There was a time when all bikes were "naked" bikes. Fairings were typically added by the owner to suit his purposes. Sport fairings as standard equipment have only been around for about twenty-five years, long enough, I guess, to make the naked bike seem a departure from the norm.
Motorcycle fairings have two primary functions, rider protection and aerodynamics. On a racing motorcycle, aerodynamics and top speed are paramount. On a touring motorcycle, rider protection and comfort are most important.
A naked bike sacrifices the benefits of a fairing in exchange for lighter weight and convenience. A naked bike is more of a runabout, suited better to shorter trips at more moderate speeds. The disadvantages are that top speed is limited by the poor aerodynamics relative to a faired sport bike with similar power, and the rider is subject to more discomfort and fatigue in sustained highway travel.
Naked bikes have the potential to be more comfortable than sport bikes because they tend to have more neutral, upright riding positions which are naturally more comfortable than the sport bike crouch. But motorcycle comfort and ergonomics is a complex subject; it is difficult to generalize to say that naked bikes are more comfortable.
· 9 years ago