Best Motorcycles Under 300cc

Apr 9, 2024

Tags:guiderenterbuyerowner

picture of a silhouette of a motorbike against a sunset best motorcycles under 300cc

Exploring the world of motorcycles under 300cc reveals a world where agility, efficiency, and style converge to offer riders a unique two-wheeled experience. Whether you're a beginner seeking a manageable entry into motorcycling or a seasoned rider looking for a lightweight companion for urban exploration and beyond, this guide showcases the best motorcycles that strike the perfect balance between performance and accessibility. 

To be honest, yes, with two of the nine motorcycles listed, we went a little over 300cc (321 and 313cc, to be exact), but in all honesty, they’re such great bikes worth including in this segment. 

Best Motorcycles Under (or Close To) 300cc

  1. Yamaha YZF-R3 - 321cc
  2. Honda CB300R - 286cc 
  3. Suzuki GSX250R ABS - 248cc
  4. Kawasaki Z125 Pro - 125cc
  5. Kawasaki Versys-X 300 - 296cc
  6. Yamaha V Star 250 - 249cc
  7. Honda Rebel 300 - 286cc
  8. BMW G 310 GS - 313cc
  9. KTM 250 Duke - 249cc

Keep scrolling for more information and specs on why these are great bikes under 300cc!

1. Yamaha YZF-R3 - 321cc

stock picture of a 2024 Yamaha YZF-R3 best motorcycles under 300cc

The Yamaha YZF-R3 is a standout choice for those venturing into the world of motorcycles under 300cc, thanks to its blend of legendary Yamaha superbike aesthetics, a potent twin-cylinder engine, and an ultra-light chassis. This combination offers an unparalleled entry into R World, appealing to both new riders and those seeking a nimble, confidence-inspiring ride. Its refined ergonomics, potent braking with ABS, and an inverted front fork for superior control and feedback make the R3 a motorcycle and a gateway to the exhilarating world of sport biking.

2. Honda CB300R - 286cc

stock picture of a 2024 Honda CBR300R best motorcycles under 300cc

​​The Honda CB300R shines as a top pick in the under 300cc motorcycle category, embodying a perfect mix of retro style and modern performance. Its 286cc engine is designed for both zipping through city streets and enjoying relaxed rides on open roads, making it versatile for riders with diverse interests. The bike's lightweight structure and neo-sports café design offer a unique aesthetic that stands out while ensuring an easy and comfortable riding experience. Advanced features like ABS ensure safety across various riding conditions, making the CB300R not just a motorcycle but a reliable companion for everyday adventure.

3. Suzuki GSX250R ABS - 248cc

stock picture of a 2024 Suzuki GSX250R best motorcycles under 300cc

If you're drawn to sports bikes, Suzuki has the perfect option. Launched in 2018, the GSX250R may not bear the "Gixxer" title, but it offers the aggressive styling that enthusiasts adore, paired with a more welcoming ride. It features a 248cc parallel-twin engine with a six-speed gearbox, delivering 25 horsepower, which propels it to a top speed of 80 mph. This makes it an ideal choice for your daily commute, blending speed and efficiency effortlessly.

4. Kawasaki Z125 Pro - 125cc

stock picture of a 2024 Kawasaki z125 best motorcycles under 300cc

The Z125 PRO stands out as an exceptional motorcycle under 300cc, marrying the agility of a lightweight streetfighter with the functionality needed for both new and seasoned riders. Its compact, adjustable design, featuring a low seat height and responsive braking system, ensures easy handling and comfort on every ride. With a potent 125cc engine and a four-speed manual transmission, it promises both exhilarating power and fuel efficiency, allowing for longer rides and endless exploration. The Z125 PRO doesn't just perform well; it looks the part, too, with fierce styling, aggressive lighting, and a modern digital dashboard that ensures you'll turn heads while enjoying every mile. This combination of form and function makes it an ideal choice for anyone seeking a small but mighty motorcycle that delivers big fun.

5. Kawasaki Versys-X 300 - 296cc

stock picture of a 2024 Kawasaki Versys-x 300 best motorcycles under 300cc

The Kawasaki Versys®-X 300 is an outstanding choice for adventurers seeking a motorcycle under 300cc that doesn't compromise performance or comfort. Anchored by a responsive 296cc twin-cylinder engine, it delivers nimble handling and versatility, whether navigating daily commutes or embarking on longer tours. Its lightweight chassis and long-travel suspension open a world of possibilities, effortlessly adapting to varying terrains. It is designed for adventure and features an upright seating position, ample wind protection, and a convenient rear carrier, ensuring readiness for any journey. The bike's ease of maneuverability, combined with a suite of comfort-focused features and customizable accessories, makes it a true road warrior, capable of delivering all-day comfort and adventure. With the Versys®-X 300, your ticket to adventure is always within reach, promising endless exploration with confidence and style.

6. Yamaha V Star 250 - 249cc

stock picture of a 2024 Yamaha V Star 250 best motorcycles under 300cc

The V Star 250 is a prime example of how thrilling the under-300cc motorcycle category can be, especially for those who crave fun and accessibility in their ride. Its light and nimble nature, smooth power delivery, and low seat height make it an ideal entry-level V-twin and a joy for more experienced riders who appreciate the essence of riding distilled into a compact package. The unique V-twin engine in its class offers a torque-rich performance that's as enjoyable to throttle on open roads as it is manageable through urban sprawls. With an estimated fuel efficiency of 78 mpg, it promises extended adventures between fill-ups, embodying both practicality and pleasure. Yamaha's attention to detail shines through in its dual exhausts, chrome accents, and overall build quality, ensuring that the V Star 250 not only rides well but looks great doing it. Whether it's your first step into motorcycling or a choice for seasoned enthusiasts looking for big fun in small packages, the V Star 250 delivers on all fronts.

7. Honda Rebel 300 - 286cc

stock picture of a 2024 Honda Rebel 300 best motorcycles under 300cc

The Honda Rebel 300, since its introduction in 2017, has established itself as an ideal motorcycle for smaller or entry-level riders who favor the laid-back positioning of larger cruisers without the intimidation of a larger engine. Its success within Honda's lineup speaks to its all-around appeal, offering comfort, stability, and reliable performance. The 2024 model continues this legacy with minimal updates, focusing on what has already made it a beloved choice: a smooth and manageable power delivery from its 286cc engine, designed to be welcoming yet satisfying for riders of all levels. This bike's appeal is further enhanced by its low center of gravity, large tires, and upright seating position, which offer an easy-to-balance ride, making it a standout in its class for both price and performance.

8. BMW G 310 GS - 313cc

stock picture of a 2024 BMW G 310 GS best motorcycles under 300cc

The BMW G 310 GS, introduced to US riders in 2018, has become a hallmark in the lightweight adventure bike segment, offering a unique combination of urban and off-road capability. Its design, based on the G 310 R platform but enhanced with adventure-ready features like more suspension travel and a larger front wheel, caters to daily commuting and weekend escapades on uneven terrains. The G 310 GS doesn't skimp on the BMW aesthetic despite its smaller size. It draws design cues from its larger siblings and provides a comfortable, low-seat riding experience suitable for many riders. Its blend of performance, comfort, and versatility, coupled with BMW's renowned engineering, makes the G 310 GS an ideal choice for those seeking adventure without the need for a larger, more intimidating bike.

9. KTM 250 Duke - 249cc

stock picture of a 2024 KTM 250 best motorcycles under 300cc

The KTM 250 Duke elevates the street-riding experience with its robust new 250 cc engine, embodying the raw, naked aggression that the DUKE series is renowned for. This latest iteration merges cutting-edge technology with a fresh chassis and suspension setup, alongside LED lighting and advanced riding tech, to deliver an unparalleled mix of power, agility, and style. With key specs like a torque of 25 Nm, a 6-speed transmission, and liquid cooling for optimal performance, complemented by a Bosch EMS for precision control and a PASC™ antihopping clutch for smoother ride transitions, the KTM 250 DUKE is engineered for thrill-seekers. Its high-grade WP suspension system and a potent braking duo, backed by Bosch 10 MB Two Channel ABS, ensure superior handling and safety on every urban adventure. Standing as a testament to KTM's commitment to excellence, the 250 DUKE is more than just a motorcycle; it's a 250% DUKE, ready to dominate the streets with turn-gripping aggression.

Test Ride Your Next Motorcycle in Real-World Conditions By Renting With Riders Share

A brief test ride at a dealership often doesn't provide the full picture of what it's like to own a new motorcycle. To avoid any post-purchase disappointment and ensure you're making a decision you'll be happy with, consider renting the motorcycle you're interested in through Riders Share. With rates starting at just $25 a day, you can take your time exploring the bike's performance and handling over a day or more, giving you a comprehensive understanding of its capabilities. With a vast selection of motorcycles available at numerous locations throughout the USA, finding the perfect match for your riding desires is easier than ever.

NOTE: Riders Share renters must abide by the terms and conditions of our rental agreement. Riders 21-25 must have at least 3 years of verifiable experience riding in order to rent a motorcycle. 

Best Motorcycles Under 300cc: Bottom Line

the diverse lineup of motorcycles under 300cc highlighted here is a testament to the motorcycle industry's commitment to providing riders with a broad spectrum of choices, catering to different tastes, skills, and requirements. Whether drawn to a sportbike's sleek lines or an adventure model's rugged charm, there's no shortage of options to fuel your passion for two-wheeled adventures. These motorcycles promise an exhilarating ride and offer a gateway to the larger, vibrant community of motorcycling, proving that great things come in smaller packages.