During the “bigger is better” trend of the late ‘90s to mid-2000s, few street-legal motorcycles were less than 500cc, which meant that the lightness, affordability and playfulness that comes with small bikes were also in short supply. But in recent years—really, since the Great Recession of 2008—manufacturers have introduced a wide variety of small-displacement bikes. Here are 10 new or updated 2017 (OK, one is a 2018) motorcycles, all with displacements below 400cc. Every one should be a hoot to ride!
2017 BMW G 310 R
This is BMW’s first foray into the sub-500cc roadster segment. The little naked bike is powered by a 313cc single that makes a claimed 34 horsepower, and it weighs just 349 pounds.
2017 BMW G 310 GS
Based on the G 310 R, this wee GS has the same 313cc, 34-horsepower single and styling that’s a spitting image of the globetrotting R 1200 GS.
2017 CSC RZ3
Based on the Zongshen-built RX3 Adventure (read our RX3 road test review), the RZ3 streetfighter has a liquid-cooled, 250cc single and costs just $3,495.
2017 Honda CRF250L / Rally
Updated for 2017, Honda’s popular CRF250L dual-sport gets a revised 249.6cc single and other changes to improve performance, as well as new styling. There’s also a new Rally model.
2017 Honda Rebel 300
Based on Honda’s CB300F, the new Rebel 300 is powered by a 281cc single, weighs 361 pounds and will be available with or without ABS.
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
Joining the popular Versys 650 and Versys 1000 street-adventure bikes for 2017 is the new Versys-X 300, which has the same 296cc parallel twin as the Ninja 300, spoked wheels with a 19-inch front and a large 4.5-gallon tank.
2017 Kawasaki Z125 Pro
Team Green’s answer to Honda’s popular Grom (read our first ride review), Kawi’s Z125 Pro has aggressive styling, a 125cc single and a $2,999 price tag. Check out our first ride review from San Francisco.
2017 KTM 390 Duke
KTM’s scrappy little hooligan bike gets a through update for 2017 with throttle-by-wire, a slipper clutch, updated brakes and suspension, and much more. It’s powered by a 373cc single that makes 43 horsepower at the rear wheel and weighs just 340 pounds!
2018 Suzuki GSX250R
This new 250 combines the 248cc parallel twin from Suzuki’s GW250 (read our first ride review) with bodywork inspired by the legendary Katana sportbikes.
2017 Suzuki VanVan 200
Available for years in Japan, the VanVan 200 puts the “fun” in “funky” with its retro styling, fat tires and playful 199cc single.