For an entry-level bike with a bit more power and technology along with a lot more style, Yamaha offers its MT-03. Sitting at the far end of the spectrum from the V Star, the MT-03 is closer in style to a superbike in naked format. This bike is for the more technologically-minded rider who wants something that can be flipped around on backroads or zip through traffic while shaving a few dollars off the payment.
The Yamaha MT-03 is an aggressive-looking machine powered by a liquid-cooled twin with a displacement of 321cc and uses dual overhead cams to operate its four valves per cylinder. Power is sent through a 6-speed transmission and a chain drive while braking is handled by discs on the front and rear. It is essentially a starter version of a naked sport bike that, despite the smaller engine, still provides a sprightly riding experience with excellent handling.
The best part about the MT-03 is its price. While the ancient V Star 250 runs $4,699, this bike is just $300 more at $4,999. For such a giant step up in technology with a significant power boost and incomparably better handling, the MT-03 is the best combination of style, performance, and value offered by Yamaha right now.