6 Best Naked Motorcycles (Review) in 2021

These naked motorcycles will boost your performance on the street!

The past few years blessed us with the best modern sportbikes in the market. These motorcycles typically offer superb performance that can easily go against supercars with astronomical costs. For a fraction of a price, these motorcycles can perform just as well when it comes to top-speeds, accelerations, and even cornering. Ready for the track, these bikes usually have full suites of aerodynamic bodies, low handlebars, and many other features. However, you simply can’t take these bikes to the street. As expected, these tracks perform best on track.

Then comes the naked motorcycle.

Typically stripped of most bodywork, naked motorcycles feature the same performance of sport and superbikes. The only difference is that these bikes are made not for the track but for the road. For instance, instead of clip-on handlebars, you get a single-piece handlebar. This will allow you to ride with ease in an upright position.

This type of bike typically blends performance as well as utility, making them perfect for the streets. As of late, more and more people are beginning to see the value in these bikes. So, we gathered the best among the naked motorcycles in the market today.

1. KTM 1290 Super Duke R

KTM 1290 Super Duke R | Best Naked Motorcycles 2021

We’ve all heard of Super Naked motorcycles, but have you heard of Hyper Naked ones? KTM markets this bike as not just a Super Naked but instead, a Hyper Naked bike! While purists simply don’t accept the term easily, manufacturers are slowly building into the core group of Hyper Nakeds. An entry for the Hyper Nakeds, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

The first generation of this bike launched in 2013. At the time, it had a marvelous 160 bhp. It also comes with electronic rider aids that no others bikes at the time had.

Today, the bike stepped it up at a more powerful 180 bhp. Today, the Super Duke R also comes with updated styling and suspension. Aside from this, the electronics of the bike also greatly improved. With such improvement, the bike works incredibly well not only on track but also on the streets at normal speeds.

To put things into perspective, the engine of the bike is now a lot lighter. It features a 75-degree, 1301 cc LC8, V-Twin engine. Moreover, its 760 mm handlebar can be adjusted to four different positions. This makes it easier to work with the bike. Its torque is at 140 Nm and it comes with a 6-speed transmission. It can carry about 16 liters of fuel as well.

KTM continues to improve the 1290 Super Duke R over the years. This makes the brand tough competition in the market. Now, it’s safe to say that the Super Duke R is a well-rounded bike. While there are still criticisms of this bike, there’s a lot about it that makes it on our list.

2. BMW S1000R

BMW S1000R | Best Naked Motorcycles 2021

In 2010, BMW released the S1000RR model. It became a true innovator in the superbike division. Many people loved the cutting-edge electronics that came with the bike. It allowed not only for a faster rider but also one that’s safe to travel with. Then, in 2014, they released the naked version of the S1KRR. It comes with a similar frame as well as running gear, and gearbox. Finally, it has a liter-sized inline-four. The bike came to have a 160 BPH. In turn, it became a bike with great performance and the handling of a Superbike.

This bike is also incredibly practical to have. As a naked motorcycle, it’s incredibly comfortable. Moreover, as expected from a bike by BMW, you have everything from the semi-active suspension to cruise control. Plus, it features really wonderful electronics so that you have a fast and easy ride all throughout.

To make sure that your expectations are managed, it’s practically an S1000RR without the other R. It’s nothing special and BMW has made no improvements on the bike ever since. However, for a first-generation naked bike, this is truly a stunning motorcycle to have.

That said, here are some details you need to know about the BMW S1000R. It has an oil or water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine with four valves per cylinder. It has a capacity of about 999cc, powering through with 165 hp at 11,000 RPM. Its maximum torque is 84 lbs-ft. at 9,250 RPM. Finally, its wet weight is around 452 lbs.

3. Honda CB1000R

Honda CB1000R

We all know that Honda is one of the leading motorcycle manufacturers today. The company just churns out incredibly practical and comfortable motorcycles for different types of rides. That said, all their bikes are also sensible especially for the casual commuter. However, this simply gave Honda a weakness. They’re simply not big-bike material.

Remember the Fireblade-derived CB1000R? Yes, us too. Released in 2008, it’s safe to say that the bike wasn’t a hit. In fact, it was incredibly criticized by many. Its biggest detriment was with its overall performance. Sure, it was a decent bike but it simply didn’t make it enough to impress the market it was attempting to enter.

Then, 2018 came and Honda made head turns once again but now, for all the right reasons. The latest version of the CB1000R carries what Honda would call a “Neo Cafe” styling. It’s still uncertain what they mean by this but we’re all thinking the same thing. It’s sleek and powerful, like a modern-day cafe bike.

Today the bike boasts a new chassis with 143 bhp as well as an adjustable suspension front. The overall styling of the bike is incredibly sharper so that it looked badass on the road. However, that doesn’t take away from the typical Honda ergonomics that many commuters learned to love.

Sure, the Honda CB1000R is not a legendary motorcycle but it sure is an entertaining bike to have. It has great improvements since its release that’s worthy to be considered as one of the best naked motorcycles of today.

Are we going to see more improvements in the future? We sure hope so. Perhaps, we might find ourselves treated with a naked version of the CBR100RR-R Fireblade.

4. Yamaha MT-10 SP

Yamaha MT-10 SP  | Best Naked Motorcycles 2021

The R1 Superbike is already a stunning superbike in itself. Many people recognize it and we have no doubt about it. The naked version of the bike, the Yamaha MT-10 SP, deserves all the credits it gets as well. However, no hype was built around the bike. It came in late in 2016 and its chassis is not at par with a detuned (yet performative) 158 bhp engine. Finally, its styling is not something that didn’t sit well with many people.

However, the newer versions of the bike now have better chassis. The new Yamaha MT-10 SP is now packed with all the great improvements people are looking for in a bike. Firstly, it now has a semi-active suspension. Then Yahama decided to add a color TFT dash to the bike. Finally, they also improved the bike’s switchgear.

It should be known that the bike never really changed the engine of the bike. Yahama also kept the ergonomics of the bike that many people loved when it first released. A lot of people praised the ergonomics so much that the company even released a Tourer version of the bike. This new version had panniers as well as a high screen.

Overall, this Super Naked bike really proved people wrong about how they thought it was always going to be. Now, it’s great when driving in the real world. However, this bike is a tad more expensive than other bikes of the same performance. That said, you can rest assured that you get what you’re paying for with this bike and you won’t regret investing in it.

Does it look better? It depends on your personal preference but you’ll find a lot of riders who would say that this looks pretty good for a naked bike.

5. Kawasaki Z H2

Kawasaki Z H2

The Kawasaki Z H2 is perhaps the best in the market for all its wonderful specs. Not to mention, it comes at a very reasonable price as well. Now, this is a very aggressive bike when it comes to design. Its overall look can be compared to the likes of a Ducati or even an MV Agusta bike. It’s very masculine, chiseled with refined edges. It has a certain finesse that will make you want to think twice about getting a premium bike.

At the heart of the Kawasaki Z H2 is the 197 BPH Z 998cc balanced supercharged engine. It delivers just as well as its fully-faired H2 sportbike sibling. It delivers an incredibly fast acceleration and top speed.

To be quite honest, you can easily mistake this bike for other premium bikes. It competes with the Streetfighter V4 with ease and the MV Augusta Brutale 1000 RR (more on this later) is no stranger to it as well.

However, there are faults with this bike as well. Of course, it is not as sleek as the premium bikes on the list. This is the true Kawasaki aesthetic and it’s understandable that it doesn’t meet everyone’s taste. But if you dip deep between the design and its amazing specs, there’s really nothing else to hate about this motorcycle.

To make the motorcycle even more appealing to you, it also comes with premium components from the brand and other manufacturers. That includes the Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS) with Showa Skyhook EERA Technology and Brembo® Stylema calipers. Moreover, it has electronic cruise control as well as other integrated riding modes.

While the whole world is set to owning bikes that can be twice as much as this one, your best bet for a reasonably priced naked motorcycle is the Kawasaki Z H2. This will probably make you turn your back on the Streetfighter V4 and the next entry on our list.

6. MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR

MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR

Coming from the Italian company MV Agusta, it’s safe to say that this bike is more than just a naked motorcycle. It truly packs a punch it comes its most basic of specs and there’s not enough oxygen to consume when explaining this one. However, it’s great to set the expectation early as now. The MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR is a premium naked bike. It costs twice as much as the other bikes on this list and that’s important something to consider.

This power-packed bike is a true Super Naked bike. It has a 1000cc engine replacing the discontinued 160 BPH 1090RR a few years back. Now it powers through with a 208 BPH from a transverse four-cylinder, all-new chassis. It also has a very sleek styling and even more fire than it already had before. The cycle parts such as the electronic Ohlins forks and Brembo Stylema brakes only add to the overall value of the bike. With that said, the electronics package of the bike is completely out of this world. It has a full-color TFT screen as well as aerodynamic ‘winglets’.

It’s a very sexy bike that we just can’t get enough of. MV Agusta seems to continue to improve on the bike with a new Serie Oro version recently released. This new version has a featherweight carbon and jumps from 208 BPH to 212 BPH. That said, this new version is twice even more expensive than the Brutale 1000 RR.

If there is any fault with this bike (and we’re just nitpicking here), it’s the riding position. It can be really high for some riders. Nevertheless, this is a great Super Naked motorcycle that will change the way you ride on the road.

Best Naked Motorcycles Guide & FAQs

A Brief History of Naked Motorcycles

We all know how manufacturers like to mimic customization that riders put into their bikes. It’s an easy way of saying, “We can do that too!” The naked motorcycle genre is not so far from this. Same as the scramblers, cafe racers, and dual-sport motorcycles of this world, naked motorcycles are essentially another bike genre, modified to be street-friendly enough to sell to the masses.

The first modern sportbike released in the middle of the trendy 1980s. It was an era of change especially when it comes to technology and automobiles. The Suzuki GSX-R750 started the sportbike rage. The popularity of this bike inspired a young generation of thrill-seekers. They wanted to experience the same top speed that the GSX-R750. However, like many riders, they are limited to what the legal system allows, and what manufacturers can ultimately offer.

Then came the replicas. These bikes are typically road-legal sportbikes that are just as fully-faired as their original counterparts. They became a hit, even more so, that the roads became a witness to the flight of these riders and their vehicles. Unfortunately, it also resulted in a lot of tragedies as well. This gave everyone a lesson: motorcycles that can go as fast as supercars are not safe, especially with a teenager controlling the wheels.

Of course, with a wreck comes damaged bodywork. However, not a lot of these riders have the financial resources to just up and replace the thrashed fairings. The desire of these riders to go back into the road inspired them to just get rid of the fairings entirely. They then mounted new sets of MX-style bars and put on a good-enough headlight. Now, they’re back on the road and they have a new name to call their refurbished vehicles: “Street Fighter.”

What is the first Naked Motorcycle?

There’s no historical backup of which manufacturer put out the first-ever factory naked bike. However, many people would say that the Ducati Monster, released in 1993, is many people’s go-to name for that. Ducati is, without a doubt, a leader when it comes to motorcycles. In fact, people call it “the Ferrari of Motorcycles” and for good reason. Ducati catapulted itself into a new genre of motorcycles.

After Ducati, Honda followed suit with the 1998 naked version of the CBR600F3 and called it the CB600F. People called it the Hornet. Soon enough different brands have their own version of a naked motorcycle and a new genre was, thus, born.

What are Naked Motorcycles?

If you don’t follow yet, a simple way of describing naked motorcycles is this: a bike without a full fairing. It’s as easy as that. This refers to the lack of bodywork on the bike but not any bike can be a naked motorcycle. You can’t go around removing the bodywork of your cruiser and call it that. It references most superbike or sportbike models.

Naked motorcycles typically rid of the bodywork of these superbikes and sportbikes, giving it a truly raw view. Plus, these bikes get handlebars and foot controls that make them rideable in an upright riding position. This gives people more control of the bike, especially on the street.

That said, just because naked bikes don’t have fairings, it doesn’t mean that it’s completely devoid of bodywork. It simply rids of a front fairing that covers the engine. Plus, they don’t have tall windscreens.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right naked motorcycle depends on your needs. You don’t have to dish out more just to have a better experience. However, it should be said that premium bikes offer premium riders. So, are you ready for your new naked motorcycle?