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Bike chooser: Leftfield middleweight nakeds

Published: 21 June 2013

Updated: 20 November 2014

This week's bike chooser brings to you the best budget naked middleweights that money can buy.


These bikes are great if you are looking for a fun bike on a budget and great for touring and commuting alike. They offer a good compromise between practicality and performance, plus are cheaper to insure than a sportsbike. Here are some of MCN’s favourites:


2006 Triumph Speed Four

Anyone remember Triumph’s first middleweight naked? Probably not, which is why the Speed Four is a bit of a hidden gem of the second hand world and can easily be snapped up around the £2000 mark.


Based around the ill-fated TT600, the Speed Four follows the same design path as most street fighters – take one sportsbike, remove its fairing and hey-presto, you have a naked bike. Unfortunately in the case of the Triumph the donor bike had a few issues…


The TT600 was never the best looking of bikes and when they created the Speed Four Triumph failed to make the naked bike look very appealing. The twin ‘rocket launcher’ air-scoops are comical while the choice of colour schemes also left something to be desired. And then there was the fuel-injection.


Although marginally better than that on the TT600, the sportsbike’s reputation for poor fuelling soon tarnished the Speed Four and it wasn’t long before the naked bike was dropped from Triumph’s range. A sad loss or a case of putting the bike out of its misery?


Get past the look and the slightly suspect injection system and the Speed Four is a great handling machine that can really party on twisty roads. The chassis is the same as the hugely underrated TT600, which means you get proper sportsbike handling in naked guise. The riding position is a touch cramped and the clip-on handlebars do nothing to aid comfort, however this is a bike that will leave you giggling as you rev the inline four engine and explore its surprisingly sporty side. It may not be the best looking of bikes, but what it lacks in style the Speed Four certainly makes up for in entertainment.




To insure a Speed Four, you will be looking at the following based on a fully comprehensive policy with 3 years NCB.


Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull -
£254.40 (£550 excess)

Rider 2, aged 35 from London -
£242.27 (£500 excess)

Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh -
£102.32 (£350 excess)



1998 Honda Hornet 600

The original Hornet 600 has a slightly irritatingly sized 16-inch front wheel, which limits tyre choice, however it’s still a brilliant weekend toy or city hack. The engine is a bit buzzy for long hauls but if you want an amusing and cheap naked the Honda is well worth considering.  Very reasonable on insurance too:


Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull -
£168.51 (£100 excess)

Rider 2, aged 35 from London -
£123.28 (£100 excess)

Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh -
£89 (£250 excess)


2006 Suzuki GSR600

For around £2,500 (or less if it is a bit tatty) you can get Suzuki’s mini-B-King. The GSR isn’t a bad bike but is let down by budget suspension and a gutless engine. Styling is a mute point – you will either love it or think it is horribly tacky – however prices are pretty low considering the age of the bike.


Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull -
£216.24 (£400 excess)

Rider 2, aged 35 from London -
£171.21 (£50 excess)

Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh -
£90.06 (£350 excess)


All quotes have been generated by and correct as of 7th June 2013.  Need to renew your insurance? Compare 43 brands in one place today and get a free mag just for getting a quote.


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