While modern sports bikes might deliver the same performance and capability as a supercar, there's no getting around the fact that what's fun to ride on the track can be a chore to handle on the streets. Fortunately, there's a solution. Naked motorcycles have all the capabilities of a sports bike, but in a package that makes them as suitable for commuting as for racing.
Comfortable and practical, naked bikes deliver both performance and utility, with the result that they're fast becoming one of the most popular segments on the market. With almost every manufacturer now offering at least a couple of naked motorcycles in their range, the choice is overwhelming. To help you pick the best motorcycle for your needs, we've rounded up the 20 best naked motorcycles of all time. Without further ado, here they are.
20. Indian FTR 1200 S
Every new release from Indian is newsworthy, but when it decided to break away from its usual cruise style offerings to release the performance-heavy FTR 1200, the excitement was almost palpable. It may be powered by the same kind of large-displacement, American-made V-Twin that characterize all Indian bikes, but its stripped-back style and deep lean angles add new levels of aggression. The base model is a decent ride, but upgrading to the S spec gets you a host of extra goodies, including adjustable IMU-regulated traction control and ABS, electronic cruise control, and custom-tuned suspension.
19. Suzuki Katana
As HiConsumption writes, when the Suzuki Katana was first released back in 1981, it was very much a product of its time. Over the years, Suzuki tweaked around with the basic design; by the time the original production run ended in the mid-2000s, it was a completely different beast from the one it had started life as. In 2019, Suzuki decided to release an updated version of their classic machine. This time around, the original design of the 1980s version was very much intact, albeit with sharper lines and a more modern silhouette. If you want a bike with 80s stylings and 21st-century capabilities, this is the one for you.
18. Ducati Hypermotard 950
The Ducati Hypermotard 950 delivers about as much fun as it's possible to have on two wheels. To create this iconic machine, Ducati has looked to both dirt bikes and sports bikes for inspiration. The result is a bike that combines expert track performance with superb street capabilities. Equipped with all the gadgetry you'd expect from Ducati, including multiple ride modes and Ducati traction and wheelie control, the Hypermotard 950 is an outstanding machine that delivers on all fronts.
17. Husqvarn Svartpilen 701
If you like bikes that look as good as they ride, you're going to love the Husqvarn Svartpilen 701. The sleek lines and sharp angles give it an almost futuristic aesthetic, while the snappy power delivery, smooth suspension, and easy handling ensure a stellar performance. The addition of a counterbalance shaft is a stroke of genius, reducing any excess vibration and making it a joy to ride.
16. MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR
There's no getting around the fact that the MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR is an expensive machine. But neither is there any question that it fully justifies its price tag. Blessed with a muscular style, a sophisticated range of electronic goods, top-of-the-range parts, and a monstrously powerful engine, this is a motorcycle that fully delivers on its promise. If you're happy to pay a few extra thousand, the Serie Oro upgrade comes highly recommended - expect a power jump from 208bhp to 212bhp and even more bells and whistles than the already well-equipped base model.
15. BMW S1000R
Named by Visordown as one of the best naked motorcycles of 2020, the BMW S1000R is exactly what you'd expect from a brand like BMW. Styled on the pioneering S1000RR superbike, the S1000R delivers a fierce performance and superb handling. This being BMW, all the bells and whistles are out in force- expect cruise control, semi-active suspension, and the full caboodle of top-end electronics.
14. Kawasaki Z H2
As Car Bibles writes, the Kawasaki Z H2 is based on the H2 SX SE superbike, a powerful, performance heavy bike with a supercharged engine capable of producing 197 horsepower and 101 pounds of torque. That same snappy, 998cc inline-four engine is on display in the Z H2, along with Brembo front brakes, a quick-shifter, and a custom color TFT dash. The aesthetic is unapologetically aggressive, with sleek angles and razor-sharp edges. If you're looking for a powerful bike that's capable of turning heads, look no further.
13. KTM 1290 Super Duke R
The KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a beast of a machine that delivers incredible performance on both the track and street. The 1,301cc liquid-cooled V-twin engine delivers an impressive 180 hp. The TFT dashboard offers excellent functionality, allowing riders to slip easily between dfferent riding modes. Lightweight and practical, the 1290 Super Duke R is an admirable addition to the Duke lineup.
12. Ducati Monster 1200
As gomotoriders.com writes, the Ducati Monster has been a synonym for a naked bike for the last 20 years, and for a good reason. Its aggressive design and unparalleled performance have been winning plaudits ever since its first release, with the result that it's a regular feature on end-of-year best-selling lists. The Monster 1200 builds on all the best qualities of the original Monster to deliver one of the best naked bikes on the market.
Powered by a 1200cc Testastretta V-twin engine, the base model boasts an impressive power output of 147 hp and 91 lb-ft of torque. Upgrade to the “R” model, and the power jumps to a massive 152 hp. Despite its outstanding capabilities, the price isn't as unattainable as you'd imagine. Expect to pay $14,695 for the base model. $16,995 for the S variant, and $19,395 for the R model.
11. Suzuki GSX-S1000
As motorcycles go, you can't get much more iconic than the Suzuki GSX-R1000. After years of keeping us on tenterhooks, Suzuki finally released a naked version of their legendary flagship in 2020. Described by Suzuki as 'wild, rugged, and aggressive,' the GSX-S1000 combines the burly road presence of the GSX-R1000 with outstandingly practical performance and rider comfort.
The engine is a re-tuned, slightly friendlier version of the one used in older generation GSX-R1000s. With a power of 150 hp at the wheel and an impressive torque output of 79.6 lb-ft, there's little question that the GSX-S1000 is a potent machine. The addition of a slipper clutch is a great little bonus, resulting in enhanced usability and excellent performance. Best of all, the price is more than reasonable: expect to part with around $9,999 for the base model, or $10,499 if you want to upgrade to the ABS option.
10. Honda CB500F
Ranked by badasshelmetstore.com as one of the best-looking stock naked motorcycles around, the Honda CB500F's raked front forks, sharp tail, and aggressive stance are a feast for the eyes. But this is no case of style over substance. Honda has delivered a bike that rides as well as it looks.
Smooth when it wants to be, aggressive when it needs to be, this is a bike that knows how to be understated without compromising on raw power. Despite its modest price, the CB500F isn't simply a stepping stone to bigger and better things: it's an outstanding bike with the proportions, the potency, and the practicality to make your next riding experience a blast.
9. Suzuki SV650X
When Suzuki first introduced the SV650 in 1999, it instantly became a fan favorite thanks to its modest price tag, reliable engine, and outstanding performance. The brand's naked version is just as iconic as the original. Powered by a 645cc liquid-cooled V-Twin tucked away in a lightweight trellis frame, the bike is about as versatile as it's possible to get, as well equipped to deal with the daily commute as it is racing. There's even the option to upgrade it for off-roading. Attractive, easy to customize, and blessed with excellent handling characteristics, this is a great addition to the SV650 legacy.
8. Duke 890 R
Described by motorcyclenews.com as 'an angry so-and-so when no one is looking' but 'sweetness and light when you’re cruising,' the Duke 890 R is a sharp, powerful machine with an awesome blend of performance and utility. As you'd expect from a bike that former Grand Prix winner Jeremy McWilliams was instrumental in developing, the Duke 890 R is fast and furious.
The high spec tires, brakes, suspension, and fully adjustable WP Apex forks and shock result in a bike that knocks spots off the competition when it comes to grip and maneuverability. Compared to its predecessor, the 790 Duke, the 890 R's ground clearance and agility is a major step up. If you're in the market for a sporty, agile bike that rides as good as it looks, it's a winner.
7. Triumph Speed Triple
First released in 1994, the Triumph Speed Triple was one of the very first naked motorcycles to hit the scene. Despite the passing years, it's still an incredible machine. Powering it along is a 1050cc engine producing 148 hp at 10,500 rpm and 86 lb-ft of torque at 7,150 rpm.
A capable all-rounder, the bike delivers an impressive show on both the track and the streets, making it a great choice for riders who value versatility. The base model is competent enough, but if you're happy to shell out a little extra, the RS model won't disappoint.
6. Honda Grom
As webBikeWorld notes, Honda has some great naked bikes, with the Grom being one of the finest. Small, lightweight, and deliciously fun, it packs a big punch despite its diminutive size. In fairness, there's not a whole lot of bells and whistles to get excited about.... which is kind of the point. This is a bike that was designed to be uncomplicated, simple, and hugely enjoyable. As anyone who's had the pleasure of riding one will tell you, it fulfills the brief perfectly.
5. KTM 390 Duke
If you're looking for a refined, entry-level bike that packs a lot of features onto a small frame, look no further than the KTM 390 Duke. With LED lighting throughout, adjustable WP suspension front and back, dual-circuit BOSCH ABS, a full-color TFT display, connectivity to the KTM My Ride smartphone app, and a whole lot more besides, KTM has clearly pulled out all the stops in delivering a bike that's just as fun as it is practical.
4. Aprilia Tuono V4 1100
As Autowise writes, naked bikes don’t always have to be tame. The proof? The Aprilia Tuono V4 1100, a fearsome, potent machine equipped with a V4 engine capable of producing a mammoth 175 horses and 89 lb-ft of torque.
Equipped with a huge arsenal of riding aids such as cornering ABS, a bi-directional quick shifter, cruise control, and a pit lane speed limiter, this exceptionally powerful bike is as capable of tearing up the track as it is the streets. If you want to experience one of the most thrilling rides of your life, don't think twice about adding it to your wish list. Expect to fork out around $14,999 for the base model or $17,499 for the upgraded 1100 Factory version.
3. Ducati Streetfighter V4S
Ducati has one of the finest lineups of naked bikes around, with the Streetfighter V4S ranking as one of its most powerful and legendary. Powered by a 1,103 cc, Desmosedici Stradale 90-degree liquid-cooled V4 engine that's capable of producing an impressive 204 hp, this isn't a bike for the fainthearted. Aggressive, powerful, and styled around a wicked aesthetic that perfectly matches the burly energy of its performance, the Streetfighter V4S is a mean machine built for riders who aren't afraid of power.
2. Yamaha MT-07
If you're looking for a bike with raw power, that handles twists and turns with ease, and that looks mighty fine as it does it, look no further than the Yamaha MT-07. Featuring a punchy 689cc liquid-cooled DOHC four-stroke engine with a six-speed transmission, the bike is sharp, responsive, and a world away from some of its sluggish counterparts in the middleweight category. Ride one once, and you'll soon see why it's regularly voted one of the best motorcycles on the market.
1. Kawasaki Z400
Packed with character and charm, the Kawasaki Z400 is a satisfying mix of energetic power and immense usability. Powered by a 399cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke parallel-twin engine connected up to a six-speed transmission, this entry-level machine kicks along with gusto, making 49 hp and delivering top speeds of 120mph. The 30.9-inch seat makes it easy to put your foot down when necessary, making it a good choice for beginners. If you want a spirited, easy-to-handle bike with plenty of get up and go, this is it.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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