New Sportbikes. Incredible power. Spotless handling. Brakes that will make your nose bleed. No compromises. That’s what today’s best sportbikes are all about.
Sportbikes are some of the fastest, most agile, most powerful motorcycles we mortals can own. These bikes absolutely rip, which is why they’re perfect for on-road competition and spirited rides on mountain roads. Where handling and acceleration are the key ingredients to two-wheeled fun, sportbike motorcycles are the best.
Many riders even choose to use a sportbike as their daily rider, commuting to work or the occasional weekend jaunt. Be warned though, the ride position can be a little taxing for some. You’re crouched over the tank, feet back and high on the rearsets, hands low on the clip-ons. It’s a perfect position if you’re wanting to get into that full tuck, to become a part of the lines of the bike while you’re blasting down the straight. It can get a little tiresome if you’re riding stoplight to stoplight.
But if you want to turn on a dime and feel mind-blowing acceleration, a sportbike is for you. You’ll want to gear up right if you have one, with a full-face helmet, high-quality gloves and boots, and even a leather one- or two-piece suit. There are lots of other gear choices out there, but the kick a sportbike gives means a higher risk for an accident, especially if you’re a less experienced rider. Most all the major manufacturers make world-class sportbikes too, so whatever your brand allegiance, there’s likely a sportbike out there for you. And Motorcyclist reviews them all. So if you’re stuck between two, three, or more, check out our Buyer's Guide for an inside look at what each machine has to offer.
Motorcyclist offers countless sportbike reviews and comparisons. We know that choosing just one is difficult, particularly when test rides are so hard to come by. We get our hands on the big boys, like the Yamaha R1, Suzuki GSX-R1000, Aprilia RSV4, Ducati Panigale V4, Kawasaki ZX-10R, BMW S1000RR, and others, but also sample smaller machines too. We’ve got loads of recommendations for the best sportbike for beginners, used sportbikes, and also keep tabs on new electric sportbikes and custom sportbikes. Whether you’re looking to see what’s good or bad about a single machine or to get better insight into the way a few stack up against each other, we’ve got you covered. We also include prices for the machines we test, so you don’t have to deal with sticker shock once you’ve finally decided which motorcycle to make your own.
Sportbike manufacturers strive to develop proprietary technology that gives their motorcycles an edge over the competition. Honda sportbikes are known for the smooth, high-revving power delivery of their four cylinder engines while Ducati sportbikes embrace the power and unique sound of their L-twin and newer V4 engine design. Kawasaki sportbikes have a reputation for making big horsepower and Suzuki sportbikes are simply legendary because of the popularity of the GSX-R models throughout the years. Recently, the Yamaha sportbikes have brought crossplane crankshaft engine technology into the picture while Aprilia sportbikes have embraced the unique combination of power and torque that comes from a V4 engine. No matter which brand you choose, a sportbike will have a unique character that makes it exciting to ride.