Top 10s

Top 10 BEST Super and Hyper Naked Motorcycles of 2020

As if Super Naked motorcycles weren't enough, the bonkers Hyper Naked Motorcycles arrive to multiply the choice - but which Super and Hyper Naked Motorcycles is best?

Apart from a few obvious other little things - such as, say, a global pandemic, economic meltdown and a virtual vacuum of sports and entertainment - 2020 will also be remembered fondly as the year of the Hyper Naked motorcycle.

With the arrival of looney-toons bikes such as Ducati’s astonishing V4 Panigale based Streetfighter and all-new 200bhp+ MV Agusta Brutale 1000, not to mention already mind-blowing recent offerings such as Kawasaki’s supercharged Z H2 and KTM’s updated 1290 Super Duke R, if you want to get your kicks naked, so to speak, and with as much blistering power and performance as possible, there’s never been a better time.

Living With The 2020 Kawasaki Z H2 | Real World Review | Visordown.com

In fact, there’s no many high-performance ‘Hyper Nakeds’ currently out there, we had no difficulty at all coming up with a Top 10, so much so that there was no room for slightly tamer, more affordable options such as Kawasaki’s Z1000 or Suzuki’s GSX-S1000. Sorry chaps.

But which is best? Here are our current preferences when it comes to Super Naked and Hyper Naked Motorcycles.

10. Honda CB1000R (from £11,649)

Big H’ have never had any trouble when it comes to practical, comfortable, sensible motorcycles, which is probably why the Japanese giant has always struggled when it comes to building bonkers, bad-ass ones. The Fireblade-derived CB1000R never quite cut it when first introduced in 2008, criticised mostly for being - at a detuned 130bhp - a little soft and with its smooth four being a touch characterless, even if it was a decent, all-round bike. 

But this latest version, introduced in 2018 and with, according to Honda, ‘Neo Café’ styling (whatever that is) is enough of a step-up to warrant inclusion here, if only just. Now with a respectable 143bhp a new chassis, decent adjustable suspension front and rear and more striking styling, it’s all-round sharper and more entertaining than ever but with typically classy Honda quality and brilliant ergonomics, too. 

The CB may not, quite, be a true, fire-breathing, rip-snorting beast of a super-naked but it’s a classy, fast, entertaining roadster that’s more than worthy of consideration. We just wonder if Honda, eyeing the current wave of offerings, would consider a naked-derived version of its ultra-powerful CBR100RR-R Fireblade...

9. Ducati Monster 1200 S (from £15,095)

The Ducati Monster have never quite been full-bore, powerhouse Super Nakeds, instead being more roadster all-rounders with lashings of Italian V-twin character and style. But the latest 1200 S, and particularly the previous, now deleted R, made a convincing stab at it. 

The R with its 160bhp V-twin, Ohlins suspension, big Brembo brakes and more, was a true, loony performance bike, but the still available S - though slightly softer and not quite as highly specced - is worth consideration, too. 

Its liquid-cooled twin produces 145bhp plus plenty of mid and low-down grunt and, although slightly heavier than the R, the S, too, boasts pukka Ohlins suspension, plus there are three switchable riding modes, traction control and ABS. 

Ultimately, it may be no intensely-focussed sports roadster, but it’s not far off, will give most bikes here a run for their money and has the undeniable extra appeal of its Monster looks and Ducati kudos.

8. BMW S1000R (from £11,570)

When BMW followed up its full fat, revolutionary first S1000RR powerhouse Superbike in 2010 it was perhaps inevitable that a super-naked version would eventually follow. In 2014 it did and, although slightly anonymously styled and detuned to 160bhp, it didn’t disappoint thanks to still blistering performance and the Superbike-style handling to match. 

It was also surprisingly easy to live with, reasonably comfortable and practical and, if you took advantage of BMW’s typical options, could come with everything from flashy electronics, semi active suspension and even cruise control. That, however, was that – nothing’s changed since 2014 which is why the R has slipped down the rankings here. Also by simply lopping off an 'R', is it just us or does it just emphasise you aren't stretching to an S1000RR.

Speaking of which, with the flagship sportsbike winning rave reviews with the launch of the second generation in 2019, expect a new S1000R - with more rakish styling - to break cover very soon.

7. Triumph Speed Triple RS (from £13,600)

Seventh may seem a fairly lowly position for a machine so inseparable from the whole Super Naked class – arguably the original, defrocked T595i created the whole class way back in 1998 – not to mention an incarnation as brilliant as this latest RS version, but that’s more a reflection of how competitive the category has become and how extreme the most potent examples now are. 

All Speed Triples, with their distinctive styling, characterful three-cylinder motors and typically decent Triumph handling are great super-nakeds, but the latest versions introduced in 2018, with power up to 148bhp and updated electronics and new TFT screen, brought the British icon almost back on par with the competition after starting to lag behind. 

The best is the top spec RS, which also gets fully-adjustable Ohlins, an extra Track riding mode, optimised cornering ABS and traction control and Arrow sports cans pretty much turns the Speedie into a track weapon without losing its road character and versatility, although it still can’t match the sheer brute performance of some rivals. 

Which explains its standing here, but if you want a Super Naked that can shine on road and track, but exhibit a character all its own for a tempting price, this is the one.

6. Yamaha MT-10 SP (from £14,747)

Yamaha’s Super Naked version of its brilliant R1 superbike has never quite received the recognition or acclaim its abilities deserve. That’s partly due to it arriving late, in 2016, its divisive styling and because of the original stocker’s having a slightly bland chassis that failed to match the potency of its detuned yet still ballistic 158bhp engine. 

That latter criticism was fundamentally removed with the arrival of this SP version, complete with semi-active suspension, colour TFT dash and uprated switchgear. The brilliant engine was unchanged, as were the comfortable, practical ergonomics - so much so, in fact, that Yamaha added a Tourer version with panniers, high screen and more the same year - but now here was a Super Naked that not only went and handled almost as good as any, but was also real world relevant, proven and still, just about, affordable. 

At more £14,747, the Yamaha MT-07 SP is a little on the pricey side but it’s one of best-balanced all round Super Nakeds you can buy. Still looks weird, though.

5. KTM 1290 Super Duke R (from £15,699)

Having sorted through the Super Nakeds, we’re now getting into the business end where ‘Super’ just isn’t superb enough… meet the ‘Hyper Nakeds’! OK, so it might be more PR bumf than anything, but some manufacturers have run with the idea of Hyper Nakeds to the extent there is now a core group, beginning here with the KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

The first generation was launched in 2013 with a then class-leading 160bhp and equally pioneering electronic rider aids that lived up to its billing as the most potent naked then available.

Things stepped up further with the even more powerful, 177bhp, Super Duke R, complete with updated styling and suspension and, crucially, electronics. The result was not only electrifyingly fast on track but also impressively docile and refined at normal speeds, too. 

For 202 KTM 1290 Super Duke R has been improved yet again – but not with more power (which might be a mistake considering how some of its rivals have moved on) but instead improved refinement and manners. 

It’s now a more rounded machine than ever – and just as potent – but in this ranking it suffers slightly by simply not standing out quite as much as it could have and also from oft-repeated KTM criticisms of slightly suspect reliability. Still, it’s a great bike though. 

4. Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory (from £17,199)

Aprillia’s naked version of the superb RSV4 superbike has been impressing with both its performance and class-leading electronics for almost a decade now and is regarded as the best of all Super Nakeds. 

Updated to 175bhp 1100cc form in 2015, updated twice since (in 2017 and 2019) and offered in base RR (although it’s still pretty trick) and full-bling Factory guises the Tuono has remained arguably the best real world performance bike you can buy – even though it’s now ageing against newer opposition. 

Indeed, the latest Factory version is not only powerful and grunty, not only has sorted semi-active suspension and class-leading electronics it also naturally has the very best components. 

3. MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR (from €29,990 - equiv £26,500).

Italian exotica specialists MV Agusta is famous, certainly in its modern incarnation, for its fierce, power-packed super-naked Brutales, so the return of a new 1000cc version for 2020 - four years after the demise of the old 160bhp 1090RR - is big news. 

With a whopping 208bhp from its transverse four-cylinder, an all-new chassis and more muscular styling, top notch cycle parts including electronic Ohlins forks and Brembo Stylema brakes, plus a sophisticated electronics package, full colour TFT screen and even aerodynamic ‘winglets’ there is a lot to admire both on and under the very sexy Super Naked.

Better still, MV Agusta continues to keep refining the package further with a brand new Serie Oro version on the way, packing featherweight carbon and a power jump to 212bhp… albeit with an even more hike to the price at an eye-watering €42,990.

On the downside, like previous Brutales, the RR’s riding position is as extreme as its performance, its price is ridiculously high and its dealer network and reputation for durability is certainly less reassuring than rivals from, say, Ducati or BMW. 

But if you can afford to let your heart lead your head, the MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR is arguably the ultimate ’poster-bike’ Super Naked that will turn heads wherever you go and make you feel like a million dollars.

2. Ducati Streetfighter V4 (from £17,595)

One of the most eagerly anticipated bikes of 2020 certainly hasn’t disappointed. The naked version of the Ducati Panigale V4 sportsbike has a mind-boggling 205bhp, a fabulous chassis and yet, thanks to a slightly extended swing arm, is impressively stable, roomy and practical, too. In fact, dynamically it’s probably both the most extreme and yet also calm and cultured when you want it to be super naked around, which is basically why it ranks so highly here. 

However, on the downside, Ducati or no, surely no-one brought up on 851s and 916s thinks this is the most beautiful Ducati ever built and, despite all its brilliance, at just shy of £20K for the S, it’s rather expensive, too.

1. Kawasaki Z H2 (from £15,149)

Yes, we have chosen the Kawasaki Z H2 as our favourite Super/Hyper Naked Motorcycle of 2020... and we stand by our choice!

In-your-face, aggressive and loud in the same way the Ducati or MV is chiselled, refined and poised, while you're unlikely to sway anyone towards a Z H2 if their heart is set on a Streetfighter V4 S, spend a bit of time with the Kawasaki and we can guarantee it will at least leave a very favourable impression, which some - including us - is more than enough.

At its heart is its supercharged party piece, the revvy 197bhp Z H2 proving a worthy sibling to the ballistic H2 fully-faired sportsbikes. Indeed, it certainly delivers when you unleash its full potential: the Kawasaki Z H2 is blisteringly fast with all the whistling blower drive and chirpy over-run that goes with it. And if that’s what you want from your Huper Naked motorcycle, then you’ll be a very happy bunny.

In all honesty, any one of the top five could line up differently depending on what you prioritise most in a motorcycle, whether it's the Ducati Streetfighter V4’s engineering prowess, the Aprilia Tuono’s sporting attitude or the MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR ’s well-finished finesse.

However, while the jagged edges of the design - though unashamedly Kawasaki - won’t be to everyone’s taste, there is otherwise little to fault the Z H2 once you dig below the surface.

Indeed, here it gets our nod for either matching, getting close to surpassing each of its rivals in key areas, from power to handling to comfort, while it is more refined and useable day-to-day than you’d think. 

Better still, at just over £15,000 it is excellent value , so while the Z H2 might be the wild child turning up to a dinner party with a six-pack of beer, while you may think you crave sophistication, you know you'll end up having plenty of honest fast fun on the Kawasaki and pocketing some spare cash.

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