most powerful bikes
. And way, way out in the lead, we get the ZZR1400. Weirdly, this is the third Kawasaki that, according to the firm, makes 197bhp (along with the H2 and ZX10R). The EPAs rated power figures have it beating that claim by nearly 11bhp. Think of the difference as a Honda CBF125.
. Another bike to meet its claimed power figure, the VMax might be largely ignored these days but its still an animal, with nearly 200bhp.
Kawasaki Ninja H2
. Kawasaki claims 197bhp for the new, supercharged H2. And hits it precisely. Weirdly, it also claimes 197bhp for the ZX10R, which the EPA reckons makes only 177bhp.
MV Agusta F4RR
. Scarily, MV Agusta has an even more powerful F4 waiting in the wings, just in case the existing bikes true 197.1bhp isnt enough for you.
. Of course this list wouldnt be complete without a Hayabusa. With all of 15 years of production behind it and a fair chance it will still make the top 10 in a years time.
. Another old bike to remain on the homologation books as a 2015 model, the HP4 almost hits its claimed 193bhp with an EPArated 190.4bhp. The closeness suggests BMWs newfor2015 S1000RR will make near to its claimed 198bhp, too.
Suzuki GSXR1000 182 4bhp
. It might not be the newest of the 1000cc superbikes but the GSXR has never been limpwristed.
Ducati 1199 Panigale
. Its slightly surprising to even see the 1199 Panigale homologated as a 2015 model, since its effectively being replaced by the new 1299 version. However, even the old bike is still strong enough to make the top 10.
. At the moment, the highestspec 2015 RSV4 RR (claimed to make 201bhp) hasnt been EPA tested, but the carryover version from the previous year already has enough power to make the top 10. The rated figure is again very close to the claimed 184bhp that Aprilia quotes.
. Usually manufacturers power claims are likely to be on the optimistic side, but it seems that Motus is a stickler for accuracy. The spec sheet says that the MSTR makes 180bhp, just 0.3bhp more than the rated figure found here.
. BMW launched the RR in 2009, their first crack at making a superbike, and it set the world on fire. The 193hp 999cc machine thrashed every other bike in its class and four years later its only real close rival is Kawasakis ZX10R. The 190kg dry weight is heavier than it seems and many riders compare the size of the RR to a 600cc machine. Other than a fairly serious recall where connecting rod bolts were coming loose, reliability is said to be good
. An extra ?3,000 will get you the S model over the standard 1198, which gets you some serious bling. The S has traction control,full ?hlins suspension, an adjustable ?hlins steering damper, and lighter seven spoke Marchesini wheels, which brings the claimed overall weight down a further 2kgs to 169kg. Making the same 170hp as the 1098R, the 1198S is a smoother, more docile, and refined animal.
. No trellis frame, a claimed 195hp, revised brakes and enough electronics to make the bike ride itself, the Panigale is something very special. The Superquadro engine has the best traits of a twin but is happy to rev like an inlinefour. Its smooth off the bottom end and a completely different animal to the 1198 its a refined package but faster than ever.
. So much more than just a baby 1098, Ducati made an entirely new engine for the 848. Weighing 168kg and making a claimed 135hp, the 848 is by no means miniature. It misses out on the Brembo Monoblocs of the 848 EVO but retains its impressive midcorner stability. Its all the bike youll ever need and a clean second hand example will only set you back ?6,000.
Triumph Daytona 675
. Introduced in 2006 after a series of 4cylinder Daytonas, many thought that Triumphs 675 3cylinder supersport was a passing fad, an engineering anomaly that wouldnt hit the sweet spot. After all, if the Japanese were sticking to 4cylinder machines, what did Triumph know? Well, the 675cc never cleaned up in racing but it was an instant success for Triumph. A near perfect blend of torque and hosepower in a usable chassis made the 675 the choice for
. Perhaps one of the maddest looking sportsbikes on the market, the RC8 makes a true 133hp from its 1148cc vtwin engine. It has plenty of room for taller riders and sublime handling kept in check by fully adjustable WP suspension and Brembo brakes. Early models could do with a Power Commander to smoothen out the power curve. To be that extra bit madder, get the R edition.
MV Agusta F4 1000 R 312
. Now dont get too excited there, the 312R doesnt really do 312kmh (194mph). The moniker is merely a celebration of the fact a modified MV F4 once did a satelliteverified 311pointsomething kmh. Flat out. Possibly down a big hill. Making almost 170hp, the 312R was 9hp up from its predecessor thanks to titanium valves, new cam profiles and an increase in throttle bore. Although the MV was overshadowed by the excitement surrounding the Ducati 1098, it
Triumph Daytona 955i
. In 1998, the 955i succeeded the T595 Daytona Triumphs litresportsbike. The 200106 Daytona 955i gained more power, had a few more mph at the top and weighed 4kg less.Billed at 147hp, it actually only punts out around 110hp on the dyno. A decent spread of power, 50mpg economy, and cheap secondhand prices make the 955i a good realworld sportsbike option.
Aprilia RSV Mille 1000
. In 1998 Aprilia launched the fast and affordable RSV Mille. Whilst the Vtwin has handed over its flagship status to the new RSV4, it doesnt make the Mille any less of a gem. The fuelling is beautifully smooth and the gearbox shifts slickly. You can almost forgive the woefully underpowered engine (115hp is typical) when you feel the linear power delivery. The grunt is there almost regardless of gear choice, shoving the big bike forward with a stro
Aprilia RS 125
. Low down the RS is rideable, if a little slow. Hit 8,000rpm and it all changes; the exhaust note switches to a highpitched waaaa and the little RS flies, until it runs out of puff at around 11,000rpm where it simply stops revving as though it cant draw enough fuel in. Handling is razor sharp and the brakes have more than enough bite for this 125kg flyweight.
. With approaching twice as many bikes involved as the next biggest recall, we have a runaway winner here. The problem itself was also the reason it involved so many machines; it involved a brake master cylinder that could corrode over a period of time after water had been absorbed by the brake fluid. The corrosion itself wasnt even a big problem, but the gas created during the corroding process stayed in the brake system, making for a spongey leve
. This multibike recall was down to a risk that plastic fuel pipe connectors on the fuel pump mounting plate could break, leading to a fuel leak. The fix was a redesigned part made of metal instead of plastic ? simple, but effective.
. Its one of those pesky electrical issues again, this time a regulator/rectifier used across a massive range of Suzukis. It could fail, leading to a flat battery that might, in extreme circumstances, lead to the engine stalling. The fix was simple; replace the regulator/rectifier unit with a good one.
Yamaha YZFR1 and YZFR6
. Funnily enough the problem here was virtually identical to the issue that hit the YZFR125 a dozen years later (in 10th on this list). The sidestand switch bolt could come loose or fall out, making the switch inoperative and allowing the bike to be ridden even if the stand was still down. A new set of nuts and bolts solved the issue, so at least it was a cheap fix for Yamaha, even though it was spread over nearly 15,000 bikes.
. Electrical components are commonly shared between multiple models, which explains how the same recall can hit bikes as disparate as the Yamaha R1 and the XT660R. The issue here was a dodgy throttle position sensor, which led to some bikes having an unstable idle speed or even stalling. The recalls simply involved checking whether the bad part was fitted and replacing it with a good one.
. Can you spot the component that connects the VFR800, Pan European, Blackbird, Varadero and Goldwing? Yup, its the CBS linked braking system, which in this recall was found to be prone to leaking fluid due to a manufacturing fault in some proportional control valves used on the bikes. The fix was simply to check the bikes and replace the dodgy parts with ones manufactured to the correct specification.
. It seems that 2005 was a bad year for big recalls. This one hit multiple BMW models because it was due to a problem with the quickrelease fuel coupling between the tank and the rest of the fuel system ? a part used on most of the firms range. Bikes got new Orings in the coupling, and a complete replacement part in some cases.
. Another 2005 issue hitting multiple models, this time it was a problem with water getting into the ignition coil and corroding it. For most, that meant the bikes were hard to start, but it could also lead to engines cutting out. Unsurprisingly, the fix was a revised coil.
. Its not unusual for recalls to hit multiple models, particularly when they share a common component. In this case, that part was a bolt that helped hold the pillion seat in place, which could work loose; clearly bad news for your passenger. A redesigned attachment was created to fix the problem and these days it would be a surprise to find a bike with the original part still in place.
. With so many R125s on the road, its no surprise to see it on this list. The 2012 recall came after it was found that the sidestand switch could work loose, in extreme circumstances allowing the bike to be ridden with the sidestand down. A replacement mounting bolt kit sorted the problem.
. When it comes to 600s with legend status, its hard to argue for anything to be number one other than the original CBR600F. Before this bike, there was no 600 class. The CBR600F was an ambitious attempt to create a single bike that was all things to all people, and it worked remarkably well, effectively doing the same allrounder trick as the VFR750, just in a lower class and at a much lower price. In all its steelframed glory, with basic suspensio
Ducati Monster 600
. Its been two decades since the Monster appeared in 600cc form, and even more than the earlier 900cc version its responsible for a transformation of Ducati into a brand synonymous with style to both motorcyclists and nonbikers. Back in the 90s, the Monster was such a fashion icon that there were plenty of styleconscious citydwellers who were taking their bike testspurelyto be able to be seen on a Monster. While Tamburinis 916 gets all the praise,
Suzuki Bandit 600
. In any objective test between the machines on this list, the Bandit 600 would probably come near the bottom. Its slower than most of them. It wont handle as well as any of the sports bikes. It cant even really offer the same practicality, thanks to the lack of fairing. But when we look back in decades to come, the Bandit is one of the few machines that can truly claim to have spawned enough imitators that a class would be named after it ? for a l
. It might raise an eyebrow or two to place the 2003 ZX6R above the two previous machines in the pantheon of 600s, but were talking about legend status here rather than more easily defined attributes. For us the green machine ? and particularly the shortlived version with the reverseangled headlights from 20032004 ? has a certain something that the R6 and the CBR600RR miss out on. It was really down to the sheer level of kit this bike had. When mos
. When the 2006 R6 appeared in late 2005, it caused nearly as big a stir in the 600cc class as the R1 had done back in 1998 moving the whole game on in a way that few others had ever managed. Much was made of the 17,500rpm redline ? an incredibly high figure for a 600 that in fact proved too good to be true. It turned out that, in reality, the revcounter was a tad optimistic; the bike really hit its limiter somewhere shy of 16,000rpm. But thats al
. The old CBR600F was a jackofalltrades with sensible styling and a big dash of comfort, that hung on to a steel tube frame long after its rivals had switched to far more sophisticated designs. But the CBR600RR from 2003 was a massive leap forward ? creating a racerep that looked virtually identical to the allconquering RC211V MotoGP bike. Even now, a dozen years on, the current CBR600RR is still largely derived from the same design, showing just h
Suzuki GSXR600 SRAD
. It was always inevitable that a GSXR600 would make this list, but the choice of which one was a tough call. The 1997 SRAD edged lighter, later models and the perimeterframed earlier machines thanks to styling and technology that elevated them above their rivals at the time and still makes them instantly recognisable today. That humpbacked tail was, if you remember, directly inspired by Suzukis GP machinery of the time, and marked out a real attem
Yamaha FZS600 Fazer
. The firstgen Fazer 600 was, arguably, not as good as the Hornet it was competing against. And on the used market its probably an even less sensible choice, because theyre unlikely to have fared well over the last decade or so. But theres something brutal about the original tubeframed Fazer 600, with its finned engine and slotty headlights, that elevates it above the onpaper arguments. Maybe its just a little more masculine than the Hornet, with a
Honda Hornet 600
. A mildly detuned CBR600 engine in a steel frame and wrapped in minimal bodywork that was pretty much the definition of standard. It might not sound like a recipe for longlasting success, but the Hornet 600 had just enough ability and style to elevate it above the masses, and soon became the first bike of choice for a generation. The highlevel exhaust and (weirdly) an element of styling emphasis on one of the radiator tubes was enough to make an o
Ducati Pantah 600
. We ummed and ahhed over this one for a while. The Pantah debuted as a 500 and it ended its life as a 650, and even the midlife Pantah 600 was almost out of our specifications thanks to its 583cc motor. But at the end of the day it got the nod thanks to its position as the first of the beltdrive camshaft Ducatis, and as such arguably the first of the modern era. And, hard though it is to imagine a paucity of 600cc sportsbikes, back in 1981 the Pan
. Next year looks to be a good one for superbikes, right? The new R1 has undergone one of the biggest revamps seen by any topoftheline sports bike for ages. Its got a new crossplane engine which makes a claimed 200hp and weighs only 199kg wet. Thats 18hp more and 7kg less than the current model. Or, in other words, a 1hp/kg powertoweight ratio, one of the best available in any bike on the market. It has just about every electronic rider aid you cou
Honda RCV V4 road bike
. One of the most anticipated bikes of the show, the RC213VS was finally unveiled after years of speculation that the firm was working on such a machine. No details have been released but its clear its based on Marquez worldchampionshipwinning RC213V MotoGP bike. They even got Marquez to ride it on stage, at which point he joked: This is my road bike, made just for me.
Ducati 1299 Panigale
. We remember a time when 1000cc in a superbike was everything you needed and more. Now it seems that if you run anything other than an inlinefour cylinder engine, you need 1200cc at the very least to be taken seriously. Ducati took their Superquadroengined Panigale a step further, reboring it to 1285cc. That places it into the elite 200hp+ group and with 107ft.lb theres no shortage of torque either. That front fairing has been changed too, along w
Aprilia RSV4 RR
. Joining the 2015 crop of 200hp+ superbikes is the new Aprilia RSV4 RR. The front end has been redesigned but all the really interesting stuff takes place under the plastics. The 999.6cc V4 engine now makes 201hp 17hp more than before. Just about everything inside the engine is either new, made of titanium, or trimmed of weight. The camshaft is now 0.5kg lighter and the connecting rods have been trimmed of 0.4kg. If those changes arent Gucci enou