The best second-hand commuter bikes

bikes for commuting

Picture courtesy of Keeyway motorcycles.

Increasing numbers of people are turning to motorcycles for their daily commutes. They’re the ideal solution for those who need a flexible and fast way to get where they need to go, especially now that the working week is often divided between working from home as well as at the office.  If you go second-hand it can be pretty affordable. Bikesure has put together a guide to the best second-hand commuter bikes, and what you need to know to get a good one.

What to look out for when buying a used commuter bike

Buying a used bike can be tricky; you need to make sure you’re buying something that’s not going to break down immediately. Our guide to buying a moped has a good summary of the things you need to keep an eye out for. 

This applies more if you’re doing a private sale, most second-hand bike dealers will have repaired any major issues, but it’s a good idea to know what you should be looking for to ensure you’re not stuck with a lemon.

The main things to check for are any obvious signs of damage. Scrapes on the bodywork are often an indicator that it’s been involved in a crash and might mean there are more serious problems with it. You should also check that the brakes work, and make sure the seller has the right paperwork and logbook.

How to choose a commuter bike

Obviously, the rightcommuter bike will depend on several factors, with the kind of journey you’ll be taking being the main one. Smaller bikes and scooters are fine for urban transport, but if you work in the country having something a bit more powerful will help you cover those miles in good time. 

If your commute takes you on to any motorways or roads with a minimum speed of 30mph, then you will definitely need something with an engine capacity of at least 125cc, but unless you’re completely new to biking and can’t use anything above a 50cc scooter you’ll probably want that even if you’re only travelling within cities.

It’s also a good idea to not buy something too old, as it will be more prone to needing repairs and finding spare parts could be difficult. Anything made within the last 20 years should be relatively easy to locate replacement parts for, especially if it’s from one of the more established manufacturers.

Obviously if you’re after a used bike then you might not find the exact model on our list, but it should give you an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of what’s available.

1. Honda CBF125

Honda’s CBF has been in production since forever, and is one of the best selling bikes on the planet. This means that you stand a very good chance of finding one in good condition for not very much cash, and it’ll be easy to keep running. You can find models from as recently as 2018 for under £2,500, and models from 2015 for under £2,000. If you want something a little more powerful then CB500Fs can be found second hand for under £4000.

2. Keeway Blackster 250

The Blackster is a budget v-twin custom cruiser released in 2016. Keeway’s current range is purely based around 125cc models, but spare parts for the Blackster should be widely available. It’s a great choice if you want something with that classic retro look without that classic retro price tag.  With a bit more power, thanks to the 250cc engine, this will make a great commuter. You should be able to pick one up for less than two grand.

3. Kawasaki Versys 650

Another choice for more experienced riders, the Versys 650 has been a big seller for many years so it’s relatively easy to pick one up for around four grand. If this sounds a bit too powerful for you, then second-hand Versys-x 300s are often available for around the same price. 

4. BMW G310R

BMW motorcycles are known for being reliable, comfortable bikes to ride so if you’ve got a longer commute then the G310R is a great choice. Three or four year old models can easily be found for £3,000 or under, which is a great price for a bike of BMW’s lineage.

bikes for commuting

Picture courtest of BMW motorcycles.

5. Suzuki Burgman

If comfort is an important consideration for you then maxi scooters are a great choice, with the added bonus of room to carry a passenger on the pillion and a surprisingly capacious under-seat trunk. The Burgman is available in a range of different engine capacities, with both 125 and 400 versions readily available for under £3k second-hand.

6. Yamaha XMax 250

Another maxi scooter, you can regularly find 250cc models about five years old for a very reasonable £2,500. While not quite as all-encompassing as the Burgman it still provides a decent amount of carrying space and a level of comfort that will make longer commutes far more pleasurable.

bikes for commuting

Picture courtesy of Yamaha motorcycles.

7. Lexmoto

Lexmoto are one of the most successful manufacturers of budget bikes, many of which are ideal for learners and urban commuters who don’t need powerful engines to get around. You can find a good selection of their past 50cc and 125cc scooters and motorcycles for well under two grand, making them a great choice for an affordable first bike.

Protecting your motorcycle

Whether you use a bike for commuting to work, for leisure or for club rides, you’ll get a little more peace of mind if you know your machine is protected by the right insurance. Bikesure is a specialist motorcycle and moped insurance company with bespoke policies for bikes of every description and peple from every walk of life. Call 0800 640 8852 to find out how much money you could save on a Bikesure policy or book a free callback at a time that suits you. 

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August 8, 2023