In 2020, it seems like we’ve mostly gotten over the perception that small bikes can’t be fun. The much-loved Honda Grom and Honda Monkey seem to have banished that very bad opinion from most people’s minds, and for that, we owe them a sincere debt of gratitude. Still, while those tiny bikes have their places, would you necessarily say that you were proud to ride them?
The thing about both those tiny bikes is that even if you enjoy them, they probably aren’t going to be your first choice as even a humble commuter bike. Being proud of your bike means different things to different people, but for now I’ll loosely go with “a thing you’d be happy to be seen riding in any situation.” Would you take it to the track? Friends, the only thing separating you from taking any bike to the track is a) money, b) proper safety gear, and c) desire. People track 49cc scooters and have a heck of a time doing it. What you find ‘fun’ is something only you can measure.
Another point: what constitutes a “small motorcycle”? Here in the U.S., big bikes are the order of the day. Across much of Asia, small bikes are considered to be anything below 400cc. When we in the U.S. talk about mid-sized bikes, we’re usually talking in the 600 to 850cc-range, which kind of leaves the 500s in some sort of nebulous region that’s neither small nor mid-sized. After careful consideration, we’ll consider new bikes available for sale right now under 500cc as fitting our criteria for this list.
Are you ready to ride tiny? Now I’ve gotta find a creative way to fit ‘tardigrade’ on a license plate. Let’s go.