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Home Tech News Best motorbikes 2021: Yamaha, BMW and Honda

Best motorbikes 2021: Yamaha, BMW and Honda

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Bikes! They’re brilliant fun to ride and can slash your commute time in half.

But choosing one can be a bit tricky if you don’t understand what’s out there.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or don’t even have a bike licence, we’ve selected three motorbikes to suit your needs.

Best for… no bike licence

Yamaha Tricity 300

Yamaha Tricity 300

Yamaha Tricity 300

Have you not yet set aside the time it takes to get a motorbike licence? No worries, the Yamaha Tricity 300 has an unconventional three-wheel design – two up the front and one at the rear – which means it qualifies as a trike.

This has a couple of huge benefits. First, it won’t fall over when you come to a standstill, you can simply keep your feet on the bike at the lights.

Second, you don’t need a bike licence to ride one – if you are over 21, your car licence will do just fine. In theory, you don’t even need a helmet to ride one, although we would definitely recommend wearing one.

From £7,802,

Who can ride a motorbike?

Getting a motorcycle licence isn’t as straightforward as for cars. You can ride a 50cc moped from the age of 16, or a 50cc motorcycle from 17, so long as they have a top speed of no more than 30mph, simply by getting a provisional licence.

But to ride a moped or motorbike with an engine size of up to 125cc, you’ll need to take your Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), a one-day test.
CBT holders who turn 19 can take a two-part practical test to gain an A2 licence, which lets you ride bikes rated up to 47hp.

Once you’ve had that license for two years you can take another test to ride any bike you want.

If you’re over 24 you should try the Direct Access Scheme (DAS) course. These can take four days to complete. DAS courses take you through all the theory as well as the practical elements of riding a bike.

Best for… commuting

BMW 1250 GS

BMW 1250 GS

BMW 1250 GS

If you’re commuting short distances then almost any motorbike or moped will serve you well but what if you live in a commuter-belt town and you need to haul yourself into the big city along a busy motorway or fast A-roads?

If that’s the case, you’ll need a bike that’s comfortable to ride at high speeds. The BMW 1250 GS is an adventure bike that was designed to tackle almost any terrain – and that includes the M1 in winter.

It has a comfortable sitting position, high-ride height that lets you see over the traffic, powerful engine and good protection against the elements.

From £13,625,

Best for… city slickers

Honda Monkey

Honda Monkey

Honda Monkey

So, you’re really inexperienced on two wheels. In fact, you barely know what you’re doing. Don’t worry, there’s still a motorbike for you – meet the Honda Monkey.

Yes, it looks like a toy, or as if a proper bike has been shrunk in the wash, but this mini motorbike is super cool to look at and even more enjoyable to ride.

Its tiny dimensions and low weight mean it’s very manoeuvrable and perfect for nipping through gaps in the traffic. It’s incredibly efficient too – the 125cc engine delivers a massive 189mpg, which means it’s probably cheaper to run than using a travel card.


Ask the doctor: Cazoo automotive writer Graham King

What is adaptive cruise control?

Most new cars and many older ones have cruise control. It allows you to set a speed your car will maintain without the throttle pedal being pressed.

But motorway traffic slows down and speeds up so you could spend your journey endlessly setting and resetting the cruise control.

However, adaptive cruise control matches your car’s speed to the vehicle in front. All you have to do is steer. The best systems can even slow the car to a halt if necessary, then accelerate when the traffic starts to move again.

Got a question for our experts? Email us at

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.

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