inverted fork up front, and a preload-adjustable monoshock in the rear. Brakes are single discs front and rear, with standard ABS. Like its peers, the MT-03 is based around a 30″ seat height, and curb weight is pretty light for its class at 373 pounds.

Yamaha MT-03
The Yamaha MT-03 offers very strong specifications for the small cc naked bike class, not to mention proven Yamaha build quality. Priced at $4,999, the MT-03 is a bike that you can start on, and have fun with for years to come. [Yamaha]

Kawasaki Ninja 400
Kawasaki Ninja 400
Alright, I’m bending the rules a little with this one, but hear me out. While Kawasaki’s Ninja 400 busts the budget by a few hundred bucks, I’m going to shamelessly group it in with the others given the similar size and displacement.

The Ninja 400 is good right out of the gate, considering it’s based on a steel trellis frame and weighs just over 360 pounds. Seat height is still low at 31 inches, but the Ninja is larger than some other bikes on the list, and probably a better fit for larger riders.

Kawasaki Ninja 400
Powered by a DOHC 399 cc parallel twin, the Ninja 400 is a nice step up in power. Compression is up at 11.5:1, and the engine makes a solid 45 hp at 10,000 rpm. Depending on your size, the Ninja 400 will push beyond 115 mph flat out. On the flipside, the bike is also fit with an ‘economical riding indicator’ and an assist/slipper clutch that permits lighter clutch pull, as well as clutch slip under aggressive downshifts.

Call it unfair, but for $5,299, you’re considering the Kawasaki Ninja 400 if you’re considering the others on the list, and you really should. It has to be stated that this price is for the non-ABS model, as that feature will cost you extra, but with the right dealer incentives, the Ninja is my choice for $5,000. [Kawasaki]

Kawasaki Ninja 400

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