1. Suzuki Boulevard S40



It doesn’t seem quite fair to the newer bikes on this list, but to get to roots of Suzuki’s Boulevard S40, one must travel all the way back to the bike’s origin as the LS650 Savage in 1986! Tooling for this motorcycle was paid for so long ago that Suzuki should axe the retail price and only charge customers freight and set-up fees. Nonetheless, the Boulevard S40 is the most inexpensive bike here by a wide margin, while still offering 652cc of displacement. Nothing comes close to the S40 in terms of bang for the buck. And, it you don’t particularly care for cruisers, Ryca will happily change your S40 into cafe racer, scrambler or tracker.

Ryca CS-1 Review

  • Born to Ride

    I did NOT expect to see the ancient Suzuki Savage top this list. Nice curve-ball Roderick.

    • DickRuble

      What did you expect? He used price/displacement as ranking criterion. The better bikes are closer to nr 10… makes sense.. It’s just a sign of what inflation does when you have to pay $5500 for a Suzuki Savage. The nice thing is you can get a pretty pristine used one for about 1500, if the money is burning a hole in your pockets..

    • Honestly, I didn’t see it coming either. Didn’t even realize they still made the bike until I started researching the list.

  • TheSeaward

    Buddy of mine sold his Multistrada and bought an FZ-07. He currently has zero regrets.

    • Born to Ride

      It is a clean, good looking (in grey and blue), highly moddable bike that gets good gas mileage and can be ridden in anger. What’s not to like? I’d still take the multi though.

      • TheSeaward

        He thought the Multi was too heavy and unreliable. It would have a dead battery after sitting for a week, among other things. Impressive bike, but if you’re constantly chasing gremlins then it’s not much fun to ride.

        • Born to Ride

          That’s why I stick to the good ol’ air cooled ducs. Not a lick of trouble from either of mine in the combined 30k miles I have ridden them. I want a M1200s but I am concerned about the investment. My father has had warranty work done twice on his Diavel since 2012 when he bought it new.

    • Jay Stevens

      Not too surprising. Ducati is Italy’s revenge for losing WWII.

  • JMDonald

    I cannot look at these modern bikes without wishing that they had been available back when I was in my twenties.

    • Yep, motorcycles have come a long, long way since I first became interested in riding.

  • Dave Fox

    Any of these bikes are ok if you’re a massive bender.

  • bobplugh

    It’s a real shame the Kawasaki Z800 isn’t here – that $399 is nothing at this end of the spectrum and after perusing this list, it is clearly the leader of the pack in that group of bikes.

    While that is said, if you want, pick up a LEFTOVER NInja 1000 for $8-9k and you’ll be much happier. The 2014/15 N1k are the same bike except for coloring schemes and they’re sweet bikes.

    I bought a 2014 with factor saddlebags for 10.2k for my son and we traded in his old 2003 Ninja 250 for $1500 – great deal – now he can really ride with me when I’m on my 2005 ZRX1200 (I love this bike)… I have to admit though, the N1k has a lot of nice features!


  • BillMcG

    Suzuki S40/LS650 all the way! single cylinder, air cooled, simple. By just logging onto a site (suzukisavage.com) you will learn all the tricks to making your S40 or LS650 savage a very fun machine. Warning…. most all the guys there are old school, as in, single building grade school/high school folks…. LOL. Yeah old timers, but really, the S40 platform has been around for 40 years and it is almost kill proof if you know the tricks to keeping up on the little maintenance needed.