2019 - 2021 Honda CB300R
Honda expanded its Neo-Sports Café lineup with the new-in-2019 CB300R that brings more of the same café-tastic vibe as with the CB1000R, just in an entry level-size package. This naked little pocket crotch-rocket — or “Sport Naked” as the factory has dubbed the style — looks to pull in younger riders with a user-friendly, 286 cc powerplant and lightweight design. After a race to the bottom of the usable displacement range for the sport and naked genres, Honda is refining its bottom-tier rides.
2019 - 2021 Honda CB650R
After a race to the upper displacement range and a subsequent search for the bottom usable cubeage, Honda revisited its midrange and spruced up its CB650R ahead of the 2019 model year. That’s right sports fans; the Neo Sport Café concept has gone to production under this new moniker, and it rolled into MY2019 with a handful of tweaks that brushed up the looks and carved off a little fat. The powerplant also took a beating from the buffhammer to turn out a 5-percent increase in power with changes to improve rideability and safety.
2021 - 2022 KTM 890 Duke
KTM juiced up its 790 Duke platform with a more powerful engine, beefed up electronics, and improved suspension for its 2021 release in the U.S. market. New graphics are available on this new platform that comes with a robust electronics suite to help you keep the thing dirty-side down. It rocks a price tag that’s a full grand less than the more-racetastic “R” variant for an ever so slightly more-relaxed type of rider.
2017 - 2022 Suzuki SV650
Suzuki continued with the evolution of the SV650 line with the all-new-in-2017 SV650. Built on the success of the original SV650 that covered 1999 through 2008, and its offspring, the SFV650 “Gladius,” the new ride carries the SV DNA into a new generation. With a revamped 645 cc engine, it has more horsepower than ever before.
2021 - 2022 Ducati Monster
Ducati rolled into 2021 with a pair of new additions to its famous Monster family. Built to be light, easy to control, and above all fun, the chassis is compact and sporty with ample Monster DNA on display, but its the twin-cylinder Testastretta that really steals the show. In spite of its low overall weight, this is decidedly not a machine for the uninitiated.
2022 Kawasaki Z900SE
Kawasaki expands its Z900 supernaked family with the new-for-’22 Z900 SE. New suspension hardware joins with new brake goodies to set this model apart from its siblings, though the engine and sugomi design philosophy are direct carryovers. The factory also claims better handling and improved performance over previous Z900 units.
2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS
The race to grab a slice of the burgeoning Millennial market is heating up, and Kawasaki enters the fray with its sizzlin’ hot, retro-style Z900RS. Built as a tribute of sorts to the legendary Z1 superbike, the new-in-2018 RS packs a punch that does its predecessor justice with 111 horsepower ready to go with a twist of the mechanical throttle control. Suspension components are thoroughly modern as well, and at a glance, it seems Kawi has nailed the balance between nostalgia and nouveau with this ride.
2020 - 2022 Yamaha MT-03
Yamaha expands its MT lineup with an all-new-in-2020, entry-level model, the MT-03. Previously available in other markets, it joins the MT-07, -09 and -10 within Yamaha’s hyper-naked range it touts as the “Dark Side of Japan.” The MT-03 toes the family line with minimalist appointments that waste not an ounce on superfluous details. Power delivery is both smooth and predictable to reinforce its rider-friendly nature. ABS protection provides an extra safety net to help make sure you keep it rubber-side down.
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000
Suzuki adds to its streetwise GSX-S saga with another chapter in its 2022 GSX-S1000. This is the base-model that serves as a platform for a handful of units, and is a good candidate as someone’s first road-use literbike with tractable power and baked-in safety features as part of its upgraded package.
2022 Yamaha XSR900
Yamaha expands its “Faster Sons” footprint in 2022 with the new XSR900 naked/roadster model. This sled has the distinction of relying on ’80s design inspiration for its looks, while under the hood, its performance chops are respectable with plenty of modern amenities and electronics to make it a thoroughly contemporary ride.
2021 - 2022 Yamaha MT-07
Yamaha beefs up its MT-07 ahead of 2021 with a handful of improvements and updates on the menu. This marks the first major update for the Master of Torque since it was renamed from the FZ tag it carried for so long in the U.S. market. Engine tuning, design updates, safety equipment adjustments, and ergonomic tweaks all made it onto this newest iteration of the hyper-naked MT-07.
2020 - 2022 Triumph Street Triple R
Triumph revised its Street Triple R ahead of MY2020 with a number of improvements across the board. A more extreme nose-down look adds to its racing credentials, and it all comes powered by a new three-banger that generates 11.3-percent more oomph than the superseded model. It’s also available in a “Low” configuration that drops the seat almost two inches closer to the deck.