Beginner bikes. Save for the obscure cruiser-ish thing you rode during your MSF courses, the two we hear more often than not for learning the moto-trade, especially if sporty-type riding is your thing, are the Kawasaki Ninja 300 (and formerly 250) and Honda CBR250R, now to include the CBR300R. However, we’re here to remind you there are other, potentially better, options.

What we’ve gathered for this test are five alternatives to the fully-faired, quarter-liter(ish) displacement category: the Honda CB300F, Royal Enfield Continental GT, Yamaha SR400, and two Suzukis, the GW250 and TU250X. All five have minimal bodywork, meaning the inevitable tipover won’t ruin fairings, all have manageable power, and all price tags all coming in under $6000.

Stylistically, the CB300F and GW250 represent modern, contemporary beginner-bike styling, while the Continental GT, SR400 and TU250X are old-school, representing bikes your dad might’ve started off on. Hell, your dad might still recognize the Enfield and Yamaha, as both are essentially the same bikes from 40-odd years ago. Right down to the kick starters (though the Continental also has a button).

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We also have a wide range of engine choices. The GW and TU Suzukis have the smallest engines, at 248cc and 249cc, respectively, but the GW has the advantage of being a liquid-cooled parallel-Twin, whereas the TU is an air-cooled Single. Despite the name, Honda’s CB300F Single is really 286cc, placing it as the next largest engine here. It, too, has the benefit of liquid-cooling, but only the Honda can claim dual overhead cams. Next up is the SR400 and its 399cc Thumper. While relatively large in this class with its two valves air-cooling and single overhead cam, it hasn’t changed significantly since the Jackson 5 were big. Yamaha were at least nice enough to update it with modern fuel injection. So, there’s that.

Leading the way in engine displacement is the Indian-made Royal Enfield, its 535cc Single towering over the rest. There was a time when engines like these ruled the racing landscape. Unfortunately, that time is long past, and like the Yamaha, the Indian copy of a British Single is virtually ancient in its design. That said, the big-displacement Enfield does boast the highest torque in the test, with 27.0 lb-ft., followed by the Yamaha (20.1 lb-ft.), Honda (17.4 lb-ft.), GW250 (13.7 lb-ft.) and TU250 (11.5 lb-ft.).

Five beginner bikes, and not one is a CBR or a Ninja. See? You have options. This is America.

Five beginner bikes, and not one is a CBR or a Ninja. See? You have options. This is America.

It’s not surprising to see the biggest engine produce the most torque. However, the benefit of newer engine designs is evident when looking at horsepower. Here, the 286cc Honda wins with 26.2 horses, followed by the SR400 (22.7 hp), Continental GT (20.0 hp), GW250 (19.2 hp) and TU250 (14.8 hp).

Power is not the be-all, end-all in determining winners. While true for every motorcycle, this is especially true in the beginner-bike market. A manageable seat height, light weight and agreeable riding dynamics are but a few of the things new riders will appreciate in small bikes. For this test, yours truly, along with Content Editor, Tom Roderick, and Kickstart Editor, John Burns, were joined by guest testers Thai Long Ly and Jessica Prokup. While your esteemed staffers all (vaguely) remember being noobs, Thai and Jess both are well tuned to the needs and concerns of new riders, with Thai having received his motorcycle endorsement only 18 months ago and Jess a former MSF instructor.

The Honda makes the most power, with a nice, steady arc through the rev range. Meanwhile, in a drag race to approximately 30 mph, the Enfield stomps them all below 5000 rpm.

The Honda makes the most power, with a nice, steady arc through the rev range. Meanwhile, in a drag race to approximately 30 mph, the Enfield stomps them all below 5000 rpm.

After putting all the bikes on the dyno and weighing them with full tanks of gas, we then rode them all in a mixture of urban and suburban environments, with a little bit of freeways and twisty roads thrown in for good measure. When all was said and done, we jotted notes, tabulated scores, argued amongst each other, and finally came out with results.

It should be noted that all five of these bikes make great beginner machines, and a certain personality may very well gravitate towards the bike we rank fifth over our winner. That’s perfectly fine, almost expected for the odd grouping we have. Here, then, is our ranking, from fifth to first.

Making the most torque here at just 3500 rpm, the Enfield is practically diesel-like compared to the rest. The Yamaha sees a big spike after about 4700 rpm, where it hits its peak then tapers off again. Meanwhile, the others show more gradual curves.

Making the most torque here at just 3500 rpm, the Enfield is practically diesel-like compared to the rest. The Yamaha sees a big spike after about 4700 rpm, where it hits its peak then tapers off again. Meanwhile, the others show more gradual curves.

Fifth Place: Suzuki TU250X. $4399

LightweightNakeds-SuzukiTU250-Action-0953

It’s a shame the TU has to bring up the rear in this test. The elegantly styled retro bike is overwhelmingly competent in many areas. Four of the five testers gave it favorable reviews, with words like “fun” and “cool” being tossed around about how enjoyable it is to ride. Surprisingly enough, it handles, too. That’s right, the classically styled Suzuki is great for maneuvering through tight spaces or bends in the road. Credit goes to its feather-light 325-pound wet weight, the lightest in this test.

“This thing turned in at will and it reminded me of my Mongoose BMX bike from high school,” says Thai. “I found myself smiling the entire time I rode this little ferret of a bike.” Those sentiments were shared amongst most of the crowd, though curmudgeon Burns had other ideas. With not even 15 horses on tap (14.8, to be exact), the TU “doesn’t have enough power to stay ahead of traffic,” he says. It’s true, the TU is remarkably anemic, even among this crowd. Of course, leave it to Jess to find the TU’s silver lining. “Though not plentiful, power delivery is at least smooth and linear,” she says. Freeway speeds are still possible, but it’s wise to remain in the slow lanes when doing so.

The TU is a surprisingly competent motorcycle on twisty roads thanks to its light weight, making it a hoot to throw into turns.

The TU is a surprisingly competent motorcycle on twisty roads thanks to its light weight, making it a hoot to throw into turns.

That aside, the TU has all the fixings for a good beginner bike. Perfect fueling makes it easy for a new rider to learn clutch control. It’s low 30.3-inch seat height is the closest to the tarmac of this bunch, and even our short-legged guest, Thai, had zero issues touching down. From there, the TU scored a third-place finish in the transmission category, along with a second place in handling. We found it to be comfortable for an errand run, and were especially impressed with the 67 mpg it returned.

“You really can’t fault the performance of the TU,” Tom says about the TU’s competence. “It does everything it’s meant to do – turn, brake, accelerate – with unquestionable proficiency. For the novice, especially one who is slight in stature, the TU is simply the best bike on which to learn how to ride a motorcycle.”

However, what hurt the TU most in our scores was its price. At $4399, the Japan-built roadster is simply too expensive for its own good. Weighing in at $400 more than both the CB300F (built in Thailand) and GW250 (built in China), it certainly isn’t $400 better than either bike. Some, like Burns, see the weak engine as a liability. Also, the bias-ply tires have a tendency to follow rain grooves in the road. Its styling didn’t excite any of us, but we’d rather be seen on the TU than its stablemate, the GW.

An extremely competent beginner motorcycle, the TU excels in an urban environment. Unfortunately, its price tag can be hard to swallow.

An extremely competent beginner motorcycle, the TU excels in an urban environment. Unfortunately, its price tag can be hard to swallow.

“Seems to me the TU should be priced in the $3500 to $3700 price range, then it would be a lot higher in the rankings,” says Tom.

Fourth Place: Yamaha SR400. $5999

LightweightNakeds-Yamaha-Beauty-1512

It’s hard to ignore the novelty of the SR400. While it’s been a popular trend in both the auto and moto worlds to bring modern versions of iconic classics to market, the SR400 is pretty much the same bike Yamaha has been producing and selling since the 1970s, only updated with fuel injection and various emissions-related dealios. The styling has hardly changed, the controls look like they’re on the wrong side of 40, and even the kickstarter looks like it came from a ’70s parts pin. But if Yamaha thinks the market is clamoring for new old bikes from a bygone era, then the SR should be a hit. We aren’t so sure. But hey, at least it has a kickstarter. That’s cool, right?

Here, witness Roderick at his many failed attempts at kicking the SR400 to life. His appreciation for electric starters has increased dramatically ever since.

Here, witness Roderick at his many failed attempts at kicking the SR400 to life. His appreciation for electric starters has increased dramatically ever since.

At least until it’s time to start the bike for the second time (it’s cool the first time), and realize there’s no button to press. “The kickstart-only thing seems hip until it’s hot out, and you’re at a gas station trying to find top-dead-center before the 15-minute window – to ride home and get some luvin’ from your sweetie before the kid wakes up from his nap – closes,” said a pre-occupied Roderick. “If I wanted a motorcycle this authentic to the original version, I’d go buy the original version. Otherwise, give me electric start.”

The kick-start novelty wore off quickly for all our testers, even SR-loyalist Burns, who didn’t seemed fazed by it after the launch, “but this one’s not a first-kick starter like the one I rode on the launch, so…” From there, the five testers were largely mixed on the Yamaha, with the guest testers sharing completely opposite views from the jaded staffers.

Nowhere was this more apparent than when discussing the SR’s handling. Tom and I liked the SR’s handling in the tight stuff, its bars at a nice location to provide good leverage. Burns, too, was satisfied with its manners. However, Thai and Jess thought otherwise, the former complaining of dragging hard parts in corners while none of the other had this issue. “Disappointing,” was how Prokup described it. “Its cool vintage styling is unfortunately backed up by vintage handling and performance.” Admittedly, suspension is tuned for comfort, as they are for all the bikes here, but its bias-ply tires, like the TU250’s, don’t provide great confidence and track with rain grooves on the highway. “That spooked me in the ’70s and it still spooks me today,” says Burns.

The SR wasn’t a sportbike back in the 70s and it ain’t one today. Hard parts are prone to touch down with aggressive lean angles, but the cure is simple: slow down.

The SR wasn’t a sportbike back in the 70s and it ain’t one today. Hard parts are prone to touch down with aggressive lean angles, but the cure is simple: slow down.

By now we’ve established the SR is not going to win any vintage races, but that should have been obvious. It’s 30.9-inch seat height is the second tallest in the test, but that’s not really saying much. Nobody had any problems touching down on any bike here. The SR feels especially narrow between the legs, which helps promote the small-bike feel while also making it easier to touch the ground. At 381 lbs. with a full tank, it almost feels toy-like between the legs.

Engine wise, Burns, Roderick and your author found ourselves enjoying the power from the 399cc air-cooled Single. It makes due with its 22.7 horses quite nicely, with precise fueling all around. Ridden for what it is, there’s more than enough power to zip through town or country back roads. If you spend a lot of time on the highway then, “You spend a lot of time with this one at wide-open throttle,” says Prokup, “as it never seemed to have enough top-end power.” Burns points out that “it’s actually not a bad freeway cruiser, though it likes 65 better than 85 mph.”

In real-world riding, the SR’s seat is decently padded for around-town expeditions and errand running. The bike feels narrow overall and the front disc/rear drum brake setup is more than adequate for the job.

In real-world riding, the SR’s seat is decently padded for around-town expeditions and errand running. The bike feels narrow overall and the front disc/rear drum brake setup is more than adequate for the job.

Our main complaints about the SR400 center around its high-speed handling and lack of top-end power, neither of which would be a concern for a new rider, as their riding shouldn’t depend on either. If it does, then you’re looking at the wrong motorcycle. The SR400 might appeal to you if you feel you should have been born four decades ago, but like the TU250X Suzuki, a more pressing issue is its price. At $5990, “I’m having trouble justifying the $6k price tag for a kick start-only street bike,” notes Roderick. Prokup agrees, “The lack of electric start sucks for newbies, but it’s probably fun for experienced riders who like the novelty.”

Yamaha must feel confident in the number of new riders looking for something old school, or the old timers looking to rekindle a portion of their youth, to buy the SR400. None of these testers fit either description. As such, the SR400 lands in fourth place.

Third Place: Suzuki GW250. $3999

LightweightNakeds-SuzukiGW250-Beauty-1842

Despite its decent third-place finish, the GW250 hardly left a lasting memory on our testers. On paper, the Suzuki GW250 boasts some impressive stats. At a dollar shy of 4-large, it’s tied with the Honda CB300F as least expensive motorcycle here. Its affordability is a large reason for its standing in this test.

It also sports a parallel-Twin engine, liquid-cooling and 17-inch radial tires at both ends. “Next to the Honda,” Tom notes, “the GW is the most modern bike here, and the only one with a gear-position indicator and fuel gauge indicators within its instrument cluster. It also has an adjustable front brake lever.”

The GW didn’t inspire much cornering confidence, with its tendency to flop into turns. Though Burns disagrees, the rest of us felt constant bar inputs were needed to maintain an arc.

The GW didn’t inspire much cornering confidence, with its tendency to flop into turns. Though Burns disagrees, the rest of us felt constant bar inputs were needed to maintain an arc.

Nice touches, yes, but at 248cc, it’s also the smallest engine here. With only 13.7 lb-ft of torque, “I’m not sure it could pull the hair off my chin,” says Thai. To really get any power from the little engine, it has to be spinning to stratospheric levels. It can do 80 mph, but you’re better off timing it with a calendar than a stopwatch. By that point, the engine is spinning to 9600 rpm — only 1400 revs shy of redline. While the rest of us were uneasy about revving the engine to the moon, odd-duck Burns comments, “Even up there, it’s not too buzzy at all. And unlike the retro bikes, it feels nice and stable the whole time as it’s on modern tires, and for me, the ride’s pretty smooth too.”

As you may have noticed, Burns often has the differing opinion from the other four testers, who weren’t as glowing about the GW’s handling. The GW’s 30.7-inch seat height is entirely manageable by all our testers, but it was also the second heaviest of the quintet at 407 lbs, full of gas. “That’s heavy for a 250, and it doesn’t hide it well,” says Prokup. When trying to flick the GW, Tom describes its turn-in response as “quick if not floppy.” All of us took some time to adjust to its manners, as constant input was needed after initial turn-in to maintain an arc. “The GW was less fun to ride than the TU,” Jess says. “Probably because it’s less flickable.” With a 56.3-inch wheelbase, the longest in this test, it’s no wonder why the GW felt less agile than the others.

We like the GW’s instrument cluster, as it’s easy to read and the only one with a gear-position indicator. Just be prepared to see the tach needle pointing vertical whenever highway speeds are involved.

We like the GW’s instrument cluster, as it’s easy to read and the only one with a gear-position indicator. Just be prepared to see the tach needle pointing vertical whenever highway speeds are involved.

The GW’s loose resemblance to the discontinued B-King – a monster of a naked hooligan if there ever was one – left us confused as well. The GW’s lack of power seemingly does the spirit of the B-King a disservice. “If the B-King were Tequila, the GW250 would be yogurt,” Thai says. “So why do they look the same? I don’t get it.”

Fine, we get that the GW isn’t a canyon carver or drag racer, but we’re still a little puzzled as to the GW’s purpose when used on a more normal basis on the street, other than being a decent starter bike for taller riders thanks to its “big bike” dimensions. She’s a decent ride, smooth and all, but gearing is short and tightly spaced together, requiring a 1-2 shift by about 15 mph. The rest of the cogs get shuffled through rather quickly after that. You’re well into sixth gear by 60 mph, meaning you’ll get plenty of practice shifting, even if you’re just making a burrito run. That said, it still returned 60 mpg. Impressive, considering how much time it spends revving to the moon.

Around town the GW is up to the task. It needs to be shifted a lot, but at least the transmission is silky smooth.

Around town the GW is up to the task. It needs to be shifted a lot, but at least the transmission is silky smooth.

Alas, because the GW was middle of the pack in many areas of the scorecard, it earns its third-place ranking. It’s cheap, smooth around town and even has a gear-position indicator. However, Burns would like to point out, “Everybody disses the poor GW, but for the same price as the Honda you get two cylinders, a bit more engine smoothness and almost a full-size bike.”

True, but the GW makes less power than the Honda. “I have no idea who’d want to buy this,” says Prokup. “It doesn’t have the goofy fun factor of, say, a Honda Grom, and doesn’t have the rideability of other bikes in its class. And the streetfighter-ish styling just seems garish.”

Second Place: Royal Enfield Continental GT. $5999

LightweightNakeds-RoyalEnfield-Beauty-1641

If the amount of attention a motorcycle receives as it’s parked outside a coffee shop was enough to win a test, then the Royal Enfield Continental GT would win this test by a landslide. In fact, it’s the main reason it even achieved its second-place finish. It handily won the Cool Factor section of our scorecard, with the second place bike some 23 percentage points adrift. The classic cafe styling of the Enfield drew eyeballs at every stop, with onlookers asking to take a picture, chat about the bike and even have a seat on it. “Unequivocally the most attractive, charismatic motorcycle of the bunch,” Tom said.

If these onlookers actually got to ride the Enfield, their perceptions would likely change. Take Thai, for example. When given first crack at which bike he wanted to ride, he bee-lined straight for the Continental. His experience? “It was bloody hell,” he said. On the freeway, “the bars vibrated like they should’ve come wrapped in anonymous brown paper and my hands literally went numb about a mile into the journey.” Prokup referred to it as “wanting-to-jump-out-of-my-hands vibration.”

The Thumper sound and cafe styling are undoubtedly the coolest aspects of the Royal Enfield Continental GT.

The Thumper sound and cafe styling are undoubtedly the coolest aspects of the Royal Enfield Continental GT.

By the time everyone got their first taste of the 535cc Single, we thought for sure it would end up at the back of the pack. Its 27 lb-ft of torque made itself felt as the best in this test, and Burns noted he could be a little lazy with his shifting in the canyons because of it. The throaty exhaust note sounds killer as well, but that vibration — dear God, the vibration!

“Then, oddly, it grew on me,” Jess notes. A rider eventually realizes there’s a sweet spot “as long as you stay away from the 3500-rpm zone, where the vibes are debilitating” says Burns. Stay clear of that area and you can start to enjoy it. Around town, clutch pull is only slightly stiffer than the rest, but that isn’t saying much in this crowd because they all have light clutch pulls. The shifter can feel clunky at times, but we never managed to miss a shift. Otherwise, the Thumper makes easy work of the daily commute. The torquey engine thrives in this environment, leaping away from stoplights with ease. Unlike the others, the suspension was tuned more toward the firm side, meaning bumps in the road were felt more than the rest.

Despite rattling like a paint mixer, we were pleasantly surprised with the Enfield’s handling abilities. Same goes for its brakes. The Enfield handled corners with ease and delivered excellent stopping power without exhibiting any fade throughout our day.

Despite rattling like a paint mixer, we were pleasantly surprised with the Enfield’s handling abilities. Same goes for its brakes. The Enfield handled corners with ease and delivered excellent stopping power without exhibiting any fade throughout our day.

While a bit uncomfortable in the city, the slightly firm suspension made canyon work a lot of fun. Jess echoes our thoughts when she says “it was surprisingly stable in corners,” no doubt aided by the Pirelli Demon Sport tires. The cafe-style forward riding position gives the Continental tons of character, but it also lends itself to sporty riding. Roderick noted, “I liked the sporty riding position of the GT. For a taller guy, it provides as much room as the Honda with a more aggressive, forward leaning body positioning.” From there, the Enfield is graced with the best brakes of the five by a large margin. Stopping power was strong and the steel-braided line helped provide a firm lever. A nice touch.

Once we learned how to ride the Enfield in a way to avoid its vibey shortcomings, opinions started to shift. It’s the heaviest bike here, at 417 lbs, and its 31.5-inch seat height is also the tallest. Still none of us had any issues with the height or weight at a stop, and considering the archaic architecture of the 535cc Single (which, granted, has been upgraded to unit construction in recent years), there’s not a lot of power to worry about either. “That’s probably a good thing if newbies are considering this for a first bike,” says Prokup.

If you’re the tinkering type, the Enfield will likely appeal to you the most.

If you’re the tinkering type, the Enfield will likely appeal to you the most.

Six large is a little steep for a bike that could be fixed by a mechanic from the ’50s, but for the new rider with mechanical aptitude looking to get their hands dirty modifying their ride, the Enfield is a solid choice. “For owner involvement,” Burns points out, “I bet there’s lots of stuff you could improve – but the basic package seems really solid and it’s by far the coolest looking to me. If you’re after a little retro but not complete impracticality like the TU or SR, I think the R-E strikes a great compromise.”

Thai, too, is confounded by the R-E. “I’d have one to run to the store or to the market. Just to look ‘hella cool’ and be the coolest hipster in Silverlake. Except that wanting to be the coolest hipster in Silverlake in itself is so cool, it’s no longer cool, but sorta cool in an uncool way. See? Enigma. Royal Enigma.”

First Place: Honda CB300F. $3999

LightweightNakeds-Honda-Beauty-1575

While this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, the price-to-performance ratio the Honda CB300F provides just can’t be matched. It won nine of the 12 categories of the scorecard en route to an easy victory. Tom points it out quite simply: “It’s the newest model of the group, with the most performance, and full-size ergonomics for a price equal to that of the GW250. How can the Honda not win this shootout?”

Mechanically, we know it’s a good bike. The 286cc engine is a gem in this class, with near-perfect fueling, a capable chassis, comfortable ergos and an unbeatable price tag. What’s not to love?

Compared to the kickstarters and air-cooling fins of some of the other bikes here, the 286cc Single in the CB300F seems futuristic by comparison. Dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and liquid-cooling all help it achieve a healthy 26 horses.

Compared to the kickstarters and air-cooling fins of some of the other bikes here, the 286cc Single in the CB300F seems futuristic by comparison. Dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and liquid-cooling all help it achieve a healthy 26 horses.

“It [CB300F] felt the biggest and most mature of the group,” Jess notes. “Big” is obviously relative, as the Honda is the second-lightest bike, at 351 lbs, and its 30.7-inch seat height isn’t at all intimidating. Fit and finish is of typical Honda quality, which inspired Burns to write, “The only other bike of the five here (other than the GW) I would want to depend on as an only bike.”

Around town, the 300F is mostly unflappable, able to handle most situations with ease. The bars provide good leverage to maneuver through the streets, while simultaneously giving a nearly upright seating position. Fueling is mostly precise, though rolling at parking-lot speeds showed a slight hiccup at part throttle. Otherwise, “there’s plenty of power for freeway and canyons,” Jess writes. “It doesn’t seem like something a newbie would grow out of too quickly.”

The Honda’s modern engine is bolted to an equally contemporary chassis. Despite soft-tuned suspension, making its way around corners was a breeze for the CB300F.

The Honda’s modern engine is bolted to an equally contemporary chassis. Despite soft-tuned suspension, making its way around corners was a breeze for the CB300F.

Speaking of canyons, the CB300F was “decidedly composed” through them, says Thai. We expected that, but the Honda’s prowess shone bright when faced with the admittedly inferior handlers we brought along (save for the Enfield). The same bars that help the pilot navigate through traffic help the CB carve a corner, and the suspension “offers enough stability for an entry-level sportbike,” says Jess.

The only quibble comes from the CB’s stopping power. Tom writes, “in our Retro Roadster Comparo we toasted the CB1100’s stellar brakes against better-equipped motorcycles, and then here comes the CBR300F with just the opposite front-end braking performance. It’s squishy and lacking power.” But this might easily be fixed by fitting a toothier a set of pads and braided lines, and for the price, it’s easily forgiven.

Other than the adequate brakes and the occasional slow-speed fueling hiccups, it’s hard to fault the CB300F. For $3999, it makes an exceptional beginner-friendly motorcycle.

Other than the adequate brakes and the occasional slow-speed fueling hiccups, it’s hard to fault the CB300F. For $3999, it makes an exceptional beginner-friendly motorcycle.

Overall, for the new or newer rider not interested in history or tinkering, who is simply looking for a solid learning tool, our pick is the Honda CB300F. Thai sums our thoughts best: “It offers big-bike feel with little-bike thrill.”

 

2014 Lightweight Naked Shootout Specs
Honda CB300F Suzuki TU250X Suzuki GW250 Yamaha SR400 Royal Enfield
MSRP $3,999 $4,399 $3,999 $5,990 $5,999
Engine Type 286cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, DOHC, four-stroke. 4-valves per cylinder 249cc air-cooled, single cylinder, SOHC four-stroke. 248cc liquid-cooled, Parallel-Twin, SOHC, four-stroke, 399cc air-cooled, single-cylinder, SOHC, Four-stroke. 2-valves per cylinder 535cc Air-cooled, single-cylinder, OHV, four-stroke. 2-valves per cylinder
Horsepower 26.2 @ 8500 14.8 @ 7300 19.2 @ 8200 22.7 @ 6500 20.0 @ 4300
Torque 17.4 @ 6800 11.5 @ 4700 13.7 @ 6700 20.1 @ 5300 27.0 @ 2200
Bore and Stroke 76.0mm x 63.0mm 72.0mm x 61.2mm 53.5mm x 55.2mm 87.0mm x 62.7mm 87.0mm x 90.0mm
Fuel System PGM-Fi, 38mm throttle body Fuel injection Fuel injection Fuel injection Fuel injection
Ignition Digital inductive Digital inductive Digital inductive TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition Digital inductive
Compression Ratio 10.7:1 NA 11.5:1 8.5:1 8.5:1
Transmission 6-speed 5-speed 6-speed 5-speed 5-speed
Final Drive Chain Chain Chain Chain Chain
Front Suspension 37mm conventional fork. 4.65 in. travel 37mm Showa telescopic fork Kayaba conventional fork. Non-adjustable Conventional 35mm telescopic fork. 5.9 in. travel Conventional 41mm fork. Non-adjustable. 4.3 in travel
Rear Suspension Pro-link single shock, preload adjustable, 4.07 in travel Dual shocks Single Kayaba shock. Preload adjustable. Dual shocks. 4.1 in travel. Preload adjustable Twin Paioli shocks, preload adjustable, 3.1 in travel
Front Brake Single 296mm disc. Twin-piston caliper Single 275mm disc. Two-piston caliper Single 290mm disc. Twin-piston caliper. Single 258mm disc. Twin-piston caliper Single 300mm disc. Twin-piston caliper
Rear Brake 220mm disc. Single-piston caliper Drum Single 240mm disc. Single-piston caliper. Drum Single 240mm disc. Single-piston caliper
Front Tire 110/70-17 90/90-18 tube 110/80-17 90/100-18 tube 100/90-18
Rear Tire 140/70-17 110/90-18 tube 140/70-17 110/90-18 130/70-18
Rake/Trail 25.3 deg/3.9 in 25.5 deg/3.6 in 26.0 deg/4.1 in 27.7 deg/4.4 in NA
Wheelbase 54.3 in 54.1 in 56.3 in 55.5 in 53.5 in
Seat Height 30.7 in 30.3 in 30.7 in 30.9 in 31.5 in
Curb Weight 351 lb 325 lb 407 lb 381 lb 417 lb
Fuel Capacity 3.4 gal 3.2 gal 3.5 gal 3.2 gal 3.6 gal
MPG 58.5 67 60 56.7 59.3

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  • Old MOron

    Well done, MOrons. Having the guest testers was a good idea. Since none of these would be my only bike, I’d go for the Continental.

  • Kevin

    When the Yamaha came back I couldn’t understand all the clamor over the kick start: I’m not surprised the novelty wore off so quickly as I can still remember very vividly what a pain in the ass they really were:

    • Robert Spinello

      Not the new. It starts every time. it’s the EFI

  • WTF

    Can I have a continental in flat green please :)

    • Alan LaRue

      It also comes in yellow, but green would be really cool!

      • J. Scott

        Yeah, I thought that British Racing Green would have been the best color for the bike.

  • ChainsawCharlie

    That SR400 sure could do with a price drop.

    • Robert Spinello

      Not with only a couple hundred coming. It’s a limited production bike. We should be glad it’s still being made at all.

  • roma258

    Honda if you want to ride. Royal Enfield if you want to pose.

    • Ser Samsquamsh

      If you’re going to be standing by the side of the road might as well look good doing it!

  • priap1sm

    The Enfield and Yamaha both look like they should be picking up sixers of microbrews in Silverlake or Williamsburg. They just look so hipster-cool. But the Honda is the better bike, objectively.

  • JMDonald

    At just a few dollars more than a Grom I like the CB300.

  • Kevin Polito

    “Despite rattling like a paint mixer, we were pleasantly surprised.” If I rattled like a paint mixer, I’d also be surprised, but not pleasantly. Dangling participles appear often in magazine articles these days, now that these publications have dispensed with copy editors.

  • Reid

    The Honda is really the only choice here. The 390 Duke and RC390 will destroy them all for a trifle more.

  • DickRuble

    Comparing a 535cc to 250cc’s makes total sense in the MO universe. You should have thrown in the Indian Scout for good measure..

    • Alan LaRue

      It doesn’t have any more power than the 250s, so it actually is comparable.

      • DickRuble

        You’re a genius, you must of the rare breed that buys Royal Enfields.

    • Ser Samsquamsh

      MO left it out because it would be boring if the Scout won every comparison. At 500lbs and 100 HP the Indian Scout is not only gorgeous but obvious shoe-in for most friendly beginner bike.

  • fastfreddie

    MO should add “Character” to the scorelist:D

  • Piglet2010

    Spec table, Yammie SR400 Ignition: “$7,499.00”

    Huh?

  • Piglet2010

    Our local communist college MSF BRC fleet has half a dozen TU250X’s in addition to a motley variety of “obscure cruiser-ish thing(s)” and old dual-sports. Must be all the ones the local H-D/Suzuki/BRP* dealer could not sell.

    *That combination seems a poor one, eh?

  • Craig Hoffman

    The Yam is only a low compression 400. I know it has the TDC indicator thing and all, but you can’t just kick it and start it? I had a DRZ400 with far higher compression and a kicker, just kick and go. I guess the auto decomp on the DRZ is a big advance…

    The Honda CRF250L is probably worthy of a newbie comparo. Dual sports introduced more of us older types into motorcycling than any other type of bike. There is an orange SL100 in my distant and dusty past…

    • Alan LaRue

      I have a Royal Enfield Bullet, and for quite a while I was fighting the kick-starter, and finally quit using it. Then I read the correct way to start it. I had been turning it to just before TDC. The correct way, which still surprises me, is to turn it just past TDC. Seems like you’d be too far away from the ignition point, but in fact, it starts quite easily this way. I always kick start now.

      • Craig Hoffman

        Just past TDC gives you the most “spin time” before hitting compression again.

        I had a 500cc 2 stroke dirt bike that was a beast to start. I really was best to slowly get it past TDC compression, then hit that lever like a man. One time a half assed kick caused it to pop and kick back, driving my knee into the throttle tube. That one hurt…

  • J. Scott

    I bought a Yamaha SR400 in June of this year. As far as starting goes, it is 2 kicks cold, 1 kick warm…always. Because of the FI, low compression and having a compression release, starting is very easy.

    I suppose the $6k price seems high. It is the only bike of this bunch that is made in Japan and thus has much higher labor costs. I notice they didn’t flinch at the cost of the Royal Enfield which is higher than the SR and is made in India with lower labor costs. The Enfield cannot match the SR400 for fit and finish and the SR has general higher quality throughout. The Yamaha engine design is light years better than the Enfield.

    I don’t see the Yamaha as a 4th place bike here but I guess I’m biased. The Yamaha should be in 2nd place where the Enfield sits. JMHO. The Honda is a really nice bike and at that price is nearly unbeatable but I have had a hard on for the Yamaha singles ever since the SR500 and XT500 came out in the late 70’s.

    I don’t plan on leaving my bike stock and there is an aftermarket/hi-po parts supply for the SR400/500 that is huge. So, things seen as problematic for the SR (lower power, soft suspension, ground clearance, tires, etc) will be dealt with. All is takes is $$$$.

    • Chris_in_Kalifornia

      Not without an electric starter.

      • J. Scott

        Really the only time I miss an electric starter is if I stall it at a light. I’ve only done that once since I got the bike.

    • Craig Hoffman

      Ya, the SR engine is a very well known quantity. Go nuts and have the head ported and drop a cam in that thing. Apparently a good port job by someone who knows that engine works wonders. If I recall right, they epoxy/fill in the intake port and make it “D” shaped. The resulting smaller port works better. Fun stuff :)

      • Robert Spinello

        The lady tester pushed the Enfield to second, She was obviously in love with the Enfield. It looks like a piece of shit to me. If the Enfield takes second the Yamaha wins the test. The Enfield vibrates more and can’t match the fit and finish nor the styling of the SR…Oh, the Enfield has electric start..big deal. The Yamaha should have taken second with the Enfield bringing up the rear. The test is biased and flawed.

    • Robert Spinello

      J. Scott. I agree. The Yamaha deserves a higher spot just for its heritage, quality and styling alone. It will hold its value better than ANY of these.Too gad Motorcycle.com is ignorant to this fact.
      Bigger is not always better. I bought a new 1979 SR500 back in the day, and I

  • Alan LaRue

    I have a Royal Enfield (not the Continental GT), and can tell you that the vibrations get better as it breaks in. However, when it’s new, you definitely have to check the screws and nuts often, and Loctite is your friend. Actually lost a few! Hopefully the Conti is better than the Bullets in that regard.

    One thing the testers got wrong about the Royal Enfield, though: It isn’t an old bike that’s been updated through the years. The other RE’s are, and there was a Continental GT back in 1965, but it was a 250. This one is styled to look like the old one, but it’s really a clean sheet design.

    As much as I’ve enjoyed my Bullet the last 3 years (for freeway commuting), I’m not sure I would’ve bought it if some of the current bikes from other manufacturers had been available. Nobody else was selling a 500 in the U.S. at the time, and the 600-650s all cost a bit more. I would be more likely to get a CB500F or even a CB500X. In fact, the CB300F you tested here would probably be better, and it’s a lot less expensive.

    A guy at work (who rides a Concours) is still amazed that I ride the Bullet on the freeway, and he’s told me a couple of times that I should get a “real” motorcycle. But, then, he isn’t getting 67 mpg. Gotta admit, though, that I have the itch for a sport-touring bike. I’m just too cheap! If I had the CB300F, would he tell me the same thing?

    • Chris_in_Kalifornia

      Probably would.

    • Kevin

      Ask him, then do whatever makes you feel good!

      • Alan LaRue

        Oh, well, he’s just teasing really. I’m not very big (5’9″, 170) so the 300 would probably fit me just fine. He does seem pretty surprised that anyone would ride such a small bike on the freeway, but it keeps up just fine.

        • DickRuble

          The guy at work is still amazed that anyone would buy a Bullet, let alone ride one.

          • Alan LaRue

            I realize you’re just trying to be a jerk, but you’re actually probably right. They only sell a few hundred units in the U.S. each year.

            Did you read the article? More importantly, did you watch the video? The testers really liked the Continental GT.

            Most people who see it aren’t quite so cynical as you. People always want to talk to you when you’re on a motorcycle (I’ve owned a couple of cruisers in the past, and also an FZ1), but it happens even more often on the RE. One guy talked to me quite awhile about his dad and uncles having owned them in the 60s. A lot of comments are about having owned them or remembering them.

            The thing is, even though I probably wouldn’t have bought it today given what’s currently available, 3 years ago there just wasn’t anything else I was interested in. I was already over 50, so I would’ve felt silly on a Ninja 250, whereas the Bullet is just a modern classic to most people, perfectly appropriate for a middle-aged guy. If I wanted a small, “age appropriate,” but inexpensive motorcycle, 3 years ago it was either buy used or buy a Bullet.

            It turns out to be a really enjoyable motorcycle. First impression when I got it was of a motorized bicycle… it just turns so easily! Would I recommend it to everyone? No, but I would recommend it to some people. I’m pushing 170 lbs. and it’s fine. Another guy at work with a K1600GT weighs something like 300 lbs, so not even an option for him. The guy who ribs me about it isn’t especially patient, and he rides so that he can use the HOV lane. His previous bike was a V-max. He wouldn’t want a bike that you’re going to ride 65-70 mph in the slow lane on the freeway. (No HOV on my route, but even if there were, I could go fast enough.)

            I didn’t spend a lot of money on the bike (under $5000 for the B5 model). I get a consistent 67 mpg. I like riding a 400 pound bike as opposed to the 500-600 pound bikes I’ve had before.

            You know: To each their own. So tell me, “Einstein,” would you actually buy any of the bikes in this test?

          • DickRuble

            The answer is “no, I wouldn’t buy” any of the bikes “tested” here because a) there are better bikes on the used market, at a fraction of the cost (about $2000) b) 20 hp in the good old USA is not enough to be safe on the occasional highway trip. c) I have a 10 yrs old 420lbs (tank filled) bike that puts out 50 hp and 50 ft*lb or torque and has fantastic handling d) What I am looking for is a 100 hp, 100 ft*lb in less than 500lbs package, with an ergonomically correct riding position, a full fairing, and great handling.

          • Titus Chirila

            It seems one of the used Buells should fit. There are compromises (low quality parts) but only in non-essential areas – main lights, exhaust, otherwise Buells are spot on.

          • DickRuble

            I would not consider an older Buell. Period.

          • Titus Chirila

            I respect your options but.. did you ride a big Buell? My BMW 1150GS, even my two Yamahas (1100BT and 660R) created me more problems per mile ridden than my Uly and I gathered with them more than 100.000 miles. Uly is now 30.000 miles with no service other than oil, filters and belt change. Tires wore a bit too soon compared to the others, though.

          • DickRuble

            I just re-read the review of the Ulysses from 2006 and I am definitely not convinced.

          • ProDigit

            I ride a 325LBS rebel 2, that still goes 85+MPH on the speedo.
            With a little modification, rides very nice below 45MPH, and on the interstate can keep up. 100+MPGs too!

  • David Schmidbauer

    RE Continental GT sets new Bonneville Salt Flats Land Speed Record in Class. Next year… The TON! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaGETS6ZEXs&feature=youtu.be

    • DickRuble

      What record class is that; the most underpowered 500cc, or the most technologically challenged design still allowed on the road?

  • Chris_in_Kalifornia

    If I was 15 or 16 I’d probably be drooling over these bikes, dreaming about maybe being able to afford one like I did back when the Ducati Diana 250 and Honda 250’s were the bikes to chose from. Whoever gets one of these is getting a lot better bike than I would have gotten 50 years ago but certain things are not there for the most part that should be. The Yamaha seems like a nice bike but no electric starter makes it a non starter for most. No cast wheels on most means no tubeless tires. I really like the styling of most of them but I think for the money, I’d buy a used Kawasaki KLR 650 and spend the extra left over from that and use it for street tires and lowering (I’m short, oh well). I much prefer function over form. Like having a girl friend (or boyfriend as may apply) looks might get you a first date but the personality is what makes a real commitment a good thing. I’d have to try them out but they don’t sound like they have much personality. I had a Honda 160 several decades ago and it didn’t have a lot of power but it was great fun because it, well, just because. You could race just about anything out there and if you got beat by a little old lady who didn’t know she was racing, so what? It was a load of fun. Sounds like the Suzuki twin would be the most likely to be like that.

    • dustysquito .

      One thing that makes it really hard to do newbie bike comparisons is the used bike market. For the cost of one of these bikes, you could get yourself a very competent machine from two or three years ago. Hell, I bet the going rate on a 2nd gen Ninja 250 hit rock bottom after the 300 was released, and I’m sure there’s some naked models out there that experienced the same drop. However, if you don’t have a lot of money to start with, you might have to go through a dealer, and that’s where the new bikes come into play.

  • Funguy

    One issue I have with this conclusion is that it neglects the truism that Hondas are ultimately boring. I’ve owned at least eight of them. After riding them a while, they just kind of bore me. I’ve owned other Japanese and European bikes and I can’t say that about them so much. Maybe you can factor that into future comparison tests? “If you WANT a boring motorcycle, this is definately the bike for you.”

    Good collection of bikes. Good work.

    • DickRuble

      You must like boring since you bought eight of them. At least they bore you running, rather than breaking down.

  • Martin Buck

    Tell me MO, why in God’s name did you place an advertising speil splat in the front centre of my screen so I can’t read the articles??? It’s like a bird poop or cat’s paw (my cat loves to claim my car with muddy prints) getting in your driving view. It’s dangerous and annoying. What idiot approved that ?

  • Robert Spinello

    The Honda CB300F and the Suzuki GW250 shouldn’t be compared with the other three, It’s a flawed comparison because they don’t compare. The Yamaha is an exclusive, limited production machine and doesn’t compare to anything you can buy new at any price… so I can easily dismiss the Yamaha’s fourth place showing. Show me another bike that has been in production 36 years. It’s practically an icon. It shouldn’t even be in this comparison.

    • Jeno Lehel

      one must realize that it was not a real competition. for me it was a nice introduction to see these bikes together and to listen to some subjective opinions by more experienced riders, to get to know the “motor talk”. when i decided to by the Honda, i made further research, and my decision did not rely on this only video.

  • Luke

    Tough comparo. You’ve got your standard set of things you judge bikes on, but at the end of the day, the question should be “what would you recommend to a new rider?” What does a newbie want in a bike?

    If a new rider wants stable and modern, the Honda is clearly it. If they want classic styling, in the video, all the talk was pro-TU, which somehow finished last when put through the normal tests results scoring system – which sort of tells me the normal test result scoring system doesn’t work for newbie bikes. Add to that the fact that the TU comes in $1600 cheaper than the other “classic styled bikes” it’s confusing to see it come in last.

    As a TU owner, I can say the talk in the video was spot on (both positive and negative points), and it’s absolutely the “non-modern” looking bike I would recommend to the new rider.

    • dustysquito .

      I think part of the reason you want to judge these newbie bikes by many of the same standards you would use on the bigger bikes is because newbies need room to grow as well. If you hand a newbie a bike with way too little power, it might be good for them to learn on, but they’re going to get bored with it extremely quick. I don’t think any of these bikes have so much power that they’re going to get away from a beginner, but some definitely have more room for a rider to grow. If I were recommending a bike to a potential new rider today (and they had to get a brand new one for some reason), I would recommend the Honda. Honda’s are known for being unbeatably reliable, the gas mileage is good, and I think it looks pretty sharp too.

      As far as the retro looks go, I like that this site does their own retro comparisons where that factor is highlighted.

      • ProDigit

        It depends on the newbie, the rider.
        Not everyone’s goal is a fast bike, and a thrilling ride.
        Some just want to have an economical commuter. And if the TU250x brings them everywhere they need to go, it’s hard not to love that little bike!
        However for me, I need interstate, 85+MPH from time to time. And I fear that a Honda CB300F would still be too slow to do it.

        I’m sure that a 350cc for me hits the sweet spot.
        I’ve had larger sized bikes, and smaller, and I’ve more than once downsized.

        Bigger is not always the goal of any rider.
        The only reason I still have the Rebel, is because it’s comfy, it’s buzz free, if you know in which RPMS to ride it, and it gets me where I need to be (save for top speed).
        So I outgrow the Rebel, solely for top speed reasons. Any other reason, is a great bike to me! Great on gas too!
        It allows me to cruise around comfortably, and almost no other bike out there does that for me!

  • Goose

    I rediscovered MO (I was a subscriber back in the early days) a weeks or so ago. Between this and the Kool-Aid article I’ve made a point to stop by regularly.

    I really enjoyed the comparison. I owned an SR500 back in the day, I can say the comments about the SR400 line up pretty well with my memories. For the rest, from the little I know, the bikes got a fair test.

    I’m thinking about a little bike as an errand runner, general fun bike. Your test confirmed my thinking the CB300F might be what I want. Then I get to Honda’s web site and find out the bike doesn’t have an ABS option, even though virtually Identical CBR300 does.

    Somebody needs to explain to Honda NA ABS doesn’t need to be rationed. Really guys, there is plenty to go around. Here is a great bike for a first time rider, a bike that will probably spend a large percentage of it miles in congested, pot holed, greasy city streets, often with a beginner at the controls but no ABS option. Really dumb move Honda.

  • JP

    Every time I see these retro motorcycles come out, the more I appreciate the stock Bonneville. Awesome motorcycle for a decent price. If Triumph would hurry up and put abs on it….

  • Robert Spinello

    The SR400 is a limited production bike.. 1,300 are produced for Japan’s market and only 500 are being imported to the US this year – that’s why it’s expensive, not to mention It’s a very high-quality made-in-Japan motorcycle, with some hand-made assembly. So, you get what you pay for as far as exclusivity and quality are concerned.
    I’m sure Yamaha isn’t looking to make a killing on 2000 SRs per year, but It’s been reported it does cost them a lot to produce it. With only hundreds coming , the new SR400 is essentially a new collectible bike and a worthy investment. . 1978-81 Yamaha SR500s are worth $1000 more than their original MSRP, and twice as much as Yamaha’s XS 1100 Special 4-cyl. of the same era.

  • Robert Spinello

    These people are not real motorcyclists. They’re bitching over $400 and a plastic fender? “I’d rather be seen on that” – Great priorities people. And if I hear her say the Enfield looks cool one more time…The Yamaha looks a heel of a lot cooler, and most of the real experts are in agreement with me – Yamaha got it right 36 years ago and they kept right today..

  • Robert Spinello

    None of these testers fit either description. As such, the SR400 lands in fourth place. Nice guys, none of you fit my description so yu pick the bikes you like not what I might like, so why the hell should I listen to your recommendations. I should should just buy the the bike you like right?

  • Robert Spinello

    In 1978, the SR400 was born for motorcycle enthusiasts who valued more than straight-line speed and high-tech technology, and it’s clear purpose for being is still the same today. Nothing has changed here in thirty six years. Back in the day, the 1979 SR500 was grouped in a Motorcyclist comparison with the likes of 500/550/ 650 “middleweight” motorcycles) on its size alone, not for any other reason, as it was stated even then it was the ” odd one out” As such, the 2015 SR400 shouldn’t be referred to as a “beginner bike.”It wasn;t then and isn’t now, although it always has been suitable for beginners willing to forfeit electric start. Further, It doesn’t compare directly to anything new, so do not not compare it to the likes of a Suzuki 250. The new SR400 does compare of course to the SR500 and to a lesser extent, classic British Thumpers. It is, in a word, exclusive. The SR is a quality-built refined time machine that has pedigree, a history, and it’s a long awaited new collectible that will retain its value (and eventually increase in value) more than ANY Japanese-brand motorcycle, so its $5990 price shouldn’t be regarded as excessive. You get what you pay for.

    • Kevin Duke

      “Nothing has changed here in thirty six years.” Well, except that you can get a faster Japanese Single for $2k less and don’t have to kick it. :)

  • http://www.thailongly.com TL2Bass

    Hey Everyone. I’m one of the guest testers on this shootout and wanted to add some perspective. First of all, I was honored to have been chosen to participate in this adventure and would gladly do it again. I’m hardly a journalist and have no horse in the race whatsoever. I’m just a musician with a love of bikes. That’s it. I was simply asked to join along and share my thoughts and I’m glad I did.

    In case you were wondering, there was zero bias amongst any of the riders going into the testing and my only instructions were “don’t crash” and “take mental notes”. Other than that, we merely collected the bikes, ran them up and down a canyon all day and talked about them on camera.

    No script. No nothing. So perhaps the testing could’ve been more scientific, and yes, this is an odd pairing of bikes. But the point of the shootout was to offer subjective opinions from a wide range of bikers with a wide range of preferences on low powered bikes that any beginner could find themselves on. We all acknowledged that the only commonality amongst these bikes were that they all were on the economical end of the scale (at retail new) and that the tiny HP numbers wouldn’t scare any beginners. And that they were naked.

    Scoring wasn’t so cut and dry. And you must keep in mind that we scored according to not only how these bikes stack up against the best in the field, but how they stack up for the intended audience. So how do you effectively give a 20hp bike a “9” on Power when an 1199R gets a “10”. Or a bike with bias ply tires gets a “7” for Handling when a HyperMotard gets an “8”. I write this only because I was conflicted as how to score this shootout when it came to submitting my own personal results. I kept reminding myself to NOT score something compared to my ’14 Street Triple R or my ’02 Dyna Super Glide. If I did, every machine here would’ve gotten 2’s across the board (not really… but you get my drift…). So therein lies the conundrum.

    These guys at motorcycle.com do a great job and I KNOW without a doubt, that there is no preset manufacturer bias, favoritism or anything that could influence a recommendation one way or another. These guys just tell it like it is from their perspective. They don’t always agree, but that’s exactly what makes it interesting and balanced. Oh… for what it’s worth, all these guys can RIDE.

    And for those who haven’t ridden all 5 of these bikes back to back to back up and down a canyon for close to 12 hours (left at 8am, came home around 8pm) the scoring is accurate given the circumstances and constraints and I sincerely hope it helps someone make an informed decision when searching for that perfect first bike. In the end, if you’re in the market, ride them yourselves and keep your own score! Peace.

    • Jeno Lehel

      you did an excellent job. as a beginner this is the video i learned the most from. thanks.

  • Magnum045

    I hate “Crotch-Rocket” type bikes. I prefer Standards and Cruisers. Even the standard style bikes shown in this article have their pegs and controls mounted too far rearward. I like the controls where my knees and legs are bent at a 45 degree angle or less. To me the winner here is the Yamaha SR400 is the best looking bike. I like the 1970’s style look. But I agree it does need electric start also. Plus Mag Wheels (in chrome). I would also like it to have a much larger engine – such as a 1000cc or larger in-line 4 Cylinder motor. Also – regarding the article and video. I think they need more older riders test and talking about the bikes. Someone with experience and not just a bunch of young Punks.

    • Robert Spinello

      Well Said Magnum045

      • Magnum045

        Yes, I have owned a lot of Standard and Cruiser type bikes over the 35 years that I have been riding. My very first bike was a 1971 Honda 750-Four (K1) (Factory Orange Metal-flake), then I moved up to a 1981 Kawasaki 1000-LTD (Black). Other bikes I have owned include a 1982 Honda Nighthawk 650 (Blue), a 1995 Honda Magna 750C (Red), a 2000 Suzuki 1500 (Green and Black), and a 2003 Honda Magna 750C (Orange and Black).

        • Magnum045

          I forgot to mention one of my other more recent Bikes – a 2007 Honda VTX-1300C (Black). It is a shame that Honda seems to have abandoned this bike and have ceased to sell it except in their weird Chopper Form.

  • Maxim 88

    Suzuki GW250 have 24,4 Hp and torque 24nm , not 19hp

    • TroySiahaan

      Actually, our numbers are correct. The GW250 we tested made 19.2hp to the rear wheel, as tested on a dyno. The 24.4 hp number you’re quoting is measured at the crankshaft. If you account for approximately 15% drivetrain loss, you’ll see our numbers align.

  • jefrs

    That the RE CGT bars were vibrating it indicates it was not run in which takes the best part of 600 miles. It would also account for why it only gave 20bhp on the dyno. The graph shows the engine was tight and did not want to rev, peak power is around 5250rpm when run in.

    When run in the vibration mostly goes away. With a little tuning, changing exhaust and using a K&N, power and torque can be increased 20-25%.

    Btw the Classic attracts even more gawpers than the CGT and is more comfortable to ride.
    A highly tuned (and run in) 60bhp CGT recently set a new world speed record at Bonnevile.

  • ProDigit

    For the GW to have normal spaced gears, you’d have to change the 14/45t sprockets to 15/35t. That’s a lot of change. But at 14/45t you could ride at below 25MPH in sixth gear, which is kinda silly if you ask me..

  • Gabriel Owens

    It is seriously time to update this segment with a new test as the small displacement standard is a hot bike right now imho.