Best Motorcycles for Highway Commuting in 2023

Best Motorcycles for Highway Commuting in 2023

Do you fall in the category of people who buy motorcycles for their primary use i.e., transportation? If yes, then you should know that not all motorcycles are the same. While some are great for touring, others are better suited for commuting.

Some motorcycles are efficient on the highways while others are better for city roads. But with so many options on the market, choosing the right bike can take time and effort. 

I’m a motorcycle enthusiast with over a decade of experience reviewing bikes and their accessories. In this article, I’ll review some of the best motorcycles for highway commuting and city riding. 

Top Choice 

The Suzuki SV650 is one of the best motorcycles for commuting and my top choice. It has a powerful 645cc four-stroke engine that puts out 75 hp and 47 pound-feet of torque. It also has a solid chassis that handles the power comfortably. This bike is reliable, has good handling, and prioritizes rider comfort. 

At A Glance: Best Motorcycles for Commuting

The 10 Best Motorcycles for Highway Commuting Are: 

1. Suzuki SV650 – Overall Best Motorcycle for highway commuting

Suzuki SV650

If you’re looking for the best all-around bike for commuting, only a few options can compare to the Suzuki SV650. Since the first model was released in 1999, this bike has maintained its status as one of the best motorcycles money can buy. 

The SV650 comes with a V-twin liquid-cooled 645cc four-stroke engine. The engine delivers about 75 hp and 47 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough juice to power you to a maximum speed of 130mp, which is a great asset when riding on a highway. 

The engine is energy efficient. It has unique pistons made with Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis. This helps it to achieve optimal weight and rigidity. 

Also, the piston skirts come with a special resin coating, while the other sliders are tinned to improve durability and reduce friction. 

The cylinder block uses Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM) technology. This helps to enhance heat transfer, durability, and friction. 

The Suzuki SV650 also comes with an Easy Start System. It allows you to start the motorcycle by pressing the start button for a couple of seconds. It also has a 3.8-gallon tank and a decent 56 mpg fuel economy. 

Pros

  • Good handling
  • V-twin liquid-cooled 4-stroke engine
  • Pistons are made with the Finite Element Method
  • Cylinder block uses SCEM 
  • Easy Start System for quick starts

Cons

  • Expensive 

The Suzuki SV650 is an iconic motorcycle. It’s great for both beginners and experienced drivers. However, it’s quite expensive although it’s great value for the money. 

2. Triumph Tiger 1200

Triumph Tiger 1200

If you’re looking for a commuter bike that can handle long-distance traveling, the Triumph Tiger 1200 is the right choice. This motorcycle is renowned for its reliability, power output, and comfort. 

The Triumph Tiger 1200 has a powerful 1,160cc inline-triple engine. The engine puts out a peak power of 147hp and peak torque of 95 pound-feet. The engine’s output is monstrous, even for a touring bike, and it can power you to a top speed of 137 mph.

If you’re worried about engine noise, you’ll be happy to hear that this motorcycle’s exhaust comes with two silencers. It has an underslung silencer and a secondary side-mounted silencer for effectiveness. 

This bike has a 5.28g fuel capacity, allowing it to take enough fuel for long-distance commuting. It also has a 58 mpg fuel economy. 

Pros

  • Good handling
  • Powerful and responsive engine
  • Double exhaust silencer
  • Large fuel tank capacity
  • Good handling 

Cons

  • The Triumph Tiger 1200 is a class above many of its competitors. It’s got good handling, a powerful engine, and a solid chassis.

3. Kawasaki Versys 650 LT

Kawasaki Versys 650 LT

Kawasaki is one of the biggest motorcycle brands in the Industry, and the Versys 650 LT is another from its lineup of great commuter bikes. This bike was made for daily use with a solid engine, great control, and comfortable to ride. 

Its parallel twin 649cc 4-strokes engine puts out 65.7 hp at 8,500 RPM and 44.8 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 RPM. It produces enough power to reach a maximum speed of 128 mph, which is smooth when riding in the city and steady on the highway. 

This bike has a solid chassis which does an excellent job of controlling the power from the engine. The suspension has good tuning, balance, and more than 5 inches of travel at both ends to power you through bad roads without hassle. 

It has various tech features, including smartphone connectivity using the Rideology app. There is also the Kawasaki traction control for better handling and more comfortable long-distance rides.  

Pros

  • Powerful engine
  • Strong chassis
  • Good handling
  • Impressive tech features
  • Electric starter

Cons

  • Users complain about coolant leaks from the water pump. 

Whether you’re using it for urban riding or long-distance commuting, this bike can handle different road conditions with distinction. 

4. BMW F 900 R

BMW F 900 R

The BMW F 900 R is an impressive mid-range motorcycle for commuting. This bike gives you plenty of power to burn and the control to keep you steady whether you’re on a highway or riding through the city. 

The BMW F 900 R has a powerful 895cc water-cooled parallel twin engine. It delivers a peak power of 99hp at 8,500 RPM and 68 pound-feet of torque at 6,750 RPM. This powers you to a top speed of 124 mph which is excellent for highway commuting.  

One of the most impressive things about this bike is its ground-breaking tech features. It has LED lighting, switchable riding modes,  and a 6.5-inch TFT color display to see the road ahead. 

This bike also comes with a 13-liter fuel capacity and a fuel economy of 60mpg. This should get you around the city without frequent fuel stops.  

The BMW F 900 R also has an electric fuel injection system and an electric starter to start your bike with just a click of a button. 

Pros

  • Powerful engine
  • Impressive tech features
  • Good fuel economy
  • Electric starter 
  • Good handling and agility

Cons

  • The fuel tank could be better

The BMW F 900 R is a great motorcycle for city traveling. However, its 13l  fuel tank might be problematic if you do a lot of long-distance commuting. 

Best Commuter Motorcycles for Beginners

5. KTM 390 Duke 

KTM 390 Duke

Are you looking for the right motorcycle for urban commuting? The  KTM 390 Duke stands tall amongst its competitors. This bike is lightweight, powerful, and comfortable to ride. 

The KTM 390 Duke has a single-cylinder liquid-cooled four-valve engine. It can reach a peak power of 43hp at 9500 RPM and a peak torque of 25.8 pound-feet at 7250 RPM. This gives you the power boost to reach a top speed of 104 mph, which is great for urban commuting and decent for riding on a freeway. 

The KTM 390 Duke is an excellent beginner bike. The engine’s power delivery is predictable, which helps you to learn to shift gears. Also, Its weight allows you to maintain balance when doing low-speed maneuvers. 

This bike comes with a 13. L fuel capacity, delivering a fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. The bike also has high-end upright handlebars, which offer all the control you need for a comfy ride. You also get an electronic ignition system with fewer emissions and better fuel economy. 

Pros

  • Great bike for beginners
  • Good bike for urban commute 
  • Electronic ignition system
  • Powerful engine
  • Lightweight and easy to control

Cons

  • The seat height may be too high for short riders. 

If you’re a beginner rider, the KTM 390 Duke is one of the best motorcycles for urban commuting. It’s got a good engine, is lightweight, and is easy to ride. 

6. Kawasaki Z650

Kawasaki Z650

The Kawasaki Z650 is another excellent street bike that deserves a place on this list. This bike is known for its powerful engine, solid handling, and rider comfort. 

The bike comes with a 649cc parallel-twin engine which delivers 67 hp at 8000 RPM and 48.5 pound-feet of torque at 6500 RPM. While it’s not the most powerful machine on this list, it can still power you to a top speed of 115mph. 

This bike also has many high-tech features that make it a joy to ride. It has an Economical Riding Indicator, which monitors fuel consumption and alerts you when riding conditions consume less fuel. 

The bike has smartphone connectivity for navigation and access to music. It also has an LED headlight and tail light for superior visibility at night. 

The Kawasaki Z650 has an impressive 15L fuel tank with 65.8 fuel economy. This is slightly better than what you’d get from its competitors, like the Suzuki SV650 and Yamaha MT-07. 

Pros

  • Powerful engine
  • Economical Riding Indicator to monitor fuel consumption
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • Good fuel economy
  • Beginner friendly

Cons

  • Expensive to maintain

The Kawasaki Z650 is perfect for urban riding and highway commuting. It’s also beginner friendly and offers great fuel economy. 

7. Honda Grom

Honda Grom

If you’re a beginner rider looking for a commuter motorcycle for your budget and experience, the Honda Grom fits the bill. Although it can work well for highway commuting,  this bike is excellent for city riding. 

The Honda Grom comes with a 123.9 cc air-cooled 4-stroke engine that puts out about 9.7 hp and 7.7 pound-feet of torque. Although the specs aren’t quite as impressive as many other options on this list, this bike still has a decent output. It can reach a top speed of 73 mph and may even catch up with many bikes with more powerful engines. 

The bike also has an electric starter for quick starts and a fuel injector for improved engine performance. It also has a gas mileage of 166 mpg, which scores high in fuel economy. 

For a small bike, the Honda Grom has excellent handling. This is helped by its single rear shock and inverted shock suspension, which gives you more control and comfort. 

Pros

  • Easy to ride
  • Great for city commuting 
  • Good handling
  • Affordable
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • Not recommended for highway commute

The Honda Grom is efficient, low maintenance, and does not cost as much as many of the other motorcycles on this list. However, it is too slow for highway commuting. 

Best Motorcycles for City Commuting

8. Zero SR/F

Zero SRF

The Zero SR/F is another excellent motorcycle for commuting. This is the right motorcycle for you if you don’t want to spend a ton of cash to buy fuel.

It’s fully electric, so you don’t have to worry about gasoline, combustion, or oil. This makes it environmentally friendly and much easier to maintain than your regular bike. 

The Zero SR/F comes with a Z-Force 75-10 enhanced thermal efficiency air-cooled engine. The engine delivers a peak power of 110 hp and a peak torque of 140 pound-feet. With that much power, you can expect to reach a maximum speed of 124 mph. 

This bike has the latest Cypher III+ operating system, which allows you to personalize your bike to suit your taste. With this OS, you can access parking mode and improve charging speed on the app. The OS allows you to choose between modes, including Rain, Standard, Sports, Canyon, and Eco. 

The bike also has a lithium-ion Z-force battery and a 3kW integrated charger for more power. 

Pros

  • Save money on fuel
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Latest Cypher III+ operating system
  • Lithium-ion Z-force battery for extra power

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for long-distance traveling

With its impressive tech and power output, The Zero SR/F is an excellent commuter motorcycle.  But due to its short-range circle, this isn’t the best bike for long-distance commuting. 

9. Triumph Street Twin

Triumph Street Twin

The Triumph Street Twin bike is another great option that ticks many boxes. This motorcycle has a decent engine, comfortable seats, and low handlebars for long smooth rides. 

The Triumph Street Twin comes with a liquid-cooled 900cc parallel-twin engine. The engine has a peak power of 64.1 hp and a peak torque of 59.1 pound-feet. This provides enough power to reach a top speed of 120mph. 

This bike has great handling. It has KYB suspensions at the front and rear, which provides the control you need on the road. 

While this motorcycle has many impressive features, its 3.2g fuel tank capacity is slightly smaller than its competitors. However, you get about 50.7 mpg fuel economy which isn’t too shabby for a cruiser bike. 

This bike also has great tech features. You can choose between a rain or road riding move, which adjusts traction control settings, and a throttle map. There’s also a ride-by-wire tech for more control and better fuel economy. The Triumph Street Twin motorcycle is comfortable for short riders, too. It is the best motorcycle for small women.

Pros

  • Comfortable seats for short riders
  • Low handlebars for long rides
  • Good handling
  • Good fuel economy
  • Impressive tech features

Cons

  • Expensive 

The Triumph Street Twin is a great commuter bike to get around the city. However, it’s more expensive than many of its competitors. 

10. Honda CB300R

Honda CB300R

The Honda CB300R might be a small bike, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in dynamism. It is lightweight, deceptively fast, and comfortable to ride. 

The CB300R comes with a 286.01cc 4-stroke engine. The engine has a peak power of 31 hp at 8500 RPM and a peak torque of about 20 pound-feet. The specs might not be as eye-popping as some of the options on this list, but this bike can power to a top speed of 100mph. 

Amongst many impressive features is the  Honda CB300R’s state-of-the-art chassis. The frame construction is specially designed to be strong and lightweight. This gives you superior handling while on the highway. 

Although the CB300R may not have the specs to handle long-distance riding, it’s perfectly suited for urban commuting. The bike is lightweight, has perfectly balanced suspensions, and has a comfortable seat. 

Pros

  • State-of-the-art chassis
  • Good handling
  • Affordable
  • Comfy seat

Cons

  • Not suitable for long-distance commute. 

The Honda CB300R is a great urban bike for riders looking for a motorcycle to ride through the city. The seat is great, the chassis is strong, and the engine’s output is decent. 

Check out this article on Best Dirt Bikes by Bikers Right.

Buying Guide 

If you want to buy the best motorcycle for commuting, there are a few non-negotiables that you need to look out for. In this section, I’ll explain some factors to consider before buying the best commuter motorcycle:

Engine Power

These days, many motorcycles come equipped with powerful engines. But if you use your bike for long-distance commuting, you’ll need more than an average-powered engine.

A powerful engine produces more horsepower and torque. This means better output, more speed, and better fuel consumption. Although most bikes with eye-popping horsepower and torque don’t come cheap, you should find some decent options for your budget. 

Strong Chassis

With great power comes great responsibility, and I’m not talking about Spiderman! But just like our friendly neighborhood superhero, motorcycles with powerful engines need a way to control the power so that it doesn’t overwhelm them. This is why you need a strong bike with a strong chassis.

Motorcycles with strong chassis usually have attachments like accelerator grip, heat dissipation, and footpegs. This allows you to ride your bike comfortably without worrying about engine heat. 

Fuel Economy

Whether you’re riding on a highway or in the city, the last thing you want is to run low on fuel. If your bike runs low on fuel, you’d have to make frequent stops to fill your fuel tank. This is bad news if you’re running late for work.

Also, riding on a low-fuel tank can damage your motorcycle. Hence, it’s paramount to prioritize commuter bikes with good gas mileage. 

Cost

While a motorcycle doesn’t cost as much as a car, it’s still important to remember that most 

commuter motorcycles will take between $5000 and $13000 out of your wallet. Still, if you’re hoping for something cheaper, you may want to consider options like the Honda Grom. However, a motorcycle costs not only what you pay for it. You should also factor in the maintenance and cost of spare parts. 

Do you Need A New One?

If you don’t want to invest much money in a commuter motorcycle, don’t forget that you can always purchase a second-hand bike and save some money. That said, ensure your technician looks at the bike before you buy it. The technician will check to see if the motorcycle is still in good condition and if you’re getting a fair price. 

Riding Experience

There are many beginner-friendly commuter motorcycles out there, and you should consider them if you don’t have experience riding big bikes. New riders can have difficulty handling the weight and throttle response. Hence, it’s important to play it safe and go for a bike that fits your riding experience. 

FAQ

How far can you ride a motorcycle daily?

Many riders can clock around 250 to 300 miles a day. It could be more or less, depending on the conditions. The factors that affect how far you can ride a bike include the type of motorcycle, the condition of the road, and the riding experience. 

Are jeans good for motorcycle riding?

No, jeans are not good for motorcycle riding. This is because the material has low tensile strength and is not resistant to abrasion. Hence, regular jeans wouldn’t hold up well if you fell off your bike at high speed. 

How long does a motorcycle engine last?

A good motorcycle engine should give you anywhere between 50,000 and 250,000 miles depending on different factors. This includes the engine’s make, model, type of bike, maintenance, and usage. 

Final Thoughts

Commuter motorcycles help you get around the city easily. They can fit into spaces cars can’t, which helps you beat traffic easily and find good parking spaces.
If you want to buy a commuter bike, there are many options on the market. But if you’re looking for the best motorcycles for highway commuting, the Suzuki SV650 is an excellent choice. It’s got a powerful engine, good chassis, great handling, and reliability.

Jude Odumamwen

Jude became obsessed with motorcycles after his dad got him a 2007 Suzuki SV650 for his 16th birthday. He's since ridden a few more bikes and made a career out of writing about them. Jude also writes about cars, but his first love runs on two wheels. When he's not writing, he likes to watch movies or read mystery novels.

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