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For many, nothing beats the feeling of wind rushing through your hair as you zip down the open road on a powerful sports bike. Unfortunately, the high price tags often associated with these motorcycles can significantly deter many would-be riders.

The good news is there are a few great options available offering plenty of power and performance without breaking the bank. So, if you are in the market for a decent motorcycle, here are eight of the best affordable sports bikes for 2022, as reported by HotCars.

1. Yamaha YZF-R3 ($5,499)

A Yamaha YZF-R3, one of the most affordable sports bike of 2022.
2022 Yamaha YZF-R3 | Getty Images

This miniature clone of its close sibling, the YZF R-1, possesses enough R1 DNA to make it a great starter sports bike. It has remarkable suspension and chassis, which enhance its feel and rider comfort.

When it comes to power, the Yamaha YZF-R3 is no slouch with a parallel-twin engine that produces 42 hp and 29 lb-ft of torque. It has enough performance to keep any beginner and intermediate rider happy. With a price tag of $5,499, it can punch above its weight and go head to head even with bigger bikes.

2. KTM RC 390 ($5,799)

Like the Yamaha R3, the RC 390 is a top-of-the-line starter bike with performance levels reaching close to bigger bikes. It has a fantastic look, fitted with a 44 hp engine and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio.

With its excellent suspension and chassis combo, the KTM RC 390 handles sharply, making it the ideal track bike. In addition, the RC 390 comes equipped with ABS and cornering traction control, making its $5,799 price tag even more appealing.

3. Kawasaki Ninja 400 ($5,799)

Of the three above, the Kawasaki Ninja 400 is perhaps the best starter sports bike, combining the best aspects of the KTM RC 390 and the Yamaha R3. Although its 399cc parallel-twin engine and 44 hp are outstanding features, its reliability and build quality make it exceptional.

The parallel-twin engine gives the bike character, refinement, and a 119 mph top speed missing in the KTM. It is closest to big bikes thanks to its build, remarkable suspension, and excellent handling.

4. Honda CBR500R ($7,199)

Better suited for long highway rides, the Honda CBR500R possesses a 471cc two-cylinder engine that gives it more horsepower than its close rival, the Kawasaki. Thanks to its two-cylinder setup and outstanding craftsmanship, it is among the most well-refined sub-600cc bikes in the market.

With a $7,199 price cap, it offers smoother suspension, vibrating considerably less, even as you push the speedometer.

5. Kawasaki Ninja 650 ($8,299)

In the super sports 600cc bike segment, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 is perhaps the most popular thanks to its chassis, riding dynamics, and a 67 hp two-cylinder engine. It develops a torque of 47 lb-ft and blends comfort with exceptional performance.

With an $8,299 price cap, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 also comes with a configurable TFT screen, Bluetooth connectivity, a refined ride, and upgraded suspension for track lovers.

6. Yamaha R7 ($8,999)

A genuinely iconic bike, the Yamaha R7 is ideal for riders looking for an intermediate between beginner-friendly and uncompromising liter-class bikes. It shares a parallel twin-engine with the renowned MT-07, producing 49 lb-ft of torque and 72 hp.

Despite the speed (fast or slow), its chassis ensures the reader remains comfortable. In addition, it is remarkably stylish with a new, refreshed avatar that makes its $8,999 price tag more alluring.

7. Honda CBR 650R ($9,799)

Unlike the CBR500R, its younger sibling, Honda’s CBR650R is a supersport bike with a four-cylinder 649cc engine, delivering 85 hp and 42 lb-ft of torque. In addition, its distinctive GT design is remarkably sporty compared to CBR500R, with better riding and handling dynamics.

With its latest avatar, the CBR650R Honda comes with a refreshed design, new chassis, suspension, and components, making its relatively high $9,799 price tag worth every cent.

8. Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ($10,499)

While the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R and 650 share the Ninja nameplate, they do not share an engine. Instead, the ZX-6R comes with a four-cylinder 636cc engine, churning out a staggering 134 hp, which makes it the most robust bike on this list.

It is also much sharper than the Ninja 650, with an electronic quick-shifter, a standard TFT display, and LED lights. In addition, its Showa suspension is fully adjustable with standard traction control. Despite all these top-notch features, the Ninja ZX-6R has a relatively affordable $10,499 price tag.


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