Inarguably one of the most celebrated and versatile categories of two-wheeled motoring contraptions, the surging popularity of naked bikes has been nothing short of meteoric in recent years. Apparently, these bikes — which typically boast a sporty or high-performance pedigree — have undergone a peculiar transformation whereby their bodywork has been stripped off, leaving them with an aesthetically minimalist yet bold and intimidating appearance.
Aside from their overtly aggressive look, naked bikes — by nature — offer a more upright and ergonomic riding position than their fully-faired counterparts, thereby affording riders greater comfort and versatility, both on and off the racetrack. This flexibility and ability to adapt to various riding styles and situations have made naked bikes popular among riders.
From the neo-classical retro styling of the 70s and 80s to today’s more modern, edgy designs, naked bikes are truly a feast for the eyes. But their appeal is not just skin-deep. Beyond their stylish façade, these motorbikes are truly an engineering marvel. A raw powerhouse of untapped potential, these motorcycles are as at home on the racetrack as they are on the open road, making them an excellent choice for riders seeking both speed and comfort.
As we delve into this discourse, we shall unravel and scrutinize the best-naked bikes obtainable for the current year and beyond. Our investigation shall encompass an array of naked bike categories, ranging from the hyper naked, performance naked, middleweight naked, and small or novice-friendly naked. We aim to provide you with concise descriptions, comprehensive specifications, and prices for each bike model so that you may procure a motorcycle that best befits your preferences, whether speedy, exhilarating, budget-friendly, or easy to handle. Withal, we commence our voyage with the hyper naked bikes, the most extreme and potent naked bikes that are readily available in the market.
Hyper Naked Bikes
Hyper naked bikes are those unapologetic beasts of the naked bike realm that exist in a rarefied subcategory characterized by their extreme and potent performance. They are derived from the seething powerful engines and chassis that are the hallmark of superbikes. Also known as the super naked or streetfighter bikes, these apex predators offer the intrepid rider a genuinely electrifying and awe-inspiring experience imbued with speed, agility, and the unmistakable aroma of adrenaline.
Incorporating minimal bodywork, wide handlebars, advanced electronics, and suspension systems, hyper naked bikes are nothing short of technologically advanced marvels, capable of delivering hair-raising thrills to those with the skill, daring, and unwavering confidence required to take the reins of these marvels of engineering. Indeed, these bikes are not for the faint of heart, as their sheer power and blistering speed can leave even the most seasoned rider breathless and awe-struck.
For the uninitiated, some examples of hyper naked bikes include the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S, the MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR, and the Yamaha MT-10 SP. These bikes represent the absolute pinnacle of performance and design, providing riders with a sublime balance of comfort and style that is unmatched by any motorcycle category.
Whether it’s tearing up the streets or dominating the track, Hyper Naked Bikes are the ideal choice for riders who demand nothing less than the very best. So, if you’re seeking the ultimate in speed, agility, and performance, then look no further than the rarefied world of hyper naked bikes – where the limits of what is possible are constantly being pushed and redefined.
Ducati Streetfighter V4 S
If you revel in the pulse-quickening sensation of hurtling through space atop a superbike yet yearn for a riding position that is more conducive to comfort and ergonomics, then the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S might just be the vehicular embodiment of your dreams. This hyper naked motorcycle is anchored upon the firm foundations of the illustrious Panigale V4, albeit with its fairings artfully stripped off and supplemented by a conspicuously elevated and substantially broadened handlebar that delivers a ride experience akin to sitting atop the glorious pedestal of an aerial titan.
The resultant effect is a mechanized titan of unparalleled magnificence, with the innate ability to generate a thundering force of 208 horsepower and 123 Nm of torque from its prodigious 1100cc Desmosedici Stradale powertrain. This two-wheeled colossus is capable of galvanizing your adrenal glands with such insuperable force that it can readily hit the 60 mph milestone in under 3 seconds whilst unleashing a blistering velocity that can propel it to a top speed of 180 mph, thereby assuring its rightful place amongst the coterie of the fastest bikes in the world.
The Ducati Streetfighter V4 S is an intriguing and formidable machine that is not only a paragon of raw power but also boasts an intricately crafted electronic package that affords riders the ability to personalize their riding experience following their unique preferences and current riding conditions. In point of fact, riders are granted the flexibility to select from many riding modes, tailor the traction control, wheelie control, engine braking control, ABS, quick-shifter, and launch control to their exact specifications.
Additionally, the Streetfighter V4 S is endowed with a semi-active Ohlins suspension that impeccably adapts to the operator’s ever-shifting road surface and personal riding style. As if that weren’t enough, the bike is also furnished with biplane wings that efficiently provide downforce, thus imbuing riders with a sense of stability and security at heightened speeds while simultaneously reducing the perils of lift.
It possesses a dark, stealth paint scheme that exudes an aggressive and striking demeanor. Its minimalist design is intended to showcase the magnificence of its engine and frame. The TFT display has all the essential features you need for a captivating ride. In addition, the bike is EU 5 compliant, ensuring that you can take it for a spin without worrying about emissions in functional areas.
The 2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S is among the most exorbitantly priced motorbikes in its segment, demanding a whopping $27,595 (£22,895) from the pocket of even the most affluent and daring enthusiasts. Yet, its elevated cost is a mere trifle compared to the breathtakingly audacious and formidable character of this untamed beast, which spares no expense in delivering the utmost performance and aesthetic appeal. Indeed, for those brave seekers of the ultimate hyper naked bike, few options can match this unparalleled specimen’s sheer prowess and charisma.
Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory
The Italian manufacturer, Aprilia, has boldly entered the fiercely contested arena of naked motorcycles with their Tuono V4 Factory model, sending shockwaves through the industry with its bold emphasis on speed and performance. It starkly contrasts the comparatively conservative approach of rivals such as MV and Ducati, who have shown less willingness to push the boundaries between naked and sports bikes. The Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory boasts impressive features, including a swingarm inspired by the renowned MotoGP racing series, cutting-edge electronics, seamlessly integrated winglets, and an awe-inspiring 175 horsepower output. According to Aprilia, this model is intended for the track but is equally capable of dominating the open road. One key advantage of the Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory is installing the Ohlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension system, ensuring the bike handles like a dream.
The Tuono V4 Factory has a state-of-the-art electronic system that offers six distinctive riding modes, three specifically designed for the track and the other for the road. The rider’s only task is to select their preferred riding mode from different options meticulously. The motorcycle’s sophisticated system will promptly integrate and synchronize the Traction Control, Wheelie Control, engine braking, and ABS, ensuring that every element operates perfectly.
Notably, the Tuono V4 Factory is the quintessential motorcycle for indecisive riders who are unable to choose between a sports bike or a naked bike. The impeccable engineering of this machine beautifully walks the line between the two, offering a uniquely comprehensive and unparalleled riding experience that is sure to leave riders awestruck. The Tuono V4 Factory is undoubtedly a masterpiece that boasts both form and function, and it effortlessly elevates the concept of motorcycling to an entirely new level. Prices start at a relatively reasonable £15,200/ $18,999.
Kawasaki Z H2
Just when you thought they had reached the apex of madness with their fully faired H2, lo and behold, they unleashed upon the world the Z H2 in the year 2020. For 2022, it has undergone a further transformation, emerging as a beast even more ferocious than its predecessor!
At the core of this masterpiece of mayhem lies the world-beating liter engine that has shattered our preconceptions of what it means to be ‘supercharged’: the Ninja H2 powerplant, imbued with the very essence of raw power and unbridled aggression. With the Z H2, Kawasaki has distilled this essence into its purest form, creating what many consider to be the ultimate in the naked motorcycles.
With a displacement of 998cc, this supercharged engine spews forth a stupefying 197 horsepower and an awe-inspiring 136 Nm of torque, propelling the rider into a realm of pure ecstasy and primal fear.
The superbike boasts various cutting-edge technologies designed to cater to the most discerning and adventurous of riders. These advanced features include the Assist and Slipper Clutch, Cruise Control, Electronic Throttle Valves, KLCM (Kawasaki Launch Control Mode), Smartphone Connectivity, Sound Tuning, Traction Control, ABS, and IMU-Enhanced Chassis Orientation Awareness. Only those with nerves of steel and a healthy dose of insanity need to apply. However, the rewards are manifold for those brave enough to tackle this beast. To attempt to tame this monster is a challenge worthy of the most skilled and experienced riders.
In addition to its impressive performance and build quality, the price point of this machine is also noteworthy, particularly when compared to its Italian competitors. At a starting price of £15,000/$18,500, it is a steal for those who seek the ultimate riding experience.
KTM 1290 Super Duke R
The KTM 1290 Super Duke R represents yet another sterling example of a bike that has embraced semi-active suspension technology, wherein every aspect of this magnificent machine has been meticulously scrutinized and refined with each subsequent iteration of its model. With its awe-inspiring 1301cc V-twin engine, which serves as a veritable powerhouse of raw, unbridled mechanical might, this fearsome beast manages to generate a staggering 180 horsepower and 140 Nm of torque, transforming it into a formidable power that demands respect on any terrain or stretch of the open road. Indeed, for 2022, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R has undergone a series of subtle yet significant developmental tweaks, resulting in a lighter, more agile machine that is once more refined and more ferocious than ever.
The Super Duke R boasts a number of engine and transmission features, including the Ram air intake, slipper clutch, ride-by-wire throttle, lighter crankcases, Formula-1 forged pistons, and titanium inlet valves, all of which contribute to its brilliant and high-performing nature. Moreover, the 2022 chassis has been engineered to increase its torsional rigidity by threefold compared to its predecessor. It is also significantly lighter in weight, a feat that further adds to the machine’s exceptional capabilities.
The ergonomics of the Super Duke R are highly adjustable, allowing riders to customize their riding experience to their liking. Additionally, the bike offers many rider modes, including the highly coveted Track mode, which provides ultimate control and enhances the overall riding experience. With such advanced and innovative features, the Super Duke R represents the pinnacle of modern motorcycle technology, making it a dream machine for riders who demand nothing but the best.
In stark contrast to the Aprilia, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R boasts an impressive versatility that is not only apt for the track but predominantly caters to the street circuit, with a deliberate emphasis on ergonomic considerations, layout coherence, and structural design with the street rider in mind. Positioned at the very apex of the Duke lineup, this unrivaled motorcycling masterpiece has remained an integral part of the KTM legacy since its inception in 2007, relentlessly improving and enhancing its features year after year. Its reputation as a coveted naked bike has been verified and clearly endorsed by both the discerning Moto press and avid motorcycle enthusiasts alike.
For those who aspire to experience the ultimate biking euphoria, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is accessible for purchase at a starting price of £16,000/$19,950.
Performance Naked Bikes
If you seek a two-wheeled machine that melds the spine-tingling exhilaration of breakneck speed, the nimbleness of deft handling, and the unadulterated simplicity of design, your quest may lead you to the realm of performance naked bikes. These motorcycles boast a minimalist aesthetic with scanty fairings and bodywork, baring the muscular engine and robust frame for an undomesticated and aggressive look. Their engines pack a mighty wallop, their suspensions exude sportiness, and their upright riding positions instill a sense of playful abandon on both the street and the track. Also dubbed streetfighters, these motorbikes trace their origins to sport bikes stripped down and revamped after being rendered inoperable by calamitous collisions. The naked styling that defines these bikes serves a manifold purpose, from reducing weight to improving heat dissipation to facilitating hassle-free upkeep. Some riders favor this unadorned style for its challenge, as it demands handling without the benefit of wind protection while proffering more torque than the typical sport bike.
The latest iteration of Ducati’s iconic Monster boasts a formidable Testastretta 11° 937 ccs twin-cylinder L-shaped engine, which is also employed in the Hypermotard. While it may appear somewhat underwhelming in terms of power output, clocking in at a mere 111hp, especially when juxtaposed with the mind-bogglingly muscular Streetfighter V4 S, with its ferocious 208hp, I would contend that the Monster’s raison d’être lies in its ability to effectively pursue long, winding stretches of the road rather than simply amassing impressive numbers. Undoubtedly, the ability to command over 200bhp is undeniably appealing when one finds oneself on the race track, yet I would wholeheartedly opt for the more road-centric naked motorcycle every time. What’s more, the 2022 Ducati Monster is remarkably svelte, weighing in at just 166 kg, with its designers focusing intently on imbuing the machine with a plethora of speed and excitement.
The inception of the Ducati M900 Monster was a pivotal moment for the Italian motorcycle manufacturer, as it arguably rescued the company from an impending financial precipice in 1993. Fast forward to the present day, and as we approach the 30th anniversary of its production in 2023, it is clear that the Monster has endured the test of time, standing the test of the industry’s ever-changing tides. Indeed, for three decades, this audacious and unadulterated machine has maintained its steadfast position as one of the most sought-after naked motorcycles on the market, a testament to the innovative and uncompromising ethos that underpins the Ducati brand.
The 2023 Ducati Monster SP has an MSRP of $15,595.
Honda’s latest addition to the naked bike category, the CB1000R, offers something unique. A naked sports motorcycle with a Neo cafe racer edge that demands attention is an uncontested force to be reckoned with. Featuring an inline four-cylinder engine producing 143 hp and 104 Nm of torque, this hand-crafted bike boasts an impressive, torque-filled, smooth ride with an abundance of mid-range power to unleash on the streets. Not to mention, the CB1000R is equipped with three riding modes and offers users the flexibility of customizing their ride with three levels of Engine Power, Engine Braking, and Torque Control.
From the intricate frame and bars to the finely-crafted radiator cover, every inch of this machine showcases the versatility and durability of aluminum in stunning detail.
Not only is the CB1000R a marvel to behold, but it also boasts an imposing array of technical specifications. The Showa suspension system, both front and rear, delivers unparalleled performance that far exceeds expectations. In contrast, the radial-mount 4-piston calipers affixed to dual front discs provide uncompromising stopping power in all riding conditions.
Indeed, Honda has gone to great lengths to ensure that the CB1000R not only looks the part but performs beyond compare as well. It differentiates itself with customization options catering to every rider’s needs and preferences. And with a price point starting from a reasonable £11,600/$12,999, the CB1000R is an exceptional value that’s hard to ignore.
Yamaha MT-10 SP
At present, the available stock of naked bikes from Yamaha stands at a total of ten, with the ultimate and most dominant specimen being the unparalleled MT 10 SP. This magnificent machine boasts a 998cc, inline four-cylinder engine, exhibiting the same revered Crossplane Crankshaft as its YZF-R1 superbike counterpart. The very essence of this technical superiority is that it facilitates an unparalleled, direct connection between the throttle and rear wheel, thereby enabling maximum traction control and unfailingly linear torque delivery.
The Yamaha MT 10 motorcycle possesses a surfeit of torque, predominantly concentrated in the lower echelons of its rev range, which then maintains its tenacity as it reaches the mid-range. Moreover, the bike boasts an overabundance of top-end power, enough to satiate even the most fervent adrenaline-seeker or fervid sports aficionado.
The Yamaha MT-10 boasts an impressive output of 160 horsepower at a mind-boggling 11,500 revolutions per minute, with a neck-breaking torque of 111 Newton meters at 9,000 RPM. Such phenomenal power emanates from its meticulously engineered engine and transmission that showcase forward-thinking design, meticulously crafted to optimize its center of gravity, thereby centralizing everything and resulting in a remarkably controllable motorcycle with an agile handling capability, despite its intimidating size.
But wait, there’s more! The Yamaha MT-10 is a trailblazing motorcycle that is not only powerful and well-handling but also boasts an innovative electronically controlled suspension system, making it the first-ever production motorcycle to be equipped with the Ohlins next-generation semi-active damping modes, which allows riders to choose between three different damping modes or three manual modes.
Derived from its R1 predecessor, the Deltabox frame is crafted with lightweight materials and engineered to deliver a prompt response, facilitating superior control on the road, with a particular focus on cornering. The amalgamation of state-of-the-art electronic features elevates the model’s performance, with a suite of six IMU rider assistance, an innovative fast shift system, the four-step Yamaha Ride Control, a TFT screen, and electronic cruise control all integrated into the design. The price of this pinnacle of engineering excellence starts at an impressive £13,800/$17,199.
KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO
Rarely do we assert that a nearly flawless unclad motorbike could be further refined, but KTM has determined that the previously outrageous 1290 Super Duke R necessitated an extra bit of embellishment. Retained is the 1,301cc LC8 V-twin; however, the Austrians have devised a novel alloy that is feathery compared to its antecedent’s motor without compromising its performance or robustness. It persists in emanating the same mind-blowing 180 HP and a whopping 104 lb-ft of torque, yet it is now also in compliance with the Euro 5 regulations concerning its exhaust system, thus delivering a richer and more sonorous V-twin burble.
The KTM EVO introduces an innovation deemed as Semi-Active Technology (SAT), which entails a perpetual adaptation of the front and rear suspension systems, traction control, and stability control in real-time. This feature immediately responds to the varied road conditions and rider inputs. For instance, it will detect the occurrence of a rear wheel spin on an icy tarmac patch in the event of a substantial wrist input, ensuring that the rider’s safety is not compromised. Instead of the rear wheel slipping and causing a face-first collision with the tarmac, SAT will stimulate squatting of the rear wheel to increase traction and cease tire spin, facilitating the safe and seamless continuation of your journey.
According to KTM, the 1290 Super Duke R EVO is not merely an evolutionary step up from its predecessor but a complete redefinition thereof, transmuting the Super Duke into an icy, methodical predator — a quintessential street fighter primed to launch a relentless assault upon any other unarmored motorcycle that dares to encroach upon its territory. The price is around £16,000/$19,950
Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR
The brave and indomitable nature of the British is something that cannot be denied. Their pluckiness is legendary, and they possess an unwavering resolve that is second to none. With their stiff upper lip and unyielding determination, the Brits have long been known to never give up in the face of adversity. Thus, it came as no surprise when the Austrians introduced their evolved version of the 1290 Super Duke R in the form of the R EVO. Triumph, on the other hand, responded with a characteristic haughty sniff, clearing their throat with great aplomb and proudly declaring the arrival of their latest offering: the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR.
The RR iteration of Triumph’s Speed Triple motorcycle does not simply iterate upon the previously established formula of the now “base model” RS; rather, it elevates the performance capabilities to an entirely new echelon of prowess. At its core, the RR still adheres to the familiar inline-three powertrain, but with an increased displacement of 1,160cc, this beast now packs an exponentially augmented punch with a staggering output of 180 horsepower. Furthermore, the torque output has also been amplified, now boasting an impressive 92 lb-ft, all without compromising on weight or agility. This accomplishment is particularly remarkable when considering the augmented displacement of the engine, which necessitates the inclusion of more metal in the construction. Triumph, however, has deftly navigated this engineering challenge, leveraging a revolutionary new alloy steel material in the engine’s composition that maintains the necessary strength and durability without being hampered by the additional weight. As such, the RR iteration of the Speed Triple is an impressive testament to Triumph’s unwavering commitment to cutting-edge design and engineering prowess.
The latest significant revision, which might provoke debate over whether the Speed Triple 1200 RR qualifies as a naked, pertains to the incorporation of a front cowling resembling that of a cafe racer over the instrument panel. While this alteration does provide some assistance with aerodynamics and marginally elevates the top speed by a few miles per hour, the bike remains an indomitable force, fully capable of pitting itself against any other naked motorcycle in its class with its metaphorical sleeves rolled up, and its symbolic mustache expertly twirled. The price varies as per region, with a price hovering around £14,700/$18,299.
Middleweight Naked Bikes
The category of the “middleweight naked sport bike” looms large in terms of its popularity and potential to satisfy the needs of the most demanding enthusiasts. These bikes are adept at brief, high-intensity bursts of activity, making them ideal for small shifts of no more than 30 miles or 50 kilometers. Nevertheless, their versatility allows them to be ridden over extended periods, providing ample opportunities for weekend escapades filled with pure enjoyment.
To say there are numerous “middleweight nakeds” would be an understatement. The sheer magnitude of the category necessitates a division of the bikes into various weight classes. The true aficionado, however, is well-versed in the intricacies of each weight class and can confidently assess the relative merits of each bike, projecting the potential outcome of any matchup based on a variety of factors, such as weight or horsepower.
We can broadly divide the middleweight naked sport bike category into two subcategories: the entry-level middleweight naked sport bikes and the premium middleweight naked motorcycles. The former, typified by the Honda CBR650R, Suzuki SV650, and Yamaha MT-07, are characterized by a stripped-down aesthetic and a lack of adjustable features. Despite this, they offer an exhilarating ride that never fails to delight even the most seasoned riders. The latter, exemplified by the Yamaha MT-09, the Ducati Monster 937, and Tuono 660, boast larger engines and more luxurious amenities, providing a premium riding experience for those with a taste for the finer things in life.
Kawasaki Z650 / RS
2023 Kawasaki Z650
Kawasaki has consistently produced a dynamic array of sporty middleweight twins throughout its storied history. One needs only peruse the ancestral line of the Z650 to unearth its origins, which may be traced back to at least the ER-5 of the 1990s — or perhaps even further. Indeed, akin to its antecedents, the Kawasaki Z650 embodies the same zealous spirit of a modest yet dynamic middleweight, with ample power to savor and all requisite features to indulge, without being excessively lavish.
Inaugurated by Kawasaki in 2017, the Z650’s motor has remained unaltered since that time (and, in fact, was not notably different from that of the ER-6n of yesteryear) and even includes a slipper clutch — a facet that cannot be assumed at the economical terminus of the middleweight milieu.
The Z650 is a formidable machine with a 649cc parallel twin engine with a 180-degree crankshaft at its core, generating a prodigious 50 kW / 68 hp at 6500 rpm. This impressive power output is undoubtedly a key factor in the bike’s appeal to performance enthusiasts. However, while the engine may be the star of the show, the rest of the bike is relatively basic in comparison, featuring a conventional (non-inverted) fork and twin discs with 2-piston calipers.
Some aficionados have noted that the Z650’s engine doesn’t quite match the heart-pumping excitement of the MT-07’s powertrain. Nevertheless, with the right modifications, such as an appropriately selected pipe, the Z650’s engine can be made to sing a lyrical tune that will captivate even the most discerning riders.
In a bold move, Kawasaki has further elevated the Z650’s already impressive stature by introducing a cutting-edge TFT display, replete with access to the highly regarded Kawasaki Rideology app. The interface of this advanced display has been designed to match that of significantly more high-specification models in the Kawasaki lineup.
Beyond its standard amenities, this motorcycle flaunts a distinct aesthetic that is both bold and striking, characterized by its aggressive “Sugomi-inspired” design, accentuated hues adorning its painted chassis, and an under-slung exhaust that halts before the rear wheel. It is undeniable that the Z650 looks exceptional in its visual splendor.
However, this is not the only iteration of this awe-inspiring machine that is available to the public. Kawasaki has also released a retro-inspired version, the Z650RS, which is identical to its counterpart in engine and chassis specifications. Nevertheless, it distinguishes itself from the original with its unique, rounded front headlight, contrasting wheels, and retro analog-style gauges that take you back in time.
The price starts at £6,000/$7,749.
2022 Kawasaki Z650RS static with rider
BMW F 900 R
The BMW F 900 R, a luxurious middleweight naked bike, despite its slightly reduced power output and comparatively deficient level of refinement when juxtaposed with other similarly premium bikes, undeniably offers a plethora of ride aids and features. This motorbike, which first made its debut in the latter half of 2019 and subsequently hit the market for the 2020 model year, represents a comprehensive overhaul of its predecessor, the F 800 R. On the other hand, its consanguineous twin, the F 900 XR, refreshes the F 800 GT.
Notably, the F 900 R houses an 895cc parallel twin engine featuring a 270-degree crankshaft that generates 105 hp at 8750 rpm in Europe and 99 hp at 8500 rpm in the US, a significant improvement from its antecedent with a 360-degree crankshaft engine.
Dynamic electronic suspension adjustment (rear), cruise control, keyless ignition, ABS Pro (via Riding Modes Pro), and a quick shifter are just some of the distinctive attributes that set this model apart from the competition. These cutting-edge features are, in fact, exclusive to the middleweight naked segment, underscoring the F 900 R’s exceptional value proposition. Despite lacking a singular defining characteristic, this bike, decorated with the iconic BMW emblem, serves as a testament to the brand’s engineering prowess, offering an unparalleled blend of affordability and high-spec performance that will undoubtedly pique the interest of discerning buyers.
The arrival of the F 900 R marks a significant milestone for BMW Motorrad, superseding the highly esteemed F 800 series that has undergone a series of metamorphoses and evolutions over the course of the past ten years. Distinguished by its singular parallel twin engine and distinct personality, the F 800 R remains a formidable and commendable motorcycle in its own right, standing the test of time with resilience and durability.
The current price is around $8,995 in the USA and around £9,090 in the UK.
Ducati Monster 937 (2021+)
2021 Ducati Monster 937
The Ducati Monster 937, the latest iteration in Ducati’s venerable Monsters series, represents a noteworthy and consequential advancement. This middleweight naked sportbike stands out from its predecessors’ thanks to its augmented engine capacity and performance, characteristics that are highly attractive to riders with a penchant for more powerful machines. Indeed, the Monster 937 derives its impressive power output from the very same engine that drives Ducati’s renowned middleweights, including the highly acclaimed Multistrada V2 and Supersport 950. At its peak, the Monster 937 yields 111 horsepower at 9250 revolutions per minute, accompanied by a 69 pound-feet of torque at 6500 revolutions per minute.
The 937 sets apart from its forebears by its conspicuous lack of a trellis frame. Instead, it opts for a dual-sided swinging arm, imparting the rider a sense of dynamic stability. Furthermore, the Monster 937 deviates from the traditional route of featuring an engine with direct superbike lineage, evincing a departure from the status quo. It goes without saying that this high-end V-twin naked bike is part of a dying breed, given the trend of high-power V-twins becoming increasingly rare. However, in 2023, Ducati unveiled the Monster SP, which is equipped with a gamut of high-end features, including Öhlins suspension, Brembo Stylema calipers, Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV tires, and a Termignoni exhaust. These features, when taken together, propose that a high-end Monster V4 might not be in the works, at least for the time being.
It boasts the inimitable Testastretta 11-degree engine, whose sheer power and efficiency are unrivaled in the realm of two-wheeled vehicles. What truly sets this mechanical masterpiece apart is its remarkably lengthy valve service interval of 18,000 miles or 30,000 km, a staggering 2.5 times that of its air/oil-cooled counterparts, a testament to its unrivaled durability and longevity. Yet, as with all mechanical contrivances, periodic maintenance is necessary.
The 2023 model starts at around $13,195 in the USA and €11,390 in Europe.
Honda CB750 Hornet (2023+)
2023 Honda CB750 Hornet – white and black
Honda has announced the unveiling of the highly anticipated 2023 CB750 Hornet – a long-awaited resurrection of the legendary Hornet brand that was tragically discontinued a decade ago. After years of speculation and anticipation, the Hornet has finally returned to the forefront of the two-wheeled scene as a sleek and powerful middleweight naked sports motorcycle, with its sights set squarely on conquering the fiercely competitive European market.
Drawing upon its predecessors’ rich heritage and storied legacy, the CB750 Hornet represents a perfect fusion of classic simplicity, unbridled excitement, and uncompromising practicality. With its awe-inspiring performance, razor-sharp handling, and innovative design features, this latest iteration of the iconic Hornet brand promises to surpass all expectations and revolutionize the very essence of what it entails to be an authentic champion of the open road.
The CB750 Hornet has been revolutionized by incorporating a parallel twin motor, boasting a novel 270-degree crank – a clear divergence from the antecedent models. This motor is not only an unprecedented feat in itself but also encompasses some significant facets, such as Honda’s innovative Unicam design, which features a solitary overhead camshaft, and a relatively low compression ratio of 11.0:1 – further attesting to the motor’s groundbreaking nature. The motor’s colossal strength cannot be overlooked, as it produces a peak torque of 75 Nm/55 lb-ft at 7250 rpm, as well as a full power output of 67.5 kW/95 hp at 9500 rpm.
The technological underpinnings of the Hornet present a paradoxical blend of minimalism and practicality, with a non-adjustable SFF-BP suspension system providing upfront support alongside dual 296 mm discs with Nissin radial-mounted 4-piston calipers, imbuing the bike with a sense of unyielding ruggedness. Despite the parallel twin powertrain drawing criticism from certain four-cylinder bike aficionados and Hornet enthusiasts, the engine’s enduring popularity stems from its facile maintenance requirements, featherweight design, and the capacity to deliver a wide gamut of everyday torque while retaining the ability to unleash a breathtaking top-end surge.
The price is around $7,900 in the USA and around £6,999 in the UK.
MV Agusta Brutale / Dragster (800) / RR
The illustrious Italian motorcycle manufacturer, MV Agusta, has been engrossed in the production of the breathtaking Brutale series for over two decades, tracing its roots back to the inception of the series in 2001. The current iteration, an immaculate conception of engineering brilliance, has been firmly entrenched since the year of our Lord, 2012.
In a resounding display of technical virtuosity, MV Agusta unveiled the maiden model of the Brutale series featuring a gutsy 675-cc inline-three-cylinder engine at the prestigious EICMA in 2011. Not content with resting on its laurels, the company made waves again in 2012, announcing the arrival of the 800-engine Brutale, a larger and more imposing variant, to much acclaim.
Since its debut, the Brutale series has received an abundance of adoration from enthusiasts, and the company has left no stone unturned in the pursuit of excellence. MV Agusta’s relentless commitment to refinement and innovation has seen the platform undergo several improvements and enhancements.
The MV Agusta Brutale, an undeniably eye-catching, awe-inspiring high-spec middleweight naked sportbike with an exceptional three-cylinder engine, evokes an air of unmistakable sophistication and power. Two specifications, namely the Rosso and RR, which, despite being comparable in terms of chassis components, such as the fully adjustable Marzocchi 43mm USD fork, a fully adjustable Sachs monoshock, twin 320mm discs with Brembo M4-32 calipers, Continental MK100 cornering ABS, and cruise control, diverge significantly in the engine output. The Rosso variant’s engine exudes 82 kW/112 hp at 11,000 rpm. In contrast, the RR variant’s engine boasts a higher compression ratio, upgraded internals, and an aggressive tune, resulting in a formidable 103 kW/140 hp at 12,300 rpm.
First introduced in the year of our lord two thousand fourteen, the Dragster 800 is a formidable beast that exudes aggressive aesthetics, proudly bearing the mantle of the Brutale series. However, do not be fooled by its appearance alone, for the Dragster is not merely a simpleton with brawn but an advanced machine, boasting various high-spec trims that cater to the discerning rider. These trims include the RR, RR SCS with the Smart Clutch System, and the RC SCS, which flaunts an even more sophisticated electronic clutch. Alas, such quality and features come at a cost, and The MV Agusta Brutale and Dragster are exclusively reserved for the courageous and daring souls when it comes to price, as they cater to a select few who are willing to pay a premium for the best of the best.
The price is around $18,500 for the Brutale 800RR, $19,950 for the Dragster 800RR, and $21,998 for the Dragster 800RR SCS in the USA. In the UK, expect it to be around £13,490 for the Brutale 800RR, £14,990 for the Dragster 800RR, and £16,490 for the Dragster 800RR SCS
Towards the end of the year 2022, Suzuki made a grand reveal of their latest motorcycle for the 2023 model year, the GSX-8S, which has ushered in the possibility of the GSX-S750 and SV650 models reaching their potential end. The GSX-8S comes equipped with a parallel twin engine that boasts an impressive 62 kW / 83 hp at 8500 rpm, all while being equipped with a 270-degree crankshaft, which contributes to the bike’s undeniable character. Suzuki’s cross-balancer system ensures that the GSX-8S is incredibly smooth in terms of its performance capabilities.
When it comes to the GSX-8S’s features, it’s clear that Suzuki hasn’t held back. The bike has received substantial upgrades in comparison to the GSX-S750 and SV650 models. Some of these improvements include a slipper clutch, a standard quick shifter, and an impressive TFT display, all of which are notably absent from the older models. However, while the GSX-8S is certainly impressive in its own right, it still remains an entry-level motorcycle in terms of its suspension and braking systems.
Regarding its suspension, the GSX-8S is equipped with an inverted KYB fork, which unfortunately lacks any adjustability. Its shock, on the other hand, is only adjustable for preload. Meanwhile, the bike uses Nissin four-piston calipers on 310 mm discs, which come with both ABS and traction control, but no cornering ABS is included in the mix.
Interestingly, Suzuki plans to launch the same engine that the GSX-8S uses in their upcoming V-Strom 800DE, a middleweight adventure motorcycle that will turn heads.
The price is around $8,849 in the USA and £7,999 in the UK.
Small Naked Motorcycles
The petite and exposed two-wheelers, commonly known as small naked motorbikes, can be characterized by their apparent lack or minimal presence of fairings, which reveal the engine and other crucial mechanical components. In most cases, these compact motorcycles boast a modest, albeit reliable and functional design, accompanied by engines that typically exhibit a spectrum of power output that ranges between the low to mid-range parameters. Due to their lightweight and agile nature, small naked motorbikes are often considered a suitable option for new riders, commuters seeking efficient and swift transportation, or simply prefer a more upright and adaptable riding position.
When it comes to naked bikes, Honda has many offerings that are sure to please even the most discerning riders. Surprising as it may seem, my personal favorite among Honda’s line of naked bikes is the Grom. This pint-sized motorcycle is nothing short of badass, delivering a riding experience that rivals and even surpasses many of its larger, more powerful counterparts. The Grom possesses an unmatched level of performance that belies its small stature, making it a true standout among its peers.
Despite its relatively simple design, the Grom boasts a 124.9cc air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine that packs an impressive punch of around 10 horsepower. This powerplant is mated to a four-speed transmission, enabling the rider to shift gears seamlessly and experience the bike’s exceptional handling and maneuverability. The pure exhilaration of riding the Grom is a sensation that few things in the world can equal, with its ability to whip around corners and execute gravity-defying wheelies with ease easily.
The price of the 2023 Grom is approximately $3,499 in the USA and £3,399 in the UK.
Yamaha made waves in North America in 2020 when it released the MT-03, a model that has unequivocally earned its rightful place on any list of impressive two-wheelers. The MT-03 features the same 321cc parallel-twin engine that its supersport R3 sibling utilizes, generating an impressive 50 HP. The noteworthy aspect of this machine is its upright riding position, which differs significantly from the R3’s low and forward lean, making it an excellent option for those seeking a comfortable canyon carver experience.
By ingeniously combining the sport standard riding position with the outstanding and proven capabilities of the R3’s exceptional screamer of an engine, Yamaha has created a unique and unparalleled motorcycle that offers the best of both worlds. Whether it’s carving up corners on a lazy Sunday afternoon or navigating through traffic on a mundane Monday morning commute, the MT-03 will make even the most seasoned rider beam with joy. The harmonious marriage of the MT-03’s powerful engine and comfortable riding position creates a riding experience that is difficult to match, let alone surpass.
The price is around $4,999 in the USA and around £6,000 in the UK
KTM 390 Duke
The KTM brand has consistently produced a number of exceptional naked bikes, and the 390 Duke is unequivocally one of their finest offerings. My online repository of KTM motorcycles speaks to the company’s efficacy in addressing the naked market segment. The 390 Duke, in particular, exudes a palpable intensity, evidenced by its razor-sharp handling and lightning-quick responsiveness, and demands nothing less than an expert rider to appreciate its capabilities fully.
At the heart of this motorcycle is a potent 373cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, whose symbiosis with a six-speed transmission engenders a sense of unfettered power delivery that you must experience to believe. The engine, capable of delivering an impressive 43 horsepower, endows the 390 Duke with the versatility to conquer both meandering backroads and the unforgiving streets of the urban jungle with equal aplomb.
The naked bike costs around $5,499 in the USA and £4,799 in the UK.
A naked motorcycle with a 399cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke parallel-twin engine, the Z400 is touted as an excellent option for novices and intermediate riders alike. Based on the illustrious Ninja 400, which is renowned for its unparalleled prowess in its league, this model has garnered a sizable following of satisfied individuals. The motorbike’s engine is mated to a six-speed transmission, delivering 49 hp, which, while not the most extraordinary power output from Kawasaki, results in a spectacular handling machine that can provide thrills in virtually any street scenario. In fact, the Z400’s prowess on the road is unquestionable, thanks to its nimbleness and speed, making it a perfect option for a wide range of riders.
This Kawasaki motorbike costs around $5,399 in the USA and £5,799 in the UK.
How to Choose the Perfect Naked Bike?
If your sights are set on a naked bike for the upcoming year of 2023, then it behooves you to avail yourself of some guidance to ensure that you make an optimal selection that aligns with your priorities and preferences. To this end, several factors merit contemplation.
- Firstly, the matter of fiscal solvency must not be overlooked, as naked bikes can be a pretty penny, particularly those replete with opulent components and characteristics. It would behoove you to account for the expenses of insurance, fuel, maintenance, and accessories in your deliberations. Such a prudent approach shall fortify your finances and help ensure you do not incur undue debts.
- Secondly, the question of your riding style and proclivities merits scrutiny, for naked bikes can reveal considerable variabilities in their performance characteristics, such as power output, torque delivery, handling attributes, and electronic aids. To identify the optimal model that conforms to your preferences, you may benefit from taking test rides of different bikes to gain firsthand knowledge of their peculiarities.
- Thirdly, the issue of your comfort and ergonomics must also enter into the equation. Naked bikes can exhibit variances in seat heights, handlebar positions, footpeg placements, and wind protection, among other considerations. Hence, opting for a bike that corresponds to your physical proportions and configuration and accommodates your anticipated usage patterns would serve you well.
Finally, the matter of personal taste and preference looms salient, as naked bikes can exhibit divergent aesthetics, color schemes, materials, and embellishments that can engender divergent rider preferences. As such, selecting a bike that accords with your personality, panache, and overall aesthetic sensibilities can influence your satisfaction and happiness with your ultimate choice.
In this discourse, we have embarked on a riveting journey to explore the crème de la crème of the naked bike world, set to dominate in 2023. Naked bikes, with their unparalleled blend of potency, agility, panache, and technological advancements, cater to the discerning riders seeking the epitome of excellent bike experiences while relishing the added luxuries of comfort and versatility. However, it behooves us to acknowledge that with these perks come inevitable obstacles, such as high costs, labyrinthine maintenance requirements, lack of practicality, and heightened vulnerability.
It is imperative to comprehend that naked bikes do not conform to every rider’s tastes; they are exclusively crafted for audacious souls who crave the boundless velocity, vivacity, and thrill these beasts offer. They are meant for those who yearn to bask in the unadulterated power of a superbike sans the confinements of fairings. They are reserved for those who aspire to make an enduring impression on the world and espouse their individuality. Are you one of these rare and exceptional individuals?