15 Of The Best Commuter Motorcycles To Consider

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While cars are the more visibly popular commuter vehicle options seen out on the roads, there has been a noticeable shift in those who have chosen to make their commute via motorcycle instead. If you were interested in transitioning from a car to a motorcycle as your primary commuter vehicle, you would likely want to know the best commuter motorcycles available to you. What are the best commuter motorcycles? We have done the research and have found your answer.

The best-valued commuter motorcycles currently found in today’s moto market are listed below and are as follows :

  1. BMW G 310 R
  2. Honda NC 750 X
  3. KTM 390 Adventure
  4. Yamaha TW 200
  5. Kawasaki Z 125 Pro
  6. Suzuki SV 650 ABS
  7. Harley-Davidson Street Rod
  8. BMW F 900 XR
  9. Honda GROM
  10. KTM 690 Enduro R
  11. Yamaha MT-03
  12. Kawasaki Versys-X 300
  13. Suzuki Vanvan 200
  14. Harley-Davidson Street 750
  15. Honda CB 500 X

With our commuter cycles identified, let’s get right into the details of each bike and what they offer.

Motorcycle rider view. 15 Of The Best Commuter Motorcycles To Consider

15 Best 2021 Commuter Motorcycles

While many of us ride motorcycles for the thrill and the excitement, the other half of us ride for more functional (work-related) commuting reasons. Not all motorcycles truly fit the bill of needs as a commuter option, so it is important to highlight features that we used to filter out bikes that work great to avoid suggesting those that may not work quite well.

While there are many motorcycle styles out there, we have chosen to focus on the more compact “adventure/street” styles given their smaller frames and speed/maneuverability. All the brands we selected are highly reputable and well-recognized titans in the moto industry.

So, while the selections may be tough to make from a personal standpoint, rest assured all these vehicles are well worth the investment for a commuter motorcycle. Without further ado, here are our selected motorcycles.

1. BMW G 310 R

BMW Motorcycles G 310 R on display at a motorshow in Thailand

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $5,045.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 42.5″
  • Engine Types: 313 cc Single-Cylinder 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 88 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.9 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 362 lbs.
  • MPG: ~70 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the BMW Motorrad motorcycles website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

2. Honda NC 750 X

Honda NC 750 X at DDOR BG Car Show in Serbia

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $8,199.00
  • Trims Available: 2
  • Seat Height: 31.6″
  • Engine Types: 745cc Parallel-Twin Cylinder 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 122 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.8 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 472 lbs.
  • MPG: ~67 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the Honda Powersports website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

3. KTM 390 Adventure

KTM duke 390 motorcycle at Manila International Auto Show

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $6,399.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 33.7″
  • Engine Types: 373cc Single-Cylinder 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 105 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.8 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 348 lbs.
  • MPG: ~53 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the KTM motorsports website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

4. Yamaha TW 200

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $4,699.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 31.1″
  • Engine Types: 196cc Single Cylinder 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: ~75 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.8 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 278 lbs.
  • MPG: ~78 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the Yamaha motorsports website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

5. Kawasaki Z 125 Pro

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $3,299.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 31.7″
  • Engine Types: 125cc Single Cylinder 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 100 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 2 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 224.8 lbs.
  • MPG: ~135 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the Kawasaki motorcycles website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

6. Suzuki SV 650 ABS

Closeup of a SUZUKI SV 650 S motorcycle parked in the historical streets of Reims

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $7,699.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 30.9″
  • Engine Types: 645cc DOHC V-Twin 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 124 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.8 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 437 lbs.
  • MPG: ~75 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications for this bike, visit the Suzuki motorcycles website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

7. Harley-Davidson Street Rod

  • Year: 2020
  • Base Price: $8,699.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 29.8″
  • Engine Types: High Output Revolution X V-Twin
  • Top Speed: 105 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.5 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 525 lbs.
  • MPG: ~54 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications for this bike, visit the Harley Davidson USA motorcycles website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

8. BMW F 900 XR

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $11,695.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 32.5″
  • Engine Types: 895 cc 4-Stroke In-Line Two-Cylinder
  • Top Speed: 125 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.1 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 482 lbs.
  • MPG: ~56 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the BMW Motorrad motorcycles website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

9. Honda GROM

  • Year: 2022
  • Base Price: $3,399.00
  • Trims Available: 2
  • Seat Height: 30″
  • Engine Types: 125cc Single-Cylinder 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 58 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 225 lbs.
  • MPG: ~134 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the Honda Powersports website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

10. KTM 690 Enduro R

Enduro motorcycle stands on the street side at the outdoor cafe

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $11,999.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 35.83″
  • Engine Types: 690cc Single-Cylinder 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 105 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.5 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 350 lbs.
  • MPG: ~48 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the KTM motorsports website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

11. Yamaha MT-03

Yamaha mt-07 motor sport bike on the city street parked

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $4,599.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 30.7″
  • Engine Types: 2-Cylinder DOHC 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 105 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 373 lbs.
  • MPG: ~56 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the Yamaha motorsports website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

12. Kawasaki Versys-X 300

Red Kawasaki Versys on the side of the road.

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $5,899.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 32.1″
  • Engine Types: 296cc Dual Cylinder 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 100 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 386 lbs.
  • MPG: ~70 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the Kawasaki motorcycles website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

13. Suzuki Vanvan 200

Suzuki VanVan 200 on display during Progressive International Motorcycle Show

  • Year: 2019
  • Base Price: $4,649.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 30.3″
  • Engine Types: 199cc Single-Cylinder 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 70 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.7 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 282 lbs.
  • MPG: ~75 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the Suzuki motorcycles website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

14. Harley-Davidson Street 750

Motorcycle Harley Davidson Street 750 at International Fair for Motorcycles

  • Year: 2020
  • Base Price: $7,599.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 25.7″
  • Engine Types: Revolution X V-Twin
  • Top Speed: 100 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.5 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 515 lbs.
  • MPG: ~55 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the Harley Davidson USA motorcycles website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

15. Honda CB 500 X

  • Year: 2021
  • Base Price: $6,999.00
  • Trims Available: 1
  • Seat Height: 32.8″
  • Engine Types: 471cc Parallel-Twin 4-stroke
  • Top Speed: 110 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gals.
  • Curb Weight: 434 lbs.
  • MPG: ~80 mpg*

For further questions, inquiries, and detailed technical specifications, and notable features for this bike, visit the Honda Powersports website. For a direct link to the model provided above, click here.

* All the estimated MPG’s provided are roughly calculated by factory test conditions.  Your motorcycle’s actual MPG will be determined by the frequency of its use, weather and road conditions, accessories, cargo, and your own weight and operating proficiency.

Is Commuting On A Motorcycle Worth It?

How you choose to tackle your commute is ultimately a matter of personal preference.  While there are both advantages and disadvantages to making your primary commuter vehicle a motorcycle, it is difficult to state the better of the two options definitively. As a result, below, we have compiled a list of pros and cons for your due consideration.

Advantages (Worth It):

1. Weather (Seasonal)

    • When the weather is nice, riding your motorcycle to work or elsewhere can be the perfect opportunity to jumpstart your day outdoors, considering that it will likely be filled with lots of stationary indoor time.
  1. Cost/Finances

    • The cost of owning, refueling, and insuring a motorcycle is typically significantly less than a car and is a big reason many choose to use motorcycles to commute.
  2. Convenience

    • Motorcycles are better enabled to weave in and out of city traffic and require far less parking space when necessary.

Disadvantages (Not Worth It):

  1. Weather (Seasonal)

    • Poor weather can be a very real and, in your face, disadvantage to commuting on a motorcycle. If the weather is poor, you will, unfortunately, be exposed to the full force of nature in the worst possible way. That said, if you are only a seasonal motorcycle rider, then you could always hang up your helmet in the offseason for the sake of your commute.

How Should I Dress For A Motorcycle Commute?

Whether you are commuting to work or enjoying a leisurely weekend joyride, you should always dress in the appropriate motorcycle gear. Safety first, after all! While it may seem a challenge to dress for work or otherwise and make the commute, there are some useful tips and hacks that the routine moto rider can take to simplify this task. Instead of wearing work apparel while riding, many opt to leave their business attire in the office to change into once they have reached their site of employment. Doing so makes it possible to effortlessly gear up in the appropriate level of moto safety attire. A helpful acronym is commonly heard within the motorcycle community, ATGATT, which stands for All The Gear, All The Time. What is all the gear?

  1. Full Face Protective Motorcycle Helmet
  2. Jacket
  3. Pants
  4. Gloves
  5. Boots

By ensuring you are wearing all the proper protective gear, you can travel to and fro with peace of mind knowing you are being covered in all the right places. For those who may not prefer to change in the office or at the final destination, there are specialized one-piece suits that can be worn over any attire that serves the dual purpose of protecting your body as well as the appearance of your apparel. No bug splats on your lapel or soaked in the rain, etc. The full-body suits are relatively inexpensive and provide unparalleled coverage.

Joe Rocket Motorcycle Riding Suit

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What’s The Best Way To Carry Stuff On A Motorcycle? 

Just because you are not driving a car with an abundance of storage space, or a trunk for that matter, doesn’t mean that you are doomed to go without the ability to carry your belongings. When riding and transporting items on a motorcycle, you will sometimes need to get creative with the space available or incorporate accessories that make it possible to carry what you need. What options are available? Let us take a look at trusted carrying and transporting methods on a motorcycle.

  1. Backpack
  2. Tank Bag
  3. Saddlebags
  4. Top Trunk
  5. Built-In Storage
  6. Straps
  7. Motorcycle Trailer*

*Motorcycle trailers tend to be designed for larger “Touring/Cruiser” motorcycles. However, that does not mean that they cannot be found or implemented into your city/commuter motorcycle. Most bikes with the ability to tow a trailer will have hitch hardware preinstalled. If this is not the case, check the manufacturer’s weight rating or consult an experienced motorcyclist or technician.

How Do You Carry Groceries On A Motorcycle?

Depending on the perishable or non-perishable groceries you are transporting; you can use any of the above-listed carry-on methods we discussed in the “How To Carry Stuff” section of our article above. However, the preferred method tends to be either the use of the tank bag or the top trunk. Regardless of the option you choose, it goes without saying that large grocery runs are less likely to occur when using a motorcycle, so don’t bank on making many wholesale (Costco, Sam’s Club) trips on your moto.

AutoInBox Universal Motorcycle Storage

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Motorcycle Driving Tips For City Traffic

Whether you are a seasoned city rider or a “greener” newbie, tips and tricks are always helpful to make your city commute and riding a little easier.

Make Yourself Visible

While black-on-black attire may look sleek and tough, the brighter the colors you wear, the greater likelihood surrounding drivers will remain cognizant of your presence, improving the safety of your riding.

Aim For Open Space

Avoid clusters of vehicles where you could end up in blindspots. If you aim to stay in an open space, you will be less prone to stop/start motions in traffic.

Maintain Constant Awareness (Limit Distractions)

Always scan the surrounding area for other drivers and limit your interactions with outside devices like music and media. Many riders integrate audio setups into their helmets that can serve as a dangerous distraction when in full motion.

Survey Road Conditions

The more frequently you take a particular route outside of weather anomalies, the more comfortable you will become with the terrain. With this familiarity, you will be better enabled to avoid obstacles on the roads (dips, potholes, speed traps, etc.).

Use Recognized Signalling Methods

Do NOT exclusively rely on your motorcycle signaling instruments. When getting licensed, you should’ve been trained on proper hand signaling while riding motorcycles on the city streets. Implement those gestures at all times to double ensure surrounding vehicles are aware of the moves you will be making.

Limit Aggressive Riding Tactics

There is a fine line between aggressive and assertive driving. Just because you are quick and small does not mean that you should be reckless and impose yourself unnecessarily onto other drivers and motorists.

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In Closing

As has been seen, commuter motorcycling can be a great option for those looking to change up their daily driving routine. With so many motorcycle options to pick from, the only real decision you need to make is what works best and fits your style. Always exercise the utmost caution and, most importantly, Have Fun! Until next time, seat up, strap up, and enjoy the ride!

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