This week's bike chooser brings you the best naked bikes for under £2000.
1997 Suzuki TL1000S
Suzuki’s infamous TL1000S entered onto the scene (as well a few hedges) in 1997 and instantly gained a cult following due to its bad boy reputation and handling issues. Using a revolutionary new style of rear suspension, the TL gained notoriety for its tendency to get a bit slap-happy on uneven roads.
Suzuki responded and issued a recall to fit a steering damper as standard, however the damage was done and the TL only lasted four years before it was killed off in 2001. However this is only half the story…
The TL’s infamy made it an unlikely star with riders looking for something different. The TL was seen as a troublemaker and a machine that commanded respect, something that makes it hugely popular and actually quite sought after in the second hand market today. And with good reason.
To ride the TL isn’t half and bad as its reputation suggests. The V-twin engine is an absolute monster with a pretty fierce power delivery and poor fuel injection, however it is no more aggressive than the likes of a Ducati Streetfighter or Aprilia Tuono.
It was just that in 1997 no one was expecting such a beast to arrive from Japan! But what of the handling?
Let’s not beat around the bush, the rotary damper isn’t very good, giving the TL a very unpredictable rear end when pushed hard. However it isn’t all bad news.
There are numerous modifications that convert the TL to a more ‘normal’ shock absorber set-up and most bikes on the second hand market have already had this done.
If you are after a thrilling naked bike with a gutsy V-twin and a mean reputation the TL1000S is the way forward.
The Suzuki’s build quality is pretty terrible (frame cracking is a known problem!) but sort the suspension, give it some new head bearings and you have a brilliant bike that demands respect everywhere it goes.
To insure a TL1000S, you will be looking at the following based on a fully comprehensive policy with 3 years NCB.
Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull - £193.98 (£125 excess)
Rider 2, aged 35 from London - £148.43 (£125 excess)
Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh - £105.00 (£350 excess)
1996 Suzuki Bandit 1200
Big, heavy and a touch dated in its looks, the Bandit 1200 is a brilliant mile-munching naked with a motor that never failed to impress.
The 1157cc air-cooled motor is a power house of torque and there are loads of Bandit specialists out there who can help you sort its dodgy suspension and give it a fresh look with aftermarket bolt-ons.
To insure a Bandit 1200, you will be looking at the following based on a fully comprehensive policy with 3 years NCB.
Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull - £146.68 (£350 excess)
Rider 2, aged 35 from London - £123.35 (£100 excess)
Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh - £87.87 (£350 excess)
1999 Honda X11
This naked Blackbird was only made from 1999 to 2002 and is a bike many have forgotten even existed. Hampered by its look, the X11 is a brilliant machine that is one of the hidden gems of the second hand world.
Getting one for £2,000 is tricky, but add £500 to your budget (the bike is worth it) and you are laughing.
If you are looking to insure an X11, you are roughly looking at the following based on a fully comprehensive policy with 3 years NCB:
Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull - £178.12 (£550 excess)
Rider 2, aged 35 from London - £139.02 (£125 excess)
Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh - £92.54 (£350 excess)
All quotes correct as of 03/07/13 on MCNcompare.com. Compare prices from 43 leading insurance companies and if you purchase a policy before 31/8/13, you will get a free £10 eVoucher to spend on helmets and clothing at Sportsbikeshop.co.uk