Best 250cc – 300cc Motorcycles [Top 20 Picks]

A 250cc motorcycle is an ideal bike for beginners. It may be small in capacity, but it has more than sufficient power to keep up with road traffic. What are the best 250cc to 300cc motorcycles?

Our top 20 picks for the best 250cc-300cc motorcycles are as follows:

  1. Honda CBR300R
  2. Yamaha YZF-R3
  3. Suzuki GSX250R
  4. Honda CB300R
  5. Yamaha V-Star 250
  6. Honda Rebel 300
  7. Kawasaki Versys-X 300
  8. Honda CRF300L Rally
  9. Kawasaki KLX300
  10. Honda GROM
  11. Kawasaki Z125 Pro
  12. Honda CRF250L Rally
  13. Suzuki SV650
  14. KTM 390 Duke
  15. Yamaha V Star 250 Cruiser
  16. Kawasaki Ninja 300
  17. Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 833
  18. Honda CB1100 Ex
  19. Suzuki Gixxer SF ABS
  20. RTG Retro

Read on to learn more about these popular 250cc motorcycles and their corresponding features.

1. Honda CBR300R

250cc motorcycle
Honda CBR300

The Honda CBR300R bike is ideal for learning how to ride the motorcycle in supersport style. This bike also produces an impressive 31 horsepower (hp) and 20 lb-ft of torque.

The CBR300R actually began life as the CBR250R, a 250cc single-cylinder motorcycle. Like the CBR300R, the Honda 250R was sporty and ideal for city riding.

The design and style of the Honda CBR300RR seem to be patterned after the Honda CBR1000RR. Both feature an aggressive tank shape diving towards the front of the motorcycle. Also, the fairings, cowl, and headlights are similar.

However, the clip-on handlebars of the CBR300R are raised, making it a comfortable street bike. But you can still tuck down into it when you use it on the track. If you’re not in a full standard riding position, the bike squeaks in as a supersport.

In this video, vlogger Srkcycles showcases his Honda CBR300R bike. He talks about its versatility and how fantastic it is if driven properly.

2. Yamaha YZF-R3

When you ask seasoned riders to suggest a few bikes for beginners, the Yamaha YZF-R3 will surely be mentioned. It is light, quick, and competent not only on the track but on the road in general.

This is one of the most highly recommended bikes for novice track riders. In fact, Yamaha developed this bike together with its Yamaha Racing Team.

In this video, Motorcyclist Magazine reviews the 2019 Yamaha TZF-R3 bike. Senior Editor Adam Waheed talks about this new and improved sportbike and perfectly suits all riders, including the novice ones.

3. Suzuki GSX250R

Next on our list of the best 250cc motorcycles is the Suzuki GSX250R. When you ride the Suzuki GSX250R sports bike, it will give you the feeling as if you’re using a supersport bike. The difference, however, lies in the shorter tank and the clip-on handlebars, which are higher. These features allow you to be in a standard seating position most of the time.

This bike has a 248cc parallel twin. It produces 25 hp and 17 lb-ft of torque. Also, it produces a classic twin throbbing bark from the exhaust.

Beginners will appreciate this bike because it’s lightweight and corners well. It’s definitely convenient to take it on the track.

In this video, Motorcycle.com Associate Editor Ryan Adams reviews the 2018 Suzuki GSX250R motorcycle. With this quarter-liter sportbike, Suzuki’s target market includes beginners and returning bikers.

4. Honda CB300R

The engine of the Honda CB300R naked sport model is similar to the engine of the CBR300R. It’s just that the CB300R is tuned in a slightly different way to make it more street-friendly.

It delivers impressive power, whether across low or mid RPMs. The engine only starts to gasp as it nears the redline slightly. But if and when this happens, you should have already shifted gears.

Also, this Honda model provides a comfortable seating position too. The controls and pegs can be accessed conveniently. They aren’t positioned as far back as those installed in CBR models

The Honda CB300R may be a lightweight naked bike, but it nonetheless offers a sturdy feel.

In this video, vlogger DukeOfDC reviews the 2020 Honda CB300R bike. He describes how fantastic and impressive it runs and that it is one of the best Honda motorcycles that he has ever driven.

5. Yamaha V-Star 250

A great entry-level 250cc motorcycle is the Yamaha V-Star 250. The Yamaha V-Star 250 is one sleek and gorgeous bike that you’d probably want to call a cruiser. But, according to Yamaha, it is categorized as a sports heritage bike.

It impressively looks like a handsome classic bike that’s ideal for beginners. I must say this one is exceedingly competent on the road. Also, it is lightweight, which makes it manageable.

In addition, this Yamaha model features a 249cc 60-degree air-cooled V-twin engine with a Mikuni BDS26 carburetor. One thing beginners appreciate about this is the classic rumble it makes, which V-twins can only do.

In this video, Info Moto reviews the 2021 Yamaha V-Star 250 motorcycle. This timelessly classic bike also has modern features, making it all fun to ride.

6. Honda Rebel 300

250 motorcycle
Honda Rebel 300

Honda built this model to give an alternative for new riders. This features a 286cc single engine capable of producing 25 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque. Also, it provides an extremely comfortable ride, allowing new riders to enjoy the experience.

Beginners are guaranteed to quickly learn how to ride the motorcycle with the Rebel 300. Once they are ready to try a larger displacement engine, they can upgrade to Rebel 500. The features and appearance are basically the same, but it has more power than the Rebel 300.

7. Kawasaki Versys-X 300

The Kawasaki Versys-X 300 bike looks more like a street bike than an off-roader. In fact, it’s described as a “city adventurer.”

Its dynamics make it ideal for beginners. The 296cc parallel-twin is positioned low in the frame. It has a high windshield matched with a low seating position. The rider is not only positioned as close as possible to the center of gravity. But it is also positioned as close to the cornering pivot point of the motorcycle.

In this impressive video, FortNine reviews the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 bike. He talks about how balanced the features are and how cool it is to drive and ride.

8. Honda CRF300L Rally

The Honda CRF300L Rally is ideal for a dirt-oriented adventure ride. It can conveniently take you over the hills and enjoy even the rough trails. Besides, this bike is lightweight, agile, and reliable. It is undoubtedly built for the rough stuff.

9. Kawasaki KLX300

Another excellent 300cc motorcycle is the Kawasaki KLX300. This bike forms part of Kawasaki’s KLX Series of motorcycles. It is lightweight, has sufficient power, and truly an off-roader too. 

Riders can use it on the streets, but it might not be that easy to handle it on a freeway. But still, if you live in a small city far from the freeway, you can take the Kawasaki KLX300 bike to go around.

10. Honda GROM

Honda decided to tweak the typical look of motorcycles with its Honda GROM. At first, you might say that it’s a bike out of a Transformers movie. But come to think of it, its uniqueness is what makes it appealing.

Its engine produces 10 hp and 8 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to handle main roads. It is ideal for running errands and when you need to go to nearby establishments.

The Honda GROM is perfect for beginners too. With its unique appearance, they will surely have fun learning to ride motorcycles.

In this video, TSTindustries reviews the 2022 Honda Grom. He talks about all its good features, the bad features, and even the ugly. Overall, it’s an impressive bike that will make riders very satisfied.

11. Kawasaki Z125 Pro

The Kawasaki Z125 Pro is the direct competitor of the Honda GROM. Kawasaki describes this as a “junior streetfighter.” It only has a 125cc air-cooled single-engine, but it produces 15 hp and 7 lb-ft of torque. These features allow it to be a perfect bike for beginners.

This bike is impressively responsive and communicative as well. Its features are not as grand as other bikes. Nonetheless, it can corner like a big streetfighter. It is even as nimble and tossable as a Z650 but is less expensive.

12. Honda CRF250L Rally

Next on our list of the best 250cc to 300cc motorcycles is the Honda CRF250L.

The Honda CRF250L Rally features a single cylinder, water cooling, 4-stroke engine. Its seat height measures 35.2 inches, making it ideal for short people. The seat is large, too, allowing riders to experience a comfortable ride.

Also, this bike has 6 different speed gears. That way, beginners will be able to learn how to control the bike.

Its construction is of high quality. Even the frames are sturdy and durable, making them resistant to blows. Additionally, this model comes in black and red colors and is offered at a low price.

13. Suzuki SV650

Shorter riders will appreciate the Suzuki SV650 motorcycle because of its seat height of 29.8 inches. As for its weight, it measures 198 kgs.

This bike’s engine is mighty with the help of its electronic ignition. It also has 6 different speed gears and features a 14.5L fuel tank.

The steel frame is sturdy. It has a beautiful design and structure. Lastly, Suzuki offers this in a variety of colors.

14. KTM 390 Duke

The 390 Duke is one of the best motorcycles introduced by KTM. This is another bike ideal for beginners. It has a single-stroke 4-cylinder engine and features 6 different transmission speeds. Suffice to say that the rider can conveniently control it.

Most people of average height, if not all, will appreciate the KTM 390 Duke’s seat height of 32.7 inches. As for its weight, it measures 149 kgs. Therefore, making it convenient to use.

Also, it features a high-quality steel frame. KTM offers this in black and orange colors at a low price.

In this video, Srkcycles reviews the KTM 390 Duke motorcycle. He was never a fan of KTM bikes but concluded that it is one of the best beginner bikes he has ever ridden.

15. Yamaha V Star 250 Cruiser

250cc motorcycles
Yamaha V Star 250 Cruiser

Another excellent 250cc motorcycle is the Yamaha V Star 250 Cruiser. The Yamaha V Star 250 Cruiser features a seat measuring 27 inches in height. It is also lightweight at 326 kg.

Additionally, this bike has an air-cooled 60-degree V-twin engine and comes with electric ignition. It also has 5 different transmission speeds.

As for its braking system, it features a stopping force of 282mm. Suffice to say that Yamaha takes into consideration the safety of novice riders.

Offered in black and white colors, the design and construction of the Yamaha V Star 250 Cruiser are guaranteed to be durable and reliable.

16. Kawasaki Ninja 300

The Ninja 300 is one of the bestselling motorcycles launched by Kawasaki.

Its seat height measures 30.9 inches, while its weight measures 174 lbs. These features make the bike easy for new riders to handle.

The top speed of this bike is 122 kph, which is relatively high for a bike with a small capacity. It also features 6 different speed gears and a powerful brake system.

Lastly, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 is available in blue and black colors and is offered at a low price.

17. Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883

The Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 undoubtedly forms part of my top picks. Beginners can drive it, but it is more ideal for seasoned riders.

Its seat measures 29.9 inches in height, and its weight measures 256 lbs. Apparently, this might be too heavy for a novice rider.

This is such a mighty bike that is capable of reaching extremely high speeds. It is durable and dependable because the materials used for the design and construction are of premium quality.

The Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 doesn’t come cheap. But just like any other Harley bike, its high-quality build definitely makes its price reasonable.

In this video, Lemmy of RevZilla reviews the 2016 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 bike. He describes how powerful the engine is and offers suggestions on what kind of upgrades can be done to the bike.

18. Honda CB1100 Ex

The CB1100 Ex is one of the best bikes launched by Honda. Also, it is perfect for beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders.

Its seat measures 31.2 inches in height. It also has an impressively powerful engine matched with 6 different transmission speeds.

The design and construction are of very high quality. And Honda offers this model in red and black colors.

19. Suzuki Gixxer SF ABS

The dimensions of the Suzuki Gixxer SF ABS make this bike ideal for all types of riders. Its seat measures 31.3 inches in height. The bike’s entire height measures 1035 mm, while its length measures 2050 mm.

It comes with five different transmission speeds, which make the engine power. Also, the brake system, the design, and the construction are all impressive.

20. RTG Retro

The RTG Retro motorcycle may not be as popular as its rivals. Nonetheless, it has competitive features and is perfect for all types of riders, even for beginners.

It has a 4-stroke engine that flawlessly matches its 5 different transmission speeds and its electrical ignition. Also, its seat measures 30.75 inches in height. At the same time, the entire bike measures 39.37 inches high and 29.52 inches wide.

It is a compact bike with simple and uncomplicated features. The materials used to construct this model are of premium quality. Therefore, this bike is also durable and dependable.

Conclusion – Best 250cc Motorcycle / Best 300cc Motorcycle

To conclude, here again, is the list of my top 20 picks for the best 250cc and 300cc motorcycles:

  1. Honda CBR300R
  2. Yamaha YZF-R3
  3. Suzuki GSX250R
  4. Honda CB300R
  5. Yamaha V-Star 250
  6. Honda Rebel 300
  7. Kawasaki Versys-X 300
  8. Honda CRF300L Rally
  9. Kawasaki KLX300
  10. Honda GROM
  11. Kawasaki Z125 Pro
  12. Honda CRF250L Rally
  13. Suzuki SV650
  14. KTM 390 Duke
  15. Yamaha V Star 250 Cruiser
  16. Kawasaki Ninja 300
  17. Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 833
  18. Honda CB1100 Ex
  19. Suzuki Gixxer SF ABS
  20. RTG Retro

Similar Features

In general, these bikes have similar features. However, their makers have also incorporated features that make them distinct and unique from one another.

Ideal for Beginners

Most of the bikes I’ve mentioned are ideal for beginners. So, if you’re a new rider and interested in buying a 250cc or 300cc motorcycle, you must have an idea by now which one fits you best.

There are several reasons why I personally recommend beginners to use a 250cc motorcycle. One of which is that you’ll definitely learn faster when you use it than when you use a bike with a bigger engine.

Less Expensive than a 600cc Motorcycle

The second main reason is that it’s less expensive than a 600cc motorcycle or any other bike with a larger engine. It’s also easier to sell. So, when the time comes that you’re ready for a bigger engine, you won’t have a hard time selling your 250cc. Not to mention that 250cc bikes impressively hold their resale value.

You can also ride your 250cc bike to its limits. It is ideal for you to learn how to crack open the throttle, lean the bike over, and manage the speed into turns, among others.

Lastly, if you’re from California, a 250cc bike works to your advantage. California is the only U.S. state that allows “lane splitting” or “lane sharing.” Since a 250cc bike is small, it’s possible to ride through standstill traffic since it can conveniently fit in between vehicles.