We’ve compiled some of the best commuter bikes for 2016, just in case the thought of throwing on some leathers and biking to work on two wheels excites you as much as it does us. Because, come on, surely there’s no easier way to be the coolest person in the office than rocking up to work on a motorbike?
(Thanks to Auto Trader and its Best Bike Awards for 2016 for these tips – for the full list, check out the Auto Trader awards page)
Best motorbikes for 2016 – Overall Winner: Honda Africa Twin
After more than a decade out of production, there was a lot of anticipation surrounding the launch of the Honda Africa Twin (or, to give it its proper name the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin) – and it does not disappoint. Auto Trader praise its ‘combination of slim shape, superb engine and gearbox, excellent ergonomics and brilliant body control’ and say that it is a ‘a phenomenal all-rounder’, and it’s definitely one of the best commuter bikes of the year.
However, at between £8,000 and £10,000 for a decent second-hand model, the Africa Twin is a fairly pricey bike if you’re only going to use it to commute to and from work. In fact, if you’re only looking to use your bike to commute, this probably isn’t the commuter bike for you. However, if you’re looking for a bike that handles the commute well, but it also highly capable of off-roading or long distances then you can stop looking. As Auto Trader excitedly put it, the Honda Africa Twin is the best bike to have come out of Honda in years – and that’s high praise!
Perfect for: Somebody looking for a brilliant all-round commuter bike but also to do some off-road exploring at the weekend.
The best of the best commuter bikes in 2016: Honda NC750X
With three consecutive wins in the Auto Trader Best Commuter bikes category, there was never any doubt at what bike we were going to recommend here. Not only is the Honda NC750X pretty great to look at, but also boasts a comfortable, roomy and effortless ride that is incredibly easy to get to grips with.
This bike is never going to win any one-on-one races or compete over dirt tracks – but it hasn’t been designed to. It’s been designed to do one thing – make commuting a breeze – and it does it with aplomb.
Plus, with a decent NC750X costing a modest £5,000, it’s half the price of the Honda Africa Twin – and you won’t notice any significant difference between the two on your way to and from work.
Perfect for: Somebody looking for an incredibly well thought out run-around motorbike, for trips around town and to-and-from work. Easily one of the year’s best commuter bikes.
Looking for something a bit more Steve McQueen? Try the Triumph Street Twin.
The Triumph Street Twin takes all of Triumph’s timeless, effortless cool and modernises it with an engine and performance that are perfect for commuting.
If you think this commuter bike looks familiar (or, if you’re a bit of a bike buff, and you think it looks strikingly similar to the Triumph Bonneville) then you’d be forgiven – this is a Bonneville in all but name. It still has the same iconic, enviably cool design that the Bonneville’s have been famous for since the late 1950s, but it has been rebranded as the Street Twin. The Bonneville brand is now reserved for their higher-end products.
However, we guarantee that nobody will notice as you go past them on this – they’ll be too busy trying to overcome their jealousy. And, for just under £7,000, it’s a steal for something that looks this good.
Perfect for: Somebody looking for a decent commuter bike to get around on, but is also looking for a bike with that special something. This is one of those bikes that you fanaticised about as a kid, and the best commuter bike for somebody who wants to look great while they ride to work.
Looking for something a bit more back-to-basics? Try the Suzuki SV650.
If you’re looking for something a bit more modest (or a little less in your face, at least) then the Suzuki SV650 may be the best commuter bike for you.
The Suzuki SV650 has been designed to quietly and effectively get the job done. There’s fun to be had with the bike, that’s for sure, but it’s more concerned with being an incredibly solid commuter bike – it’s got a great power delivery, a smooth ride and an incredibly reliable engine. (However, it also has sporty handling and aggressive styling for the times you want to feel the wind beating against your face.)
On top of that, you pick up a decent second-hand SV650 for around £2,000 and a pristine version for a little closer to £4,000. You’re not really going to do any better than that!
Perfect for: Somebody looking to nip to and from work in a hassle free, efficient manner and, occasionally, take the bike for a bit of a spin.
Best scooter for commuting in 2016 – Peugeot Django 50cc
More of a mod than a rocker? Or maybe you just aren’t that keen on bikes and are looking for a quick run-around without having to go through all of the bike tests? The Peugeot Django may be the scooter for you.
It’s cheap to run, to buy (you can pick up a Django in great condition for under £2,000) and is great to look at. Auto Trader says that it is ‘brilliantly uncomplicated’ and ‘brimming with character and practicality’. Plus, it also comes with a two year-unlimited mileage warranty, which should give you some peace of mind if you like to put a vehicle through its paces or are planning on getting a lot of use out of it.
Perfect for: Somebody who wants a great looking scooter to pop to and from work on.
If you have your eye on one of the best commuter bikes and would like to borrow money, remember that at Bamboo, we have a number of options available to help fund buying a bike (anywhere between £1,000 and £8,000). Why not get an instant, personalised quote that has no impact on your credit score? You could be on the road with the wind in your hair within days! Representative 49.7% APR. A guarantee may be required.