The best sports bikes on the market (2023)

Motorcyclists have always loved to chase speed and manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make that happen. In decades past, it was enough to simply attach a larger, more powerful engine to an existing chassis that could also be used for more mundane models.

However, when the Japanese came on the scene in the 1960s, horsepower became a key marketing tool and the big four gradually began building larger displacement engines with increasing horsepower. That was great thoughChassis technology did not keep pace with engine development.and some of the so-called “sport” bikes were accidents looking for a place to happen. That all changed in the 1980s with the advent of aluminum spars, which gave the frame substantial stiffness and allowed the suspension to do its job properly.

The choice of sports bikes is now more diverse than ever, and you don't have to limit yourself to Japanese bikes either: European manufacturers have gotten very involved. The irony here is that the market for high displacement sportbikes is shrinking along with other categories like naked and sportbikes.Adventure bikes conquer the top of the sales charts.

Related:Top 10 Yamaha Sportbikes of All Time


Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade

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Honda Fireblade with driver in the background.

The bike that started it all. When the FireBlade first came out, it had an 893cc inline-four engine, which was neither new nor surprising. However, the important thing was his low weight. The FireBlade was only 4 pounds heavier than Honda's own CBR600F2 model and the next lightest machine over 750cc was the Yamaha FZR1000, which was 76 pounds heavier. The FireBlade has undergone continuous development on both the engine and chassis, losing weight and gaining performance.

In 2020, the 'Blade received its latest chassis and engine overhaul to address criticism that it was left behind by the competition. The criticism was of course totally useless as very few riders could access 100% power so it would be a waste to have more but if the public thinks you need more than 200hp then everything else will be easy. Do not do it.hondait claims 214 hp, though real-world testing has put the figure at around 190. That said, the latest Fireblade is still one of the best sportbikes money can buy, and beyond that, it's performance and a ride through and through to flatter any rider.

Kawasaki ZX-10R

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A devastating range weapon with six WSBK titles

The evolution of Kawasaki's flagship sportbike mirrored the evolution of the Fireblade. The 899cc ZX-9R was released in 1994 and was in production until 2003, when the ZX-10R with a 998cc inline-four engine was introduced. Again, like the Fireblade, the ZX-10R was almost constantly evolving in chassis, engine, and electronics to the point where it was achieved.The 2022 engine makes 197 horsepower and the wet weight is 454 pounds.

The biggest showcase for sportbikes is the World Superbike Championship, and in recent years the title has been held by one man on a motorcycle: Jonathan Rea on the ZX-10R, who has won the title for six consecutive years since 2015. through 2020. The craftsmanship of the ZX-10R is incredible, but it's an extremely uncompromising sportbike, which means an extreme riding position and requires a high level of skill to get the most out of it.

Yamaha YZF-R1

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Yamaha learned the lessons of the Fireblade before building the R1

The YZF-R1 was launched in 1998 and made an immediate impact. The structure of the engine and transmission was made possible by stacking the driveshafts one on top of the other behind the cylinder block. This allowed Yamaha engineers to incorporate a longer swingarm which aided stability by keeping the wheelbase as short as possible and also allowed the engine to be placed within the frame to optimize weight distribution.

Over the years, as with all durable sportbikes, the R1's chassis and engine have been developed through a series of seven different generations over the years. Power went from 150 hp to 199 hp, while weight stayed pretty much the same: 437 pounds down to 439 pounds.

Related:10 Reasons Why The Yamaha YZF-R1 Is The Ultimate Supersport Bike

Suzuki GSX-R1000

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The simplest of all sports bikes: but the best?

Of all current generation liter Japanese sports bikesuna Suzuki GSX-R1000it's changed the least since its inception in 2001. That's not to say it hasn't been updated, but the current generation has the least amount of electronic sophistication of any Japanese sportbike. It's also the sportbike that requires the highest level of skill of all the liter sportbikes to get the most out of it, and has a reputation for being treacherous to the limit.

Suzuki was no stranger to large-capacity sportbikes. The GXS-R1100 model appeared in 1986 and was around until 1998 when it was truly eclipsed by the new generation of sportbikes from Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha. Suzuki has always had a reputation for bulletproof engineering and the Gixxer, as it's informally known, is no different. The 2001 GSX-R1000 engine made 160 hp and the current generation engine makes 199 hp.


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BMW immediately raised the sportbike game

Well, no one saw it coming! After decades of building excellent but rather understated and expensive touring bikes and certainly brilliant adventure bikes, BMW turned its reputation around and released the S 1000 RR sportbike. What's even more amazing is that it's been brilliant from the start: no growing pains, no questionable design directions, just an incredible powerplant in a top-of-the-line chassis, and technology never seen before in a motorcycle until this point.

The engine produced 199hp, which translates to 179.2hp in the rear, making it the most powerful bike in its class. It also featured ABS and dynamic traction control, a first in its class. Another new feature was the option to set up a quick trade. BMW originally built 1,000 examples of the S 1000 RR in 2009 to qualify for world Superbike races, and went into series production a year later. As with all the bikes on this list, development has never stopped andthe current S 1000 RR is significantly lighter than the first generationexcept to be stronger.

Ducati Panigale V2

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The Ducati Panigale V2 continues the love affair with the V-Twin

Ducati built its reputation on both the road and track with V-twin sportbikes, from the 851 to the 888, through the 916, 996, 998, 999 and 1098. Later the Panigale, 1199 and 1299 models were added. So Ducati took the sportbike concept to a new level with the Panigale V4, featuring an engine that was physically smaller than the V-twin it replaced, pulling out over 200hp and even more than the homologation version of 998cc. But Ducati hadn't entirely abandoned the V-twin engine on which its fortune was built, and in 2020 the Panigale V2 was released to replace the 959 Panigale, which ran concurrently with the 1299 Panigale.

Simply put, the V2 lets you go faster for longer with less effort than the V4 model. It's the old case of less is more. It has a heady combination of power and handling that is so accessible to any rider.153 hp is just the right amount of power for the chassis, and you'll have nothing but a big smile on your face wherever you ride it.

Ducati Panigale V4S

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Ducati Panigale V4: incredibly fast and complex

A true technical feat and an explosive performance. The Panigale V4 excels in all areas of motorcycling. For the first time, mimicking the sport was a case of life because while Ducati race bikes have always been V-twins, MotoGP bikes have been V4s since the early 2000s.The 1103 cm3 Panigale V4 engine develops 210 HPThat should be enough....

The counter-rotating crankshaft, extreme electronics, and aero ripples in the front of the fairing combat front-wheel lift when accelerating out of turns, but this is still a bike for the experienced rider. The Panigale V4 is a no-compromise sportbike built no matter what the cost. It is exquisitely built, with first-class workmanship throughout: like many Ducats, it is a work of art that looks just as beautiful from a standing position as it does from the pilot's seat.

Aprilia RSV4 Cloth 1100

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Poorly disguised MotoGP rider

The Italian stranger. The Aprilia has always played second fiddle to Ducati in the public eye, but that doesn't mean the RSV4 isn't just as brilliant as the Panigale V4. In fact, the RSV4 is a MotoGP bike in disguise, with even more power than the Ducati Panigale V4 - 214 hp - and chassis features taken directly from the RS GP MotoGP bike. It also feels like it was designed for taller riders, as the riding position is surprisingly roomy.

The chassis dynamics are out of this world, delivering epic handling, mountains of grip and stopping power, all wrapped up in a forgiving, even luxurious ride. But performance is what the RSV4 is all about, and there's so much of it and it's so affordable that you're going to have to play your best game if you want to get anywhere near 50% performance. More than any other bike on this list, this is a bike for experts, but if you have the skill, the rewards are immense.

Related:See why the Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory is one of the most popular superbikes today.

Honda CBR600RR

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Small but mighty - get one while you can

At one point, the 600cc class of sports bikes flourished, with models from the Japanese Big Four selling in large numbers. However, manufacturers slowly stopped development of their models until many of them disappeared from the European market because they did not meet increasingly stringent exhaust gas regulations.

While liter superbikes have all the power and more than you could ever need, a well tuned 600cc sports bike has incredible handling and, in the right hands, can outperform a liter bike. Yes, the small body dimensions will be a hindrance for many taller riders, but if you are the right size,A CBR600RR gives you all the thrills you could want.

yamaha r7

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small but nice

The Yamaha R7 simply shows Yamaha's changing priorities. Gone is the old R6, at least in road-going form: it's still only available as a track model, and now comes the R7, powered by the company's CP2 parallel-twin engine, as seen in the MT-07. 106hp might seem a bit disappointing from this company, but the rest of the bike makes up for it, being a full-race homologation model.

MotoAmerica Racing recognized the lack of twin-cylinder racing and created the Super Twins category. Yamaha decided that a twin-cylinder R7 sportbike would fit perfectly into this category, so they created the R7 to meet homologation requirements. The R7 is lightweight, sleek, aerodynamic, with premium suspension and braking components, making it even more agile than the old R6, with world-leading levels of grip and chassis dynamics.

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