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The Honda Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide

July 21, 2022
custom Honda motorcycle and a rider

Choosing the Honda brand is easy – it’s the biggest motorcycles company in the world, it has decades of excellent motorcycle production under its belt, and it makes some of the most dependable and recognizable motorcycles ever ridden. The hard part is choosing which Honda motorcycle to buy – there are so many! Fortunately, this guide will help you choose.

What types of Honda motorcycles are there?

Honda really does manufacture every type of motorcycle there is. As a truly global corporation, they have a presence in nearly every market. Not all models are available everywhere, so Southeast Asia may have Hondas in the showroom that will be unfamiliar to European riders. With that being said, let’s go over some of the key types they have become famous for.

  • Honda sport bikes: This is the class of motorcycle that catapulted Honda to international significance. Some of its most historically significant and recognizable models are sport bikes that made huge advances in motorcycle engineering.
  • Honda street bikes: Like the rest of the Japanese big 4, Honda makes excellent street/naked motorcycles that are popular around the world.
  • Honda cruisers: Honda cruisers are beautiful and reliable machines that will keep up with the best of them and turn heads. As is the case with other manufacturers, the cruiser lineup has thinned out in recent years, but both their classics and their new models are still worth a look.
  • Honda touring bikes: The Honda Goldwing is perhaps one of the most dominant and popular touring bikes ever made – and it’s not even the only one Honda makes.
  • Honda off-road bikes: Honda makes everything from performance offroad race machines to iconic adventure bikes that have been ridden around the world.

Our 9 Best Picks

Owing to Honda’s legendary reliability, buyers today have a wide array of both used and new models to choose from. In many cases, models with decade-long histories and legendary status are still in production today. This, combined with the broad honda motorcycle lineup, means our top list will contain some of their most popular models, but not specific years.

Here are some of the best Honda bike models in no particular order:

1. Goldwing

The Honda Goldwing is one of the most standout motorcycles in its class. This heavy touring bike is renowned for its smoothly delivered power, legendary reliability, and imposing size.

The Goldwing is still made today, so a new one is bound to be an outstanding investment. However, models from the 80s and 90s can still be found on the used market in good working condition.

HONDA GL1800 Gold Wing

2. Africa Twin

The Africa Twin actually has two distinct model designations coexisting under that title. The XRV650, XRV 750, CRF1000, and CRF1100 are collectively known as the Africa Twin, and they share a strong lineage of cross-country performance. The newest and most powerful additions to the family – the CRF1000 and CRF1100 – have yet to earn their stripes, but the older XRV models are considered by many to be practically bulletproof.


3. CRF

These bikes share a designation with their big brother, the CRF1100, but the similarities just about end there. The smaller Honda CRF bikes – up to 450 – are lighter dedicated off-road dirtbikes and motocross bikes that have been proven in some of the toughest races in the field. Whether new or used, these bikes are usually high in demand because they represent an excellent performance and reliability to price ratio.


4. CB

The CB line is one of Honda’s most venerable and storied lines, going back practically to the company’s inception and featuring some of its most important historical models. There is nothing old about the modern models, however. This line of models sticks to a naked/street silhouettes across a number of different-capacity engines. All of them, however, are sporty, reliable, and loved by their fans.


5. CBR

The CBR line of sport and superbikes is where Honda has made some of its most cutting-edge contributions to the motorcycle industry. Many of these models can be bought race-ready new, while some of the most beloved older models like the Fireblade and the Super Blackbird are considered not just bikes, but investments.


6. Rebel

Cruisers can be intimidating for some riders, especially when starting out. The Rebel, however – one of the most popular bikes in Honda’s cruiser lineup – has been a favorite among riders who know they want a cruiser but aren’t prepared for the power most cruisers pack. The Rebel, or CMX, has spent most of its history as the CMX250, but the modern model comes in CMX500 and CMX1100 varieties, checking all the boxes for new and experienced riders alike.