In the Philippines, owning a motorcycle with an engine displacement of 250-350cc might seem like a big grey area. It often feels like an unwritten rule that the next logical step from a 150cc or 200cc motorcycle is to aim for an affordable 400cc motorcycle instead of the 250-350cc class. Many factors come into play here, but the main cause for this norm seems to be the clause for highway legality, as motorcycles with engine displacements below 400cc are prohibited from entering the major toll roads in and around Metro Manila. As such, motorcycles with engine displacements below 400cc are limited to the dense roads of the metro, while motorcycles above 400cc of engine displacement are free to take you anywhere your heart desires.
However, motorcycles in the 250-350cc engine displacement class are most definitely worth owning and for a few good reasons. They appeal greatly to many riders and are definitely worth your money if highway access is not a priority for you. If you’re curious to learn more about this segment of the market, here’s a deeper dive into why 250-350cc motorcycles should be worth considering and owning.
Where did this all start?
The restriction of highway legality in the Philippines creates quite a disparity over the intended usage and purpose of sub-400cc motorcycles versus 400cc and above motorcycles. The former is more typically used for utilitarian purposes such as commuting to work, making deliveries, and other similar activities. While 400cc and above motorcycles are more typically used for leisure. While certain riders surely embark on leisurely rides with sub-400cc motorcycles, the vast majority of the market will be using motorcycles in this class mostly for utilitarian purposes as motorcycles in this segment are quite affordable and approachable. As such, this utilitarian segment of the market tends to favor whichever motorcycle is cheaper and does the job—which, more typically, is a 110-150cc motorcycle.
On top of this, the niche market of leisurely riders tends to favor 400cc and above motorcycles as this grants the rider access to toll roads. There are still quite a few leisurely riders who are happy with motorcycles below 400cc, but can be swayed away from the 250-350cc segment by many fantastic and premium options in the 150-200cc class of motorcycles. All of the above factors combine into a buyer behavior that tends to view the market as binary (highway legal, or not) rather than a spectrum, which leaves the 250-350cc class of motorcycles out of the picture.
Why they are worth your money
The fact of the matter is that the 250-350cc class of motorcycles should not be ignored. This class of motorcycles comes with a more premium experience when compared to many of the lower displacement two-wheeled machines. Motorcycles like the Yamaha YZF-R3, the BMW G 310 GS, and the Honda CRF250L are known to have a very premium build quality, from the machining quality of the triple tree to the robustness of the swing arm and everything in between. If the details matter to you, exploring the 250-350cc segment will provide you with many options of motorcycles that have a very premium feel and build quality for an elevated experience of everyday riding.
Apart from the more premium experience, 250-350cc motorcycles are perfect for riders who don’t need the highway but want more power out of a motorcycle. Motorcycles in this category often sit in the 24 to 30 horsepower range and can comfortably hold 80-100 kph through provincial highways and the like. The sub-20 horsepower figures of 150cc motorcycles and below may not cut it for everyone, and the 250-350cc class of motorcycles do provide a few good solutions for riders who may not need the highway but are looking for ample power for everyday duties.
The 250-350cc class of motorcycles is a very competitive segment of the market. It has much to offer for the discerning rider who may not necessarily need access to toll highways in and around the Metro Manila area. Motorcycles in this segment are also not as expensive as the larger motorcycles in the 400cc and above segment, and can be had for prices not far from the 150cc class. The CFMOTO 300 NK and 300SR both come at prices well below P170,000, the race-ready Yamaha YZF-R3 is priced at just P259,000, and the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 stars at P232,000—all of which come significantly cheaper than many of the 400cc and above motorcycles. If you’re looking to elevate your experience on a two-wheeled machine, the 250-350cc segment is probably the best place to start.