Is a 250cc Motorcycle Worth It? How to Know for Yourself

250cc motorcycles are one of the most popular types of motorcycles, often thought of as the perfect starting point for new riders. But with the larger cc sizes available, along with the introduction of 300cc and 400cc motorcycles, you may be wondering if it is still worth getting a 250cc.

250cc motorcycles are worth it for most riders. They offer enough capability for riders of all experience levels while being a great entry point for new riders. They are cheaper to buy, maintain and sell and provide a lot of value for their cost.

250cc motorcycles are still a great option for most riders, regardless of their experience level and background. But to see if they are still a great option for you, keep reading below for some pros and cons as well as other things to consider when it comes to 250cc motorcycles.

Advantages of 250cc Motorcycles

To start things off, let’s go over a few of the benefits of 250cc motorcycles. And trust me, there are a lot and they are all very convincing.

Perfect for Beginners

250cc motorcycles are great for beginner riders. They offer a manageable amount of power for new riders without being too underpowered for regular use. Not to mention, they offer a range of benefits that make it easier for new riders to get started and maintain the hobby of motorcycling.

Easy to Maneuver and Handle

250cc motorcycles are also lightweight and easier to maneuver. This is another reason they are popular with newer riders who are learning how to control the motorcycle but is also a great benefit for any rider who is looking for a bike that is easy to handle.

Affordable to Buy

Since they are common with beginner riders, 250cc motorcycles are widely available and often really cheap to buy. This is due to their smaller engine sizes and lack of more advanced features. And since they are widely available, second-hand sellers are willing to let them go for a reasonable price.

Cheaper to Maintain

Not only are they cheaper to buy, but 250cc motorcycles are also cheaper to maintain. They take less gas, use less oil, use smaller tires, and are cheaper to repair should something break. This is another reason they are so popular with new riders and experienced riders alike.

Cheaper Insurance

250cc motorcycles are also cheaper to insure. This is something that takes a lot of riders by surprise as insurance costs can go up dramatically when you have a larger more powerful motorcycle.

Easy to Resell

Not only are 250cc motorcycles cheaper to buy, but they hold their value surprisingly well and are easy to sell. Since they are popular with beginner riders, there is always a surplus of 250cc motorcycles on the marketplace, as riders eventually upgrade or decide that motorcycling is not for them.

Can be Ridden to the Limit

Finally, there is a popular saying amongst motorcyclists that “it is more fun to ride a slow motorcycle fast than it is to ride a fast motorcycle slow“. The fast 600cc and 1000cc motorcycles are cool, but the average rider will never come close to riding those motorcycles to their limit.

On the other hand, you can eventually learn to ride a 250cc motorcycle close to its limits. You can easily get away with revving up the bike and pinning the throttle open in situations you could never do on a faster motorcycle.

These are just a few of the benefits I could think of when it comes to 250cc motorcycles but I am sure there are plenty more.

Disadvantages of 250cc Motorcycles

Although there are plenty of benefits when it comes to 250cc motorcycles, there are also some disadvantages.

Limited Power

The biggest drawback to 250cc motorcycles is that they have limited power. They tend to struggle when it comes to highway speeds and riding up steep hills. Although they are more than capable of keeping up with highway speeds, you will be near the limit of the power of the motorcycle.

Limited Comfort

In addition to having limited power, 250cc motorcycles also have limited comfort. 250cc motorcycles are a lot smaller than the larger cc bikes and can be uncomfortable for taller riders. They can also be uncomfortable for long-distance rides as the wind and limited power could wear your body down faster.

Can be Outgrown Quickly

Another popular downside to 250cc motorcycles is that riders can feel like they “outgrow” them quickly – even if they have yet to ride them to their limits.

Again, going back to the limited power, riders can feel bored or limited once they get used to the speed of a 250cc motorcycle.

Introduction of 300cc and 400cc Motorcycles

In my opinion, one of the biggest downsides and threats to 250cc motorcycles is the introduction of 300cc and 400cc motorcycles.

While 250cc motorcycles are still widely available in the used market, manufacturers are starting to move to 300cc and 400cc motorcycles instead of 250cc. Not only do these offer more power, but they will also most likely end up replacing the 250cc market in the future.

Evaluating if a 250cc Motorcycle is Worth it for You

Now that we went over a few of the pros and cons of 250cc motorcycles, you should know if a 250cc motorcycle is worth it for you.

But to better help you break it down, here are the things you need to consider if you want to know if a 250cc motorcycle is a good fit for you.

Determine Your Riding Needs

To understand if a 250cc motorcycle is worth it for you, you should first consider your riding needs.

Are you a new or experienced rider?

While a 250cc is perfect for a beginner, a more experienced rider may want a motorcycle with more power.

Will you be riding in the city or on the highway primarily?

Keep in mind the limited power and comfort of a 250cc motorcycle. While it is plenty capable for city riding, it may be uncomfortable if you are riding long stretches on the highway.

Are you planning to ride long distances or just short distances?

I like to plan motorcycle trips and ride long distances. If this sounds like your type of riding, you may find a 250cc to be underpowered and limited. If you are just looking for a motorcycle to ride to and from work or the store, a 250cc is more than enough for these shorter trips.

Considering Your Budget

A big factor for me was budget and this is an important factor for most riders. Motorcycling is an expensive hobby to get into and as I mentioned before, 250cc motorcycles are very affordable.

Not only are 250cc motorcycles cheaper to buy, but they are also cheaper to maintain and insure. This is very appealing not only to beginners but anyone who is hoping to jump into the hobby for a budget.

Consider Personal Preference

Finally, you should consider your own preferences when it comes to style and comfort.

I was partial to sportbikes until I took my MSF course, and luckily, there are plenty of options in that category.

You may have a personal preference for a certain style or a larger type of motorcycle.

Common Questions about 250cc Motorcycles

I address some of these throughout the article but if you are looking for some clear answers, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about 250cc motorcycles.

How fast can a 250cc motorcycle go?

One of the most common questions about 250cc motorcycles is how fast can they go.

250cc motorcycles can go as fast as 80-90mph. Motorcycles like the GSX250r or V-star 250 report a top speed of 85mph, whereas some of the older model NInja 250r’s report closer to 90mph. Keep in mind that things like weight, wind conditions, and the road can affect your speed.

The good news is that 250cc motorcycles can keep up with all of the posted speed limits, even the 70pmh sign.

Can a 250cc motorcycle go on the highway?

A big concern for some riders is whether or not 250cc motorcycles can go on the highway.

250cc motorcycles are legally allowed on the highway and can keep up with the 70mph speed limit on most roads. Just keep in mind that the bike will be at the top of its power range and you will have limited wind protection, making long stretches on the highway taxing for the bike and rider.

Is a 250cc bike good for long distance?

Similar to the last topic, another question about 250cc motorcycles is how good they are for long-distance riding.

While you can ride a 250cc motorcycle for long distance, motorcycles 500cc and above will be better suited for long trips. Riding a 250cc for long distances can prove to be taxing on the rider and the motorcycle.

But don’t let that hold you back from planning long trips on a 250cc motorcycle, check out this article about a rider who did just that.

Will I get bored quickly with a 250cc motorcycle

Another common question from new riders is if they will quickly get bored with a 250cc motorcycle.

You can get familiar with the power of a 250cc motorcycle quickly but you will only get bored if you ride it in a boring way. Even with the limited power, 250cc motorcycles are very capable and can be ridden in a fun way by even the most experienced riders.

Riders who are worried about being bored with 250cc motorcycles need to question whether they are pushing the motorcycle to its limits in the corners as much as in a straight line.

While 250cc motorcycles top out quickly in a straight line, they can easily pull their weight next to bigger bikes when it comes to taking corners and canyon riding.

When should I upgrade from a 250cc motorcycle?

Although a lot of riders upgrade quickly from a 250cc motorcycle, there is still a lot you can learn on a 250cc before upgrading to a bigger motorcycle.

You should upgrade from a 250cc motorcycle when you are confident that the lack of power is keeping you from riding how you need to. 250cc motorcycles are so capable that racers can scrape knees while cornering. If you have yet to ride your 250cc motorcycle to its limits, there is no rush to upgrade.


In conclusion, there are many pros and cons to 250cc motorcycles. While they do offer enough capability for most riders, some riders may still prefer larger more powerful motorcycles.

Knowing whether or not 250cc motorcycles are worth it really comes down to your personal preferences and needs.

I hope this article gave you a better understanding of 250cc motorcycles and whether or not they are a good fit for you.

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