10 Affordable Bikes to Watch Out For In 2012

News | January 27, 2012

The wobbly economy and the constantly increasing price of gas have made buying new bikes an expensive maneuver in current times. This is the reason why despite the serious urge to own a potent, stylish and powerful bike a lot of people stay back. But it should be noted that there are some affordable bikes that you can purchase and own, despite the current financial economic condition. With the riding season approaching in some parts of the nation there are some great deals in the market that you could get for you easily from your bike dealer. Here we’ve listed our favorite 10 bikes that you must watch out for in the model year 2012.

1.) Ducati Monster 696

Price: $ 8,495

Will start from the bottom of the list, and although the Ducati Monster 696 might be listed in the bottom in our list, but if you want to ride the fabled Ducati without putting a big dent in your pocket then this surely is an option worth considering. Just a mere look at the bike makes the bike fanatics fall for it. The typical naked style of Monster and wide-open grille frame has been an inspiration for several bikes in the market.

2012 Ducati Monster 696

The Ducati Monster generates 80-bhp of maximum power, and although it is the least priced bike in its range, it still comes loaded with Marzocchi forks, Brembo brakes, and that archetypal Ducati motor sound. The beginners won’t be afraid of this Monster 696; it is a tad smaller than its actual size and also feels immensely sprightly and tight, while some other models we’ve seen seems awkward. This bike in general is a superb choice for anyone who wants to cut through the traffic or wants to travel to some of the tightest of the canyon road you’ll get. The best thing here is that you get an extended list of equipment and hence you can easily upgrade your Monster 696 later and could make it your own.

2.) Aprilia Shiver 750

Price: $ 9,499

If you say that Ducati is Ferrari on two wheels, then Aprilia surely is Lamborghini on two wheels. Priced at under $10,000, the 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 brings the Italian riding familiarity, and plethora of tech, moreover, just as the throttle-by-wire multimode system, which allows the ride to pick the changeable performance echelons from the 750 cc V-twin engine generating 95-bhp.

2012 Aprilia Shiver 750

The Aprilia Shiver 750 is an urchin in comparison to the 1000 cc Aprilia superbikes. But it does not ride like one. And just as any of its rivals, such as Ducati Monster, the Aprilia Shiver boasts a straight riding position, which makes it an incredible traveler bike, and a comfortable bike even for long trips. The main difference here is that the bikers will escalate the spacious ergonomics of Aprilia. But the size here is a bit of downside for the bike as it makes it a tad heavy. But still the good news here is that it is an adaptable bike — one which the riders could easily grow into and the expert riders will applaud.

3.) Harley-Davidson Iron 883

Price: $ 7999

Even for the bike makers like Harley-Davidson, which primarily is known for its archaic status, the Dark Custom sequence is just as a step back in time when the bikes were only associated with rebels. Back in that time, routine bikes were rawer and a bit less showy in comparison to most of the modern day luxury-cruisers having chrome plate. But this new series of bikes emulates the look of that time with nodded fenders, smooth paint finish and a squatted-down stance. These models also have a lot of retro touches such as blacked-out trim. But in case you want the linchpin Blackline, which basically is built on the Softail, you will have to pay around $16,000. Phew.

2012 Harley-Davidson Iron 883
As an alternative, go for the Harley Davidson Iron 883. The Iron 883 has the mobster style, that we’ve seen on many of its bigger comrades, the Forty-Eight and 1200 cc Nightster, but it comes with customary Sportster’s less powerful V-twin 883 cc engine. But despite that it delivers adequate power for having fun; but it’s just a tad less punch from its line. But once you spent some time with it you forget about the small engine and the old-school straightforwardness. The best thing here is that in the times when the gas prices are rising constantly, the Iron 883 delivers 51 mpg of fuel efficiency, which clearly is impressive. But keep in mind that the Iron 883 is a tad smaller Harley Davidson. The tall riders are better off with a spacious.

4.) Honda Shadow RS

Price: $ 8240

Honda has launched a wide array of cruisers which have caught the attention of Harley-Davidson fanatics instantly. The first of the league was the Fury chopper, following that came the Interstate and Stateline custom cruisers — all of them having 1300 cc engines. So, how about something that rivals with the smallest Harley-Davidson, the Harley Davidson Sportster?

2012 Honda Shadow RS
The all new Honda Shadow RS targets the 883-size Sportsters with its 745cc V-twin engine and classic style. Theoretically, the Shadow RS is a replica of the rough-felled Harley. But in terms of practicality, the Honda is custom made for winding roads than exclusively for thoroughfare cruising. The Shadow RS is an excellent bike for the novice cruiser riders, as it is a tad less intimidating bike in comparison to some of the other models, and still it’s sufficiently big for accommodating bigger riders. Also the 56-mpg of fuel efficiency makes it an incredible commute.

5.) Triumph Bonneville

Price: $ 7,699

The Triumph Bonneville is a typical British bike. It has the looks just as the bikes the coolest British riders rode in 1960s. In general the typically retro styled bikes are horribly expensive. But not the Triumph Bonneville. It boasts all the old-school styling and that too for fewer than 8 grand.

2012 Triumph Bonneville

Despite its big size, don’t expect the 865 cc air-cooled twin engine to skyrocket the Triumph Bonneville on the track. The Bonneville is more of a comfortable bike with maximum output power of 67-bhp. The suspension of Bonneville is comfy and soft, and so is the case with the seat.

If you are looking for some grave reminiscence you should go for the lusterless-green Steve McQueen Bonneville SE, which has been inspired by the Triumph Trophy TR6, which was the rajah of the nonchalant rode in the definitive movie The Great Escape.

6.) Star Stryker

Price: $ 11,090

With a price tag of $11,090 the Star Stryker certainly is the most expensive bike in our list, but when you compare it with all the other low and long chopper-style cruisers in the market, it still is a bargain. The Stryker emasculates Honda’s Fury by almost 2 grand and other models from Harley-Davidson by several grand. The big torque of Stryker, from its incredibly strong liquid-cooled 1304 cc V-twin engine, makes it sprint away from the rivaling line. And although it does come with some grave rake of 40 degrees, the Stryker gives a lot better feel of ground connectivity in comparison to a lot of other models in the market.

2012 Star Stryker

Having a couple of inch of suspension foldaway at either ends, the ride of Stryker certainly will not be cozy. But then, Stryker never enticed anyone for its suave ride quality. People buy these bikes because of their tough looks. This Star Stryker has a mean look and adequate power for supporting the looks. This bike is a special treat for the shorter riders as they will be able to maneuver this big boy easily, because of the fact that its seat is around 27-in from the ground.

7.) Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS

Price: $ 8,299

Riders who frequently go on long rides, either on weekends or on everyday for work likes straight riding position. This is because your tailbone has lesser pressure, you get better visibility and it’s a lot easy to thread the bike around tight corners.

2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS
Since its launch back in 2003, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS has been an affordably priced adventure bike. And we were besotted then. For the model year 2012 it has again been upgraded with a better and enhanced V-twin 645 cc engine, along with a plenty of midrange and low-end torque. The V-Strom also is a lot more comfortable thanks to the slenderer fuel tank, reread windscreen, and a seat which gets “low” and “high” positions. The V-Strom 650 has also shed some weight, and this time around boasts a lot more chic bodywork. The best thing this time around is that the ABS (antilock brake system) has been made the part of the deal; hence the novice drivers will be having a lot more confidence if they have to go through wet tracks on regular basis. Overall if you see that’s plenty of bikes for hardly over eight grand.

8.) Kawasaki Ninja 250

Price: $ 3,999

If you are looking for thrill for every dollar you spend, then the Kawasaki Ninja 250 is one of the finest deals you could have. The best thing here is that this small model is also incredibly fun to ride. The small parallel twin 250 cc engine rotates to an absurd 10,000 rpm, and generates a sweet sound.

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250

All right, it’s not all that fast. But the good thing here is that it will touch the 60 mph mark in around 7 seconds, so you see that it’s not all that slow either. When it comes to twisty roads, the Ninja 250 handles gorgeously—it’s ready to play tough just as any other big sportbikes. But be careful; it is not at all a comfortable ride. The pocketsize Kawasaki Ninja is smooth on freeways.

Dissimilar to a lot of other beginner bikes in the market, the Kawasaki Ninja delivers adequate amount of fun, and you surely will want to keep it with you, even when you’ve got a big Sportsbike. And just as any other small bike, it also is incredibly efficient. In our fuel efficiency test the Ninja 250R delivered 60 mpg.

9.) Yamaha FZ8

Price: $ 8,690

With the launch of Yamaha FZ8 last year, Yamaha officially became an expert automaker in the world of naked-bike (sportbikes having no bodywork). Originally, the Yamaha FZ8 was intended as a motorbike for its European market, where the bikers likes sporty handling subtleties. Hence, the FZ8 will comfortably loaf around a backcountry street or even could go up a hill at decent pace. Mainly, the FZ8 is a Yamaha Sportbike chassis without any heavy bodywork and with more standing handlebars.

2012 Yamaha FZ8
The 4-cylinder 779 cc engine of the bike generates in excess of around 100-bhp and delivers a lot of groan to transport the 467-lbs machine. This undoubtedly is one bike which is pretty cool looking. It even is sufficiently strong to grab the attention of Aprilia and Ducati owners.

10.) Zero XU

Price: $ 7,695

The electric bikes are just as electric cars, much more fuel efficient and advanced, except for the fact that they are way less priced and are a lot more fun to drive. One fine example of that is the Zero XU, which is the most affordable street bike of its lineup. The bike boasts a redesigned engine for model year 2012, which now has a bettered range of around 42 miles, and also gets charged fast.

2012 Zero XU

Now, if you are expecting the performance of a conventional gas powered bike from this bike then it’s not at all fair. This bike clearly is not mean for long rides. But still the battery of the bike is said to last for more than 100,000 miles or 3000 charges. Talking about charging, it’s worth mentioning that the 2.6-kwh pack of the XU is detachable, and hence you even can get the battery charged at your office if you have an access to a charge plug nearby. This fluffy 221-lbs bike surely is not a rocket, but the good thing here is that it lets you touch 65 mph. And if you are travelling at 55 mph, then the battery charge will last for around 28 miles, which again not all that bad.

So if you are thinking of buying a new bike this year, than these are some of the options worth considering.

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