Top 10 Value-For-Money Hondas

Honda’s current motorcycle lineup is packed with value

Share this Article

062714-top-10-vfm-honda-f

Less than a decade ago, the motorcycle market was experiencing unbridled success. Manufacturers were updating their sportbikes every two years, and the cruiser market was blazing hot with riders who sought personal freedom via riffs on the V-Twin archetype. Motorcycles sold at unprecedented levels, especially to a baby boomer demographic that was absolutely flush with cash, credit, and/or home equity.

Then the Great Recession of 2008 struck a debilitating blow, causing most riders to consolidate their finances and put their dreams of a new bike on hold. Meanwhile, motorcycle manufacturers seemed unsure how to react to the uncertainty. There were three basic strategies:

1. Drastically cut-back on new models, hide their head in the sand and wait, hopefully, for the market to recover. This tact, with some exceptions, was followed by most of the Japanese Big Four.
2. Introduce new models that appealed to the upper end of the moto market, targeting traditional buyers who still retained disposable income that could be spent on luxury items like a motorcycle. Most European manufacturers took this path and achieved market-share growth.
3. Re-prioritize model development to target new riders and value-minded customers who will be critical to reinvigorating the motorcycle market.

Honda chose the latter option, bringing a diverse collection of motorcycles to market, all of which appeal to riders focused on value. Many of these recent models are also targeted at the millennial demographic, to whom big-inch cruisers and expensive sportbikes are far too intimidating and too pricey to consider as as a first bike.

Honda’s lineup now includes 10 streetbikes priced below $8,000, and all of them are easy enough to ride for almost anyone, even newbies. All but one have been introduced since the start of the Great Recession, and two of them are even available with high-tech dual-clutch automatic transmissions that remove the clutch lever from a newbie’s intimidation equation. Most also offer class-leading fuel economy.

To recognize Honda’s efforts at making motorcycles more accessible to a broader market, we’ve put together this list of the 10 street-legal Honda motorcycles we believe offer remarkable value for the money. Turn the pages to find quick-takes on Motorcycle.com’s reviews of each bike, including specifications and our real-world fuel-economy test results. There’s more to a value-for-money equation than just price alone, but we’re listing them here in order of their MSRPs anyway.

Get Motorcycle.com in your Inbox
  • Craig Hoffman

    Yamaha is giving Honda good competition in some areas. The new FZ09 has a gem of an engine for 700X money and they are just coming out now with their twin. Hopefully Yamaha take a cue from Honda and offers their new bikes in a variety of formats. An FZ09 powered ADV variant with a roomier feel and more fuel capacity could be a big winner. Yamaha needs to get with it and produce a WR450R version of it’s excellent 250R already too.

    Good to see the manufacturers realizing we are not all made of money. The auto manufacturers seem to have completely lost the plot. Unlike cars, motorcycles are not vehicles to lease. There has to be an affordable value oriented option in the new market, or the used market becomes the whole market.

    • Jason

      The FZ-09 and FZ-07 are interesting bikes but they have one glaring omission: no ABS. This is 2014 and ABS should at least be offered as an option especially considering that ABS is standard on these models in Europe.

      • The People’s Champion

        i heard the FZ09 is limited to a 132mph… that’s N650 territory and the bike is shod with poor suspension for its engine.

        • Jason

          Limited to only double the speed limit? I think that should be adequate for public roads.

          • The People’s Champion

            by that logic we should all be riding those 80-90mph capable 250s no?

          • Jason

            Top speed, engine displacement, power, and acceleration are all very different things. I have no need to go more than 132 mph but that doesn’t mean that I want to ride a 250.

  • octodad

    purchased CTX700n w/ABS-DCT. having a blast on this scoot. pal w/ the street glide always wants to take mine for a spin. I enjoy riding his cycle, but prefer my little Honda. slow speed handling is superlative, and it can snap my head back as I roll on the throttle. get a lot of compliments on the cool look and ergonomic seating. big Red is dominant force w/awesome motorcycles. I am a fan…

    • Sarang Borude

      How does it do on freeway speeds, Is it easy enough to pass vehicles?

  • sgray44444

    Thinly veiled advertising? Not hardly- there’s no veil at all!

    • Steven Holmes

      Advertisement or not, it’s pretty nice to see that “Big Red” has so many cost effective options out there for me to try. Be nice if the other major manufacturers had similar lines to choose from. It’d make for good competition if the rest of ‘em had comparably cost effective product lines.
      Something to be said about Honda’s reliability and longevity though… that’s pretty hard to beat.

    • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

      You see many negative observations in advertisements? Like slow to accelerate, limitations of its suspension, etc? How about actual measured MPG instead of OEM claims? I see them in this set of short reviews, which also happen to echo the full reviews done previously on Motorcycle.com when Honda wasn’t an advertiser at all.

      • sgray44444

        That’s what is so distasteful about the whole article. It has the appearance of genuine journalism, but it really is just an advertisement for Honda.
        Of course you can find negatives for any motorcycle. They are all built to a price point and application, so saying a cheap motorcycle does not have good suspension is just stating the obvious. Everyone knows manufacturer’s MPG claims are done under more ideal conditions.
        Hey, I don’t care if Honda is a huge sponsor and you take this route. I still like to read about motorcycles of all kinds. It doesn’t speak well to your credibility though.
        Do I believe the reviews were biased? No, actually I don’t. But, I do think that the review being about a single manufacturer’s entire product line says something.
        Everyone knows that Honda makes a good reliable bike. It’s just odd for a magazine to focus completely on one manufacturer’s product line without the word “advertisement” being on the top of each page.
        The word disingenuous comes to mind as I read this thread and the article.

        • http://norimek.com/blog Robert C. Barth

          I have yet to obtain Honda’s specified fuel economy on either of my two Hondas. I always get much better! (no kidding)

  • Piglet2010

    Will a Rebel really go 80-mph – most reports I have seen put top speed at less than 75-mph?