by George Tranos

Enthusiasts may cringe but sometimes the “best” vehicle is not the bestselling vehicle for a manufacturer! Performance, comfort, handling, ride, styling and price all factor into the buying decision. Consumers tend to migrate towards vehicles with the best perceived value. If price were not an object, which vehicle would you buy? Just like cars, motorcycles are purchased by regular people looking for the best value for the money. Sure, we’d all like an MV Agusta or a CVO Harley-Davidson but we “settle” for Kawasaki ZX6R or Hartley-Davidson Sporster instead.


For many years, the Ninja 250 (and now 300) was Kawasaki’s bestseller. It came in at the lowest price point and made many a beginner happy as their first ever motorcycle. The same was true for the Harley-Davidson Sportster 883. These motorcycles may not have had the best performance or handling but what they did have was they gave their buyers a foot in the door into the world of motorcycling.

Automobiles are much the same. The Toyota Camry was the number 1 bestselling auto in the USA in 2016, followed by the Honda Civic. If you ask a typical driving enthusiast if price were not a factor, they would certainly rather have a Ferrari or a Porche. In the real world, however, practicality almost always wins out. Highly desirable vehicles are not the ones that people are actually buying. Spending your own hard earned dollars on a motorcycle may impose financial restrictions on which bike is actually added to your stable. This shouldn’t demean the lesser priced vehicles – they just may not have all of the top quality features or components used in the high-end products. The upside is that you can afford them and they may have the exact attributes that you need.

The interesting thing about motorcycles is that for most people it is not their primary vehicle. Your motorcycle is something that should inspire passion and you should enjoy looking at it and riding it. True, there are some of us who rely on their bike as their only form of transportation but they are rare. Therefore, most people can be more selective in what they buy and ride. You don’t have to buy the bike that’s the jack of all trades (unless you want to). You have many choices and you can pick the one that tickles your fancy. It may not be what everyone else wants but it should be right for you.

When you go into that dealership looking for your next motorcycle, the salesman may try to point you to one of their bestsellers. This may be fine for most people but you might want to look further afield. There may be other bikes that others might pass over without a thought that have your name on them. These lower volume units could just have what it takes to inspire you. You won’t see one on every corner and your ride will be more unique, just like you are!

Bottom line, there are some bikes that are popular because they fit a wide variety of people’s need very well. Their performance, styling, features and price form a matrix that meet the needs and wants of their buyers. Most people will gravitate towards these bestsellers. There are others, however, that eschew the popular choice and go their own way. Like their owners, these unique rides have something different that evokes passion. Whatever your choice, there is something for everyone. No matter what you choose, it’s important that you enjoy the ride!

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