If you’re planning on purchasing a 600cc bike in the near future, you could do a lot worse than having a look through the following examples. The forecourts of specialist dealers like Metropolis Motorcycles are usually well-stocked with bikes such as these and others, many of which prove a bargain, particularly when you want a reasonably-powerful machine that’s in a good condition, and crucially isn’t going to put too much of a dent in your wallet.
While you may think that a decent 600cc motorcycle will set you back a fair bit, you might be surprised.. And a short test drive on one of these bikes is all it takes to fall in love…
The SV650 is a part of the older generation, so don’t expect to get too much for it when it’s time to sell it, but you can pick one for well under the $5,000 budget, and at the higher end you can often find one in a very decent condition. Treat it right, and you should get a good few years from it.
This bike offers a nice compromise, as it’s both a safe ride for beginners (although newcomers to this engine bracket may find it a bit challenging at first and ought to take it easy until they’re confident with it) with superb handling, and one with just enough power to keep more experienced riders content. As far as downsides go, the suspension isn’t all that great, and there have been complaints about the rigidity of the saddle (although that can be swapped out easily enough). Generally, it’s an excellent value for this budget.
Suzuki V-Strom 650
A mongrel if ever there was one, the Suzuki V-Strom is part cruiser, part sport-bike, part off-roader, and you could probably add a few more definitions if you were thinking about it. A regular feature on ‘Best of’ lists, it has plenty of loyal followers worldwide and is widely regarded as one of the best value 600ccs you can find. There’s nothing particularly special about the V-Strom, but that’s kind of the point – it’s a solid performer in pretty much every category, above mid-table in performance, fuel efficiency, handling, comfort. You can pick up a decent one for well under $5k with a bit of research, and you’ll almost certainly be glad you did.
The FZ6 is extremely versatile – ideal for city commuting as well as longer road trips. Even the older models still hold up well against both time and later versions. It’s a reliable all-rounder that packs a lot of power whilst also handling incredibly well. The Yamaha FZ6 has a sporty look that suits its pverall performance, with a nice smooth acceleration from the lights, and it’s equally fun on country roads. Definitely a smart investment when you budget will only go so far.
Suzuki GSF650 Bandit
What is there to say about the Suzuki Bandit series that hasn’t already been said? The Bandit makes a great introduction to big bikes for the less-experienced rider. Plus points in its favor are that it’s easy and generally quite inexpensive to maintain. If you’re using the Bandit for city commuting or just lazily touring then it’s quite economical on fuel, but it has a tendency to be a bit thirsty if you’re thrashing it. Bandits feel like they’ve been around forever, which is a testament not only to their reliability but also to the type of ride they give – capable, nothing dramatic or flashy, but good solid fun.
To be completely fair, not all motorbikes made in China are terribly good quality. As such, the WK 650i won’t ever win any Best in Show awards, that’s clear. It’s not especially fast or attractive, and you won’t want to be riding it out in the countryside where potholes are more common. But it’s a perfectly serviceable big bike if you’re on a tight budget, and if you’re prepared to spend a little bit of money making some adjustments (like replacing the tires), it will be just fine.
The CBF600 is another bike that seems to be place-holding rather than aiming high, but what makes it worth a look is the fact that it’s a Honda, and so buyers can have some degree of confidence that it’s been put together well and the performance, if not big league, will certainly be more than adequate for most. A good option for new bikers, or those used to a smaller engine size and wanting to move up a step – the CBF600 lacks any real oomph but it comes with plenty of nifty features, and available add-ons, and it feels solid.
At 649CC, it’s slightly out of the range, but you can easily track one down for under $5,000. The ER-6 has a fantastic reputation among riders – it’s got bags of zip, with smooth gear-changing and decent brakes. This bike is comfortable for all but the tallest of riders, it’s excellent value, and you’ll have a lot of fun with this one.
So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of the good weather we’re having, and head out on the open road with the wind in your face. There’s seriously no better feeling..