Yamaha Motorcycles
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Yamaha Motorcycles

Known for
Sport Bikes, Dirt Bikes
Top Models
Yamaha YZF-R1
Yamaha YZF-R6
Yamaha YZF-R3
Founded
1955

The Yamaha Corporation was formed in 1887 as a producer of reed organs and pianos. Following World War II, the company's surviving wartime industrial machinery was repurposed to produce motorcycles, and the Yamaha Motor Company was split off from the piano maker in 1955. Today, the Yamaha Motor Company builds everything from snow blowers to personal watercraft and, of course, a wide array of motorcycles. Yamaha’s inventory of two-wheeled vehicles ranges from the $2,599 Zuma 50F scooter to the high-tech $24,999 Star Venture touring bike. The Star Venture includes features such as a reverse gear, throttle-by-wire, and an integrated infotainment and communications system. The average base price for Yamaha models is $11,264. One of the brand’s most popular models is the Yamaha YZF-R6, a supersport bike styled after the company’s MotoGP racing bikes. It has a starting price of $12,199.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/


The origin of the Yamaha brand dates back to the late 1800s, when founder Torakusu Yamaha turned a fascination with reed organs into Japan’s first piano manufacturer. The company gained a reputation for quality and began producing other products in the years after, including harmonicas, phonographs, and guitars. It wasn’t until 1955 when Yamaha took its biggest leap though – building motorcycles. This was the start of the Yamaha Motor Company, and it’s safe to say it was a good bet.

Today, Yamaha offers a full line of motorcycles – from rugged dirt bikes to high-performance touring bikes – as well as ATVs, snowmobiles, golf carts, and a dozen other products. Read on to learn more about the current Yamaha motorcycles, their prices, and what type of bike is right for you.

Types of Yamaha Motorcycles

Yamaha Niken / Yamaha Motor Company Limited

Yamaha offers a wide variety of motorcycle styles to choose from. These include standards, cruisers, touring motorcycles, and scooters. The brand is perhaps best known for its sport and off-road motorcycles though, such as the corner-carving YZF-R1 sportbike or the barebones TW200 dual-sport – a bike that Yamaha has sold in the U.S. market since 1987.

Motorcycle Segments

Sport Bikes
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Sport Bikes

Price Range
$4,599-$40,000
Top Models
Suzuki Hayabusa
Honda CBR600RR
Kawasaki Ninja 650
Engine Size Range
248 cc-1,441 cc

Looking for the ultimate in two-wheeled performance? You’ll want to be shopping for a sport bike. With potent engines, nimble handling, and high-performance tires, sport bikes are designed to move. They typically feature sleek designs with plenty of aerodynamic sculpting to cut through the wind. If a dirt bike is a Jeep Wrangler, a sport bike is a Porsche 911. With top-end performance that rivals the acceleration of supercars, sport bikes aren’t for everyone. The typical riding position is hunched far forward, making the bikes uncomfortable for long road trips. The extreme performance of high-end models leads to some of the highest motorcycle insurance rates you’ll find. The sport bike is best exemplified by lineups such as the Kawasaki Ninja range and Honda CBR models. Prices range from about $4,700 for a basic Honda CBR300R to more than $32,000 for a Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon with a supercharged four-cylinder engine.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Consumer Research Solutions, Inc

Dirt Bikes

Price Range
$899-$11,999
Top Models
Yamaha YZ125
Honda CRF250R
Yamaha YZ250
Engine Size Range
79 cc-510 cc

A true dirt bike has aggressive tires, an upright ride, a tall seat, and plenty of suspension travel to soak up bumps and ruts. They’re typically not street legal, as they don’t have lights or other mandatory road-going equipment. Dirt bikes are available from tiny models suitable for kids to powerful competition models. The $6,699 2020 Yamaha YZ125X is an example of a lightweight, maneuverable dirt bike with a simple two-stroke engine. Riding on dirt is an excellent way to learn how to handle a motorcycle, according to many experts. However, the tall seats of many dirt bikes make them ill-suited for shorter riders.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Yamaha Motorcycle Prices

The 2019 Yamaha motorcycle lineup ranges in price from around $2,600 to $27,000. The average price is about $10,400. Overall, these prices are on par with what many competitors offer. The least-expensive model in the 2019 lineup is the Yamaha Zuma 50F scooter, which starts at $2,599.

2019 Yamaha Motorcycle Lineup

Yamaha’s motorcycle lineup is pretty extensive, so we’ll break it down by category to make things simple. The 2019 lineup includes four sportbikes – YZF-R1M, YZF-R1, YZF-R6, and YZF-R3. The number in each name indicates the bike’s engine displacement. In this case, the R1 has a 998 cc engine (or close to 1,000 cc), the R6 has a 599 cc engine, and the R3 has a 321 cc engine. This pattern applies to most other models in the Yamaha lineup as well.

There are eight standard motorcycles – Bolt, Bolt R-Spec, MT-07, MT-09, MT-10, VMAX, XSR700, and XSR900. These bikes are recognizable by their minimalist bodywork and upright riding position. There is one cruiser – the V Star 250 – which was previously sold under Yamaha’s Star Motorcycles sub brand. The lineup also includes six sport-touring models – Tracer 900, Tracer 900 GT, Niken, Niken GT, FJR1300A, and FJR1300ES – as well as four scooters – Zuma 50F, Zuma 125, SMAX, and XMAX.

Yamaha’s largest segment is its off-road motorcycles. These include street-legal, on-off road models like the TW200, WR250R, XT250, and Super Ténéré, as well as over a dozen dirt bikes for recreational and competition use.

Yamaha Cruising Motorcycles

A cruiser is a good choice if you want a motorcycle for leisure riding or everyday commuting. Cruisers have a relaxed foot-forward riding position and a low seat height, making them pretty comfortable on longer trips. Cruisers typically have a softer suspension as well, which helps to soak up the bumps and dips of uneven pavement.

Yamaha offers only one cruising motorcycle: the V Star 250.

Yamaha V Star 250

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2019 Yamaha V Star 250

MSRP
$4,349
Engine Size/Displacement
249 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

Starting at just $4,349, the V Star 250 is one of the least-expensive models in the 2019 Yamaha lineup. It’s also one of the best options for beginners. The V Star has a 249 cc air-cooled V-twin engine, which provides enough muscle for everyday riding, but delivers that power in a way that isn’t overwhelming for new riders. Yamaha rates the bike’s gas mileage at a very efficient 78 mpg. The V Star is fairly lightweight at 326 pounds as well, making it easy to keep steady when stopped or in slow traffic. Standard equipment includes a five-speed transmission, a 2.5-gallon fuel tank, analog gauges, an electric starter, front disc and rear drum brakes, and staggered 18- and 15-inch wire wheels. The V Star’s appearance is very retro-inspired, and it’s capped off with a sleek silver-and-blue paint scheme and lots of chrome accents.

Curb Weight
326 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
2.5 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
27 in
Carburetion
Carburetor

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

Yamaha Sport Motorcycles

The sport bike is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the cruising motorcycle. Sport bikes are designed for slicing along twisty roads and blasting down racetrack straightaways, and they are recognizable by their aerodynamic bodywork. Another sport bike hallmark is a hunched-over riding position, which provides good control over the motorcycle but can also be uncomfortable for anything longer than a 30 minute trip.

For this reason, sport bikes aren’t a great option for commuting. Sport bikes aren’t very beginner-friendly either, due to their sensitive throttle response and sharp braking.

Yamaha offers four sportbikes to choose from: the YZF-R3, YZF-R6, YZF-R1, and YZF-R1M.

Yamaha YZF-R3

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2019 Yamaha YZF-R3

MSRP
$4,999
Engine Size/Displacement
321 cc
Bike Type
Sport

The YZF-R3 squeezes sport bike performance into an affordable $4,999 package. The R3 has a high-revving 321 cc parallel-twin engine and a six-speed transmission. It weighs in at just 368 pounds as well. Standard features include electric start, a digital gauge cluster, disc brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels, and an adjustable rear suspension. ABS is optional.

Curb Weight
368 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3.7 gal
Engine Type
Parallel Twin
Seat Height
30.7 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

Yamaha YZF-R6

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2019 Yamaha YZF-R6

MSRP
$12,199
Engine Size/Displacement
599 cc
Bike Type
Sport

The YZF-R6 is pricier at $12,199, but it boasts a few key upgrades from the YZF-R3. The R6 is outfitted with a 599 cc four-cylinder engine, a six-speed transmission, and a larger 4.6-gallon fuel tank. It also adds an adjustable front suspension, dual front disc brakes, ABS, and traction control.

Curb Weight
419 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
4.6 gal
Engine Type
Horizontal In-line
Seat Height
33.5 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

Yamaha YZF-R1

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2019 Yamaha YZF-R1

MSRP
$16,699
Engine Size/Displacement
998 cc
Bike Type
Sport

The YZF-R1 pushes its performance into superbike territory, and it’s priced like one at $16,699. The R1 has a 998 cc four-cylinder engine and a six-speed transmission. Additional standard features include a lap timer and a more-advanced engine computer (ECU) with launch control, wheel lift control, and slide control.

Curb Weight
441 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
4.5 gal
Engine Type
Horizontal In-line
Seat Height
33.7 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

Yamaha YZF-R1M

The racing-inspired YZF-R1M variant ($22,999) looks as if it just rolled off a MotoGP circuit. It features the same engine and transmission as the standard R1, but with the addition of carbon fiber bodywork, an electronically adaptive suspension, and a data recorder with built-in Wi-Fi.

Yamaha Standard Motorcycles

The standard motorcycle has a nice balance of cruiser and sport bike qualities. Standards have an upright riding position that is comfortable for commuting and longer road trips, yet they also provide nimble handling and eager acceleration. These are good do-it-all bikes. You may hear someone refer to a standard as a naked bike as well; this is due to their minimal bodywork.

Yamaha offers eight standard bikes: the Bolt, Bolt R-Spec, MT-07, MT-09, MT-10, VMAX, XSR700, and XSR900.

Yamaha Bolt

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2019 Yamaha Bolt

MSRP
$7,999
Engine Size/Displacement
942 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The Bolt has a 942 cc air-cooled V-twin and a five-speed transmission. It also wears short “bobbed” fenders and a blacked-out paint scheme, giving it an aggressive and custom-built look. Standard features include a 3.4-gallon fuel tank, electric start, a digital gauge, front and rear disc brakes, and staggered 19- and 16-inch wire wheels.

Curb Weight
542 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3.4 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
27.2 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

Yamaha Bolt R-Spec

The Bolt R-Spec variant – starting at $8,399 – is a more modern take on this bobber recipe. The R-Spec shares the same powertrain as the standard Bolt, but with alloy wheels, sportier remote-reservoir rear shocks, and silver paint.

Yamaha VMAX

The Yamaha VMAX ups the performance ante even higher. This powerful bike starts at $17,999 and it packs a 1,679 cc liquid-cooled V4 engine, as well as a five-speed transmission. The VMAX also has a 4-gallon fuel tank, electric start, analog and digital gauges, matte-black paint, an adjustable suspension, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), dual front disc brakes, a single rear disc brake, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Yamaha MT-07

As the entry-level bike in the MT line, the Yamaha MT-07 starts at $7,599 and is equipped with a 689 cc parallel-twin engine, a six-speed transmission, and a 3.7-gallon fuel tank. Yamaha rates the fuel economy of this setup at an estimated 58 mpg.

Standard features include an LCD gauge cluster, dual front disc brakes, a single rear disc brake, ABS, an adjustable rear suspension, and 17-inch alloy wheels. A trunk and saddlebags are optional for a few hundred dollars each, giving the MT-07 some genuine cargo-carrying ability. Both are also available for the MT-09 and MT-10 models.

Yamaha MT-09

The MT-09 ($8,999) looks a lot like its MT-07 sibling and it’s similarly equipped, apart from a few upgrades. The MT-09 has an 847 cc three-cylinder engine, plus an adjustable front suspension and traction control.

Yamaha MT-10

It’s a similar story with the MT-10, which starts at $12,999. The MT-10 has a 998 cc four-cylinder engine and cruise control, plus all of the features of the MT-07 and MT-09 models.

Yamaha XSR700

The Yamaha XSR700 ($8,499) has a more vintage look than the MT models. This is largely due to its rounded headlight, flatter seat, and smooth-sided fuel tank with retro graphics. Otherwise, the XSR is mechanically similar to the MT-07. It shares the same liquid-cooled 689 cc engine, six-speed transmission, and standard features.

Yamaha XSR900

The XSR900 starts at $9,499 and it follows this recipe too. It mirrors the classic styling of the XSR700, but with the features and 847 cc three-cylinder engine of the MT-09 model.

Yamaha Touring Motorcycles

If you’re thinking of riding across the state – or across the country – a tourer is the best bike for the job. Touring motorcycles often have large fuel tanks to maximize driving range, big engines that can accelerate quickly and keep pace with highway traffic, and tall windscreens that reduce rider fatigue. Tourers are usually offered with saddlebags and trunk boxes as well, which can pack away a significant amount of cargo.

Yamaha has six sport-tuned touring bikes (sport tourers) in its 2019 lineup: the Tracer 900, Tracer 900 GT, Niken, Niken GT, FJR1300A, and FJR1300ES.

Yamaha Tracer 900

The Tracer 900 has a $10,699 starting price, making it the most affordable option of this group. It’s outfitted with an 847 cc three-cylinder engine, a six-speed transmission, and a 4.8-gallon fuel tank. Standard features include a windscreen, an LCD gauge cluster, a 12-volt outlet, disc brakes, ABS, traction control, an adjustable suspension, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Optional extras include heated seats, heated handlebar grips, hard saddlebags with 22 liters of cargo space, and a trunk box with up to 50 liters of room.

Yamaha Tracer 900 GT

A Tracer 900 GT model is also available for $12,999, and it bundles together some of the bike’s popular options. These items include heated grips, cruise control, and saddlebags.

Yamaha Niken

The Yamaha Niken three-wheeler is arguably the most unique motorcycle that the brand sells. The Niken ($15,999) has two front wheels that are positioned 16 inches apart. This wide track gives the Niken more stability than a traditional motorcycle, which can come in handy on twisty roads and in wet weather. Otherwise, the Niken is mechanically similar to the Tracer 900. 

Yamaha Niken GT

The Niken GT model ($17,299) adds to the Niken model with standard saddlebags and heated grips.

Yamaha FJR1300

Upgrade to the Yamaha FJR1300 if you want a long-distance motorcycle with serious muscle. The FJR1300A starts at $16,399, and it packs a big 1,298 cc four-cylinder engine, a six-speed transmission, and a large 6.6-gallon fuel tank. It also comes equipped with a power-adjustable windshield, a glovebox, heated grips, and hard bags, plus all of the Tracer 900’s standard features.

Yamaha FJR1300 ES

The FJR1300ES variant ($17,999) is similarly equipped, but it also adds an electronically adjustable suspension and adaptive headlights that help illuminate the inside corner of a turn.

Yamaha Off-Road Motorcycles

Yamaha has an extensive line of off-road motorcycles. To keep it simple, we’ll split these into two categories – bikes that are street legal (dual-sport or on-off road) and those that are not (dirt bikes). The 2019 Yamaha lineup includes four dual-sport motorcycles: TW200, XT250, WR250R, and Super Ténéré ES.

Yamaha TW200

The TW200 is the best all-rounder in this lineup. It’s also the most affordable pick, at just $4,599. The TW has a 196 cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine, a five-speed transmission, and 6 inches of suspension travel. The bike’s appearance is unmistakable thanks to its oversized tires, which are designed to grip onto loose surfaces off the road, as well as provide a smooth and controlled ride on the road. Yamaha estimates the TW200’s fuel economy at an excellent 78 mpg.

Additional standard equipment includes a 1.8-gallon fuel tank, electric start, an analog gauge, front disc and rear drum brakes, and staggered 18- and 14-inch wire wheels.

Yamaha XT250

The XT250 looks and handles more like a street-legal dirt bike. It’s priced at $5,199 and it has a 249 cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine, a five-speed transmission, long fenders, and beefy shock absorbers with up to 9 inches of front suspension travel and 7 inches of rear travel. Its skinny tires are well-suited for carving along rough terrain. That said, they won’t track as straight on-road when faced with grooves in the pavement. Stick with the TW200 if you plan to ride on the street more often than in the dirt.

Standard equipment includes a 2.6-gallon fuel tank, a digital gauge cluster, electric start, disc brakes, and staggered 21- and 18-inch wire wheels.

Yamaha WR250R

The WR250R ($6,699) is the most capable off-roader in this lineup. It features a 250 cc liquid-cooled single cylinder, a six-speed transmission, and over 10 inches of suspension travel. Both front and rear shocks have adjustment settings for spring compression, rebound, and preload as well, allowing riders to tailor the bike to their exact preferences. Additional equipment includes a 2-gallon fuel tank, electric start, a digital gauge, disc brakes, and wire wheels.

Yamaha Super Ténéré ES

The Super Ténéré fits a slightly different mold. It’s an adventure touring bike, and it combines the rugged suspension and ground clearance of a dual-sport bike with the refinement and cargo-carrying ability of a touring motorcycle.

The Super Ténéré ES ($16,199) is powered by an 1199cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine. Standard features include a six-speed transmission, an electronically-adjustable suspension with 7.5-inches of travel, a large 6.1-gallon fuel tank, electric start, a windscreen, cruise control, disc brakes, ABS, and wire wheels. A top case and hard saddlebags are optional ($400 and $500, respectively), giving the Super Ténéré over 3 cubic feet of cargo space.

Yamaha Dirt Bikes

Yamaha has 15 dirt bikes in its 2019 lineup:

  • YZ85

  • YZ125

  • YZ250

  • YZ250X

  • YZ250F

  • YZ250FX

  • YZ450F

  • YZ450FX

  • WR250F

  • WR450F

  • PW50

  • TT-R50E

  • TT-R110E

  • TT-R125LE

  • TT-R230

Deciphering these model names isn’t as tricky as it may seem. The numbers indicate engine size, in this case – ranging from 50cc to 450cc – and an ‘F’ indicates a four-stroke model. The PW and TT models are designed for recreational trail riding. The YZ and WR models are built for motocross and off-road endurance racing (often called enduro). 

Two of the most appealing models for beginners and young riders are the Yamaha PW50 and TT-R50E. These child-sized dirt bikes are outfitted with small two-stroke engines. The PW50 ($1,499) has an automatic transmission, a low 19-inch seat height, and it weighs just 90 pounds with a full tank of fuel. The TT-R50E ($1,699) has a three-speed transmission with an automatic clutch, a 22-inch seat height, and it weighs 126 pounds.

It is worth noting that none of these dirt bikes are road legal because they lack federally-mandated safety features, like turn signals, brake lights, mirrors, and DOT-approved tires.

Yamaha Scooters

If you’re looking for cheap urban transportation, you’re probably better off with a scooter rather than a motorcycle. Scooters are inexpensive to buy, maintain, and fuel up. Their small size and relatively light weight make them easy to maneuver on narrow streets, and their step-through design enables a very comfortable seating position. Most scooters are equipped with automatic transmissions as well, making them very user-friendly for beginners.

Yamaha’s 2019 lineup includes four scooters: the Zuma 50F, Zuma 125, SMAX, and XMAX.

Yamaha Zuma 50F

The Zuma 50F is Yamaha’s most affordable scooter at just $2,599. It’s also the lightest model at 205 pounds. The 50F has a liquid-cooled 49 cc single-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and a 1.2-gallon fuel tank. Standard features include electric start, a 23-liter storage compartment, front disc and rear drum brakes, and 10-inch alloy wheels wrapped in oversized tires. These thick tires help to soak up the bumps and dips of uneven road surfaces, which tend to be more noticeable on bikes with smaller wheels. A trunk case with 30-liters of cargo room is optional.

Yamaha Zuma 125

Upgrade to the Zuma 125 ($3,399) if you want a bit more power for cruising around town. The Zuma 125 has an air-cooled 125 cc single cylinder, a CVT automatic, and a 1.7-gallon fuel tank. It also adds larger 12-inch wheels, a rear disc brake, and a slightly bigger storage compartment. A trunk case is optional.

Yamaha SMAX

The SMAX ($3,699) adds a bit more refinement. It features a windscreen, a mix of analog and digital gauges, and larger 13-inch alloy wheels. It’s outfitted with a liquid-cooled 155 cc single cylinder, a CVT, and a 2-gallon fuel tank. As before, a trunk box is optional.

Yamaha XMAX

The XMAX ($5,599) is about as close to a motorcycle as scooters can get. It has a relatively large 292 cc single-cylinder engine, a CVT, and a 3.4-gallon tank. The XMAX is also outfitted with keyless start, a 12-volt outlet, anti-lock brakes, traction control, 15- and 14-inch wheels front and back, plus all of the SMAX’s standard features. A top case is optional, but you may not need one. The XMAX’s big under-seat storage compartment can fit two helmets.

Yamaha Motorcycle Warranty

Yamaha covers its street-legal motorcycles and scooters with a one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. The brand’s dirt bikes are covered by a shorter warranty period – 90 days for recreational trail bikes, and 30 days for racing-compliant motocross and enduro models.

Yamaha vs. Honda

You can find a lot of similarities between the Yamaha and Honda motorcycle brands. Both offer a variety of bikes in the same categories, including cruisers, sport bikes, standards, tourers, dirt bikes, dual-sports, and scooters. Both have similar one-year warranties for their road-going motorcycles as well, though Honda does back its Gold Wing model with a special three-year warranty. Both brands also compete closely on price, with a slight advantage going to Honda in the standard and cruiser segments.

The differences are a bit clearer. The Honda lineup includes mini bikes like the Monkey and Grom, which provide pint-sized motorcycle thrills for less than $4,000. On the other hand, Yamaha offers unique models like the three-wheeled Niken. Make sure to check out both of these popular Japanese brands.

Yamaha vs. Harley-Davidson

The Yamaha motorcycle lineup is a lot more diverse than the Harley-Davidson lineup. Harley doesn’t offer any sportbikes, off-road models, or scooters, and it only has one bike – the Street 500 – that could be considered a good option for beginners. Harley’s prices aren’t quite as low either. Stick with Yamaha for better value and variety.

That being said, you’ll want to opt for a Harley-Davidson if you’re in the market for a cruiser or a touring motorcycle with big power, vintage styling, and long-haul comfort. Harley offers nearly three times the number of cruisers and tourers as Yamaha does, and it backs these models with a longer two-year/unlimited-mileage warranty.

Yamaha vs. Kawasaki

The Yamaha brand is an excellent choice, but we suspect most shoppers will find better options at their local Kawasaki dealer. Kawasaki competes closely on price with Yamaha, but the brand offers more sport bike models, more touring bikes, as well as a few more starter bikes in the standard and adventure touring categories. Kawasaki also backs a number of its models with a longer warranty, including a six-month warranty on dirt bikes, a two-year warranty on light touring (LT) motorcycles, and a three-year warranty on large touring bikes, like the Concours.

It isn’t a one-sided comparison though. Yamaha still offers more options if you’re shopping for a dirt bike, scooter, or dual-sport motorcycle.

Other Motorcycle Brands

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles
Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Known for
Cruisers
Top Models
Harley-Davidson Iron 883
Harley-Davidson Street Glide
Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114
Founded
1903

William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson started Harley-Davidson in a Milwaukee, Wis. garage. The year was 1903, and their first design essentially fit a small engine onto a bicycle frame. The company grew quickly into the 1920s, with innovations such as the now-iconic V-Twin engine design driving the company’s growth. Through the years, the company has seen a series of ups and downs, with several bouts of financial hardship. It was sold by conglomerate AMF to company executives in 1981 and remains independent of other companies. Harley is still Milwaukee-based, though the king of American motorcycles also builds bikes in York, Penn., India, Brazil, and Thailand. Bikes for sales in the American market are still manufactured in America. The company is known for its big, brash cruiser and touring models, with plenty of flash, distinctive exhaust notes, and big price tags. Limited edition models are priced as high as $44,000. Traditionally aimed at experienced motorcycle enthusiasts, the company is evolving with new motorcycles, such as the Street 500, with prices and performance that can be managed by customers getting their first two-wheelers. Prices of Harley-Davidson bikes start at $6,899 for the Street 500 and climb to almost $44,000 for a CVO Limited touring bike. The average base price of a new Harley is $20,338. Harley owners frequently add thousands of dollars’ worth of add-ons to their bikes.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details.

 

Honda Motorcycles
Consumer Research Solutions, Inc

Honda Motorcycles

Known for
Cruisers, Dirt Bikes, Sport Bikes, Standard
Top Models
Honda Shadow
Honda Gold Wing
Honda Rebel 500
Founded
1949

Based in Japan, Honda is a multinational manufacturer of everything from lawnmowers to business jets. Now known for its high-quality cars and award-winning SUVs, it was founded as a motorcycle manufacturer in the period following World War II. Today Honda sells a vast array of new motorcycle models. If there’s a category of motorcycle, Honda likely has a product that actively competes in it, from urban scooters to powerful, luxurious touring bikes. Honda motorcycle prices range from around $1,500 for small air-cooled dirt bikes to $31,800 for a loaded 2019 Honda Gold Wing Tour with an airbag and automatic transmission. The average price for a Honda motorcycle is about $9,700. That’s the lowest average base price among major motorcycle companies. Shoppers looking for their first motorcycle have plenty to choose from in the Honda motorcycle lineup. The Honda CB300F has a low starting price of $4,349, a simple “naked bike” design, reliable fuel injection, and a small enough engine to qualify for low insurance rates.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Indian Motorcycles
Consumer Research Solutions, Inc

Indian Motorcycles

Known for
Cruisers
Top Models
Indian Scout
Indian Scout Bobber
Indian Scout Sixty
Founded
1901

Though it has not been in constant operation, the Indian Motorcycle Company name has been around since 1901, with its iconic Scout and Chief models coming to the market in the 1920s. After several aborted restarts following its 1953 closure, the company was reborn in 2013. It now operates as part of Polaris, a company that builds vehicles ranging from snowmobiles to all-terrain vehicles and boats. Indian builds six basic models, including the Scout and Chief cruisers, the Chieftain, and Roadmaster touring bikes, and the flat-track racing-inspired FTR 1200 (which fits in the standard bike category). Indian Motorcycle prices range from about $9,000 to $37,000. The average cost for an Indian bike is about $20,800, which is the highest average price among major motorcycle companies. Most Indian models will appeal to experienced riders, rather than novices, due to their price, weight, and power. Other bike makers have more extensive lineups than Indian.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Kawasaki Motorcycles
Consumer Research Solutions, Inc

Kawasaki Motorcycles

Known for
Sport Bikes
Top Models
Kawasaki Ninja H2
Kawasaki Vulcan S
Kawasakin Ninja 400
Founded
1969

Kawasaki’s history dates to 1878 when the Japanese company began building ships in Tokyo. The company has grown to be one of Japan's largest conglomerates, producing everything from aircraft and ships to bridges. In 1969, Kawasaki began manufacturing motorcycles. Today, the company builds several lines of leisure vehicles, including Jet Skis, all-terrain vehicles, and motorcycles. Their bike range spans all types, from youth dirt bikes to well-equipped touring motorcycles. Included in the lineup are specialized models, such as the $9,799 retro classic W800, which is one of several Kawasaki bikes styled after café racers. The KLR 650 is a popular dual-sport model, with a price tag of $6,699. Though there are many models in Kawasaki’s lineup that perform well as beginner motorcycles, the brand has built a reputation for their sport, supersport, and hypersport Ninja lineup. They currently offer more than 30 road-legal Ninja models with prices ranging from $4,999 to $32,500. The average price of all models marketed by Kawasaki is a little over $12,000.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Triumph Motorcycles
Consumer Research Solutions, Inc

Triumph Motorcycles

Known for
Standard
Top Models
Triumph Bonneville
Triumph Rocket 3
Triumph Street Scrambler
Founded
1902

The roots of Triumph motorcycles date back to 1883 when a predecessor to the current company began building bicycles. In 1902, the company built its first Triumph motorcycle. It survived two world wars and emerged as a major exporter of motorcycles to the United States. Facing stiff competition from more reliable Japanese-made bikes, Triumph struggled to stay in business, eventually going into receivership in 1983. It emerged under new ownership, with new models arriving by 1991. The current Triumph lineup includes sport, standard, dual-sport, and cruiser motorcycles. One of their most popular model families is the dual-sport Tiger 800, which starts at $12,000 and blends the company's inline-three-cylinder engine with a host of technologies including multiple electronic riding mode setups and LED lighting. At the pinnacle of the Triumph lineup is the factory custom Rocket 3 TFC, of which only 750 will be made. It has a price tag starting at $29,000. In the core of the Triumph lineup, the least expensive bike is the $9,300 Triumph Street Twin. Looking at all of the bikes available from Triumph – except for the pricey limited-edition models – the average base price is about $14,350.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

 

Motorcycle shoppers have hundreds of options to choose from. Use our Motorcycle Guide to find the right bike for you.

Image Copyright: 2004-2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS)