KTM 1290 Super Duke R vs Ducati Streetfighter V4 S vs Kawasaki Z H2

2020 has been a bumper year for all-new or updated super nakeds. We pitch three of the best against each other


THE rise of the super naked motorcycle has been pretty meteoric in the last few years. 20 years ago, you could have never predicted that un-faired motorcycles would be outselling sports bikes, or if you had you’d have been laughed out the track day!

Ducati Streetfighter V4S v KTM 1290 Super Duke v Kawasaki ZH2 | Visordown

Today though, naked bikes are as technologically advanced as their faired cousins and, as is the case with these three, sometimes even more so.

Launched this year, the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S slammed its way onto the scene in a plume of tyre smoke, and for many people, the king of the 2020 super naked streetfight had arrived. The machine is only slightly toned down when compared V4 S sports bike. It retains almost all of the V4 S’ electronics too, making it one of the most technologically advanced super nakeds ever built.

KTM’s iconic Super Duke is most definitely not a new model, although with age comes experience, and the latest Super Duke R is building on a six-year lifetime, going through its biggest and most extensive update ever. The all-new frame is lighter, stronger, and stiffer than any model that has come before it. The engine has also been updated, with thinner casings saving nearly a kilogram over the old, while still making 180bhp.

Another bike that took the two-wheeled world by storm this year was the Kawasaki Z H2, featuring a revised version of the 230bhp engine found in the H2 sports bike. Even in this lightly detuned form, the Z H2 produces 197bhp and can deliver acceleration that few other motorcycles can match. The Kawasaki does though include the least amount of tech, although there may be some riders that appreciate the simpler side of life!

We’ve tested each bike extensively, to find out which makes the most sense in a real-world situation, away from the knee down heroics of the race track, which makes the most sense out on the UK roads.