Naked bikes combine performance with usability, with the result that they’re quickly becoming one of the most popular categories on the market. And with practically every manufacturer now giving at least a handful of options for naked motorcycles under $5,000 (typically 500cc and below), you can now secure yourself any one of these best cheapest naked bikes:
- KTM 200 Duke – $3,999
- Yamaha MT-03 –$4,599
- Honda CB300R ABS – $4,949
- BMW G 310 R – $4,995
- Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 – $4,999
- Kawasaki Z400 ABS – $4,999
Read on for features and more on the above bikes, but first, let’s define some boundaries on what qualifies as a naked bike!
What Is a Naked Bike?
A naked bike is any performance motorcycle with no full fairing but made a little more practical and comfortable. Not all bikes lacking fairing are worthwhile, though. Let’s be clear, by “naked bikes” in this post, we’re referring to a sportbike manufactured with few to no fairings.
Characteristics of Naked Motorcycles
A Short History of Naked Bikes
In the roaring 80s, the fashion of naked motorcycles (back then called street fighters) was born out of a rather unfortunate scenario. Racers would crash their street bikes and lack the money to replace the fairings, so in small DIY garages, they would remove most of the damaged fairings and reinstall the lights, making the bikes roadworthy.
This habit of up-cycling wrecked sports bikes and proudly showing their “battle” scars quickly became so popular that manufacturers started producing new motorcycles with the same rugged appearance.
Ducati became the first two-wheel maker to take the challenge as they made their debut with the 1993 937cc-powered Ducati Monster, arguably the first factory naked bike in the world. But it wasn’t until 2009 that the giant Italian motorcycle maker launched its first dedicated sports naked motorcycle, the formidable-looking 1,098-powered Streetfighter—a practical, comfortable, and agile machine.
While Ducati is not known for their low price point, here are cheaper but reliable streetfighters you can get today;
Our 5 Picks of the Best Cheapest Naked Bikes
We’ve spent time narrowing down the plethora of options to offer you this list of the best-naked bikes under $5,000, in increasing price order.
1. KTM 200 Duke – Starting at $3,999
Look no further than the KTM 200 Duke if you’re searching for a sleek, entry-level naked motorcycle with a lot of amenities packed into a tiny frame. KTM has certainly gone out all the stops in developing a bike that’s as exciting as it is practical, featuring LED lighting, adjustable WP front, and back suspension, full-color TFT dash, and dual-circuit Bosch ABS.
The 200 Duke BS6 also comes with the KTM My Ride smartphone app and will not break your bank. Not much for this light heavyweight that boosts enjoyment and is a first-class-honors where nimble handling is called upon, emulating its bigger brother, the corner rocket KTM Duke 390.
KTM 200 Duke Key Specifications:
|Weight:||330.7 lbs. (150 kgs)||Engine:||199.5cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 4 valve, DOHC, single|
|Power:||25 hp (18.6 kW) @ 10,000 rpm||Transmission:||6-speed|
|Torque:||19.5 Nm ( 14.4 lbs.-ft.) @ 8,000 rpm||Fuel Economy:||35 km/pl (82.3 mpg)|
|Top Speed:||142 km/h (88 mph)||Seat Height:||823mm (32.4 in)|
2. Yamaha MT-03 – Starting at $4,799
Forget about the quirky single-cylinder MT-03 from the early aughts; this twin-cylinder roadster first came out in 2016 as the naked version of Yamaha’s YZF-R3 A2 Sportster from the previous year.
The result is genuinely excellent, with a brilliant mix of light and beginner-friendly yet sharp and nimble handling; an extremely flexible yet rev-happy 321cc twin-cylinder motor; plenty of neat design features such as a stylish cluster; all packaged in the stylish, comfortable upright frame and built to Yamaha’s reliability.
Better still, the new hyper naked has been improved further with fresh new styling, revised forks, a new LCD dash, and tweaked rear shock.
Yamaha MT-03 Key Specifications:
|Weight:||357.1 lbs. (162 kgs)||Engine:||321cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke; 4 valves, DOHC|
|Power:||41.4 hp (30.9 kW) @ 10,750 rpm||Transmission:||6-speed|
|Torque:||29.6 Nm ( 21.8 lbs.-ft.) @ 9,000 RPM||Fuel Economy:||23.81 km/pl (56 mpg)|
|Top Speed:||180 km/h (112 mph)||Seat Height:||779mm (30.7 in)|
3. Honda CB300R ABS – Starting at $4,949
It’s another simple, straightforward single-cylinder naked that stands out to rival even the pricier Honda CB500F. The CB300R is a part of Honda’s new ‘Neo Café’ family, sharing a platform with beloved bikes like the CB125R and CB1000R. And let’s be honest, it’s damn hot to look at!
First released in 2018, the updated version has a decent 30.7 hp and feels light on curves thanks to the inverted forks and stable mono-shock rear suspension. It features neat styling with LED lighting all around and a smart display with reversed LCD. This BS6 bike enjoys all the perks of Honda ergonomics and reliability despite being made in India and not Japan.
Honda CB300R ABS Key Specifications:
|Weight:||321.9 lbs. (146 kgs)||Engine:||286cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Power:||30.7 hp (22.9 kW) @ 9,000 rpm||Transmission:||6-speed|
|Torque:||27.5 Nm (20.3 lbs.-ft.) @ 7,500 RPM||Fuel Economy:||30.2 km/pl (71 mpg)|
|Top Speed:||160 km/h (99 mph)||Seat Height:||801mm (31.5 in)|
4. BMW G 310 R – Starting at $4,995
The lightweight and maneuverability of this naked bike are its strongest selling points. The 313cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine is a thriller not only in the city streets but also when you’re escaping the city for short and long trips on winding roads.
The cylinder head is turned 180 degrees on the innovative single-cylinder engine, pushing the machine’s center of gravity towards the front wheel. As a result, the G 310 R is nimble and easy to maneuver around corners. Enjoy some brilliant German engineering in a powerful streetfighter for once!
BMW G 310 R Key Specifications:
|Weight:||362 lbs. (164 kgs)||Engine:||286cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Power:||34 hp (25.4 kW) @ 9,250 rpm||Transmission:||6-speed|
|Torque:||27.5 Nm (20.6 lbs.-ft.) @ 7,500 RPM||Fuel Economy:||30.3 km/pl (71 mpg)|
|Top Speed:||144 km/h (89 mph)||Seat Height:||785mm (30.9 in)|
5. Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 – Starting at $4,999
Other than the tongue twister name deprived of vowels, the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 is a product of KTM’s Swedish off-road maker buyout. KTM bought the company from BMW in 2013, and it’s, therefore, no surprise that the 401 is based on KTM’s Duke. Just the same, it’s wildly different from the tamed KTM Dukes, sporting a punchy KTM 401 motor capable of a staggering 44 hp.
This roadster is a gist of fun with the roomy upright riding position coupled with a slipper clutch, Bosch ABS, and radial brakes. At least the price point is less than the KTM Duke 390 but so are the aftersales.
Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Key Specifications:
|Weight:||335 lbs. (152 kgs)||Engine:||372cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled|
|Power:||44 hp (32.8 kW) @ 9,000 rpm||Transmission:||6-speed|
|Torque:||37 Nm (27.3 lbs.-ft.) @ 7,000 rpm||Fuel Economy:||25 km/pl (58.9 mpg)|
|Top Speed:||167 km/h (104 mph)||Seat Height:||835mm (32.9 in)|
6. Kawasaki Z400 ABS – Starting at $4,999
The green Japanese titan Kawi has been gradually increasing the size of its entry-level A2-class bikes in the last decade, first increasing the Ninja 250 to 300 in 2019, then 400 in 2018, before ‘undressing’ the bike the following year to create the un-faired Z400.
The Kawasaki Z400 ABS is a delightful mix of explosive power and incredible practicality, infused with a touch of elegance. This entry-level roadster, which is powered by a 399cc liquid-cooled four-stroke parallel-twin engine, makes a cool 45 hp and reaches high speeds of 111.8 mph. Not bad for a novice-friendly six-speeder that easily keeps up with the big boys.
Kawasaki Z400 ABS Key Specifications:
|Weight:||364 lbs. (165 kgs)||Engine:||399cc, 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled|
|Power:||45 hp (33.6 kW) @ 10,000 rpm||Transmission:||6-speed|
|Torque:||38 Nm (28 lbs.-ft.) @ 8,000 rpm||Fuel Economy:||26 km/pl (61.2 mpg)|
|Top Speed:||180 km/h (111.8 mph)||Seat Height:||7 / 25mm (30.9 in)|
Concluding Thoughts on the Best Cheapest Naked Bikes
We are living in a new era where less is more. If you fancy riding a beautiful rugged bike and don’t mind stirring a little more wind turbulence, then you might already have an eye for a naked motorcycle.
These 6 cheapest small-displacement naked bikes are proof that you don’t need lots of cubes to have lots of fun. But if your wallet can’t cough up the necessary funds for a brand-new naked bike, you can also consider a second-hand two-wheeler. Remember, all bikes from our list have older predecessors that will be much gentler on your wallet and still offer you a very similar experience.
It’s worth doing a bit more research if a particular model catches your eye.
About the author: Michael Parrotte was the Vice President of AGV Helmets America, and a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, Sparx Helmets. In addition, he is the founder and owner of AGV Sports Group.