While a majority of motorcycles seen on the road are those that are used for business or personal transport, there are some motorcycles that are considered to be in the upper class of classification owing to their higher displacement, more powerful engines, and higher price tags.
These bikes, despite their higher than normal cost (for a motorcycle), are still many times less expensive than a supercar, and yet can rival, if not surpass some of the most respected names in supercars in terms of performance attributes. In this article, we look at some of these extreme two-wheeled rockets in – These affordable motorcycles will annihilate any supercar.
102004 Yamaha YZF R1
One of the best bikes that Yamaha made, the 2004 R1 with its 998cc engine makes for both a fast and fun ride. With 164Hp on tap, it may not be as powerful as other bikes of its generation or class, but it more than makes up for it with satisfying grunt and handling, made possible by it’s Deltabox chassis.
Also, despite its age, the R1 does not look as dated as it’s contemporaries, its design still looks as good now as it did 15 years ago, making the prospect of owning one an attractive proposition.
91999 Ducati 748
Considered as a “Ducati Lite” or “Baby Ducati” when it came out, the small but nimble Ducati 748 still won the hearts and wallets of bike enthusiasts because of its combination of good looks and peppy engine.
Now enshrined as one of the best Ducati models ever, the 748 with its rev craving engine, small size, and light frame made it perfect for high-speed acceleration and cornering around the twisties, key attributes that other bikes of its generation had a hard time combining.
82008 KTM RC8
KTM made its foray into the sports bike market with the now venerable RC8. Using their experience in building Dakar rally and adventure bikes, the RC8 took all the learnings from creating tough and solid machines and applied it to street and sport class bikes.
Powered by a 152Hp giving out a huge 88lb/ft of torque, the RC8 made waves when it soon showed that it was capable of competing in the same league as Ducati and the rest.
72001 Honda VTR 1000 SP
At nearly two decades old, the Honda VTR 1000 SP still packs engine power to rival some of the newer bikes today. With 132Hp on tap, Honda made sure to give this now-classic superbike enough power to go head-on with its rivals, a fact cemented when it won the 2000 world superbike trophy.
However, in order to reach that stage, every facet of this bike was planned and engineered by Honda’s racing division, with the singular aim of exceeding the capabilities of its predecessor the Honda Firestorm.
6Triumph Daytona 955i
Beautifully designed and excellently executed, this was the reason why Triumph made waves when they launched the 955s. As the second generation of the Daytona, Triumph made the 995 better than its older brother by reducing its weight, improving agility, and giving it 125Hp, plus quicker acceleration than the older T595.
Often described as more refined and less brash than its Italian or Japanese rivals, the 995s is a great choice for a superbike.
52005 Suzuki GSX-R K5
If the term crotch rocket was meant for bikes, it would actually specifically mean the Suzuki GSX-R because of it’s astounding capabilities. Starting off by weighing only 166kg, its savage 176Hp engine made an astonishing 82lb ft of torque, basically making the bike a rocket on wheels.
First launched in 2005, it began to gain recognition by quickly dominating the competition in various superbike circuits and even won at the Isle of Man TT, earing its well-deserved reputation as one of the best superbikes ever made.
42001 MV Agusta F4
The other Italian great is the MV Agusta brand, which while not as ubiquitous as Ducati, has created iconic bikes of its own, one of which is the F4 that debuted in 1996.
With impressive technical specs – a liquid-cooled 749cc inline 4 DOHC, mated to a six-speed transmission, the F4 certainly does not lack in capabilities, giving its riders the key twin aspects of looks and performance of an extremely potent exotic bike.
32004 Aprilia RSV 1000R
With its earliest version hitting the market in 1999, the Aprilia RSV 1000R placed itself firmly in the path of Ducati and the Big 3 Japanese makers and challenging them in both track and street supremacy.
Styled aggressively and earning a reputation as a rougher and tougher ride than a Ducati, Aprilia succeeded in making its bike a true performance-oriented machine. With its twin cooled V-twin making 139Hp and carbon fiber panels the RSV 1000R is a real thoroughbred bike that can hold its own among its rivals.
22005 Honda Fireblade CBR 1000RR
Similar to the traits associated with its four-wheeled cousins the Civic and the Accord, the Honda Fireblade 1000RR also possesses the same level of dependability and reliability because of its solid build quality. With its exposure from MotoGP, Honda focused on the suspension, steering and made sure that its 154Hp, 1000cc engine was both powerful and smooth.
Because of the level of engineering that went into the Fireblade, its fearsome track capabilities also made its street/road manners well-behaved, making it a comfortable daily ride, adding to its now-legendary reputation.
12003 Ducati 999S
As the followup to the successful 916, the Ducati 999S took a different approach towards it’s built by giving the bike a more track-oriented persona. With a 124Hp V Twin that gives the distinctive Ducati howl from its built-in Termignoni exhaust on the higher rpms.
Possibly heralding the future direction that performance motorcycles will take when it was launched, it’s angular styling and double swingarm are now found in modern bikes. Now considered a classic, the 999S, despite its short production run, should be part of any list of great superbikes owing to its superb characteristics.