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Should You Buy a Faired Bike or a Naked Bike?

Should You Buy a Faired Bike or a Naked Bike?

One of the major arguments in the motorcycle world is whether faired or naked bikes are better. Answering this question requires comparing their purposes, performances, ergonomics, and looks as faired and naked motorcycles differ in handling, steering, and comfort. Most naked bikes are counterparts or naked versions of fully-faired sports bikes. Naked bikes are often powered by engines installed on sports bikes. However, the lack of fairings plays a key role in disrupting the aerodynamics and attitude of a motorcycle. If you are unsure whether to buy a faired or naked bike, this article will help you decide which of the two is the better option.

1. What is a Faired Bike?

What is a Faired Bike?

A faired bike has a protective covering/shell over its frame. Faired motorcycles are usually referred to as sports bikes since they are fitted with full-body coverings and suited for track racing. There are also half-faired motorcycles that cover the upper half and leave the lower half exposed. Faired bikes have an aerodynamic design to reduce air drag.

2. What is a Naked Bike?

What is a Naked Bike?

If you remove the fairings of a sports bike, it becomes a naked bike or a standard motorbike. A naked bike often comes with a similar engine and parts as its sports bike counterpart. The fairings are removed to make the vehicle more lightweight and agile. Not every motorcycle without fairings, such as a cruiser or café racer, is considered a naked bike.


3. Reasons to Buy a Faired Bike

3.1 Technologically Advanced

A faired/sports bike is technologically advanced and has several riders aids to ensure a fun riding experience. As they are designed for fast rides and track racing, they are fitted with several safety and ride-assist features. Modern faired bikes are built using carbon fiber fairings and are engineered to reduce air drag and avoid nose lifting.

3.2 Best Suited for Track Racing

If you are looking for a motorcycle to ride on race tracks, faired bikes are the best options as they offer powerful performance. The track-only faired/sports bikes are too fast and do not come with a headlight, license plate bracket, and turn signals, such as the Kawasaki Ninja H2R and the BMW HP4 Race.

3.3 Aesthetically Appealing

Faired bikes have better aesthetic appeal due to being fitted with aggressive-style fairings. If you do not like the bare engine and gearbox look of a naked bike, faired bikes are the better option.

3.4 More Powerful and Quick

More Powerful and Quick

Despite being heavier due to the fairings and additional features, faired bikes are more powerful and faster than naked bikes. The fairings on a sports bike help reduce air drag, resulting in more power and speed. Faired bikes are better suited for fast riding as they provide good wind protection. The rider has to sit forward in an aggressive riding position to avoid being battered by heavy winds. Despite being fitted with fairings, modern faired bikes are lightweight due to their fairings being made of fiberglass to ensure a better power-to-weight ratio.

3.5 More Secure

Faired bikes provide better wind protection due to being fitted with windshields. Being powerful and quick, most faired bikes come with modern safety features, including an ABS, traction control, engine maps, riding modes, electronic throttle control, lift mitigation system, and more. They have protective coverings and panels which keep the engine and internal parts protected from impacts and damage due to an accident.

4. Reasons to Buy a Naked Bike

4.1 Cool Look

Most naked bike parts are exposed, compact, balanced, and look cool. Naked bikes usually have broad shoulders, an appealing headlight design, and a taller height.

4.2 Good for Learning Motorcycle Mechanisms

If you need to learn how to operate a motorcycle, a naked bike is the best option. You have a good view of the internal parts and can easily access the inside of the engine.

4.3 Affordable and Beginner-Friendly

Naked bikes are a popular choice due to being budget-friendly, being more affordable than their sports bike counterparts. Naked bikes cost less due to having fewer features, removable body coverings, and basic instrumentation. The lower price tag also attracts beginners who want a lightweight motorcycle that is easy to handle.


4.4 Good Handling

Naked bikes have superior maneuverability and responsiveness than faired bikes due to being extremely lightweight. As per the laws of physics, a lighter motorbike is easier to handle and stop, and requires less effort to turn tight corners. Naked bikes also ensure an upright and comfortable back position, allowing better visibility and control.

4.5 Agility

Naked bikes are more agile and can accelerate faster than faired bikes due to being lightweight. The lightweight design provides a higher power-to-weight ratio, allowing the engine to propel the faired bike with less power output.

4.6 Low Maintenance

Naked bikes require less maintenance as they have fewer parts to take care of or need to be replaced. Also, in case of a crash, a faired bike will suffer more damage. If you ride a naked bike, you do not have to worry about the fairings and windscreen getting cracked or damaged. It is also easier to evaluate the condition of the motorcycle and engine and make necessary repairs since most of the parts are exposed and visible.

5. Reasons for Not Buying a Faired Bike

  • They are heavy and difficult to handle and control
  • They require an aggressive posture that can be uncomfortable
  • They are unsuitable for long-distance rides
  • Your back starts to hurt after an hour of riding
  • Due to being more powerful, they are not beginner-friendly
  • They are specifically designed for high speeds and are unsuitable for daily commutes
  • They are expensive
  • The repair costs are high
  • They are difficult to maintain
  • Fairings start to wear after a few years
  • Fairings are expensive to replace
  • They are not versatile motorcycles
  • Prone to more damage in case of an accident
  • You are less likely to find out about internal issues due to being covered
  • Not suited for two-up riding

6. Reasons for Not Buying a Naked Bike

  • Most naked bikes do not come with modern features
  • Difficult to ride on open roads and highways due to a lack of wind protection
  • They are agile but not as fast as a faired bike
  • Poor aerodynamics
  • Difficult to control at high speeds
  • They have limited styling options
  • Difficult to clean the tight spaces around the engine


7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

7.1 Which is Good For Beginners: Faired Bike Vs. Naked Bike?

Due to being lightweight, naked bikes are easier to handle, maneuver, and control, which makes them good for beginners. They are relatively more comfortable than faired bikes, ensuring an upright back which helps provide a better view of the front. Naked bikes are also cheaper and easier to maintain and repair.

7.2 Which is Better For Touring And Long-Distance Rides: Faired Bike Vs. Naked Bike?

Naked bikes are better for long-distance rides as they ensure a relatively more comfortable riding position than sports bikes. Sports bikes are designed for high-speed travel and provide an aggressive riding style, making them uncomfortable on longer rides. However, naked bikes are also not ideal for highway cruising and long-distance rides as they lack wind protection.

7.3 Which is Safer: Faired Bike Vs. Naked Bike?

Faired bikes are safer than naked bikes as they are equipped with several modern features and rider aids. They are fitted with a better braking system and rider controls to ensure safe and stable rides. Faired bike engines and other integral parts are also protected by the fairings.

7.4 Can You Fit a Fairing Kit Onto a Naked Bike?

Yes, fairing kits can be installed on a naked bike if you want to transform it into a faired/sports bike. However, it is not an ideal replacement for a faired/sports bike because the fairing kit does not fit like an original one and will rattle while riding at high speeds. If you want to install a fairing kit onto a naked bike, you should consult a professional mechanic and fabricator for this job.

8. Conclusion

If you are a novice rider or are looking for a versatile motorcycle suited for daily commutes, city travel, weekend rides, and motorcycle trips, you should buy a naked bike. Naked bikes are easy to handle, robust, and lightweight. They have a high power-to-weight ratio that helps make them more agile and helps them accelerate faster. They are also cheaper than sports bikes. Another advantage of buying a naked bike is that it is also cheaper to maintain and repair.

Modern sports bikes are expensive and are not an ideal option for beginners and intermediate riders due to their being incredibly powerful and fast. However, if you can maintain control at high speeds and love racing on tracks, sports bikes are the best option.

If you have a sports bike and love going on long rides, Viking Bags has specially designed luggage options, including saddlebags, tail bags, tank bags, and backpacks.

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