Tag Archives: Supersport

10 Motorcycles Perfect For Beginners

“A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step,” is quite a famous saying. Considering the appropriate learning curve of a new rider, we say that getting a motorcycle is probably around step 3, after step 1, taking a training course, and step 2, getting all your personal protective equipment. But, you may be asking, what motorcycle should I get?

This is one of the most asked questions in the world of new riders, by a large margin. The short answer is “Whatever you want,” but that leaves out a few very important factors that a new rider should be aware of. A supersport is not a great first bike. A 1,700 cc v-twin muscle cruiser is not a friendly bike to learn on. Even a 900cc motorcycle can be bad to learn on, especially if it’s meant to be a dual-sport adventure bike.

It is for this reason that we have put together a list of the 10 best motorcycles for beginners, broken down by category. All of the bikes listed below are perfect places to start your motorcycling career, with friendly handling characteristics, approachable power, and forgiving frames and suspension so you can learn the ins and outs of daily riding!

Honda Rebel Range (300, 500)

2021 Honda Rebel 500

Not one, but two, sport cruisers! While the 2021 Honda Rebel range welcomed the 1100 this year, the 300 and 500 series of the Rebel are still what would be considered the better beginner bikes. This is because the new 1100 uses the same engine that is in the 2021 Africa Twin, only slightly detuned, but well above what would be considered beginner-friendly power.

What makes the Honda Rebel one of the best bikes to start with if you’re wanting a cruiser is its simplicity. You don’t have 17 different riding modes to fiddle around with, the engine and transmission are proven, strong, reliable units, and the riding position (if you’re 5’11” or shorter) is very comfortable. It will also lean well into corners, has extremely forgiving suspension, and has enough get up and go to be exciting, but not dangerous.

Being a Honda, it is also very wallet-friendly. If you want to buy new, you will come in well under $7,000 for a 500, and buying used, it is fairly common to find either model in excellent condition for $4,000 or less.

Kawasaki Z400 & Z650

2021 Kawasaki Z650

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 2021 Z400 starts at $5000, and the 2021 Z650 is only $7,800! 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.

Suzuki SV650A

2021 Suzuki SV650A

Anyone that knows anything about starter bikes, or has read any recommended beginner bike list on pretty much any website, ever, was expecting this one. Ever since emerging in 1999, the Suzuki SV650, including the Gladius years, has been the absolute darling of the new rider segment.

Is it the 645cc v-twin that puts out 75 HP but has a smooth, easy to control, and linear torque curve? Is it the bulletproof transmission that works without issue even if you physically throw it off a cliff? Is it the suspension that from day one was adjusted and engineered by Suzuki’s racing division, to give a supple ride with agility? In a word: Yes.

The SV650 is the kind of bike that is all things to all people. In stock trim, it is a sports naked. If you want to get a bit sportier, there is the SV650X, a cafe-racer styled naked. There is the SV650A, a partially faired sportbike with a small windscreen. Whatever path you choose, the V-twin is invincible with proper maintenance, the bike will last you well beyond your beginner seasons, and it’s also really inexpensive to maintain as well, with an extensive first- and third-party parts network that is nigh-on global in reach.

Kawasaki KLX250/KLX300

2021 Kawasaki KLX300

While 2021 has seen the removal of the venerable KLX250, to be replaced with the KLX300, both are still amazingly competent beginner dual-sport motorcycles. With the newer KLX300 being powered by a  292cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single that thumps out just about 33 HP, it is more than powerful enough to commute on most city roads, yet will also happily tear up a gravel or dirt trail on the weekends.

Unlike its new 2021 KLX300 SuperMoto brother, the KLX300 and the older KLX250 are both tuned to have usable power at almost any revs and to be predictable and controllable in its delivery. While dual-sports are famous for having the ability to lift the front wheel when suddenly fed power, Kawasaki tames that with good torque, but not too much, at lower revs, only really coming into the full powerband once you’re actually moving.

That said, by being so lightweight at just over 300 lbs soaking wet with a cinder block tied to the seat, the bike is excellent for the beginner looking to feel what a bike can do in terms of handling and cornering. This little dual-sport loves to transition from upright to a lean with vigor. As well, if you do mess up riding this little beast, and need to use the shoulder or end up on a grassy bit, as it’s a dual-sport, apply your progressive braking technique while riding upright and you’ll come to a stop without dropping the bike.

Yamaha YZF-R3

2021 Yamaha YZF-R3

Being completely serious for a moment, the Yamaha YZF-R3, much like its similar R brethren over the years, is not a bike to be taken lightly. It is, for all intents and purposes, a mini-supersport, and can demonstrate within seconds of being in the saddle why it’s quite often the bike that many start out their track day careers with. This is not to say it is overly scary, just that it is less forgiving in terms of major mistakes than many of the other bikes on this list.

From a 320cc parallel-twin, Yamaha has managed, somehow, to get it to give up 50 HP, which is almost double what any other bike in the 300cc sports segment produces. Thankfully, the R3, at least in the modern era, comes with full dual-zone ABS. Just be aware that this is a lightweight, agile, and “can get you to illegal speeds” capable bike.

As well, if you are going to pursue riding supersports as your hobby, we highly recommend checking out our Best Full-Face Helmets For Under $500 list (our own sport riders highly recommend the Shoei RF1400 or Arai Regent-X if your budget can stretch) to get an appropriate helmet, and our other gear guides to find sport riding protection to keep you safe!

Suzuki DR-Z400S/DR-Z400SM

2021 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

Suzuki, much like how Kawasaki did with their Z bikes, splits their legendary dual-sport into two important categories. The first, the DR-Z400S, is one of the longest continually produced dual-sports on the market and has earned its status as a starter bike because it is just so damned friendly to ride. If you’re looking for a bit more of a hooligan as your first bike, the DR-Z400SM is the same basic shape as the dual-sport, but the different suspension, engine tuning, and wheels and tires turn it into a supermoto that is as comfortable commuting as it is sliding out its rear tire.

Suzuki’s near-mythical 398cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single thunders out 39 HP for both bikes, but does so across a wide rev range, although there is a mid-range point that can potentially catch riders out, especially those who over-rev and accidentally dump the clutch. However, that exact same mid-range powerpoint is what makes this the perfect beginner bike. What really counts on the commute is the power to pull yourself out of a developing situation, or out of harm’s way.

By giving you a bike with enough civility at low revs to practice around a parking lot, as well as with enough grunt to get you out of dangerous situations, both the dual-sport and supermoto versions of the DR-Z are more than enough to give you years upon years of enjoyment. Many intermediate and advanced riders will hang onto their DR-Z’s because they are just that much fun to ride.

Honda CB500X

2021 Honda CB500X

To be honest, for our adventure touring recommendation, it was so close between the Honda CB500X and the Suzuki V-Strom 650 that it was almost impossible to call. What got the Honda the nod is that it delivers is power just a tiny bit more smoothly, and is more accessible to more riders because of it being a tiny bit shorter in the seat. It also has a bulletproof version of the CB500 engine range of Honda bikes, a 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin with 50 HP and 32 lb-ft of torque.

A closeup of the Honda Activated 6G scooter headlight

Some adventure bikes, like those from KTM, are more geared towards getting off the asphalt and onto the dirty stuff for some fun. Others, like the CB500X, are more about being comfortable for long-distance road adventuring, without being cruisers. What makes this bike a great beginner adventure bike is the fact that it has all the get-up and go of a sportbike, the engine-sharing CBR500R, but a dead-set standard riding posture, with comfortable ergonomics and a great feel from all contact points.

The only area that ADV bikes, by their nature, have issues with is putting a foot down a stop. You might have to lean the bike a little to get the ball of your foot down properly for balance, with your right foot holding the rear brake to steady the bike, depending on how long your inseam is. Other than that, you get Honda reliability, a fun bike that can handle dirt roads around your area, and a city adventurer that can also do intercity riding without being pushed too hard.

Indian Scout Sixty

2021 Indian Scout Sixty

Despite the recommendation that American power cruisers are not great starter bikes, there is a segment of the new rider population that will not go with anything but an American cruiser. For those that are able to be mature enough to learn the ins and outs of the bike, the Indian Scout Sixty is not a bad place to start. And although it’s more of an introductory bike to Indian than a true beginner bike, approaching it with a light throttle hand and a big bucket of respect will get you on a “big burly cruiser” that is, once you’ve learned it, actually quite friendly.

While much smaller than its other Scout-model brethren, the Scout Sixty is nothing to be scoffed at. You are put low and back from the big 999cc liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin that rumbles out the soundtrack of the U.S. of freakin’ A. The v-twin gives you 78 HP and 65 lb-ft of torque, in a middleweight cruiser that weighs just north of 550 lbs.

If that seems like a lot of power, it is. This is why the light throttle hand and respect are needed. If you crank the throttle to full right away, you’ll more than likely break traction on the rear, and either end up flat on your ass, or, if moving, in a death wobble. Respect the throttle, use it progressively, and appreciate the huge torque curve, and you’ll have a motorcycle that will respect you back, giving you hours of comfortable riding.

Harley-Davidson Iron 883

2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 883

Since we have to mention the other American brand, it only seems fitting to include the main American brand, at least according to Americans. The Iron 883 is your gateway to all things Harley-Davidson, by being one of the most pared-down, simplified riding experiences from the Milwaukee brand. You get an introductory level engine in the 883cc v-twin (dubbed the Evolution Engine) that gives you 50 HP and 54 lb-ft of torque.

Harley-Davidson, after many years, realized that all of their bikes were either full-on muscle cruisers, continental cruisers, or Sportsters with too much power for a real beginner to appreciate. This is what brought about the Iron 883, and by making it pretty much an engine with controls, mid-forward pegs, and a fat rear tire, you get all the classic Harley looks, but with an engine that won’t bite your head off.

The dragster-style handlebars and controls are positioned to give you a slightly forward-leaning posture, which gives you more control of the lean and control of the bike with your legs and upper body. It also has a very forgiving transmission, allowing for good, progressive clutch friction without burning out the clutch plates, and the first two gears are long, giving you more of the rev range to build up to cruise speed. And, best of all, if you want to buy one new, it’s pretty much the only Harley model you can get for under $10,000!

Honda CRF250L/CRF300L (and Rally models)

2021 Honda CRF300L

If a dual-sport is too “dirt bike looking,” and an adventure bike is a bit too talk, say hello to the middle ground. The CRF300L Rally, as well as its non-rally counterpart, and the previous generation CRF250L and CRF250L Rally, are all great “adventure-enduro” style dual-sport bikes. These are bikes that are aimed at the fan of the Dakar Rally, who also wants to be able to ride comfortably during the week and go plowing over sand dunes on the weekends.

The CRF300L Rally comes with a new, Euro5 compliant 286cc four-stroke single that gives a decent 27 HP and 19 lb-ft of torque. That may not sound like much, but remember, this bike, even with the big 21-inch front wheel, weighs a sneeze over 300 lbs. You’d be surprised at just how spritely it will get up and go from a stop, sometimes feeling more like a sport-tourer than a dual-sport enduro.

The Rally is the more premium of the CRF300L bikes, as it comes with a decent adventure windshield, handguards, a larger fuel tank than the base model, and rubber inserts for the engine mounts to reduce vibrations while commuting. The biggest difference between the CRF300L Rally and the Kawasaki KLX300 recommended earlier is that the Honda is much more aimed at distance endurance, while the KLX300 is more of a street-going trail bike. Both are excellent choices, but if we were to head out for a day of riding in the desert, we’d take the Honda.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

New Bike Alert: Track-Only KTM RC 8C Developed To Dominate

The 2022 KTM RC 8C has just been debuted to the world – and to say it’s landed with a bang is an understatement. 

KTM just dropped the supersport, lightweight racing prototype this morning amidst a flurry of excitement. 

A front view of the all-new track-only 2022 KTM RC 8C

The 140kg/309 lb. 2022 KTM RC 8C is a hand-built machine built specifically for the track grid. 

The 128 Hp, 889 cc LC8c, DOHC, 8 valve parallel twin (the same as in the KTM 890 DUKE R) provides all the punch necessary while still making an easy-to-maintain, high-torque production engine for the client.

A front-right view of the all-new track-only 2022 KTM RC 8C

KTM also used carbon, Kevlar-reinforced GRP bodywork inspired from the MotoGP™ RC16, which encases a very pretty 25CrMo4 steel tubular frame. 

We promised race-ready, so this also means the frame is augmented by a selection of WP Pro Components and fronted by a custom, 43 mm WP APEX PRO 7543 closed cartridge fork (put together in the same department that maintains suspension of the RC 16).

A back-right view of the all-new track-only 2022 KTM RC 8C

With zero hydraulic stroke limitation, you’re guaranteed fully customizable damping properties, and they’ve chucked in an equally adjustable WP APEX PRO 7746 shock with preload adjuster at the rear of the bike. 

The body panels and gas tank are both quick-release and sit on a light, aluminum pair of Dymag rims with Pirelli race slicks. 

The brakes are, of course, Brembo race-spec, with Stylema front brake calipers grabbing 290 mm fully floating brake disks and a two-piston caliper with a 230 mm fully floating disk for the hub. 

A view from above of the all-new track-only 2022 KTM RC 8C

The 2022 RC8C has a race dashboard (AIM MXS 1.2), a data logger that can be analyzed in AIM Race Studio, and a Brembo 19RCS CORSA CORTA radial master cylinder – a technical addition with many solutions taken straight from master cylinders used in MotoGP™, and one that lets the rider tailor the bite point exactly where it’s needed when it’s needed.

A front view of riders battling on the all-new track-only 2022 KTM RC 8C

Fancy getting inside racing tips from the likes of superstar racers Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio? Clients who purchase the 2022 RC 8C will also have access to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing test team at the Circuito de Jerez – with just 100 bikes made and only 25 customers allowed to the event, you’ve got a 25% chance of making it!

A front view of riders battling on the all-new track-only 2022 KTM RC 8C

Crazy for cocoa puffs? The RC 8C itself will dent pockets a bit at £30,999, plus extra for the ‘Race’ and ‘Trackday’ packages (tire warmers, stands, etc.), and an additional £2500 deposit through KTM’s online ordering system.

For what you’re getting, it’s worth it.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

University Team Tweens Tickle Our Fancy With eSuperbike ‘Delta-XE’

Motards. 

Hogs. 

Hoonigans.

Belly Shovers.

The moto culture is rich with a diversity of people from all walks of life, and it leans on some of the strongest industrial backs of the automobile world. Giants like Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha strive to provide improved alternatives to riders that still maintain respect for the tradition of how things have always been done. 

But the future of motorcycle culture requires an ever-flowing give-and-take of balance – and who better to push the bill than the newer generation? 

a group of university students that make up Electric Superbike Twente: A racing team dedicated to bringing energy efficiency to the track.

Enter Dutch Racing Team, Electric Superbike Twente (EST): a group of university students dedicated to creating sustainable electric superbikes with MotoGP track times. 

These kids aren’t playing when it comes to bringing energy-compliant superbikes to the track – and when you’re a student, the sky (and the parents’ wallet) is the limit.

Delta-XE, the new electric Superbike from Electric Superbike Twente

The youth have just revealed the completion of their fourth – yes, fourth – superbike, dubbed the Delta-XE.

If you’re looking for a sneak peek, check out the video reveal at the top of this article – and boy, is she juicy.

Delta-XE, the new electric Superbike from Electric Superbike Twente, with a rider testing out the specs

Unafraid to build from scratch and ever-adapting to the enclosing restrictions of the motorcycle industry, EST has provided this alternative beauty with a custom PMAC electric motor capable of punching the Delta-XE over 300km/h.

CYRIL NEVEU, winner of the 1979 first Motorbike Dakar Rally, on a Yamaha

Not only is the motor custom-made, but the battery’s power management system is also hand-tuned to allow the 576 battery cells – 150kw of power, or 200hp – to speak easily to the asphalt. 

According to a report from RideApart, the Delta-XE boasts 0-100 km/h in less than three seconds and 0-200km/h in nine seconds.

Lean, mean, and green. I like it.

A student from Electric Superbike Twente testing battery components for the new electric Superbike, dubbed the Delta-XE

Further steps for EST would involve entering their bike to events sanctioned by the Electric Road Racing Association. 

Looking forward to what this unorthodox – and entirely intriguing – team brings next to the table.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Wedding Bells Ring for WSB Championship as Eurosport and Dorna Sports Extend Partnership

Who doesn’t love a little competition?

I love the thrill of the chase as much as the next person, and the seasonal appearance of WorldSBK has always been a regular tradition for me – the past year in particular, with increased hours at home and less to do.

So when I heard of the new extended partnership between Doran Sports and Eurosport, I was more than a little excited.

According to a report from MCN, Doran Sports has just renewed its historical partnership with Eurosport. This will reinforce extended exclusive broadcasting of the World Superbike Championship until the end of the 2025 season. 

And with the WorldSBK season starting next weekend, we couldn’t be happier about it.

Racers Compete Against Each Other in World Superbike Race

Discovery’s leading multi-sport brand confirmed the partnership this week, along with a few additional details – namely, that they now have exclusivity in 32 territories, and that they will be broadcasting the World SBK alongside the WorldSSP300 and WorldSSP300 classes, continuing the tradition as the championship home in the UK and Ireland with rights also shared to Portugal, Spain, Germany, Austria, and 17 other countries. 

The championship will have Matt Roberts hosting the live coverage, with giants like Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and James Whitham to provide input 

Manuel Arroy, Managing Director at Dorna Sports

Quotes from MCN on the words of Manuel Arroy, Managing Director at Dorna Sports, read as follows:

“We are thrilled to renew and reinforce our historical partnership with Eurosport. This renewal will ensure that our championship will be available to the largest audience of fans across Europe through one of the biggest sports broadcasters. The competition promises to be exceptional with fresh changes to the rules and Dorna is very excited to be bringing a new look WorldSBK to millions of people via Eurosport’s established audience.”

“Eurosport’s dedicated coverage to the Championship combined with the track action will make for more content hours for fans to enjoy a truly immersive WorldSBK experience, and another memorable era of the Championship for everyone involved.”

Eurosport will be available to viewers digitally in available markets via discovery+, as well as the Eurosports app and on the Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 channels.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The 10 Best Sportbikes Ever Made

Putting together a list of the best sportbikes ever made is no easy feat. By their nature, sportbikes are about pushing the boundaries and stepping out of comfort zones, and every rider has different limits. What works for one rider won’t work for another. And that’s what makes sportbikes so great. There is no one-size-fits-all.

There’s absolutely no way to please everyone with a list that’s limited to 10 entries. In fact, selecting 10 that I’m happy with is difficult enough! There are more than 10 manufacturers that should all have an entry, let alone individual models.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at what I’ve come up with. Important, ground-breaking, and iconic models that fully deserve to be included may not be, and some that have been included might not meet your expectations. But such is life.

Without further ado, let’s take a look.

1969 Honda CB750

1969 Honda CB750 Four Side View

Photo Credit: motorcyclespecs.co.za

To tell the story of the best sportbikes ever made, we have to go back to their origin: the 1969 Honda CB750. Though it’s not a sportbike by modern definition, the CB750 was the world’s first superbike and without it, we would not be where we are today, and we certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed the birth of the race-replica sportbike era in the 80s.

The Honda CB750 was ground-breaking when it first rolled onto the scene in 1960. Using a 736cc four-cylinder engine that produced 68 horsepower and 44 lb-ft of torque, the CB750 was able to accelerate to top speeds of up to 125 mph. It ushered in a new breed of sports performance motorcycles that put British and European models to shame.

And it came with an electric start, flashing turn signals, and disc brake too. No fancy ABS, traction control, or aerodynamic fairings—just pure unadulterated joy. It truly was the first superbike.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Side View

Photo Credit: totalmotorcycle.com

The 70s saw standard motorcycles slowly evolve into faired sports machines, but real race-replicas didn’t really arrive until the 80s. Suzuki had a number of models worthy of this list from that era, including the not-for-USA RG500 Gamma, but there’s one motorcycle that must be mentioned: the 1986 GSX-R750.

While it wasn’t the first GSX-R, since Japan had its Japan-only GSX-R400 since 1984, the GSX-R750 was the first GSX-R model available in the US. If the Honda CB750 was the first superbike, then the GSX-R750 was the world’s first authentic crotch rocket.

Using a narrow air/oil-cooled inline-four engine, the GSX-R750 boasted peak power figures of 100 horsepower, 52.1 lb-ft of torque, and top speeds exceeding 140 mph. It had the performance, but it also looked the part too. It had awesome twin headlights, a real race-inspired paint job, and endurance-racing fairings that let everyone know you were riding the real deal. That’s why the GSX-R750 is still with us today.

1988 Honda VFR750R RC30

1988 Honda VFR750R RC30 Side View On Wheel Stand

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

If the Suzuki GSX-R750 brought sports performance to the masses, the Honda VFR750R “RC30” brought it to the elite. Only 3,000 RC30s were made, with each one costing $15,000. That seems like a relatively cheap price, but that was a lot back then. The RC30 commanded that kind of price tag for good reason: they featured top tier parts and were hand-built by HRC’s race technicians.

The RC30’s engine was a 748cc V4 unit with sophisticated components. These included titanium connecting rods, gear-driven camshafts, race-inspired gearing, and an unorthodox firing order. The result was a broad spread of power that could be delivered when and where it was needed. In unrestricted form, the RC30 had 118 horsepower, 51 lb-ft of torque, and the ability to hit speeds north of 150 mph.

Other sophisticated parts included a lightweight aluminum twin-spar frame, a slipper clutch, fully adjustable Showa suspension, and an iconic single-sided swingarm. There was also a race kit from HRC for real lunatics too.

Today, a mint RC30 could set you back anything from $40,000 to $100,000. And with good reason.

1992 Aprilia RS125

1992 Aprilia RS125 Extrema Side View

Photo Credit: autoevolution.com

The best sportbikes aren’t always the biggest or the ones with the most power. Throughout the 90s, there was one motorcycle that was the stuff of dreams for young riders: the Aprilia RS125. While its fame wasn’t as big in the US, the Aprilia RS had a big following in Europe. It was a small-capacity two-stroke motorcycle with fairly impressive stats. Needless to say, it was the bike that launched a thousand racing careers.

Unlike a lot of little race-replicas, the RS125 performed as good as it looked. In unadulterated and restricted form, the Aprilia RS boasted 15 horsepower. Not much. But any teenager with a wrench and a bit of know-how could quickly unlock the engine’s full 34 horsepower and 18.4 lb-ft torque potential. And they did.

Without the Aprilia RS, we wouldn’t have seen racers like Casey Stoner or Cal Crutchlow. And without the Aprilia RS, we wouldn’t have seen such quality small capacity racing, watching the RS go toe-to-toe with the equally impressive Cagiva Mito. Both are exceptional motorcycles, and proof that size definitely isn’t everything. If you can’t have fun on an RS125 or a Mito, you don’t know what fun is.

1994 Ducati 916

Red 1994 Ducati 916 Side View

Photo Credit: motorcyclist.com

The Ducati 916 was one of the most iconic motorcycles of the 1990s. Featuring striking bodywork, a powerful engine, and race-proven handling, the 916 is one of the best sportbikes ever made, and easily one of the best motorcycles ever producing by Ducati.

The 916 is powered by a 916cc 90-degree desmodromic V-twin engine, designed by Massimo Tamburini. Tamburini is often described as one of the greatest motorcycle designers of all time, and while the 916 is just one of his many celebrated creations, it’s arguably one of the best. The V-twin engine produced an impressive 114 horsepower, 67 lb-ft of torque, and could propel the 916 to speeds of up to 160 mph.

Aside from the impressive engine, the 916 also utilized a chrome-moly trellis frame, aerodynamic bodywork, a cool single-sided swingarm, and impressive under-seat exhausts.

The 916 won 4 Superbike World Championships and has left a lasting superbike legacy. In fact, when Tamburini designed the MV Agusta F4, he made no secret about the fact that the F4 is the 916’s spiritual successor—and another bike that would also be worthy of this list.

1998 Yamaha YZF-R1

1998 Yamaha YZF-R1 Side View Studio Shot

Photo Credit: motorcyclespecs.co.za

You don’t have to be a Yamaha rider to appreciate the value of the very first R1. It was a motorcycle that significantly raised the bar and revolutionized what a liter-class sportbike could, or rather should, be. First launched in 1998, the Yamaha YZF-R1 redefined the class.

The first generation of R1 models was the full package. It was the most powerful motorcycle in its class, and also the lightest motorcycle in its class too. Measuring up against the competition, the R1 was easily the smallest too, and it was even smaller than many 600s!

Armed with Yamaha’s Genesis engine, a carburated 998 cc liquid-cooled, 20-valve, DOHC, inline four-cylinder unit, the R1 could produce 150 horsepower, 72.7 lb-ft of torque, and hit speeds of up to 168 mph. All in a package that weighs 448 lbs wet.

As a result, the YZF-R1 was an instant bestseller. In fact, they were in such demand that dealers couldn’t stock them fast enough. They were in high demand for closed circuits as they were (and still are) formidable track day weapons, and any rider with a taste for mischief wanted a go on the new master.

2004 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R Side View Studio Shot

Photo Credit: motorcyclespecs.co.za

The ZX-9R was great, but it couldn’t move with the times. To bring the Ninja back in the game, Kawasaki unleashed the ZX-10R unto the world in 2004. You could have a list of Ninjas representing the greatest sportbikes ever made, but we’ve tried to limit our choices to really notable models. And the ZX-10R is arguably the most significant of them all.

Lighter and more powerful than the above-mentioned R1, the new Ninja surpassed all competition. It used a 998 cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine that hammered out 155 horsepower at the wheel. 76.1 lb-ft of torque, a top speed of over 180 mph, and a 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds.

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R also used an all-titanium exhaust system, which helped to improve the motorcycle’s already impressive power-to-weight ratio. It was lightweight, compact, and very fast. If you could stomach Kawasaki’s signature lime-green, then it was the perfect motorcycle of the era.

The ZX-10R is consistently recognized as one of the best sportbikes on sale, no matter which generation you’re talking about. Although, it’s almost too much of a good motorcycle, and really needs to be ridden on a track to unleash its full potential.

2010 BMW S1000RR

2010 BMW S1000RR 3-4 Angled View

Photo Credit: totalmotorcycle.com

Technically, the first BMW S1000RR arrived in 2009, when BMW released 1000 units as homologation specials. The model was such a success that BMW decided to transform it into a commercially-viable production bike from 2010 onward. The S1000RR would become BMW’s first modern sportbike, and it would leave a lasting impression that resonates right up to the present day.

At first glance, the original S1000RR didn’t look particularly special. It used a list of fairly standard ingredients: a 998 cc inline-four engine, ABS as standard, Brembo brakes, Bosch electronics, and plush suspension, wrapped in an aerodynamic package. But BMW managed to use those ingredients and make something better.

Producing 193 horsepower, 82.5 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed that exceeded the 186 mph Gentleman’s Agreement, the S1000RR was nothing short of a weapon. However, for buyers who opted for the extras, it was something else altogether. Add Race ABS, a quick shifter, and Dynamic Traction Control to the lightest supersport bike in the class, and you have a motorcycle truly worthy of “RR” designation.

2017 Ducati 1299 Panigale Superleggera

2017 Ducati 1299 Superleggera Side View

Photo Credit: topspeed.com

Any Panigale could go on this list, but there’s something about the 1299 Superleggera that’s just so majestic. The Superleggera was the top-tier 1299 model, and when it first appeared in 2016, everyone paid attention.

Limited to 500 units, the Superleggera took the stock Panigale 1299 and turned it up to eleven. It was even lighter than the previous 1199 Superleggera which made it a superlight sportbike with a formidable power-to-weight ratio.

The 1285 cc Superquadro V-twin engine was the most powerful factory twin ever produced, boasting 215 horsepower and 108 lb-ft of torque. It was powerful and light thanks to the use of titanium and aluminum instead of steel components. But to really maximize the engine’s potential Ducati had to minimize the weight in everything else.

They did this by using a full carbon fiber frame, subframe, swingarm, and wheels. The fairings and were also made from carbon fiber, reducing the overall weight of the Superleggera to 344 lbs dry and 268 lbs wet. It was super light but it was also super expensive. Only 500 of these were produced, with a price tag of $80,000 each.

2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2

2015 Kawasaki H2 Side View Studio Shot

Photo Credit: totalmotorcycle.com

In 2015, the Kawasaki Ninja H2 rolled into our lives. This all-new supercharged hypersports motorcycle was something of a shot in the arm for the motorcycle industry. Unlike the fearsome and outrageous H2R, the H2 was designed from the streets rather than select closed circuits. It may not have a power output over 300 horsepower, but it does exceed 200—which is more than enough for anyone.

Powered by a supercharged 998cc inline-four engine, the H2 is the first production supercharged machine of its kind. Rather than relying on third-party technology, Kawasaki’s supercharger was made specifically for the H2 engine. The result is air pressure in the airbox that’s 2.4x atmospheric pressure, which allows for some explosive performance.

With around 210 horses on tap, it’s should come as no surprise that the H2 can reach speeds of over 200 mph. It’s seriously fast, but there’s more to the H2 than a supercharged engine.

It feels like a premium motorcycle: the fit and finish of every component is top-notch. Every part is designed to accommodate the raw power of the machine, from the suspension to the brakes, and the flex in the chassis. Yes, it’s a fast motorcycle, but it’s actually remarkable rideable too. The numbers are intimidating, but you’re in full control at all times.

And when it first hit the dealers, the price was a surprising $25,000. That’s not bad for one of the best sportbikes ever made, right?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

2021 Honda CBR600RR is coming and it looks very trick!

2021 Honda CBR600RR

Yamaha have had it pretty much all their own way in the battle for 600cc supremacy for some time now and obviously Honda must have got mighty sick about that as they have just announced that they are set to release an all-new CBR600RR.

This is perhaps the biggest news in the middleweight category for Honda since the original CBR600RR broke new ground upon its first release back in 2003. A fairly significant update in 2007 with a higher compression ratio and improved fuel injection system saw the bike pick up a couple more ponies on the 118 horsepower of the original but then apart from some ECU tweaks and suspension improvements in 2013, the CBR600RR remained largely unchanged until the model disappeared entirely from Honda’s line-up in 2017.

While full details on the new CBR600RR will not be released until August 21, we do have a sneak preview of the machine to share with you ahead of the full details being revealed.

2021 Honda CBR600RR full reveal to happen on August 21

What we can tell you is that the formula is largely the same as the original with a 599 cc in-line four-cylinder engine providing the motivation and sports an under-tail muffler like the original 600RR. The red-line on the TFT dash appears to be 15,000 rpm on an electronic tacho that reads to 17,000 rpm.

The CBR600RR looks to have gained some of the high-end electronics that grace the latest Fireblade complete with rider modes and engine braking adjustments, along with an aerodynamics package that is also reminiscent of the $50,000 Fireblade.

The numbers will be interesting when we get to see them in a couple of weeks time but we suspect that it will, like the 2020 Fireblade, be a fairly high-end machine with a price tag to match.

Game on in the Supersport class come 2021!

Source: MCNews.com.au

Will Aprilia RS 660 suit learners?

Aprilia plan to introduce a lower-powered version of its upcoming RS 660 lightweight sports bike so it can be ridden by learners and novices under the European A2 motorcycle licence.

The announcement came in a quirky Instagram post that says “A2 driving license? Aprilia RS 660 95hp version confirmed! Keep updated!”Aprilia RS 660 learner bike?

The A2 licence is a similar system to the Australian and New Zealand Learner Approved Motorcycle System, so there could be scope to also make a LAMS version alongside the fuel-powered version.

This has been done with several other bikes on the market, notably the Yamaha MT-07LA which has reduced capacity (from 689cc to 655cc) and restricted power (from 55kW to 38kW) via 25% throttler restriction, different cams and pistons.

Yamaha MT-07 missing stickerYamaha MT-07LA

The lithe Aprilia RS 660 weighs in at 169kg dry and fits in the 660cc or below capacity limits of LAMS.

However, they would have to do a fair bit more power restriction on the 95hp (70kW) bike to fit the scheme which also has a power-to-weight formula of 150 kilowatts per tonne or less.

Aprilia RS 660

Aprilia RS 660 lightweightAprilia RS 660

The Aprilia RS 660 was unveiled at the EICMA show in November 2019.

Aprilia sees the bike as having wide appeal, even as an everyday commuter.

In fact, its five riding modes spell it out: Commute, Dynamic, Individual (we imagine that’s a customisable mode), Challenge and Time Attack.

It has adjustable Kayaba suspension, a double aero fairing and smartphone connectivity with navigation display on the instruments.

The bike is expected to arrive in the latter half of the year with prices and full tech specs announced closer to that time.

2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 concept2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 concept

It will be followed in 2021 by a Tuono naked version like the concept presented at EICMA which is slightly downtuned at 96hp (71kW).

There is also expected to be a restricted version for Europe that may also come in under Australia’s LAMS rules for novice riders.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Tom Toparis dominates ASBK Supersport season opener

2019 ASBK
Round One – Phillip Island
Supersport Race One


The opening Supersport race of ASBK 2019 got underway at 0900 this morning under clear skies at Phillip Island in front of a building crowd. Goulburn teenager Tom Toparis had looked the man to beat all weekend and the Yamaha rider got away to an early break while Oli Bayliss, Callum Spriggs and Nic Liminton gave chase.

WSBK Round Phillip Island SS Saturday Rob Mott Tom Toparis
Tom Toparis – Image Rob Mott

Bayliss the new debutante in the class after moving up from Supersport 300 under the new rule that allows suitably proven 15-year-olds to now step up to the vastly different Supersport 600 Championship. Bayliss has Glen Richards in his corner for his first season in the category, the well-known South Australian back from crew chief duties in British Superbike and a lengthy career within the ranks of BSB in various roles. A busy testing schedule leading up to the season has seen young Oli well-prepared for his step up to the heavier and faster category of racing.

WSBK Round Phillip Island SS Saturday Rob Mott Nic Liminton
Oli Bayliss, Nic Liminton – Image Rob Mott

Out front Toparis was streeting the field though, pulling away by more than a second a lap and clearly in a race of his own.

WSBK Round Phillip Island SS Saturday Rob Mott Tom Toparis last corner
Tom Toparis – Image Rob Mott

Behind him Nic Liminton had eased his way past Bayliss but could not break away. The pair traded places over the opening few laps while Callum Spriggs and Ty Lynch kept in touch with them. A couple of second behind that quartet a battle for sixth place was unfolding between Broc Pearson, Jack Passfield and Aidan Hayes.

WSBK TBG WSBKPI PI Nic Liminton Oli Bayliss Calum Spriggs TBG
Nic Liminton, Oli Bayliss and Callum Spriggs – TBG Image

In the closing stages of the race Liminton finally managed to break clear of Bayliss, leaving his younger foe to fight for the final step on the rostrum with Callum Spriggs and at the flag it was the more experienced of the two that got that podium position by a nose, the difference only three-thousandth-of-a-second at the line.

Toparis had backed off in the closing laps but still took victory by more than five-seconds, his pace though was good enough for that to be ten-seconds should he wished to have pushed all the way to the chequered flag.

WSBK Round Phillip Island SS Saturday Rob Mott Tom Toparis Parc
Tom Toparis – Image Rob Mott

Nic Liminton second from Callum Spriggs with Oli Bayliss just missing out on a podium in his Supersport debut. Broc Pearson, Ty Lynch, Aidan Hayes and Jack Passfield rounded out an all Yamaha top eight ahead of Sam Lambert on an MV Agusta while Reid Battye rounded out the top ten on a Suzuki.

WSBK TBG WSBKPI PI SS Race Podium TBG
SBK Supersport 600 Race One Results
Tom Toparis – Yamaha
Nic Liminton – Yamaha +5.495
Callum Spriggs – Yamaha +7.786 – Image TBG

ASBK Supersport 600 Race One Results

  1. Tom Toparis – Yamaha
  2. Nic Liminton – Yamaha +5.495
  3. Callum Spriggs – Yamaha +7.786
  4. Oli Bayliss – Yamaha +7.789
  5. Broc Pearson – Yamaha +8.749
  6. Ty Lynch – Yamaha +9.672
  7. Aidan Hayes – Yamaha +9.692
  8. Jack Passfield – Yamaha +9.869
  9. Sam Lambert – MV Agusta +15.373
  10. Reid Battye – Suzuki +18.363
  11. Dylan Whiteside – Yamaha +24.138
  12. Scott Nicholson – Suzuki +29.365
  13. Rhys Belling – Yamaha +29.367
  14. Chris Quinn – Yamaha +29.605
  15. Luke Mitchell – Yamaha +39.079
  16. John Quinn – Triumph +39.106
  17. Luke Sanders – Yamaha +51.992
  18. Andrew Edser – Kawasaki +52.157
  19. Matt Cranmer – Honda +52.437
  20. Dan Leonard – Yamaha +60.466
WSBK Round Phillip Island SS Saturday Rob Mott Parc
ASBK Supersport 600 Race One Results
Tom Toparis – Yamaha
Nic Liminton – Yamaha +5.495
Callum Spriggs – Yamaha +7.786 – Image Rob Mott

Source: MCNews.com.au