10 Great Commuter Motorcycles Under $10,000

Riding the bike in the desert with a friend on back

When deciding which motorcycle to buy, there's a lot you'll need to take into consideration: rising gas prices, environmental issues, and, of course, making sure your hard-earned dollar stays in your wallet.

In addition to value, people want their bikes to be fun, functional, good-looking, and fast. And bike manufacturers understand these needs; they are putting their resources toward creating exciting and affordable motorbikes. 

This list of bikes ranges from super budget bikes to retro rides, offering something for everyone—not just first-time buyers. 

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2017 Ducati Monster 797 ($9295)

Image of Ducati 797
Ducati USA

To start off, let's take a look at the Ducati Monster 797. Now, let's be honest—when you started reading this with your $10k budget in mind, you never thought you could afford a Duc'! The good news is, you can. The Monster 797 brings all the pedigree and stripped-down look to a bike that is not only affordable, but suitable for daily use. It's not going to set any quarter mile records, but the 75hp twin motor will bring a lot of fun to your rides. It's Brembo brakes make sure it not only stops well, but looks great as it comes to a halt. 

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2017 KTM Duke 390 ($5299)

KTM 390 Duke

KTM brings something new to the U.S. bike market with the 390. It might not carry the pedigree of other bikes in this list, but it's an aggressive bike in looks if not in power with a 44hp single cylinder engine. At only 300 pounds, it's a light ride and the power unit is more than enough to make for a great riding experience. If you're looking for something a little different from the other bikes on this price range, the 390 could be a great choice. 

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2017 Kawasaki Z125 Pro ($3000)

Image of Kawasaki

Minibikes may not be for everyone, but they do have a place on a list of budget bikes. For those who need to hit the freeway on your commute, this is not the bike for you. However, if you only need something to blast around town, the Z125 is a surefire hit. At only $3000 and nearly 100mpg, this single cylinder 12cc bike will save you money not just when you buy it, but every time you fill it up. It's light at only 225 pounds, and has a sporty look and small body, great for riders with smaller frames. 

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2017 Honda CBR500R ($6500)

Honda CBR500R

You simply can't go wrong with a Honda and the CRB brand has proven itself over the years. The 500R has new suspension and styling, as well as intake and exhaust systems. It's a bike for everyone and is priced perfectly for a true entry-level sports bike. The 471cc twin has plenty of guts and, couple with the CBR handling, there are very few bikes that can touch this for the money. 

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2017 Suzuki Vanvan 200 ($4599)

Suzuki VanVan 200

If you're looking for a retro, simple ride, look no further. This nostalgic (but not outdated!) version of the classic Suzuki offers comfort and screams for daily use. It's not fast, but it has enough power to zip to work or the store. It's lightweight and makes the perfect bike for casual riders. 

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2017 Yamaha SCR 950 ($8700)

Image of the yamaha bike

In keeping with the retro theme, this new offering from Yamaha will hit the spot with fans of nostalgic designs. It falls into the on-off road dirt bike category, but with a set-up that's geared towards comfort. The 942cc twin is a tried-and-tested motor found in the Bolt Cruiser, but coupled with a less aggressive riding position and a different suspension set-up. It's the perfect daily ride or weekend blast. 

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2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 with ABS ($5699)

Riding the bike in the desert with a friend on back

Not only does this model have the styling of an adventure bike, it can be purchased with all the bags and packs you would expect to see with a more expensive adventure bike. The suspension might not be quite up to the Dakar rally, but it will take more than any other street bike and the Versys-X would make for a very comfortable commuter bike. 

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2017 BMW G310R (Est $5500)

Image of the bike on sand

Another surprise brand on the list, BMW bikes are certainly not normally found under $10,000, but the  German's wanted a slice of the small bike market, and why not? The big story here is the build quality—the G310R is very much a BMW, no cut corners here. The 313cc cylinder air-cooled motor provides 34hp, which is plenty for a bike weighing only 350 pounds. It also comes with ABS as standard. Prices are not fully announced yet, but it is estimated that this bike will come in under $6000. 

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2017 Honda Rebel 300/500 ($4399/$5999)

Image of the rebel in front of a train

The Rebel has been around for a long time, and boy did it need updating! The new Rebel is still a cruiser, but is set up to be sportier, with better handling—consumers can choose from a 286cc or 471cc engine. There is no doubt that this bike looks more expensive than it is, and for those looking for a more classic look, this is certainly the one for you. 

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2017 Triumph Street Cup ($10,500)

man riding bike

Okay, so this isn't strictly under $10k, but with a smile and a bit of luck, you might score this classic-looking bike under budget. The 90cc Café Racer-style bike is based on the Bonneville, but with some important changes to the handling. It also comes with ABS and a brilliantly loud exhaust system. There is no doubt this is a quality bike and the British Pedigree is something a lot of buyers will enjoy. It may not be a high-speed bike, but performance is more than enough for the market. The riding position is sporty, but not so much that it would be a problem for everyday riders. 

Giles Kirkland is a car mechanic at Oponeo with a great passion for anything automotive. When he’s not busy tinkering with cars, he likes to hit the road on his old Yamaha and explore the countryside. Also, he is keen on blogging and sharing ideas with auto and motorcycle enthusiasts across the globe.