Naked bikes hold a special place simply because they are practical as a daily whilst compromising very little in terms of performance.
Lately the huge variety of naked available can have many people confused about making the right choice.
Look no further as we try and break it down and make it simpler.
Taking the best naked that various manufacturers offer currently, we have listed out the contenders.
- Honda Hornet 2.0: With a bigger displacement from its predecessor, the Hornet 2.0 gains some power and torque and feels user friendly but the bike does not feel particularly exciting to ride and rather lack lusture. There are no issues with its handling and the build quality and refinement is typical top notch Honda however the large price tag the bike carries is just not justified with the lack of a connected feel or a wow factor.
- Pulsar NS200 FI ABS: The NS 200 offers plenty of performance but is showing its age as it is without any significant improvements mechanically or in design for a long time. Bajaj has equipped the NS200 with a dual-channel ABS along with 33mm USD front forks for 2023. Even the previously used ByBre braking system has been replaced by Grimeca. The front end gets a larger 300mm disc instead of the 260mm unit. The engine pulls cleanly and has power across its rev range, however it lacks a lot of modern features that the other bikes on the list are equipped with.
- TVS Apache RTR 200 4V RTFI BS6: The TVS Apache 200 4V with the recent updates including the SHOWA suspension, adjustable levers, slipper clutch and riding modes has made itself a lot more tempting. The engine has lots of low-mid range and the bike handles well. Plus, we have to say that it is one of the best sounding machines in this list. Sadly, misses a 6th gear for the highways and is one of the least refined machine on the list.
- Yamaha MT15 BS6: The MT15 with its styling borrowed from the bigger MT09 looks unique and awesome. At first glance it seems quite tiny and petite. Not to be fooled by its looks though, the liquid cooled 155 cc engine is quite powerful for its size and has an excellent mid-top end. And because the kerb weight is lower compared to others the bike is quick and effortless at changing directions, making it a fun motorcycle. But we cannot wait for for the updated version with the die-cast swingarm and the upside down forks from the R15.
- Suzuki Gixxer 250: The Suzuki Gixxer is such an understated bike but it has a lot to offer. The engine is silky smooth with noticeable vibtrations only at higher RPMs. It is also unique as the cooling is taken by Suzuki’s patented oil cooling technology. The gearbox too is well engineered providing slick, precise shifting. The beefy tank gives it a muscular look and presence. The Gixxer’s chassis is very well balanced and the bike handles sweetly. The braking on the motorcycle could be improved to give a bit more bite and feeling.
- KTM Duke 250: The KTM Duke 250 proudly carries the “ready to race” slogan proudly and is simply the best naked here simply because it offers the best of everything. Even though it is the most expensive bike among those on the list, it makes it up by having the best blend of performance and handling. All that performance comes from the host of features it offers. The WP upside down forks and radialy mounted brake calipers offer supreme feel and confidence while the slipper clutch allows heavy downshifts to really push the bike. The 250 cc engine which produces a healthy 30 PS of power is rev happy and very engaging. Needless to say that it looks smashing with its aggressive and sharp styling. The ergonomics is towards the aggressive side but not so much as to create discomfort while riding for longer periods.