New rider: Top 5 commuter bikes

1 of 9

Are you new to biking and looking for affordable and comfortable work transport? You’ll be needing our guide to the top 5 used commuter bikes.

These 5 models were voted the best commuters by MCN readers in the MCN Biking Britain survey - have your say now.  




Yamaha XJ900

1. Yamaha XJ900 (1994-2004) - £850-£2996
"The last word in high-powered, no-nonsense all-round motorcycling. If you’re on a budget, you can’t do much better. The seat’s comfy and the handling is approaching joyful on open, sweeping roads. The power delivery is smooth, but it can get a little vibey around town. Its 24-litre tank will save you vital minutes filling up when you’re late for work, too."


Honda CB500

2. Honda CB500 (1994-2003)
"Competent middleweight, renowned for cosseting new riders and providing even the most experienced among us with all-round, reliable commuting pleasure. The motor’s smooth, the handling is stable and friendly, and it’ll cruise happily at sillier speeds than you’d imagine. Down pipes and exhausts can rot in short order if not treated well, but the motor will go on and on."


Honda CG125

3. Honda CG125 (1975-current) - £140-£1640
"ow many other bikes offer you unbelievably low insurance premiums allied to a purchase price comparable to a night out with the lads? OK, so the CG won’t win you any style points, but as reliable workhorses go, the little Honda is without rival. The suspension is bouncy and basic, but it’ll get you to where you’re going. Rugged, reliable… 10 million commuters worldwide can’t be wrong."


Honda Hornet

4. Honda Hornet (1998-2006) - £850-£3660
"Equally adept at the mad thrash to the office and the two-up trip to Brands Hatch, the original Hornet is versatile, practical and offers excellent value for money. It’s also the most stylish bike in its class, replete with cool high-slung exhaust. Extremely prone to winter corrosion, especially on its steel exhaust down pipes, but terribly reliable."


Yamaha YBR125

Yamaha YBR125 (2005-current) - £900-£1700
"A basic, budget learner bike and very affordable commuter, the YBR will allow you to weave through rush hour traffic and probably arrive at the city centre office as quickly as you would on a GSX-R, if not more so. It’s light, it handles well, you’ll pay peanuts for insurance and it’ll return frankly astonishing fuel consumption. What’s not to like? OK, maybe the budget finish, but the engine’s reliable and that’s what matters."


If you're thinking of buying one of the above models from MCN Bikes For Sale, get insurance quotes from a number of motorcycle insurance providers in one place with MCN Compare. 

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in New rider…

Marc Abbott

By Marc Abbott