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There is no argument to the fact that if you wish to purchase a two-wheeler that can pump you with adrenaline like nothing else, a Supersport is the way to go. Although they pack the highest levels of performance second to a fully blown racing bike, supersport bikes are extremely impractical to ride on a daily basis.
This is mostly attributed to two main factors, their extremely aggressive ergonomics and the presence of massive fairing sections which give minimal room for heat to escape out from the bike. While both these factors are desirable on the track, they can become very cumbersome to handle on the road where these bikes will spend most of their lives on.
The solution for these problems is simple, get rid of the fairing, change the clip-on handlebars to simple straight bars, reposition the footpegs and voila you have yourself a practical daily use super sports bike or super naked bikes as they are termed in actual motorcycle lingo.
For a jam-packed country like ours, a naked bike any day makes more sense than a super sport taking into consideration our road and traffic situations. Moreover they also get revised engine settings for more streamlined power and torque delivery better suited to tackle streets. So without any further ado, let’s have a look at the 5 best naked bikes in India.
Max Power: 175 bhp at 11,000 RPM
Price: 19.72 lakhs (ex-showroom)
“Tuono” in Italian literally translates to “Thunder” which is a very apt name considering the raw energy, the bike possesses. The Aprilia Tuono has been thriving in the market since 2002 when it was quite literally an RSV-Mille Sports bike with lesser plastic around the engine and flat handlebars in place of clip-ons.
Over the years it evolved parallel to their flagship superbike models getting almost everything they had with marginally less power and a tonne of daily use practicality.
The latest Tuono is based on their firebreathing RSV4 RR Superbike. Just like the first generation Tuono, the current generation in appearance terms is also just a stripped down RSV4 with a shorter windshield and flat handlebars.
One main difference between the Tuono and RSV4 is that the Tuono along with visual updates also got a slightly bored out engine taking its displacement to 1100cc compared to the RSV’s 999cc.
Other than that everything is pretty much the same, the intriguing triple lamp setup up front, the snarling Moto-GP like exhaust note from the V4 engine and the top notch components from Brembo and Ohlins.
In flesh the bike oozes street presence. The fat frame sections which are somewhat concealed in the RSV are completely visible here with a massive “Aprilia” logo painted diagonally across till the small bikini fairing.
While it very much goes and handles like a proper Superbike with a 0-100 time of 2.9 seconds and a top whack of just over 270 kmph, it’s surprisingly really comfortable as well with effective wind protection making it a decent option for touring. The Aprilia Tuono 1100 is priced at 19.72 lakhs (ex-showroom) which while is expensive for a naked bikes, isn’t so much for a practical RSV4.
2. BMW S1000R
Max Power: 160 Bhp at 11,000 RPM
Price: 22.83 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi)
Now I am very sure you all know of a legendary Superbike from the stables of the Bavarian Automotive Powerhouse, BMW named the S1000RR which was notoriously famous for completely devouring its more experienced Japanese competition in its debut year itself.
Now get ready to meet its slightly dormant 'naked bike' sibling, the S1000R. When I say dormant here, I really don’t mean it because the moment you have that monstrosity of engine mounted onto a lightweight naked bike with minimal wind protection, the experience is much more exhilarating and scarier despite the 30 bhp de-tuning.
However the de-tune was necessary as it give the bike more streamlined power and an even more devastating torque curve. Like the Tuono V4’s design language, the S1000R also looks like a stripped down S1000RR but the differences are slightly more visible here most notably due to the headlamp cluster.
While every other bit on the S1000R is very much the same as on the S1000RR, the headlamp gets a more alienish asymmetrical design with a projector on one side and a conventional halogen headlamp on the other.
In the latest version BMW also removed the trademark Shark gills as seen on the S1000RR for a more conventional and simple bikini fairing. Those who have ridden the S1000RR know how flawless that engine is and it remains the same on the S1000R.
What it loses in the higher rev ranges, it makes up with in the mid-range offering a mind-boggling new realm of acceleration pull. Suspension and brake components are top shelf like on the S1000RR. The S1000R also gets the semi-active suspension allowing you to modify the settings with the push of a button on the top variants.
When it comes to comfort, the S1000R surely has a lot of it but it really misses down on wind protection which hampers touring capability on an otherwise really potent engine. But it can be fixed with a simple aftermarket windshield so that’s not a biggie. The BMW S1000R is priced Rs. 22.38 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).
Max Power: 145 bhp at 10,000 RPM
Price: Rs. 11.99 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi)
The Suzuki GSX-S1000 or the “Gixxess” is the newest entrant to this segment. All the way till 2015, Suzuki didn’t have a single commercially successful big boy naked bike in their line-up. They had a mid-range twin in the form of the SV650 which was very popular overseas but that’s pretty much it.
They also had a naked Hayabusa in the form of the B-King but that attracted minimal attention. 2015 saw the launch of the GSXS-1000 which was set to compete in increasingly growing litre class naked segment, the only place where Suzuki hadn’t set foot till then.
The GSXS-1000 isn’t exactly a stripped down GSXR-1000 nor does it look like one, the only GSXR element here is the engine. In terms of appearance, the GSXS-1000 establishes its own identity with a distinguishably aggressive Predator face headlamp.
It is impossible that this bike can be mistaken for anything else on the road. Asides that, it has some seriously muscular arches and flares going down its sides completed with a sharp belly pan on the bottom. So in terms of street presence, the Gixxess gives stiff competition to its European rivals.
Moving onto the engine, the powerplant isn’t a derivative of the latest GSXR but derived from the K5 model which was notoriously famous for its mid-range kick. With some further revisions made by Suzuki, that superbike engine comfortably finds its place in the heart of this jumpy and aggressive naked.
One thing to note here is that unlike the European super nakeds, the GSXS-1000 is more biased towards street riding and does it much better than they can. Despite having a more conventional inline-4 setup, it sounds absolutely amazing!
The electronic package is rather basic with a simple power mode selector and a three level traction control. It won’t out-maneuver other superbikes on the track but it certainly won’t be too far behind. On the streets however, it’s near untouchable in terms of practicality, comfort and powerband. The GSXS-1000 is priced at Rs. 12.77 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) giving it tremendous value for money as well.
Max Power: 150 bhp at 9250 RPM
Price: 19.96 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi, base model)
The Monster range by Ducati is considered to be the most iconic naked bikes series in the world of sports motorcycles. And that makes sense considering these beasts have been flaunting their visible frames and engines all the way from 1999 when the Monster 900 was introduced to the world.
Over the years, this range has witnessed a plethora of different models spanning to different cubic capacity caps but have retained their core DNA of being a naked bikes that can recreate the exhilaration of a sports bike.
The most powerful Monster yet was launched in 2016 in the form of the Monster 1200. Now unlike the other bikes on the list, the Monster doesn’t get an engine derived directly from the 1199 Panigale.
The 1200cc mill used on the Monster is slightly tweaked unit borrowed from the Diavel which itself uses a heavily redesigned 1199 engine. In appearance it looks very much like a Monster 821 with a bigger engine and a few different styling bits like the exhaust shape and the gorgeous single sided swingarm. But rest assured, it’s a lot more than that.
For starters, the moment you hop on to the 1200, you will immediately notice it’s much more aggressively poised in comparison to the other Monsters but still manages to feel comfortable. The game changing aspect on the 1200 has to be its brilliant engine.
Apart from just being bigger, more powerful, more torquey, it’s packing in a ton of technology. Ride by Wire is standard across all variants with Ducati’s fully comprehensive electronics package coupled with the Supersport derived Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit to provide extremely precise inputs to the electronics.
Like the other Euro exotics, suspension and braking components are supplied by the big names, Ohlins, Sachs and Brembo. To add to the practicality aspect, Ducati has also given it a generously padded seat with a height adjustability option as well. The only sad bit is that the Monster 1200 comes as a CBU import which means pricing is a tad steep at 19.96 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).
Max Power: 155 bhp at 9500 RPM
Price: 11.8 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi)
Benelli is one of the oldest sports bike manufacturers in the world that has been going through a lot of troublesome ownerships in the past decade but has finally reached a stable state under the Chinese parent QiangJiang. They have a very small yet effective product portfolio comprising mostly of quirky looking naked bikes.
Their flagship model is the TNT 1130R. Now the TNT 1130R is a really unique naked bike. It was introduced to world way back in 2004 and has remained mostly unchanged since then but still very much manages to look attractive in 2017.
Secondly it runs on a big-bore triple cylinder configuration which is seen only on a very limited number of bikes today. That said it’s nothing short of a beast and is as raw and brutish as motorcycles can get.
There are zero electronic aids on the bike. No traction control, no ABS just a switch on the console to toggle from the full force of 150+ screaming horses and the more docile 130 bhp output. Rest is all man, motorcycle, throttle and levers.
Belonging to proud Italian heritage, the components are top of the line with suspension units from Marzochi coupled with Brembo calipers for the brakes. The TNT’s trellis frame is superbly communicative and gives full compliance when being tasked through corners. Benelli has also included an adjusting mechanism in the chassis which allows you to adjust the seat height.
Being a much older model, the designers haven’t really been able to achieve that perfect balance between comfort and performance. While it goes like nothing short of a ballistic missile, it’s not the most comfortable "naked bikes" to ride and neither is it very practical for street riding.
But hey it’s a legitimate Italian exotic that’s priced half of what it’s European competition is and even cheaper than the Japanese! So if you’re in for some serious shenanigans, the TNT1130R may actually end up planting a never ending grin on your face.
Hope you like this list of 5 Best Naked Bikes in India.
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