10 Most Affordable Suzuki Motorcycles You Can Buy Today

Of all the great Japanese motorcycle marques, Suzuki ranks as one of the most established and iconic. Having recently passed its centenary year, the company has gone from strength to strength, and its motorcycle sector showcases the company's impressive technical expertise and design prowess. This is evidenced by vehicles such as its flagship Hayabusa sports bike, which has become something of a legend among motorcyclists as being one of the fastest street-legal production bikes available today. Other famous product lines include the GSX series of sports bikes, the V-Strom series of adventure bikes, and the DR range of off-road motorcycles.

While it does produce some highly desirable (and expensive) machines, Suzuki is known for creating a wide range of motorcycles to suit all applications and budgets. Here we look at the inexpensive end of Suzuki's current two-wheeler catalog and see what the Hamamatsu-based brand offers its more wallet-conscious buyers in each major motorcycle segment.

Sports Tourer: GSX-S1000GT

At a glance, it's hard not to like the GSX-S1000GT, and the better you get to know it, the more it impresses you. Despite being powered by the K5 engine, which was introduced way back in 2005, Suzuki went with the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach, and it's still an absolute belter almost two decades on. Suzuki also decided not to jump on the bandwagon here by offering ADV features such as off-road-friendly tires or a long travel suspension and has stuck rigidly to the sports tourer rationale. As a result, we have a bike that knows exactly what it is and performs as well as we might expect.

Much like its highly successful competitor, the excellent Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX, the GSX-S1000GT has timeless looks that shouldn't look outdated after a few years of ownership. Yet it boasts a host of modern accouterments that would make the James Webb Space Telescope blush. These include a 6.5-inch color TFT display with onboard navigation, cruise control, and a full complement of rider aids. It is comfortable and deceptively low in the saddle, making it ideal for those who lack the minimum 34-inch inseam that many sports tourers require. While the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT is certainly not cheap to buy, this is one of the more affordable liter-class bikes within its segment and has good value for money at the starting price of $13,349.

Sports Bike: GSX250R ABS

Much to the disapproval of parents the world over, entry-level sports bikes like the GSX250R ABS provide the perfect introduction for those dipping their toes into the world of high-performance motorcycles. Having snatched the baton from 2018's GSX250R, the ABS version has anti-lock brakes, as the name suggests, but is otherwise much the same as this bike has been a hit with the biking public ever since its release. While many of us wish to gravitate to larger, more powerful road rockets further down the line, there's something to be said for small-displacement sports bikes that you can rev high and throw through the twisties with abandon, and that is precisely where the GSX250R shines.

Notable features of the GSX250R ABS include a full complement of LED lights, cast aluminum wheels, a seven-stage adjustable rear shock, and quality KYB front forks. While 25 horsepower and 17 pound-feet of torque may not sound like much, it is more than enough to make the hairs on any novice rider's neck stand up when applied to a properly-optimized, nimble little racer like this. What can you expect to pay for Suzuki's scaled-down GSX? The newest model starts at just under $5,000 for countless hours of guaranteed fun, irrespective of age or experience.

Street Bike: SV650

There was a time, around the 1990s, when riders got fed up with replacing the smashed faring on their sports bikes and decided to dispense with them altogether, leaving their bikes stripped down to the bare essentials. These machines were known as streetfighters, since shortened to "street" bikes, with their ribcage-like frames and protruding headlamps reminiscent of the café racers of yesteryear. The Suzuki SV650 is such a bike, and it fits neatly into the segment with its mid-sized 645cc V-twin engine and undeniably attractive profile.

While there's generally a lot of love for the SV650, it's not entirely perfect. Some wish it had inverted forks, befitting a model of its sporty nature; some say it carries too much weight for its class, and some say the front brakes are lackluster. Others bemoan the fact it hasn't been updated in too long. Still, it could also be said that aside from the aforementioned "issues," this is a tried and tested vehicle that is not overengineered and doesn't require too many bells and whistles. It's little wonder that since its introduction in 1999, this nimble, amply-powered machine has gained a loyal following, and it can be bought at a base price of $7,399, making it all the more accessible to riders of all backgrounds and abilities.

Cruiser: Boulevard C50

We are all aware of the legendary American motorcycles that come replete with their own heritage, aesthetic, and requisite leather waistcoats. But for all their grandeur, these motorcycles are not without their faults. Many models are prone to breaking, have sluggish performance, are plagued by vibrations, and are known for being uneconomical on fuel. If you are looking for better reliability, build quality, and efficiency in a cruiser package, there are several Japanese models that fit the bill, including the Suzuki Boulevard C50.

This beefy V-twin offers American hog styling with a Japanese refinery. Its ample 805cc V-twin engine thumps along nicely between the knees, and as a low-slung cruiser's power unit, this won't break any speed records, but it provides plenty of torque at lower revs and looks and sounds the part. The competent Boulevard C50 makes a good match for its homegrown competitors, the Honda Shadow Aero and Kawasaki Vulcan 900, but buyers are most likely aware that while its starting price of $8,909 is reasonable, you can buy one of its U.S. counterparts, such as the excellent Indian Scout Sixty or indeed a used Harley-Davidson, for a couple more thousand dollars.

Adventure: V-Strom 650

Adventure bikes have become increasingly popular with each passing decade since the introduction of Honda's Africa Twin in the mid-1980s and BMW's market-leading GS series of bikes that followed. The Suzuki V-Strom 650 represents the brand's mid-sized entry into the adventure bike segment, and with competitors that include the popular Triumph Tiger 660 and Kawasaki Versys 650, the V-Strom has continued to hold its own. Unlike these competitors, the Suzuki has impact-absorbing wire-spoked wheels and a raised muffler, making it more off-road-oriented.

The V-Strom's V-twin engine, from which it gets its name, is aligned from front to back, making the bike slim through the faring and ideal for negotiating tight trails (or inner-city traffic). It has an 83-centimeter high seat and upright riding position, giving you better control and an authoritative view of the road ahead. It is buoyed by a responsive suspension that delivers no unwelcome surprises upon acceleration or braking, and it has two bigger brothers in 800cc and 1,050cc variations, should you wish to upgrade. While some have been unfair about its looks, and most would probably agree that it's not the best-looking motorcycle, it provides a perfect introduction for those starting out in this segment or would make a solid regular bike for an experienced, relaxed rider for as little as $9,104.

Dual-Sport: DR650S

The Suzuki DR650S is part of a long lineage of dual-sport bikes in the DR series, and this model, in particular, traces its roots back to the early 1990s. Not much has changed since it was revised in 1996, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, as this tried and true bike performs equally well, both on or off-road, as any dual sport should, and is a lot of fun in the process. Those who are not well-acquainted with dual sport bikes will find it takes a little getting used to — not least the 34-inch high seating position — but when you do get to know it, you'll wonder why it took so long before you tried one.

The thing about dual sports and dirt bikes is that they are incredibly fun to ride. Throw the DR650S around some twisties, preferably on an uneven surface, and it offers great control and balance. Meanwhile, the 650cc engine provides more than enough low-end torque to get you out of trouble and feels hugely satisfying when applying throttle. The DR650S also offers bikers the holy trinity of versatility, reliability, and affordability, so while it's not a great daily commuter bike, for a base price of just under $7,000, you'll get your money's worth of enjoyment out of it, and you won't have to spring for many repairs.

Supermoto: DR-Z400SM

The street-legal Suzuki DR-Z400SM supermoto is slim, lightweight, and has plenty of power when you need it. While you could, in theory, take it off the beaten track and explore some fire roads, it is better suited to tackling commuter traffic and twisties with its slick roadgoing tires and 32-horsepower, 400cc engine. It almost looks like a retro machine, and indeed, it hasn't changed much since its ancestor, the DR-Z400, was introduced around 20 years ago. However, a few contemporary touches, such as its enlarged Nissin disc brakes, an LCD with a digital speedometer, and a lowered profile, bring it a little more up-to-date for the modern rider in an inner-city environment.

While this is the most affordable supermoto bike in Suzuki's range, a starting price of $7,799 isn't exactly cheap for a single-cylinder throwback to the turn of the century. And while fuel economy is good, the tank is very small at a little under 10 liters. This bike also has a bit of an identity crisis going on, as it is fundamentally a dirt bike with street tires, and one has to wonder why you wouldn't save some cash and opt for the excellent Suzuki DR650S with its larger capacity engine and dual sport capabilities. With that said, as with most Suzuki bikes, fit and finish are excellent, and the DR-Z400SM reportedly looks and performs well in practice, with enough fans at the ready to keep it in production after all these years.

Motocross: RM85

Like many bikes in Suzuki's current catalog, the RM85 has been around a while, and while some of its motorcycles might need a full body makeover, this plucky entry into the marque's motocross range needs little in the way of improvement. Designed for novice dirt riders, the RM85 comes with no bells and whistles whatsoever, but what they do get is a design classic that is perfectly optimized to suit the demands of this niche sector while taking almost any terrain in its stride.

Up front is a pair of quality upside-down Showa forks with nearly a foot of travel. Bringing up the rear is a Showa shock with preload adjustment. And sandwiched in between is a punchy and responsive 85cc engine that is reliable and efficient. Add to this a sizeable 19-inch front wheel and a 16-inch rear wheel, complete with the knobby tires that you'd expect on a motocross bike, and that's about it. As an entry-level machine that was created for younger riders, it doesn't quite meet the same quality standards as a professional dirt bike, even from the same manufacturer. However, this is reflected in its $4,499 base price, and it is certainly fit for purpose while being a lot of fun in the meantime.

Off-Road: DR-Z50

If the RM85 is well suited to teenagers, the DR-Z50 goes one further as a mini bike that is entry-level in the most literal sense. This is designed for riders aged seven and up who are just finding their way on two wheels. Hence, it has an automatic clutch and three-speed transmission to help ensure they stay focused on the track ahead. It has a 49cc engine that is carburetted, so you'll find a choke knob to help you get it started from cold. Its 22-inch seat height accommodates smaller riders, and low ground clearance and 119-pound wet weight mean it is easy to control (or pick up after a spill).

Of course, like its larger RM85 sibling, the DR-Z50 is light on frills, and so it should be. This is a fun yet utilitarian machine that is primarily for training purposes, and the fewer distractions, the better. You don't want a child trying to best their top speed, so speedometers are out. As is the fuel gauge, clutch lever, and all dials and controls besides, although the brakes are situated in the usual places, which is helpful. As is the centrifugal clutch, which introduces young riders to the principles and application of transmission without requiring too much coordination. While not all children would attempt to ride one (and not all parents would encourage it), for the relatively low price of $2,499, your child could become the next Valentino Rossi, and retirement might come sooner than you hoped.

Scooter: Burgman 200

Scooters are a divisive subject within the motorcycling world. After all, unlike their manual transmission counterpart, they require less coordination to ride, they are usually sensibly powered, and they are much more comfortable and practical, with ample space for storage. All this translates to "boring" for many bikers, but this is unfair. Whether we'd admit it or not, most of us would rather be on a busy commute with a twist-and-go throttle, spacious footing, a large, deflective windshield, and a wide, plush seat.

The Burgman line of scooters represents automatic luxury on two wheels and has been a segment leader for quite some time. Ideal for the city commuter, or even far-flung trips out of town, the Suzuki Burgman 200 is the most affordable option in the series, but it's by no means lacking in features. While it has the smallest engine capacity in the series at 200cc, this is still large by scooter standards, and it whips you along at 75 miles per hour with ease. It has two gloveboxes up front, one of which has a 12-volt charging port for your devices, and the main under-seat trunk is large enough to accommodate two helmets (or a good amount of groceries). While most would agree that $4,999 isn't exactly cheap for a scooter, you save a lot of money on gas, cut through the traffic, and have a little wind in your hair on your way to the office. Maybe it's not so boring after all.