Naked or faired for a first bike?

By MCN -

 27 May 2009 15:46

MCN's problem-solving community has the answers to most biking queries you could imagine. Here, they help a newbie with new bike choice...

Ziqnzoq: I passed my test last week and am now thinking about my first big bike. The question I have is whether to go naked or faired? I prefer the naked look of Street Triples, Bandits and Hornets, but wondered if I'd be better with some sort of wind protection as a new rider. I learnt on a Honda
XR125 and did get blown about a bit but wasn't sure if this was down to the lack of fairing or the small stature of the bike.

Jaffa90: At first I suggest you go naked, because believe it or not, when you ride a faired bike you are going faster than you think and that could leave you filling your pants. A Bandit 650 sounds OK. I like four-cylinder bikes because the engines are more balanced and can cope better with the stricter emissions. That’s why most of them are water-cooled and fuel-injected (latest ones). I don’t recommend the last of the carbed models because they are fuel-starved. Don’t forget the speed of your bike is in your right hand and everybody is out to kill you.

Norris: I agree with Jaffa90. I had a test ride recently on a Honda CB1000R, and at 65mph you could really feel the wind pressure on the chest, whereas on the faired bikes you don't really notice the speed.

Taffmahoney: Personally I prefer a faired bike. The extra wind protection is worth the extra investment but it is down to personal preference. Why not take both types out for a test ride and see what fits? I've had both naked and faired and the faired bike is much better, more comfortable and still as enjoyable.

Tsqv: I’d recommend a Yamaha Fazer 600, pretty cheap to get hold of, rides extremely well and you have a bikini fairing so you don’t have to wear a neck brace if you go above 60mph. Compared to the Bandit it’s miles ahead in the overall biking experience. Then again, it depends what you will be doing on the bike – if you are commuting all year round definitely get a faired one, if it’s for weekend fun and country roads then it doesn‚t matter as much whether you get a faired bike or not.

Carlosoul: I think you might have been blown about due to it being a 125 and it not weighing much. I started on a Honda 125 Varadero which got blown about a bit even though it’s a big 125, then I got a Hornet which was great. I now have a CB1000R and it sticks to the road. If you go up over 70mph you start to notice the wind, though.

Bak2biking: On the basis that you have just passed your test, the last thing you want to do is go racing around on a fast bike if you don’t feel ready...
they can tempt even the most conservative of riders and it only takes one bad judgement. I have had racers and love them, but you just can’t go blasting round the roads like you once could – there are cameras everywhere, and for me that makes them impractical. I have just purchased a Speed Triple and have to say it’s superb fun to ride. It’s got serious grunt when you want it and the power to lift the front with ease. For me pointing the bike to the sky (in safe places) is more fun than 100+ speeds, plus the riding position of the triple adds to the secure riding feel. If you do want high speeds, you’re better off buying a decent racer to take to track days.

Ziqnzoq: Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm leaning towards the Suzuki SV650 as I'll need to restrict it and I believe V-twins are the best engines to restrict in terms of not losing too much acceleration. I'll take your advice and sort some test rides and let you know what I eventually buy.

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