1. Kawasaki Ninja 400
The most popular sports bike out there is the Kawasaki Ninja 400. This motorcycle has received great reviews from experts and owners alike, making it a very popular choice among biking enthusiasts. It's also quite affordable, making it accessible to anyone looking for good value without sacrificing performance.
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 is powered by a 399cc parallel twin-cylinder, 4-stroke engine that gives enough power for riders seeking to enter the sports bike market. The manufacturers claim that this motorcycle can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph within five seconds, but according to some user reviews on the web, it is even faster than that.
Despite its affordable price tag, the Ninja 400 comes with a full ABS braking system to ensure maximum safety for riders when riding on wet or slippery surfaces. Its large windscreen provides protection from extreme weather conditions, and at high speed, it can reduce noise up to four decibels.
When it comes to convenience, The Ninja 400 is no slouch either. The footpegs are placed in the perfect spot so that the rider's legs won't get tired during long rides while the passenger seat stance is wide and flat, which means the pillion will also enjoy the trip. Unlike most sports bikes, this motorcycle is very sturdy, which makes it one of the most reliable and solid motorcycles in its class.
This Kawasaki motorcycle comes with front and rear disc brakes for optimum stopping power. The front brake lever on the handlebar is easy to reach, and riders also get an adjustable clutch lever as well as a rear brake pedal.
Those living in colder climate should be glad to know that it has a fuel gauge and an indicator light for low fuel levels so that they can plan their fuel stops ahead of time before running out of gas on the road. Even though there are no lighting systems like an LED headlight or daytime running light, its high beam is bright enough to give you clear vision even at night.
Some users complained that suspensions were a bit loose, which makes it susceptible to crosswinds, but Ninja 400 is not made for long-distance touring.
The Ninja 400 is one of the most sought-after race bikes in its class. It has a sleek look which makes it stand out from the rest of its competitors, and with a price tag of under $5,000, you get more than what you pay for.
- Estimated price: $4000 - $6000
- Engine: 399cc Liquid-cooled, 4-Stroke
- Max Power: 44 hp
- Max Torque: 24.7 lb-ft.
- Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gallons
- Weight: 371 lbs.
- 0-60 mph: 4.63 sec
- Low seat height
- Best power per dollar
- Decent power to weight ratio
- Ideal for novice riders
- US model comes with adjustable clutch & brake levers
- Full ABS braking system
- Great value for money
- No LED lighting system
- No center stand
- Complaints of numb brakes
2. Ducati Panigale V4 S
The Ducati brand is known everywhere around the world for manufacturing some of the best motorcycles in the industry. What stands out most about this company is its attention to detail and how much time Italian engineers spend testing new models before releasing them for sale to the general public.
The Ducati Panigale V4 S features Ducati's 1103cc V-twin-engine, which delivers 214 hp brute power and 91.5 lb-ft. of torque, which makes riding this motorcycle a pure joy. What makes this model even better is its weight. Thanks to Ducati's state-of-the-art chassis design, this machine weighs just 380 lbs., giving you the ability to maneuver it effortlessly.
If you want even more performance, V4 S comes with four riding modes: Sport, Touring, Urban, and Enduro. This means that you can choose how your motorcycle reacts in different conditions, depending on your needs or the type of road ahead of you.
The new Panigale V4 S features some pretty decent brakes at both front and rear wheels. The front brake uses twin 13-inch discs, while the rear brake uses a 9.5-inch disc on a single-sided swingarm. This enables you to stop this motorcycle easily whenever needed. This motorcycle also features an ABS system which is standard nowadays but still worth mentioning.
The only downside of this motorcycle is that it costs a lot. However, if you're looking for something that will give you an edge over other riders, this is definitely one of the best choices you can make.
Overall, if you want a high-performance sports bike that is easy to handle and very reliable, then Ducati Panigale V 4S should be on top of your list.
- Estimate price: $25000 - $32000
- Engine: 1103cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC
- Max power: 214 hp
- Max torque: 91.5 lb-ft.
- Fuel capacity: 4.3 gallons
- Weight: 380 lbs.
- 0 - 60 mph : 3 seconds
- Excellent power to weight ratio
- Great aesthetics
- Impeccable power delivery
- Different power modes
- Good suspension travel
- Quite expensive compared to others in its class
3. Yamaha YZF-R1
If you're looking for a sporty yet powerful machine, the Yamaha YZF-R series might be your best bet. With its impressive performance and great handling, the YZF-R1 is one of the fastest motorcycles ever built. This superbike was designed to compete against other premium brands such as Honda CBR1000RR and Suzuki GSX-S1000.
In terms of electronic features, there are several things that riders can do from their Yamaha YZF-R1 factory dashboard. The dashboard is fully loaded with a digital speedometer, gear indicator, trip computer, and other important tools. Another impressive part about this bike is its advanced ABS braking system which comes in handy, especially when it's wet outside or if you need to stop immediately.
Besides having awesome features, this race-worthy sports bike also has the highest power-to-weight ratio among the whole Yamaha's liter-bike segment. Its 998cc engine provides more power than most competitors, without compromising fuel economy. R1 is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph within 2 seconds and it can reach a top speed of 190mph, making it one of the fastest modern bikes on the market today.
In terms of design, the base model of YZF-R1 has changed very little over the past several years. The latest versions (2016+) come with sharper designed bodies and a slimmer tail section, making it look more modern than ever before. The new version also has additional LED lights in front.
What riders like about this motorcycle is that they don't need to upgrade their suspension or brakes because even though the standard model comes with all basic necessities, it already performs better than most bikes in its class. This sports bike gives you a superior power to weight ratio, thanks to Yamaha's innovative technologies such as Variable Valve Actuation (YCC-I) and crossplane crankshaft.
The only disadvantage is that it's one of the most costly bikes on the market, and if you want to get your hands on one, make sure your wallet is in good shape.
All in all, there are dozens of reasons why you should consider buying this motorcycle. If you want to make your street riding experience more exciting, the race-worthy Yamaha YZF-R1 might be the best option for you.
- Estimate price: $10000 - $17000
- Engine: 998cc Liquid-cooled, 4-Stroke
- Max Power: 197 hp
- Max Torque: 83 lb-ft.
- Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
- Weight: 448 lbs.
- 0-60 mph: 2 seconds
- Comfortable riding position & ergonomics
- Great power-to-weight ratio
- Powerful engine
- Powerful brakes and quality suspension
- Loaded with features
- Modern sports bike design
- One of the expensive bikes on the market
4. Suzuki GSX-R1000R
Suzuki GSX-R1000 has been around for years, and it is here to stay. Looking at its design, we can say that that this machine is pretty aggressive, but everything falls into place once you sit on the seat of the GSX-R1000R.
This motorcycle is smaller than all previous models, but it still offers some pretty decent legroom which should satisfy most of its riders. The seat is very nice and soft to ride on for longer periods, making this motorcycle a great choice for road trips.
The GSX-R1000R uses a powerful 1000cc inline-4 engine which delivers the raw power of 202 hp and 87 lb-ft. of torque. These numbers are even more impressive when you realize that this motorcycle weighs just 440 lbs. This machine features a six-speed gearbox with a wet clutch system, making riding this motorcycle a real pleasure every time you twist the throttle.
I've spent some time on the open road to see how well GSX-R1000 does in terms of general performance, and I have to admit it's an absolute joy to ride this thing anywhere you want to go while still being able to leave other cars behind without too much effort.
The suspension system of this bike is really good, especially if you consider that Suzuki used fully adjustable inverted forks on this motorcycle. However, I have to tell you that the brakes are absolutely fantastic. The front brake disc is 12.20 inches in diameter, and it gets help from four-piston calipers. Whereas Suzuki used a single 8.66 inch disc with a two-piston caliper at the rear, which gives you plenty of stopping power every time you need to slow down or stop completely.
GSX-R1000R 2021 has a price tag of $15,799 right now, but if you take some time to search for older model deals, you can make this number even lower. If there are no good deals available for this machine, I would suggest buying a used 2010 or 2011 model because their price is really low right now, which means you can find a fully loaded bike for less than $10,000.
Overall, the all-new Suzuki GSX-R1000R is a great machine to ride for longer periods without too many complaints. It's fast, comfortable, has good suspension system and brakes when you really need them. If you want to buy this motorcycle, I would recommend checking the price tag before you make your final decision because older models are cheaper than the brand new model right now.
- Estimated Price: $7000 - $15000
- Engine: 1000cc, Liquid-cooled, 4-Stroke
- Max Power: 185 hp
- Max Torque: 86.3 lb-ft.
- Fuel Capacity: 4.23 gallons
- Weight: 410 lbs.
- 0-60 mph : 3 seconds
- Extremely fast
- Good power to weight ratio
- Ideal for track and street
- Fully adjustable suspension system
- Comfortable for longer rides
- Low seat height
- Fantastic engine sound
- Price is pretty steep right now for the brand new model
- Older models are cheaper but have lower mileage
5. Honda CBR 600RR
One of the bestselling sports bikes on the market today is the Honda CBR 600RR. This machine has been upgraded and redesigned several times over the years, and according to riders who have experience with it, this model is by far one of the best middleweight sport bikes you can get for under $12,000.
The Honda CBR 600RR is powered by a liquid-cooled DOHC 16 valves engine capable of delivering peak power of 118 hp and torque of 48.6 lb-ft. This machine is very easy to maintain, thanks to its user-friendly design, which makes it suitable for beginner riders as well. On the electronic side, you can enjoy features such as OBD II System & Self diagnostics, backlit LCD Instrument cluster, and 180-Degree crank rotation sensor, just to name a few.
Compared to other brands which offer more powerful engines, the CBR 600RR might not be number one in its class, but it's definitely one of them, thanks to its lightweight design and awesome features! This budget track bike comes with an adjustable clutch and brake levers, so it is great for novice riders or anyone who wants a lighter motorcycle. You don't need to worry about tire grip because every feature of this bike makes it easier to ride it in different road conditions.
One thing that you'll love about this bike is removing the front wheel. If you look at its design, everything looks simpler, making maintenance an easier job than other sport bikes. Some people argue that CBR 600RR lacks personality & comfort, but if you're looking for an aggressive sub-1000 cc sports bike, then Honda CBR 600RR might be the one for you!
Know what you're getting yourself into! This bike is perfect for daily city rides or highway commuting thanks to its great fuel economy. However, if you plan to take it to race tracks, then look elsewhere because Honda CBR600RR won't help you much since it doesn't have enough power/performance to compete with other sport bikes.
Overall, this is a great machine that has been proven many times, and it will definitely provide you with years of fun and riding pleasure.
- Estimated price: $4599 - $13000
- Engine: 998cc, Liquid-cooled, 4-Stroke
- Max Power: 118 hp
- Max Torque: 48.6 lb-ft.
- Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons
- Weight: 345 lbs.
- 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
- Good power to weight ratio for the price
- Powerful engine
- Great fuel economy
- Good brakes
- Loads of features
- Not enough power for track day riders
- Low ground clearance
- Rear shock is too stiff
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley