Year of The Small-Displacement Sportbikes

Many of us have long bemoaned the fact that the stateside market lacks the stable of 125-400cc sportbikes – the machines on which most Brits and Europeans learn to ride.  Over here, the only real small-displacement sportbike was the Ninja 250, whose styling and technology was shudderingly out-of-date until the introduction of the 250R a couple of years ago.  Due to this lack of options, far too many novice riders start out on 600cc sportbikes – supersports with 100+ horsepower that are NOT for beginners.  And the rate of accidents among such riders is staggeringly high. 

Well, times they are a-changin’.  Now Honda, Aprilia, and KYMCO are stepping up with 7/8 scale, sub-30 hp bikes to challenge the 250 Ninja’s dominance.  These include the following models:

  • 2011 Honda CBR250R
  • 2011 Aprilia RS4 (125 cc)
  • 2011 KYMCO Quannon (150 cc)

All of these should be priced at less than $5000, and each should offer a viable starter-bike for future sportbiking aspirants.