Top ten best value motorcycles of 2020

If you’re looking for a new motorcycle that offers you bang for buck, these are the ten best value motorcycles of 2020

Kawasaki Ninja 650 review

THE 2020 riding season finally looks to be getting underway as restrictions in England begin to ease and the search for the best value motorcycles of 2020 begins.

Dealerships are now opening again – with social distancing guidelines taken into account – and we can now begin to take test rides on the bikes we’ve waited all winter to swing a leg over.

But for many, the winter and new year of 2020 was not a good time, pushing the purchase of a new motorcycle further down the list of necessities. With that in mind, getting the most bike for your money is key, and here are the ten best value motorcycles of 2020.

10. Best value CBT naked – Kawasaki Z125 - £3,599

Hanging onto the coattails of the Z range is the stylish little Z125 sports naked. Re-styled at the end of 2018, the smallest naked in the Kawasaki range is still one of the best looking and best handling CBT friendly nakeds on the road. It also significantly undercuts the competition from the likes of KTM and Aprilia, always important for those riders on a paper round budget!

9. Best value CBT sports bike – Lexmoto LXR SE 125 - £2,499

Coming from the leftfield here but, hear me out. The Lexmoto is not only good value – £2,500 in a market of sports bike costing nearly double that – it’s also very well spec’d, featuring twin disc brakes, USD forks, aluminium swingarm, and that cool looking styling.

Probably the only fly in the Lexmoto ointment though is the engine. The wheezy little 125 only produces 12bhp, in a field of bikes that produce the maximum allowed 15bhp.

8. Best value A2 naked – Suzuki SV650 - £5,499

Costing the same as some of the high-end 125cc machines on the market, the SV650 may have been around since some new riders were born, but the sands of time have been kind to one of Suzuki’s longest-running current (ish) model.

It’s sporty looking, handles very well and has an easy to manage V-twin engine that can excite new riders and entertain more experienced pilots.

If stretching to a brand new motorcycle right now is just a bridge too far, there is always a shed load of used SV650s (and it’s older faired sibling) on the market for extraordinarily little outlay.

7. Best value A2 sports bike - Kawasaki Ninja 650 - £6,899

Having just spent a couple of weeks wringing the neck of a new 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650, I can confirm it is our bike of choice for those looking for a fun, fast, good looking, and comfortable sports bike that can be converted to A2 use.

Revised for 2020, the Ninja now features new styling, the best TFT dash on two wheels, increased rider and passenger comfort, and a new, cleaner-burning Euro5 five engine. If you want sports bike riding dynamics and styling without having to visit a spinal specialist once a week, the Ninja 650 needs to be on your list for 2020.

6. Best value four-cylinder A2 sports bike – Honda CBR650R - £7,949

Updated at the tail end of 2018, the Honda CBR650R gained Fireblade-a-like looks, a new dash, a revised exhaust system, LED lighting, assisted slipper clutch, and a Euro5 engine.

On the launch in Almeria, it impressed us with its out and out sports ability as much as it did with its comfort. Like the Kawasaki above, if you're looking for a sporty machine that isn’t going to cause you pain and discomfort on a long ride, the CBR650R is a very good choice.

5. Best value A licence naked – Yamaha MT-09 SP - £9,747

Okay, so there may be cheaper bikes in the full license sector, but few can match the MT-09 SP in terms of spec and ability. The SP version of the MT-09 gets a trick Öhlins rear shock, fully adjustable KYB forks, quickshifter, slipper clutch, traction control, and riding modes.

If you are looking for a naked that provides near sports bike levels of handling, power and ability, there are very few bikes that can match the stylish looking Yamaha.

The track-day friendly dynamics do though come at a price, it’s a hard-edged and sharp thing to ride on the road, with one of the smallest (and most unforgiving) pillion seats I’ve ever plonked my backside on! If that doesn’t put you off though, it’s also one of the most engaging and rewarding machines this side of the 200bhp sports bikes.

4. Best value A licence sports bike – Suzuki GSX-R1000 - £13,699 (offer)

If you fancy joining the 200bhp club but don’t want to be spending £20k or more, the recently updated GSX-R1000 cannot be overlooked.

The sixth generation of Suzuki’s flagship sports bike is also the most powerful, aerodynamic, and best equipped GSX-R ever produced. For just over £2,000 more you could even opt for the range-topping GSX-R1000R, which features upgraded brakes, suspension, and rider support systems.

3. Best value A2 cruiser – Kawasaki Vulcan S - £6,499

Laidback cruising does not have to come at a price, as the Kawasaki Vulcan S proves. For those looking to deck out their machine with all the trappings of a true cruiser motorcycle, the Vulcan can also be equipped with 100s of optional and aftermarket parts to turn it into the perfect A2 machine.

2. Best value A licence cruiser – Harley-Davidson Softail Standard - £11,495

It may be getting billed as a blank canvas bike that is ready for customisation, but to me, the stripped back styling of the Softail Standard makes it one of the best looking bikes in the current H-D range.

If you have an itch for a Harley-Davidson and don’t fancy the Street 750 route into ownership, 107ci (1750cc) Milwaukee-Eight engine will give you the full-sized feel, sound, and vibes of a true Harley-Davidson!

1. Best value adventure motorcycle – Royal Enfield Himalayan - £4,499

It may lack the capacity and pizzazz of some of the bigger adventure machines, but what it loses in weight it gains in rideability and real-world usability. Ask any true adventure motorcyclists what they’d rather take off-road – this or a BMW R125 GS Adventure – and the majority would be reaching for the Himalayan’s keys nine times out of ten!

The Royal Enfield also has something that very few other full-sized adventure machines have, simplicity – the last thing you want to break down on a trail is a big, expensive, and hard to fix motorcycle.