Top 10 most powerful naked bikes

These are the most powerful unfaired bikes of 2015

THERE'S no question that ridiculously powerful unfaired machines have been one of the growth areas in motorcycling over the last couple of years.

Where we used to be more than happy with 150hp superbikes and 125hp nakeds, these days it seems that anything wanting to earn the ‘superbike’ tag needs to nudge 200hp while even detuned naked versions are being touted with 160hp or more.

So what are the 10 most powerful naked bikes on the market? To get a level playing field we’ve opted to use the figures from the latest US EPA documents, which list the official power figures for all bikes legally sold in America. In general, specs for American models aren’t significantly different to their European counterparts, and power figures rarely change between the two markets, and using EPA figures (which on the whole tally with increasingly accurate manufacturers’ claims) means we can compare like with like.

Of course, there is the slight problem of defining which models should fit into the class. To eliminate confusion, we’ve taken the simple route of ridding the list of anything that’s got a proper screen or fairing, but anything that leaves the rider feeling the full force of the wind gets included. That means superbikes, fast tourers and a couple of adventure bikes are left off the list, while one or two machines that might be more often thrown in with ‘cruisers’ are included.

10. Kawasaki Z1000 – 142.8hp

The Z1000 in its 2014-on guise is still one of the most aggressive-looking bikes on the market, and with 142.8hp it’s got the power to back up that styling. With a new ZX-10R now on the way, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see an even more powerful, revamped Z1000 appearing in the next 12 months or so, but in the meantime this one still has enough grunt to make our top 10.

9. Suzuki GSX-S1000 – 146.8hp

The bargain-priced GSX-S1000 is one of the most tempting propositions Suzuki has put forth in years thanks to its GSX-R1000 K5-derived engine and a capable chassis. Some were disappointed that its power doesn’t challenge the likes of KTM’s Super Duke R and its electronics lack the latest in rider aids and gizmos, but given a sub £10k price tag it’s hard to complain. 

8. Triumph Rocket III – 146.8hp

Triumph actually claims 148hp for the Rocket, and we’ll give them benefit of the doubt and eighth place since that’s just 1.2hp more than the EPA rating. It might be more cruiser than naked bike, but there’s no screen or fairing, so it fits our criteria. Of course, all that power and the huge 2294cc triple’s 163lbft of torque are tempered by the fact that at 334kg (dry) it’s getting on for twice the weight of the lightest machines on this list.

7. Ducati Diavel – 154.9hp

Official claims put the Diavel (in both Europe and America) at 161.8hp – but the EPA reckons its 6.9hp down on that figure. At the moment, the EPA figures don’t list the recently -announced XDiavel, with its larger-capacity 1262cc engine and Multistrada-derived variable valve timing, but Ducati’s own specs put it at 155.9hp, much the same as the EPA numbers for the normal Diavel, so we’re lumping both bikes together for the purposes of this list.

6. MV Agusta Brutale 1090 RR – 157.7hp

MV Agusta’s Brutale is often forgotten when magazines opt to group-test powerful naked bikes, but it’s actually right up there with more recent machines like the BMW S1000R in terms of power. We’re expecting a new version to appear in the near future, too, as MV Agusta has been working on a new four-cylinder platform to replace both the Brutale and the F4.

5. BMW K1300R – 160.4hp

Remember the K1300R? The big old beast that seems to revel in its own ugliness is still available in 2016 and with 160.4hp, it’s one of the most powerful naked machines out there. Don’t hold out hope for superbike-beating back-road handling, but revel in the combination of power and torque.

4. BMW S1000R – 160.4hp

Yep, BMW makes not one but two naked roadsters with identical power, but they couldn’t be more different in their style or ability. What more do we need to say about the S1000R, a naked version of the S1000RR that shook the superbike establishment five years ago when it was launched? It’s just as fast as you imagine, if not faster, and comes at a price that’s surprisingly low both in relation to its equipment levels and its badge, although the tempting launch price of £9999 has now risen past the £10k mark to £10,350.

3. KTM 1290 Super Duke R – 172.6hp

Back when it was first shown as a concept bike there was talk that the 1290 Super Duke R was a 200hp machine, so the 170hp + reality almost came as a let-down. More surprising still was the fact it turned out to be a civilised, usable bike rather than a bucking, untamed brute. Smooth throttle response, great chassis, lots of electronic safety nets. It comes at a hefty price, though.

2. Aprilia Tuono V4R 1100 – 175.4hp

Aprilia hasn’t had a lot of luck when it comes to selling big numbers of its Tuono V4s, but the new 1100cc version is an incredible machine – a true superbike with its fairing stripped off. The power is the best in its class, and its power-to-weight ratio is hard to beat as well. But it’s still not the most powerful naked bike on the market…

1. Yamaha V-Max – 200.1hp

…Because this is. Yes, it’s all too easy to forget about the V-Max, but at 200.1hp it’s the only unfaired bike out there that can truly claim to be close to that seemingly-important 200hp mark. Of course, its heft means that it won’t feel as fast as stuff like the Aprilia or KTM, and corners are better avoided, but if big power figures and no fairings are your only considerations then it makes sense. What do you mean those aren’t your only considerations? Oh…

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