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Top 5 naked roadsters for under £3k

By James Keen -

First rides & tests

 05 February 2009 14:18

A budget naked middleweight is the swiss army knife of bikes. If you need one motorcycle capable of commuting, touring and weekend scratching then they offer a good compromise between practicality and performance. Here's 5 of the sweetest. The best part is that you can pick one up in MCN Bikes For Sale and still have change from £3k.

If you're just starting out, budget nakeds are easy to ride and unintimidating, yet offer enough performance and fun-factor to keep you entertained when your confidence grows. If you need a day-to-day workhorse and commuter, they're comfortable and their wide bars and flexible engines make them good in town.

If you're looking for a fun bike on a budget, these bikes are cheaper to insure than a sportsbike, don't have expensive plastics that'll damage in a spill and are still capable of a good turn of speed when ridden well. There's a reason why the experienced instructors with Rapid Training all use Honda Hornets at their trackday events.

As Gary from Rapid Training says, "They are just so much fun to ride, they lose out on the straights, but when ridden in their own company they make you laugh out loud. For a track bike don't leap towards some super litre handful that will have your butt tweaking in terror when you accelerate out of corners, switch to Hornet power and grin stupidly like us!".

Here's 5 budget naked roadsters that will bring a smile to your face, whether you're riding them or checking your bank balance:

 

Triumph Speed Four

Triumph Speed Four (2002-2006)
The Speed Four is essentially a Triumph TT600 with the fairing ripped off and it looks it - in a good way. Handling is fantastic, helped by fully-adjustable suspension. The brakes are great and the clip-ons give the bike a modern cafe racer look. It wasn't built as a budget machine so spec is above others in it's current price range.

 

Honda Hornet

Honda Hornet (1998-2006)
The humble Hornet is one of those bikes that's more than the sum of its parts. Chassis and suspension are basic but work well with the 85bhp carb-fed CBR engine to create an easy to ride bike that's so fun to thrash. Dual seat is great for pillions too, but avoid pre-2000 bikes if you can as these have a smaller 16inch front wheel and don't handle as well.

 

Suzuki SV650

Suzuki SV650 (1999-2008)
Commute, tour or even take to the track, the SV650 can do it all. It's smooth v-twin engine pulls well from low-down which is useful everywhere from city centres to twisty back roads. It needs to be looked after if ridden though winter, but the much-loved SV650 is a bargain used, especially as some claim the earlier rounder version is slightly more fun.

 

Kawasaki Z750

Kawasaki Z750 (2003-2006)
'There's no replacement for displacement'. The Z750 is the powerhouse in this class with 100bhp on tap. Aggressive styling matches the bike's character. The Z750 scored poorly on handling in the latest RiDER Power survey, but inexpensive tweaks like new fork springs and a shock rebuild can solve it, so budget for this when buying.

 

Ducati M620 Monster

Ducati M620 Monster (2001-2006)
The tiny M620 Monster is a great option for shorties and one of the cheapest ways into the Ducati Owners Club. The M600 Monster can be found cheaper but the M620 boasts 9bhp more. Brembo brakes work very well and the styling is timeless, but ground clearance is an issue.

 

If you're thinking of buying one of the above models from MCN Bikes For Sale, get insurance quotes from a number of motorcycle insurance providers in one place with MCN Compare.