We're just over one month into 2024, but you're probably already looking at new bikes for the new year. Maybe you never stopped, even if the weather got incredibly inhospitable to riding over the winter. (We know this from experience, because same.)
Whether you do it for fun, or because you're seriously contemplating getting yourself a new bike, it doesn't really matter. One thing that's on everyone's mind is usually saving a little bit of money (but, you know, also still getting yourself a sweet new motorcycle).
We've updated this list a few times over the years. Despite the rising cost of just about everything, we're usually pleasantly surprised at the fact that there are several choices of bikes that meet the under-6,000 US dollar target that we've set. Even in 2024, that's still the case.
With that in mind, our list here doesn't contain the only bikes currently available in the US for under $6,000 new. There are more, so if something you're interested in isn't on this list, that doesn't automatically mean that it's over $6,000. (Unless you're being extremely unrealistic and expecting a showroom-fresh Kawasaki Ninja H2R for that money, in which case, good luck to you.)
Also, please bear in mind that the prices listed here are manufacturer's suggested retail prices in the US, are accurate at the time of writing on February 2, 2024, and do not include any destination or other charges that dealers may assess at the time of purchase.
If you are located in a region outside the US, these bikes are all sold internationally. Check with your local authorized dealers for the most accurate pricing and availability information in your region if you're interested in any of these bikes.
2024 Honda Grom - Studio - Blue Raspberry - Right Side
Engine: air-cooled 124cc single-cylinder
Seat Height: 30.0 inches
Curb Weight: 224 pounds
Honda's good at lots of things, but one of the things that it's arguably best at is crafting small bikes that bring a smile to your face. It's been doing exactly that thing for decades, in one form or another. The Grom is just the most modern version of that philosophy.
With a plethora of both OEM and aftermarket parts available, and a vibrant and thriving community of folks dedicated to customizing Groms, this might be as close as you can get to a rolling playground. You can spend a lot of money on customization, or you can spend a little. But if your new bike only costs $3,600, you'll have a lot more to spend on the shiny bits that strike your fancy either way.
Two Royal Enfield Hunter 350s, probably plotting something while they wait outside for their owners to return.
MSRP: starting at $3,999
Engine: air- and oil-cooled 349cc single making a claimed 20.2 brake horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 19.9 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm
Seat Height: 31.1 inches
Curb Weight: 399 pounds
The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is pretty close to the ideal bike if you're an urban commuter. The handling is light and predictable, and it's small and nimble so if you live anywhere that allows lane splitting, it's a cinch. Those same factors also come in handy for street parking. While the power and torque aren't going to blow anyone away, they're more than enough to do exactly what you need in the dense traffic situations where this bike thrives.
2024 Yamaha MT-03 - Studio - Front Right Angle View
Engine: liquid-cooled, dual overhead cam, 321cc parallel twin
Seat Height: 30.7 inches
Curb Weight: 373 pounds
For those who prefer the modern, angular styling that Yamaha uses on its MT family of bikes, the MT-03 is the smallest-displacement member of the family currently sold in the US. We'll admit, we're suckers for those aqua rims. The entire color scheme on this bike is very good, and the bike is plenty of fun to ride when you're done looking at it, too.
2024 Kawasaki Ninja 500 - Studio - Front Right Angle View
MSRP: starting at $5,299 for the non-ABS version or $5,699 for the ABS version
Engine: liquid-cooled, dual overhead cam, 451cc parallel twin making a claimed 51 horsepower at 10,000 rpm and 31.7 pound-feet of torque at 7,500 rpm
Seat Height: 30.9 inches
Curb Weight: 375-ish pounds with ABS; slightly less without
If you're looking for a little more power in your sub-$6,000 bike, and/or you were really hoping for a sportbike in general or a Ninja specifically, the all-new Ninja 500 just might be for you. Standard features include an assist and slipper clutch, smartphone connectivity, Kawasaki Intelligent Proximity Activation Start System (or KIPASS), and an LCD display up front.
2024 Honda XR150L - Studio - Right Side
Engine: air-cooled, 149cc single-cylinder
Seat Height: 32.8 inches
Curb Weight: 282 pounds
If you're just starting to dip your toe into off-road riding, the XR150L makes an excellent choice for a new bike. It's forgiving, it doesn't mind if you drop it, it's inexpensive, and it's basically a hardy little mountain goat that's just waiting to go on some adventures with you.
Since it's a dual sport and not a dedicated dirt bike, you can also ride on roads with it to get to whatever places off the beaten track that you want to explore. If you're at all interested in learning about carburetors, this bike has a teeny tiny one that you can get to know when the time comes.
2024 Triumph Scrambler 400 X - Studio - Matt Khaki Green - Right Side
Engine: liquid-cooled, dual overhead cam, 398.15cc single-cylinder that makes a claimed 39.5 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 27.7 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm
Seat Height: 32.87 inches
Curb Weight: 395 pounds
If you're at all swayed by the charms of scrambler styling, it's difficult to deny the appeal of the Scrambler 400 X. The styling is absolutely dialed in, and that's especially true when you see this bike in person. The fit and finish are quite good, particularly at this price point.
Sure, it's not the most hardcore dual-sport machine you can find, but it seems like a more than reasonable combination of fun and style to be had for your $5,600.
2024 KTM 390 Duke - Studio - Front Right Angle View
2024 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 - Studio - Front Left Angle View
While it's entirely possible that either or both the 2024 KTM 390 Duke and the 2024 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 (and the Svartpilen 401 as well) will be priced under $6,000 in the US, the pricing has not yet been made public as of February 2, 2024. That's why you won't find either of those bikes on this list at this time.
That said, we're particularly intrigued by the promise of the updated KTM 390 Duke. If it does slide in under that price point, it's probably a whole lot of fun to be had for not a lot of money. Look for a RideApart First Ride review soon to confirm or refute that speculation with our actual experience.