here’s never been a better time to be a lover of small motorcycles, and small sportbikes are no exception. For decades, Kawasaki’s Ninja 250 ruled the roost as the only real option (only having to fight off the likes of Hyosung) but in the past five or so years an arms race has broken out for the best budget sportbike. Honda debuted the CBR250R—which has now grown into the CBR300R—and Kawasaki redesigned the baby Ninja to a 300. Soon, the KTM RC390 entered the fray, as well as Yamaha’s R3 and eventually Suzuki’s GSX250R. For 2018, Kawasaki debuted the Ninja 400 in order to dethrone KTM’s 40-plus horsepower RC390. As awesome as it is to see these machines in dealerships and all over the streets, it leaves you in a tricky position if you’re in the market for one of these bikes. Which one is best? Or maybe a better question—which one suits you the best? In the process of testing all of these bikes we logged plenty of miles and gathered lots of opinions. Below is our breakdown of each bike’s strengths, weaknesses, and specs, in the hopes that it helps you make an informed decision about which one to buy, or which side to choose. HONDA CBR300R We’ve been big fans of the little CBR since it debuted in 2011 due to its light handling, excellent brakes, well-balanced suspension, and torquey single-cylinder engine. In 2015 Honda bumped the bike’s displacement to 286cc (from 249cc) and updated the CBR’s appearance to look more like, well, a CBR. It’s not a fancy or sophisticated machine, but when it comes to functionality the Honda is hard to beat. Other than lacking in outright acceleration and top speed, this is a seriously fun little machine that offers the kind of ease of use and approachability that Honda has become famous for.