10 Of The Best 600cc Motorbikes

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The 600cc class is full of some genuinely awesome motorcycles. Whether you are looking for a retro-style roadster or a track weapon, there is something for everyone. 

There is enough accessible power for you to have some serious fun on and grow into if moving up from a 125cc; however, the amount of power is less intimidating than that found with 1000cc bikes

Here we have gathered the best 600cc motorbikes on the market, so let’s take a look. 

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Specs: 

  • Engine – Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, parallel-twin, 649cc
  • Kerb Weight – 193kg
  • Max Power – 67 horsepower at 8,000rpm
  • Max Torque –  64 Nm 6,700rpm

The Kawasaki Ninja 650 is a staple in the middleweight sports bike market; it is a technically impressive performance motorcycle that has been refined to very high standards. 

The chassis is lightweight, slim, comfortable to ride, and allows for precision steering and easy handling. 

Kawasaki has refined the engine, which means it is cleaner on emissions, and there are new, improved levels of mid-range torque. 

For the first time in the 650cc class for Kawasaki, they have introduced a TFT colour display, which looks classy and provides information that the Ninja has otherwise gone without. 

This includes Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone through the ‘RIDEOLOGY THE APP’ application. 

LED twin headlights, new tyres, and a refined windshield are also new additions for the new model, with the tyres providing a better road feel and the windshield increasing the sporty look while providing better wind protection. 

Without a doubt, the Ninja 650 is one of my favourite sports bikes of all time. It is a sporty beast but has some bonus practicality features. You are reasonably upright with neutral ergonomics, so you can ride all day and even tour on it if you wish. 

Check it out on Kawasaki


Yamaha R6 GYTR

Yamaha R6 GYTR

Specs: 

  • Engine – Four-stroke, Euro4, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin, 4-cylinder, 599cc
  • Kerb Weight – 190kg
  • Max Power – 118 horsepower at 14,500rpm
  • Max Torque –  61.7 Nm at 10,500rpm

Yamaha has evolved the R6 road bike to the all-new R7 but what they have left is the R6 Race and the R6 GYTR, which are both strictly track race performance bikes. 

The R6 GYTR is a phenomenal machine, the ultimate racing supersport. 

It is built for the race track and has used all of Yamaha’s knowledge of supersport racing, and successful race wins to help riders improve their racing performance from a race-spec ECU, AIS plug to optimise engine output and Akrapovic pipes. 

The GYTR comes with a fairing coated in a white primer with a blue tank and can be customised by dealers to display your personal racing livery. It can also be tuned by select dealers, which comes at an extra cost. 

All weight has been reduced from the lightweight engine, aluminium fuel tank, magnesium subframe and GYTR bodywork. 

The model is only available from Yamaha Pro Shops, and it should be noted that it is not a road bike. This serious race bike is ready for you to test your mettle at the track; it is not for the faint-hearted or novice to race bikes. 

Check it out on Yamaha


Suzuki V-StromXT

Suzuki V-StromXT

Specs: 

  • Engine – Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90 degree V-twin, 645cc
  • Kerb Weight – 216kg
  • Max Power – 70 horsepower at 8,800rpm
  • Max Torque –  62 Nm at 6,300rpm

For a long time, the adventure motorcycle market was dominated by bikes in excess of 800cc with the likes of the Triumph Tiger and BMW GS line. 

Suzuki entered the game early with the V-Strom and used the 650cc engine. The XT is the epitome of a middleweight adventure bike; it is ready for anything you throw at it. 

Suzuki pitched the XT as a bike that can do-it-all, commuting, rough roads, wet roads, first roads, highway stretches and can do it comfortably two-up. 

The benefits of the XT over the standard V-strom come in the form of wire-spoke wheels for better shock absorption, knuckle covers and an under cowling. 

You get an Advanced Traction Control system, Low RPM Assist, and Suzuki’s Easy Start system, all of which make your journey easier, more comfortable, and enjoyable. 

There are also a host of accessories you can get through Suzuki, including a full alloy kit, which includes a top case, side case set, weight balancer set and handlebar brace. 

Check it out on Suzuki


Suzuki SV650X

Suzuki SV650X

Specs: 

  • Engine – Four-stroke, two-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90 degree V-twin, 645cc
  • Curb Weight – 200kg
  • Max Power – 72 horsepower at 8,500rpm
  • Max Torque –  64 Nm at 6,800rpm

Since its inception, the SV650 has been a staple for new riders, riding schools across the country have a stable full of these workhorses. 

They are brilliant, reliable, affordable machines with enough power to move up from a 125cc but not enough to pull your arms off, and it is quite a forgiving engine for mistakes. 

The new SV650X taps into the cafe racer scene with superb styling and retains its infrastructure as a lightweight, agile, smooth and dependable motorcycle. 

Suzuki has blacked out the bike, and the frame is now a bronze colour which compliments the brown leather tuck and roll seat, best suited to solo riders. 

You get put into a slightly sportier position than the base SV650, as the seat tilts you forward but cushions your lower back as you reach for the classic cafe racer clip-on bars. 

It is a really good looking motorcycle that rivals other production cafe racers in price, with the likes of Triumphs and Ducatis offerings being more than £10,000. 

Check it out on Suzuki


Honda CB650R Neo Sports Cafe

Honda CB650R Neo Sports Cafe

Specs: 

  • Engine – Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 16-valve, DOHC inline 4-cylinder, 649cc
  • Kerb Weight – 203kg
  • Max Power – 93 horsepower at 12,000rpm
  • Max Torque –  63 Nm at 9,500rpm

Honda has switched up the CB650R a little, from a standard naked street bike to a naked street bike with a modern cafe racer edge.

The new Neo Sports Cafe oozes a level of class and sophistication that preceding models were arguably missing. 

Top features of the bike include full LED lighting, radial-mounted callipers, ABS, Showa forks, Aluminium wheels, LCD instruments, and a comfortable riding position that still looks aggressive and sporty. 

It is a stripped-back, no-nonsense roadster with subtle upgrades to make your ride more fun and inspire confidence, including assist/slipper clutch and Honda’s Selectable Torque Control. 

Like the Suzuki SV650X, the Honda is competitively priced for a production cafe racer. 

It also brings the idea of a cafe racer into the future, changing what the notion of a classic racer was and bringing it into 2022. 

Check it out on Honda


Triumph Tiger Sport 660

Triumph Tiger Sport 660

Specs: 

  • Engine – Liquid-cooled, 12 Valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder, 240-degree firing order, 660cc
  • Kerb Weight – 206kg
  • Max Power – 80 horsepower at 10,250rpm
  • Max Torque –  64 Nm at 6,250rpm

Triumph introduced the new Tiger Sport 660 as a ride for commuting, city riding or just a weekend overnight trip; it is not touted as a small adventure bike.

Although, I would argue that any motorcycle is an adventure bike.

For me, the Tiger 660 is the ultimate adventure bike. I love the smaller capacity and lighter weight, which from my point of view, means you can go off the beaten track easier and further, plus the price point is tempting.  

The triple-cylinder engine is shared with the new Trident 660, and the third cylinder does help push the performance that bit further; the bike actually leads the class in terms of performance spec. 

It is smooth, responsive, and delivers power in a linear manner.

Ergonomically, Triumph has built the bike to be as comfortable as possible. A low seat height, narrow width, and light steering all make for a really enjoyable ride that you are in control of. 

Modern features such as ABS, Traction Control and Riding Modes are also equipped on the model, so you have extra security for safe riding. 

Check it out on Triumph


Triumph Trident 660

Triumph Trident 660

Specs: 

  • Engine – Liquid-cooled, 12 Valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder, 240-degree firing order, 660cc
  • Kerb Weight – 189kg
  • Max Power – 80 horsepower at 10,250rpm
  • Max Torque –  64 Nm at 6,250rpm

If the Tiger Sport 660 isn’t for you and you want more of a roadster, it is 100% worth looking at the Trident 660. 

The Trident is agile, handles superbly, and is dynamic and responsive, while the triple-cylinder engine provides a thrilling riding experience where you have tons of usable power. 

It is a nice looking roadster different from anything else in Triumph’s lineup. Still, it does remain undisputed as a Triumph motorcycle with the fit and finish exactly as you would expect it to be. 

Triumph argues the Trident is class-leading with its technology that comes as standard, a TFT display, LED lighting, 2 riding modes, ABS and switchable Traction Control.

The Trident is built to be accessible and targeted at new riders to entice them into the Triumph fold, with a comfortable upright riding position and low seat height, which always boosts confidence. 

However, it is far from a beginner bike completely, and even the most experienced riders will have a great time throwing the Trident around and will be able to make the most out of the powerbands. 

Check it out on Triumph


Aprilia Tuono 660

Aprilia Tuono 660

Specs: 

  • Engine – Forward-facing parallel-twin, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, 659cc
  • Max Power – 95 horsepower at 10,500rpm
  • Max Torque –  67 Nm at 8,500rpm

Aprilia has mated the Tuono V4 1100 with the advanced tech from the RS660. They have ended up with the Tuono 660, a motorcycle that Aprilia hopes will ‘change the way you look at the world’.

I am not sure about that, but it is a good looking, excellent handling Aprilia that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

The Tuono 660 has a fantastic power-weight ratio, with a wet weight of 183kg for 95 horsepower; it is a record-breaker in the class and makes for a brilliant ride on the road or track. 

Taking the double fairing for increased aerodynamics, the model is sleek, compact and agility is its second nature. 

The Tuono 660 is exactly what you would expect from an Aprilia sports bike; it looks the business and rides just as well. 

Check it out on Aprilia


Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Specs: 

  • Engine – Two-cylinder, air-cooled, 4 valves, 648cc
  • Kerb Weight – 217kg
  • Max Power – 37 horsepower at 7,150rpm
  • Max Torque –  52.3 Nm at 5,150rpm

The Interceptor 650 has won MCN’s award for ‘Best Retro Bike of the Year’ twice in a row. It is a cool modern retro motorcycle classically styled but built to be reliable.

It is well balanced, solid, well-built, low maintenance, handles precisely, is agile at speed and feels lightweight even at slower speeds.

The model’s most significant competitor was the Triumph Street Twin, but thanks to its lower price point, it gained the advantage, although you do get less power for the buck. 

Shortly after the release of the Interceptor, the Continental GT 650 was released, which takes the blueprint of the Interceptor and turns it into a traditionally styled cafe racer. 

Check it out on Royal Enfield


BSA Gold Star

BSA Gold Star

Specs: 

  • Engine – Liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves, 652cc
  • Kerb Weight – 213kg
  • Max Power – 55 Nm at 4,000rpm
  • Max Torque –  45 horsepower at 6,000rpm

I cannot say just how excited I am that BSA is back at it and, more importantly, that the legendary Gold Star is seeing a revival. 

It has been nearly 50 years since the last BSA badged motorcycle rolled off the production line in Birmingham, so with the Mahindra Group having purchased the brand in 2016 and deciding to start the new journey with the Gold Star, it is a big deal. 

The new Gold Star is styled similarly to the original. The 652cc single-cylinder is based on the old pre-units retaining some authenticity with the legacy; there are even cooling fins nodding to the original air-cooled motor. 

While the styling nods to the past, the new bike is built for modern motorcycling with Brembo brakes, Pirelli tyres, ABS, a small LCD display, assist and slipper clutch and a handlebar-mounted USB charger.

I got to sit on a demo model while I was at a Gun Show, and the upright nature of the bike puts you in a confident, commanding position, pegs are in a natural position, the bars are wide, and you have plenty of room to move around on the bench seat. 

All we can do is eagerly await the model’s release, which we expect to be some time this year, and in terms of price, it should be expected to be competitively priced with the Royal Enfield Interceptor. 

Check it out on BSA Company


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