Ultimate middle weight naked motorcycles 2022 to 2023

We list the ultimate middle weight naked motorcycles covering two, three, and four-cylinder engines

MY23-CB750-Hornet-Visordown-Review

2023 will be a bumper year for middleweight motorcycle fans, especially those looking to get on one of the latest generation of middleweight bikes.

The range of bikes on offer really does have everything, high-tech, track-ready nakeds, cheap and cheerful day-to-day commuters and even rough-and-tumble scramblers and retros.

But with so many bikes on offer, it can be a bit daunting to know which to go for. To help you out, we’ve compiled a video, covering all the best middleweight naked motorcycles on the market, specifically between 600 and 900cc. All to help you figure out which would be the best fit for your garage.

Ultimate middle weight naked motorcycles 2022 to 2023

Kawasaki Z650

Price: £7,349 (starting price)

Kawasaki Z650 review

While it’s true that the Z650 is due for an update in the next year or so, this highly entertaining naked is still well worth a closer look. It may be down on power compared to some of the competition, but what it lacks in grunt it makes up for in rideability and that unmistakable Kawasaki Sugomi styling.

Power comes from a 649cc 8-valve engine that produces 67bhp @ 8,000rpm. It’s a punchy motor, and unlike many on this list has an old-school charm thanks to the conventional 180-degree crank design. Performance though is thoroughly modern, and the engine really comes into its own on a twisty B-road. It’s backed up by suspension that might seem budget-looking, but the set-up is ideal for spirit road riding. Comfort is also excellent, with the contoured seat and sculpted fuel tank seeming to envelop you as you ride.

Kawasaki Z650 specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

67bhp

47lb-ft

188kg (kerb)

787mm

15 litres

Royal Enfield Continental GT

Price: £6,239 (starting price)

Royal Enfield Continental GT review

If you are looking for an authentic retro bike, look no further than the Royal Enfield Continental GT from Royal Enfield. It, and its sibling the Interceptor 650, both give riders a modern chassis, a punchy engine wrapped up in a classic motorcycle silhouette, backed up by a best of British exhaust note.

The handling isn’t world-beating, and in reality, neither is the engine performance, but when you get to your destination and step back and take a look at the bike, you really aren’t going to care that much. It’ll do almost everything you want, has bags of character and at a snip over £6k, it’s not bad value for money either.

Royal Enfield Continental GT specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

46bhp

38lb-ft

212kg (kerb)

820mm

12.5 litres

CFMOTO 700CL-X

Price: £6,599

CFMOTO 700CL-X review

Looking like a modern-day version of a classic flat-tracker, the CFMOTO 700CL-X burst onto the UK motorcycle scene in 2021. It was welcomed by the press and riders and showed that Chinese bikes don’t have to be unoriginal and cheap looking.

Like many bikes on this list, its aim was to take the fight to the mighty MT-07, and on the spec sheet at least, it did a decent job. Slightly more power, similar weight, and some lovely design touches and details that actually make the MT-07 look tired.

Out on the road, it’s a similar story, decent suspension provides a sporty but comfortable ride, and the Kawasaki Z650-derived motor delivers ample performance and usability. The CFMOTO doesn’t quite manage to capture the MT-07’s fun factor, although that isn’t to say it’s boring. It doesn’t quite leave you grinning like a crazed lunatic once you’ve ridden it!

CFMOTO 700CL-X specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

73bhp

50lb-ft

196kg (kerb)

800mm

13 litres

BSA Gold Star 650

Price: £6,800 (starting price)

BSA Gold Star review

The BSA Gold Star 650 is the long-awaited return from one of Britain’s most beloved motorcycle makers. Like the Royal Enfield above, it’s an authentic take on the middleweight classic bike, with adequate performance on UK roads, and an exhaust note that is pitch-perfect for a British-designed machine.

Out on the road, the Gold Star will entertain without intimidating newer riders. The bike will feel like it’s handling on rails compared to the original Gold Star, although compared to some of the sportier bikes on this list, it can be pushed out of its comfort zone easily on UK roads.

That said, it’s not a machine for chasing apexes or grinding footpegs, and if you bear that in mind when you ride it, there is very little to dislike the little Gold Star for.

BSA Gold Star 650 specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

45bhp

40lb-ft

213kg (kerb)

780mm

12 litres

Honda CB650R

Price: £7,699

Honda CB650R review

It may have just been joined in the range by the new CB750 Hornet, but as the only inline four-cylinder naked in the middleweight pack, we can’t ignore the classy contender from Honda. The Neo Sports Café styling still looks as cool now as it did in 2019, and that four-pot motor is as good today as it was when first released in 2014.

Point the CB650R to the countryside and its chassis really comes alive, with Showa Separate Function Big Piston forks, and a balance-free rear shock providing a sporty yet composed ride. Riding experience aside, one big draw of owning a Honda is the legendary reliability. For many riders, that alone will mean people forget the CB650R’s slightly premium price tag.

It’s another bike on this list that is due for an update in the coming years, although having been only introduced in 2019, it’s likely the next set of tweaks to the machine will be fairly restrained.

Honda CB650R specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

93bhp

46lb-ft

203kg (kerb)

810mm

15.4 litres

Suzuki SV650

Price: £6,999 (starting price)

Suzuki SV650 review

The Suzuki SV650 is a little bit like Stone Henge; instantly recognisable and unchanged for what seems like millennia! And while that seems like an insult, it’s simply down to the venerable SV just being so bloody good. The 650cc V-twin is a peach, and the chassis is capable enough (in the right hands and with some subtle mods) to hang out with a 1,000cc bike on a UK trackday.

On the flip side of the coin, it's predictable handling in stock form means it’s an ideal bike for first-timers and newer riders, and the SV650 remains the motorcycle of choice for many UK motorcycle training centres.

Suzuki SV650 specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

73bhp

47lb-ft

200kg (kerb)

785mm

14.5 litres

Ducati Monster

Price £11,295 (starting price)

Ducati Monster specs

Something a little more premium from the middleweight crop now, in the form of the heavily updated and gorgeous-looking Ducati Monster. It might be a stretch for many new riders, and with 111bhp and 68lb-ft on offer, it’s certainly the sportier, more aggressive end of the spectrum.

That grunty motor is backed up by probably the best chassis on this list, with a frame that owes a lot to the Panigale V4, and high-spec suspension. It also includes a level of electronic assistance that very few other middleweight nakeds on this list can match.

Ducati Monster specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

111bhp

69lb-ft

166kg (dry)

820mm

14 litres

Triumph Trident 660

Price: £7,695 (starting price)

Triumph Trident 660 review

The Triumph Trident 660 was the Hinkley factory’s first crack at a true middle-weight naked bike for newer riders. It features a reworked 660cc triple, lifted from the old Street Triple S, that is wrapped up in a modern-retro styling package that still looks fresh two years on from the launch.

The chassis features budget components from Showa and Nissin, although the handling and ride feel anything but cheap. It is an ideal B-road scratcher, and it really does feel like a more easygoing version of the iconic Street Twin.

A shade under £8k is a fair chunk of money to part with for a supposed ‘starter bike’, although, for new riders who want a British badge on the tank, it’s really the only choice. Quick, classy, and with great styling, only a dash that is slightly fiddly to start with lets the package down.

Triumph Trident 660 specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

80bhp

47lb-ft

189kg (wet)

805mm

14 litres

Honda CB750 Hornet

Price: £6,999

Honda CB750 Hornet Review

The Honda Hornet burst onto the scene at the recent Intermot show in Germany, reviving a famous from the Japanese brand. Powered by an all-new engine and featuring a brand-new frame, the Hornet promised direct, agile handling and that famous Honda reliability.

We got our first taste of the new bike at the world press launch last month, and it didn’t disappoint. With styling like the old CB500F, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is just another soft roadster for new riders. That isn’t the case though, as the Hornet is a ferociously agile, eager machine to ride, and it’s capable enough to entertain more experienced riders and exhilarate those new to the world of two wheels.

The only real problems we found with the bike were a snatchy throttle at low speeds, no option to lower the ABS intervention, and a quickshifter that is only available as an add-on. Those points aside, it is a seriously capable machine that might take you by surprise.

Honda CB750 Hornet specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

90.5bhp

54.8lb-ft

190kg (kerb)

795mm

15.2 litres

Yamaha MT-07

Price: £7,500

Yamaha MT-07 review

The dark side of Japan saw its biggest update in 2021, with conversation-starting new styling and a host of other internal updates. It is the undisputed king of the mid-weight naked sphere and always seems to have the X-Factor that leaves you grinning from ear to ear after ever ride.

It might not have the best chassis components or the most powerful engine, but what it lacks on both those fronts it makes up for, with an undeniable fun factor that has people queuing at the dealership door.

Yes, the styling for this latest model isn’t to everyone’s taste, but Yamaha didn’t set out to create the prettiest bike they’d ever built. What they did though, was create a machine with an unmistakable character, and it is that character that people fell in love with.

Yamaha MT-07 specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

74bhp

49lb-ft

184kg (kerb)

805mm

14 litres

Aprilia Tuono 660

Price: £10,000

Aprilia Tuono 660 review (Factory Edition)

We round out this list with quite possibly the most extreme and focused of all the middleweight naked motorcycles in the category, the Aprilia Tuono 660. In either stock or Factory form, the Tuono is a great little bike. It handles better than anything on the list, is backed up by a raft of electronics that are typically saved for much bigger, more expensive machines, and it has one of the best-sounding engines this side of a V4.

It isn’t the most comfortable bike on this list, although as we found out earlier this year, you really can forgive it that, once you begin to explore what the bike has to offer. Earlier this year we attended a trackday at Cadwell Park on the little Tuono, and the winding Lincolnshire track was an ideal hunting ground for the little parallel twin.

If you are looking for big-bike looks, all the electronics you’ll ever need and a superb handling package, Aprilia’s Tuono 660 really does deliver on all fronts.

Aprilia Tuono 660 specs

Power

Torque

Weight

Seat

Fuel capacity

95bhp

49lb-ft

183kg (kerb)

820mm

15 litres

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