Two-Wheeled City Slickers

5 Best Motorcycles For Navigating City Streets


Cars By Photo by Ducati

Navigating any concrete jungle can be hell — especially if you call the asphalt wilds your commute. Driving into the city is certified insanity and public transportation isn’t always the most reliable (which is the understatement of the year for any New Yorker). That only leaves one serious option: a motorcycle. In the city, agility trumps power and bulk is the enemy of timeliness. To get to work on time what you need is a slender, nimble bike that looks good and handles well — here are five of the best motorcycles for any city-dweller.

Kawasaki Z650

Best West Coast Commuter: The roads of California never cease to amaze. They twist and curl, rise and fall, flowing over mountains, through valleys and along the picturesque coast. From Monterey and Big Sur to SoCal’s famed Angels’ Crest and Ortega Highways, all the way down to the Campo Road along the Mexicali border, California is a rider’s paradise. This sub–100 horsepower, entry-level Kawasaki Z650 is more than enough bike to challenge experts on California’s turf.

Read the review: An Entry Level Streetfighter That Punches Above Its Weight

Monster 1200 S

Best Big Engine Commuter: A motorcycle larger than 600cc tends to be too much for city riding. But if the price weren’t a factor, the new Monster, with its 1,200cc engine, may be an exception to that rule. An engine that size could get anyone into trouble, but, its helpful electronics, programmable on the fly, let you pick Sport, Touring or Urban ride presets and dial in eight different levels of power delivery, throttle response, ABS, traction control and wheelie control individually. It can adapt to both highway commutes and in-town traffic fantastically.

Read the review: Ducati Messed with a Classic (And Now It’s Better Than Ever)

Zero FXS

Most Eco-Friendly: The FXS is the light and agile. 70 lb-ft of torque and 54 horsepower (equivalent) in a bike weighing less than 300 pounds means it’s essentially a city bike with supermoto DNA. The FXS goes 0–60 in 3.8 seconds and has a range of about 90 miles in the city and 37 miles on the highway, all while costing less than 75 cents to “fill up.” It can also be had with the larger battery pack ($2,495). The FXS features drive modes such as Sport, Eco and Custom (set through an app), which adjust the regenerative braking and throttle sensitivity. All-in, the bike goes for about $8,500 before incentives.

Read the review: Two Electric Motorcycles You Should Clear Garage Space For

Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

Most Stylish: Though the Ducati logo printed on the bike’s fuel tank may boost appeal, the Sixty2 isn’t a superficial bike -— it really hits a sweet spot in the balance between design and performance. It’s slender and nimble enough to carve up traffic and looks miles cooler than anything else in the sub-400cc engine category.

Read the review:The Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 is the Perfect First Bike

Honda Grom

Pint-sized Power Player: In the trenches, dodging taxis, texters and tourists, the Grom comes into its own. Handling is lightning quick and downright telepathic. Threading needles at full throttle through congested chaos is an absolute riot, and thanks to the Grom’s “cute” demeanor, nobody ever gets mad.

Read the review: The Honda Grom Proves Good Things Still Come in Small Packages
Alternatively…

The best motorcycles for the long haul. Read the Story