Why We Picked It:
Yes, we smashed together two naked bikes into one post! Both the Kawasaki Z400 and Z650 are considered some of the best nakeds on the market, and despite some pretty fierce looks, are quite easy to ride. Both are powered by bulletproof Kawasaki parallel twins, one with 399cc and 45 HP, the other with 649cc and 67 HP.
The reason these get the nod for the naked sector is that Kawasaki jams as much technology and rideability into the lower end of the Z family. Standard features are dual-zone ABS (something every beginner bike should have, honestly), an assist-and-slipper clutch to help you learn the perfect friction point without tearing your bike to pieces, a linear and controllable power curve, and supportive suspension that talks to you about what the road is doing, without trying to shatter your spine at the same time.
Both bikes are also ridiculously priced, in the best sense of the word. You are getting bikes that are quite able to be sold confidently at $7,000+ and $9,000+ each new, but the 2022 Z400 starts at $5199, and the 2022 Z650 is only $7,549! There is no knocking Kawasaki off the value-for-money throne, and if you buy used, you’ll find them even lower down on the pricing range.
However, if you are looking to keep the bike after you are through your beginner seasons, we highly recommend going with the Z650, which is why we placed it in the mid-range segment. The reasoning here is that after you learn how to ride, you still have a very capable motorcycle that will be fun to ride for many years.