Standard and Naked Motorcycles
Standard motorcycles are the widest produced motorcycle style. Browse our standard motorcycle reviews and learn more about this popular motorcycle style.
Standard motorcycles are the oldest motorcycle style that manufacturers have been producing. A standard combines an upright seating position with the handlebar at a comfortable distance away from the rider. The foot controls fall right underneath or a little forward of the rider. Many modern standard motorcycles feature classic ’60s and ’70s styling with updates for comfort, technology, and performance. Other standards, like Husqvarna’s Vitpilen and Svartpilen, show a slightly different take on a modern standard motorcycle.
A cousin of the standard is the naked motorcycle, a completely modern take where form meets function. The smaller-displacement standard motorcycles are considered by most to be the best beginner motorcycle; Suzuki’s SV650, KTM’s 390 Duke, and Ducati’s Scrambler score high marks in this category. If performance is more of your style, production streetfighters save you the hassle of stripping a sportbike. Popular bikes in the streetfighter style include Ducati’s Streetfighter, KTM’s Duke lineup, Suzuki’s GSX-S lineup, the Aprilia Tuono, and the Honda CB1000R.
A spec sheet from a manufacturer is never enough. Standard motorcycles, whether performance-oriented or off-road focused, go through the same stringent tests from our editors. First ride reviews give us a broad picture of what to expect from that model. When we finally get our hands on the bike, we ride it, dyno it, commute on it, shoot videos about it, and drill down into what makes that motorcycle worth buying. Our standard motorcycle reviews provide you with the information to find the right motorcycle for you.
Combining styling and safety, standard motorcycle gear focuses on classic design elements, while incorporating modern safety pieces like CE-certified armor. Modern standard helmets feature better air flow, as well as more protection in the case of an accident.
Aftermarket segments fuel the motorcycle industry, and that is true with standard motorcycle accessories and customization options. The standard motorcycle has so much inherent versatility that it is easily customized into a scrambler, tourer, bobber, or cafe racer. A couple of bolt-on modifications can completely change the look, feel, and sound of your standard motorcycle.
The best standard motorcycle is the one you own and ride. When finding the best standard motorcycle, or any motorcycle, there are some things to take into consideration. What will you be using it for? Are you expecting the bike to handle all kinds of terrain, or are you focusing on asphalt and highways? Do you want a standard motorcycle for a beginner, or are you an experienced rider? What do you want the bike to look like? These are just some of the questions to start out with before you make your decision.
The term standard motorcycle has come to mean any kind of motorcycle made with a more upright seating position. Whether it has clip-ons, or handlebars, the bike is probably a standard. Scramblers, streetfighters, cafe racers, naked bikes, they all fall under this large umbrella, but provide such a different riding experience from each other.
The largest motorcycle manufacturers understand the importance of this segment, and still continue to produce award-winning standard and naked bikes. Ducati has its Monster and Scrambler models, with the Streetfighter being a sought-after model in the used space. Aprilia offers its famous V4 engine in its hypernaked Tuono 1100RR. Honda offers the CB-series with different engine displacements to suit new and experienced riders.
Suzuki offers standard and naked bikes in various trims and styles with its GSX-R-derivative GSX-S series, its more sport-touring focused Bandit, its naked streetbike SV650, and its small-displacement GW and TU lines. Another Japanese manufacturer, Kawasaki, has its Z-series, featuring some quick naked bikes and including the minimoto Z125 Pro. Yamaha has its hypernaked MT-series featuring a crossplane 1000cc engine in the MT-10 and its heritage-inspired XSR lineup. Harley-Davidson has its Roadster lineup to corner this market.
Other European manufacturers have seen the value of this market too. Triumph has been producing its Bonneville line since the late 1950s, and within the last 20 years has developed some of the best naked inline-3 bikes, the Street Triple and Speed Triple. To the east of the UK, BMW has its R nineT platform and its S1000R. Husqvarna has its retro-inspired Vitpilen and Svartpilen, while its parent company KTM has its popular Duke series.