Best Value Motorcycle of 2023
Best Value Motorcycle of 2023: Suzuki 800 Platform
Naked motorcycles of varying sizes have come out in force to the value category of our MOBOs for the past decade. Last year, an adventure bike stirred up the pot of naked domination. This year, we’re seeing Suzuki come in with a solid competitor from each class with its new 800 platform in the V-Strom 800 DE and GSX-8S. At $9k for the 8S and $11,600 for the Strom DE, both motorcycles represent an excellent value in their specific categories.
With a naked, adventure, and now sportbike version on the way, Suzuki will have a pretty wide spread of offerings with its excellent new 776 cc Parallel Twin engine. The beauty of a punchy Parallel Twin is that the broad torque delivery is excellent in both naked and adventure trims, always ready with a dollop of torque should you be commuting or exploring. Suzuki has a history of building solid engines that can last the test of time (see the 999 cc K5 engine and its derivatives), and we see this engine doing the same for the Hamamatsu crew.
In both models we’ve tested with the 800 platform from Suzuki, the engine has stolen the show, but as a whole, the V-Strom 800 DE and GSX-8S have managed to carve out a hole for themselves that no other bike in their respective categories quite hit. These bikes manage to sit themselves within a performance/characteristic gap that they solely occupy while doing so at a reasonable price point. This category isn’t about being the cheapest, nor is it solely based on value. The Best Value Motorcycle of 2023 goes to the Suzuki 800 platform because of the reasons above, yes, but also because of the fact that these are some of the most innovative new machines for the 2023 model year, and they come in at an excellent value.
Read more: Motorcycle.com Best of 2023 Award Winners
Best Value Motorcycle of 2023 Runner-Up: Royal Enfield Hunter 350
By Dennis Chung
One of the criticisms we’ve gotten over the years is that our picks for the Best Value category are too expensive. And year after year, we have to remind people that being the best value doesn’t always equate to being the cheapest. Some might balk at Suzuki’s asking price for this year’s Best Value winners, but as Ryan points out, when you factor in what you’re getting and how that compares to the competition, we steadfastly stand behind our decision.
To those who disagree, then let us present for your consideration our choice for the runner-up, the Royal Enfield Hunter 350, which comes in at a very competitive $3,999 (and $4,199 for the two-tone color options).
The same qualities that led us to give the Hunter 350 the runner-up nod for the Best Lightweight/Entry-Level MOBO put it up for consideration again in the Best Value category, but ultimately, the $4k price tag made it a no-brainer.
At that price, it comes in well below other small-displacement models like the more modern-styled Honda CB300R and Kawasaki Z400, as well as retro-flavored bikes like the Benelli Imperiale 400, and Triumph’s upcoming Speed 400, all of which are priced within a couple hundred dollars of the $5,000 mark. Even the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Meteor 350, which use the same air-cooled Single as the Hunter, come in at $4,599 and $4,899, respectively.
By keeping the Hunter 350 at $3,999, and that’s with ABS as standard, it was an easy call for our Best Value Runner-up.
Ryan’s time in the motorcycle industry has revolved around sales and marketing prior to landing a gig at Motorcycle.com. An avid motorcyclist, interested in all shapes, sizes, and colors of motorized two-wheeled vehicles, Ryan brings a young, passionate enthusiasm to the digital pages of MO.
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