The motorcycle landscape in 2022 is a bit different than it was a few years ago. If you or anyone you know has tried to buy or sell a bike recently, you’re probably already very aware of that fact. Supply chain issues continue to affect all kinds of goods that people want to buy—including motorcycles (and parts). Still, that’s hardly the end of the world. After all, most riders are used to getting creative, aren’t we?
While prices on everything have gone up, we’re happy to report that it’s still possible to find a range of fun, brand-new motorcycles with U.S. MSRPs that are under $6,000. That said, we can’t tell you that any of them will definitely be in stock at the first dealer you call. It’s possible that you’ll need to talk to multiple dealers in your area, wait for the bike you want to come in, and/or travel a bit to get the new bike you really want. Unfortunately, that’s the current state of things—but still, while it may be difficult, it’s far from impossible.
Look at it this way: If you do end up having to wait for a little bit for the bike you want to come in, that gives you more time to think about (and maybe even order) accessories. After all, the first thing all of us do when we get a new bike is want to go for a ride, right? A little delayed gratification just gives you more time to plan.
In any case, here are six excellent new bike choices for under $6,000 in 2022 that you can start phoning your local dealers to ask about. All pricing and technical information was current to American OEM listings as of March 16, 2022. These bikes are sold in multiple regions, so pricing and availability may vary if you are outside the U.S.
2021 Honda CRF300L or CRF300L ABS
Honda calls the CRF300L a “dirt bike that’s street-legal,” and that seems like a pretty accurate way to describe it. While you could, of course, simply thrash it around off-road, it’s also an incredibly capable and accessible bike for adventure riding. (Seriously, just check out Season 6 of Itchy Boots’ YouTube adventures to see a CRF300 Rally very thoroughly put through its paces.)
There’s a 21-inch wheel up front and an 18-inch wheel in the rear, disc brakes at both ends, ground clearance of 11.2 inches, and untold amounts of fun and adventure waiting for you in between.
MSRP: $5,249 for the base CRF300L or $5,549 for the CRF300L ABS
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 286cc single-cylinder with bore and stroke of 76mm x 63mm
Seat Height: 34.7 inches
Curb Weight: 306 pounds
2022 KTM RC 390
If you want a tiny but very fun sportbike that urges you to wring that throttle wide open—and yet, miraculously, probably feel like you’re going much faster than you actually are—then the RC 390 may just be for you. It’s light, it’s nimble, and you definitely shouldn’t let its small size fool you into thinking it’s less of a blast to ride than it is.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 373cc single-cylinder with bore and stroke of 89mm x 60mm, making a claimed 32kW (approximately 42.9 horsepower) and 37 newton-meters (approximately 27.2 pound-feet) of torque at unspecified RPMs
Seat Height: 824mm, or 32.4 inches
Curb Weight: KTM only gives a dry weight of 155 kilograms, or just over 341.7 pounds. Fuel tank capacity is 13.7 liters; oil capacity isn’t listed.
2022 BMW G 310 R
The BMW G 310 R is a go-anywhere, do-anything kind of naked bike. It’s effortlessly agile and fun on twisty roads, and its seating position strikes a tidy balance between upright and crouched. It’s sporty enough to be entertaining, but not enough to totally stress out your wrists—which may make it perfect for everyday riding. Throw a top box on the back and you can carry some stuff, too—or, you know, just throw a backpack on your back.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, dual overhead camshaft, 313cc single-cylinder engine with a bore and stroke of 3.0” x 2.4”, making a claimed 34 horsepower at 9,250 rpm and 20.6 pound-feet of torque at 7,500 rpm
Seat Height: 30.9 inches standard; BMW’s Low seat height for this bike is 30.3 inches, and its High seat height is 31.5 inches
Curb Weight: 362 pounds
2022 Kawasaki Z400 ABS
What’s that, you say? You want streetfighter looks and Kawasaki styling at a price that’s pretty easy on the wallet, on a zippy little bike with agile handling? Here you go. For 2022, the Z400 ABS comes in your choice of two colorways for the American market: Pearl Robotic White/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray, or Candy Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, dual overhead cam, 399cc parallel twin engine with bore and stroke of 70.0 x 51.8mm and maximum torque of 28.0 pound-feet at 8,000 rpm
Seat Height: 30.9 inches
Curb Weight: 363.8 pounds
2022 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 or Svartpilen 401
Both of Husqvarna’s 401s offer variations on a minimalist design theme, but each will take you down a slightly different path. Choose the Vitpilen 401 if you like more aggressive ergos, with clip-ons and a seating position that encourages you to crouch down and plunge headlight-first through those curvy bits. If you’d rather sit up a little taller and survey your surroundings from a more commanding position, choose the Svartpilen 401 instead. Same powerplant, two different riding experiences.
MSRP: Both ‘pilens start at $5,399
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 373cc single-cylinder engine with bore and stroke of 89mm x 60mm
Seat Height: 835mm (32.87 inches) on both
Curb Weight: Husqvarna lists a slightly different dry weight for these two bikes. The Vitpilen 401 weighs 151 kilograms, or just under 333 pounds dry. Meanwhile, the Svartpilen 401 weighs 152 kg, or just over 335 pounds.
2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan
For dual-sport, adventurous ruggedness with a dash of classic and utilitarian design, look no further than the 2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan. It’s made for the kind of rides you want to take sitting—or standing—up. Ground clearance is 8.6 inches, and it comes with a 21-inch wheel up front and a 17-inch wheel in the rear. It also comes with dual-channel ABS standard, and the rear wheel ABS is switchable if you’d rather turn it off for some expeditions. For 2022, the Himalayan comes in your choice of six colorways: Granite Black, Rock Red, Lake Blue, Gravel Grey, Pine Green, or Mirage Silver.
Engine: Air-cooled, single overhead cam, 411cc single-cylinder engine with bore and stroke of 78mm x 86mm, making a claimed 24.3 brake horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 23.6 pound-feet of torque between 4,000 and 4,500 rpm
Seat Height: 31.5 inches
Curb Weight: 439 pounds