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The 10 Best Naked Motorcycles In The World

Andy Dilks

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The 10 Best Naked Motorcycles In The World

What are the best naked motorcycles in the world?

Blending the exceptional performance of superbikes with the practicality of a road bike, naked motorcycles are becoming increasingly popular worldwide.

This article covers ten of the best, from established motorbike manufacturers such as Triumph and Yamaha to the latest offerings from Italian giants Ducati.

 

The Best Naked Motorcycles In The World

Aesthetic appeal, performance, handling, and price are all factors we’ve covered in detail to bring you this definitive guide to world-class naked bikes.

Here’s our list of the 10 best naked motorcycles in the world:

 

10. Yamaha MT-10 SP

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - Yamaha MT - 10 SP

Yamaha has been a leader of the pack in the world of motorbikes since the inception of the Yamaha Motor Company in 1955, with the launch of its 125 cc two-cycle, single-cylinder motorcycle, the YA-1.

Today, Yamaha’s naked bikes are among their most popular, with the MT-10 SP adopting the classic naked motorcycle aesthetic and merging it with the latest technology.

MT stands for “Master of Torque,” and the MT-10 SP lives up to this promise, delivering 111 Nm of torque at 9,000prm, along with an impressive 160 horsepower.

This excess of torque lower down the revs holds up to mid-range torque, giving the Yamaha MT-10 SP plenty of kick and helping it achieve top speeds of 150 mph.

Electronic cruise control and suspension make this a comfortable naked sportbike to ride, with three manual modes and an additional three semi-active damping modes to allow riders to adapt to different road surfaces.

Additional tech features for the Yamaha MT-10 SP include a new TFT dash, adjustable top speed limiter, souped-up ABS and traction control, and upgraded headlight clusters to improve visibility.

It’s the kind of build quality and complexity you can expect to see with some of the most expensive watches in the world; an impressive feat of engineering on display for everyone to see.

 

9. KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - KTM 1290 Super Duke R

The KTM Super Duke R is among the most futuristic-looking naked motorcycles available, its sleek, insect-like design and sporty profile earning it the nickname “The Beast.”

It’s a gorgeous naked bike guaranteed to turn heads for anyone who takes it out on motorcycle adventures, with impressive performance that matches its appearance.

With a large engine capacity of 1301 cc, six-speed transmission, and 177 hp, the Super Duke R is as suited to track-focused riding as it is to the open road.

Handling of the Super Duke R is bolstered by its inclusion of semi-active suspension technology, further improved with its ride by wire throttle, F-1 forged wheels and pistons, and titanium inlet valves.

Riders who want versatility to their naked motorcycles can take advantage of the Super Duke’s adjustable ergonomics, which allows them to switch to Track Mode for additional control when not encumbered by traffic.

First and foremost, the 1290 Super Duke R is a street bike, and it’s in this environment where its mid-range torque control and excellent handling truly shine.

While it’s a big bike compared to some of the other naked bikes on the market, its well-constructed chassis and advanced electronic rider safety systems make it a pleasure to ride.

 

8. BMW S1000R

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - BMW S1000R

German manufacturer BMW has long-established its reputation for producing high-end vehicles which appeal to everyone from business executives to the richest soccer players in the world.

A cursory glance at the BMW S1000R reveals why their products have such broad appeal; this is a bike that strips down the traditional superbike and exposes its inner workings for everyone to see.

BMW’s flagship entry into the naked bike category, the S1000R, is a lightweight naked bike, constructed from carbon and forged wheels, with a light battery and additional carbon elements used throughout its frame.

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It also features multiple ride modes alterable via its TFT dash, including hill-start control, dynamic traction control, and additional Rider Modes.

While the S1000R is race-ready, it’s also adaptable enough to work as a street-riding bike to get you around town, although you’ll find the open roads are best to experience its huge 165 horsepower fully.

BMW is no stranger to the world of sports bikes, and the S1000R is derived from their pioneering S1000RR superbike, which was first introduced to the world in 2008.

Delivering a consistent riding experience, whether you’re thrashing it on the racetrack or cruising on a highway, the BMW S1000R is one of the best naked bikes to emerge from the German company.

 

7. Ducati Monster

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - Ducati Monster

The Ducati Monster is one of the most influential naked bikes of all time, taking an existing sports bike frame and engine, then building a street bike around them to create the iconic naked version.

Italy is no stranger to high-end luxury vehicles, with some of the most expensive cars in the world manufactured here, and Ducati are world leaders in top-of-the-range motorbikes.

The Ducati Monster features a slightly more upright riding position compared to its predecessor, but the Testastretta 11° 937 cc twin cylinder L-shaped engine still delivers copious amounts of power.

Weighing just 166kg, it’s also a nimble naked bike, which lends it extra maneuverability when unleashed on the roads, with cornering ABS, improved traction control, and even wheelie control.

There’s a full-color TFT display to keep the rider up to date on fuel, speed, and their current riding mode, as well as LED lighting, making this one of the best naked bikes for a combination of speed and accessibility.

Ducati continues to impress with its high-quality engineering, and no doubt the Italian firm will produce more of the world’s best naked bikes in the years to come.

 

6. Suzuki Katana

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - Suzuki Katana

The original Suzuki Katana broke new ground when it was first released in 1981, so much so that the Japanese decided to revisit it in 2019 and release their naked version of this iconic motorbike.

Suzuki has drawn upon decades of race experience to make sure their Katana naked bike performs at the highest standard, not least due to its 999cc engine capable of producing 149 horsepower.

It’s built around a GSX-R 1000 engine, with a six-speed transmission and 106 Nm of torque, giving it all the punch needed to hit high speeds on the open road.

With a compact and lightweight chassis and an intelligent ride system, the Suzuki Katana features the same level of customization found in the best naked bikes.

It also boasts a comfortable riding position along with smooth power delivery, making the Katana’s handling at both low and high speeds a dream.

While the naked bike lacks high-tech features such as the TFT dash found on some of its competitors, the mid-range price tag makes it one of the more affordable naked bikes available to buy.

To put that in perspective, you can buy a selection of the most expensive matchbox cars for the same amount, with the Yamaha Katana arguably offering a lot more fun for the investment.

 

5. Triumph Street Triple RS

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - Triumph Street Triple RS

English manufacturer Triumph has long been regarded as one of the best motorbike makers in the world, their iconic TR6 Trophy as much the star of The Great Escape as leading man Steve McQueen.

The Street Triple RS brings its classic styling into the 21st century, a sleek, cohesive naked bike with a cool-looking LED headlight configuration to match its gorgeous bodywork.

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Specifications for the Triumph Street Triple RS are as impressive as its aesthetics, with a top speed of 150 mph deriving from its 756 cc triple engine capacity and 121 brake horsepower.

The inline-three used for the Street Triple is the same engine you’ll find throughout Triumph’s Moto2 class, with a quick shifter, Öhlins STX40 mono-shock, Brembo M50 monoblocks, and other carbon fiber elements delivering a super smooth ride.

Triumph has also taken the TFT display concept to new heights, introducing an optional accessory that allows riders to connect via their ride smartphone app to control music playback or even a GoPro through the handlebar-mounted buttons.

The Street Triple RS is an all-around impressive naked bike with an improved mid-range and selection of riding modes, making its current price tag feel like a bargain.

 

4. Zero SR/F

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - Zero SR:F

While many of the best naked bikes still rely on traditional gas to power their engines, the Zero SR/F represents the leading edge of electric bikes which have emerged in recent years.

Zero Motorcycles landed on the EV scene in the mid-2000s, becoming a market leader and outperforming their closest rivals such as Energica.

The introduction of their Zero SR/F made headlines, offering forward-thinking bikers a perfect marriage between the aesthetic appeal of traditional motorbikes and the latest environmentally friendly technology.

With a battery capacity of 14.4kWh capable of a 1.5 hours fast charge, this electric naked bike offers the same power to weight ratio you’d expect from a Street Triple RS or MT-09, with the added benefit of instant torque from very low revs.

At just under $20,000 when it was first released, the Zero SR/F compares to some of the most valuable toys you can buy, but with considerably more longevity and utility.

Reaching 60 mph is just 3.5 seconds, and with sub-12-second standing quarter-mile runs, it’s a rapid naked bike that will only improve through future iterations, and the technology continues to develop.

It’s also packed with the latest smart technology, and you can pair the Zero SR/F with your smartphone via the app to select different ride modes, view GPS and battery status, and receive security alerts in case the bike is touched while parked.

 

3. Kawasaki Z400 ABS

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - Kawasaki Z400 ABS

Kawasaki’s Z400 ABS naked bike is a great entry-level option for new bikers who don’t need to hit excessive top speeds but still want a ride that retains a sporty and ergonomic appearance.

With a well-balanced and compact chassis, the Z400 ABS is at home with slower urban riding, where navigating rush hour traffic is more important than optimizing high-speed cornering.

Easy handling comes thanks to its upright seating position and wide handlebars, making it perfect for riders who might lack the confidence of more experienced bikers.

This is reflected in the Kawasaki Z400 ABS specs, its 45 horsepower and 399 cc parallel-twin engine lacking the ability to deliver the pure adrenaline rush of more powerful naked motorcycles.

It’s clear that the Japanese manufacturer has positioned the Z400 ABS as an entry-level naked bike, maintaining a high standard of build quality and reliability considering its affordable price.

As the name implies, ABS comes as standard, and there’s a neat LCD dash that displays your current gear, fuel gauge, digital rev counter, and a large mph display.

The naked equivalent of Kawasaki’s 400 Ninja motorbike, the Z400 ABS trades high-end performance for low budget value for money, ideal for those starting their naked bike journey.

 

2. MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR

MV Agusta doesn’t have the same brand recognition as rivals like Ducati and Kawasaki, but the Italian brand is well regarded as a producer of stunning bikes for biking enthusiasts.

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The MV Agusta Dragster 88 RR is no exception, sporting a stacked triple pipe exhaust, sleek angular radiator shrouds, and a beautiful open-mouthed taillight.

The useful SCS auto clutch gives riders smooth handling of its power, which comes from its 798cc Liquid-Cooled DOHC Inline-Three engine, capable of putting out 140hp.

With full support for Ride by Wire, the Dragster features specifically designed mapping and traction control which can be adjusted to eight levels, making sure this bike clings tightly to roads when hitting its 150 mph top speed.

While the 800 RR retains the rough and race-like appeal of previous versions, revised fork and shock internals make it an overall smoother ride, further assisted by the new progressive rear suspension link.

Great handlebar positioning, ample legroom, and a comfortable seat mean that the MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR is a great bike to cover distances, too, giving riders the option to take it on the road for longer hauls.

It’s certainly not the cheapest naked motorcycle on the market, with a $21,950 price tag putting it in the same league as the most expensive luxury pens, but it does come with MV Agusta’s trademark design perfection and engineering.

 

1. Ducati Streetfighter V4S

Best Naked Motorcycles in the World - Ducati Streetfighter V4S

Costing $25,195 when it initially hit the market, the Ducati Streetfighter V4S is on the higher end of the budget spectrum for naked motorcycles but still more affordable than some of the most expensive motorbikes in the world.

This particular model is renowned as one of Ducati’s flagship naked bikes, powerful where it counts, and with a visual appeal that is a perfect match for its exceptional all-round performance.

Featuring a 1,103 cc, Desmosedici Stradale 90-degree liquid-cooled V4 engine, the Streetfighter V4S is also crammed to the rafters with new tech as well as being seriously fast.

Its slightly higher seating position places the rider perched slightly further back when compared to the original Streetfighter, with the additional legroom and adjustable bars offering a more comfortable long-distance ride.

Street, Sport, and Race riding modes are available, making the Streetfighter a good naked bike for versatile riding, switching effortlessly from street cruising to high-speed rides around professional racetracks.

The bike is kitted out with an LED headlight and color dash, with responsive switchgear buttons to help you take on challenging hairpin bends and find those sharper lines.

The best naked motorbikes compromise as little as possible compared to their traditional superbike counterparts, and in this regard, the Ducati Streetfighter V4S represents the very best you can buy.

 

Summary

The best naked bikes merge the high performance and top speed of the leading superbikes of the day with the practicality and street-readiness of more traditional road bikes.

We’ve covered the ten best naked bikes you can buy today, from low-budget entry-level bikes to high-end masterpieces in design from the world’s most reputable engineers.

As the technology continues to improve and electric vehicles increase their market share, the best naked bikes available will change, so be sure to check back on this article for the latest information.

Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best naked motorcycles in the world:

  1. Ducati Streetfighter V4S
  2. MV Augusta Dragster 800 RR
  3. Kawasaki Z400 ABS
  4. Zero SR/F
  5. Triumph Street Triple RS
  6. Suzuki Katana
  7. Ducati Monster
  8. BMW S1000R
  9. KTM 1290 Super Duke R
  10. Yamaha MY-10 SP

What’s your favorite naked motorcycle? Leave a comment below. 

Andy Dilks first got into tech with Laserdisc players and hasn't looked back since. When he's not writing he's deciding which room to convert into a home cinema.

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