Top 10 Sports Bikes

If you want to get from A to B as quickly as possible on the road then a sports bike is probably for you.

To achieve this they sacrifice comfort for an aerodynamic advantage and maximum lean angles, make use of the latest technology and tend to be quite expensive. What is a sports bike?

The Best Sports Bikes:

★ Sports Bike of the Year ★

Ducati V4S

Ducati V4S For Sale

No sports bike top ten would be complete without a beautiful Ducati, in this case the new for 2018 V4 powered Panigale V4 S.

It sets the bar high on looks, power, weight and features all the tech you would expect.

There's Ohlins electrically adjustable suspension, cornering ABS, slide control, a lean angle aware quickshifter, gorgeous TFT dash and of course the stunning single sided swingarm with no massive exhaust to ruin the lines. Read the review.

  • Engine: V4
  • Capacity: 1,103 cc
  • Power: 211 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 830 mm
  • Wet Weight: 195 kg

Bennetts Insurance

BMW S1000RR

BMW S1000RR For Sale

The S1000RR was game changing when it launched in 2005 although the asymmetric looks did divide opinion.

BMW have been constantly evolving it and three generations later the 2019 model is a brand new bike.

The wonky headlight is gone, power is up from a new Variable Valve Timing engine, weight is down, the dash is now a fancy colour TFT job and it can be fully spec'd up with semi-active electronic suspension.

The new M Pack even adds Carbon Fibre wheels but you won't see much change from £20,000. 

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 999 cc
  • Power: 204 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 824 mm
  • Wet Weight: 197 kg

Yamaha YZF-R1M

Yamaha YZF-R1M For Sale

It builds on the standard R1 with semi-active Ohlins electronic suspension, a new ERS NPX fork, Carbon bodywork / front fender / tail cowl and a range of apps to set custom ride modes, track all the data from the bike and to display a re-run of the race on Google Maps.

It's a limited production run with the number stamped on top of the tank.

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 998 cc
  • Power: 197 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 860 mm
  • Wet Weight: 200 kg

Honda Fireblade SP

Honda Fireblade SP For Sale

Much like the R1M and V4 S the 2017 Fireblade SP re-design gives you a colour TFT dash, Ohlins semi-active suspension, a quickshifter, high spec Brembo brakes and cornering ABS. Read the review.

There's also a £3,125 more expensive SP2 version although it's limited to 500 units with only 150 coming to Europe.

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 999 cc
  • Power: 189 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 820 mm
  • Wet Weight: 195 kg

Kawasaki ZX-10R SE

Kawasaki ZX-10R SE For Sale

New for 2018 the ZX-10R SE has a party trick when it comes to suspension. It's from Showa and electronically adjusts the damping 1000 times per second although the pre-load is still manual.

There's also cornering ABS, Brembo brakes, Ohlins steering damper and launch control but the bike is fundamentally the same as the 2011 ZX-10R.

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 998 cc
  • Power: 197 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 835 mm
  • Wet Weight: 206 kg

Aprilia RSV RF

Aprilia RSV RF For Sale

The 2017 re-design of the RSV RF introduced cornering ABS, Ohlins suspension, Brembo M50 brakes, a colour TFT dash and up / down quickshifter, all of which make the RF a potent track weapon.

If there is a downside though it's likely to be the price versus bikes like the Fireblade SP, which include electronic semi-active suspension over the RF's manual set-up.

  • Engine: V4
  • Capacity: 999 cc
  • Power: 201 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 840 mm
  • Wet Weight: 190 kg

Yamaha YZF-R1

Yamaha YZF-R1 For Sale

The standard R1 has been knocking about now since 2015 however for 2018 it gained a 2-level quickshifter, launch control, an anti-wheelie system and a fancy colour TFT dash.

For 2020 there's an upgraded chassis, fuelling tweaks, a sharper front end, new side fairings, a smoother tank, 5% improvement in aerodynamics, new lighter Titanium lower fairing and new multi level ABS and EBC systems.

Other improvements include a more rigid airbox design, new lighter throttle sensor, suspension / steering damper tweaks, updated tyres, updated launch control, better brake pads, new tail light design and some Euro 5 exhaust tweaks.

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 998 cc
  • Power: 197 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 855 mm
  • Wet Weight: 199 kg

Honda Fireblade

Honda Fireblade For Sale

The new Fireblade for 2017 focused on increased power and reduced weight while adding cornering ABS, wheelie control and a new colour TFT dash.

It looks amazing in black and rather cunningly both LED headlights do low and high beam, avoiding that wonky look. Read the review.

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 999 cc
  • Power: 189 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 832 mm
  • Wet Weight: 196 kg

Suzuki GSX-R1000R

Suzuki GSX-R1000R For Sale

Competing directly with the Fireblade is Suzuki's new for 2017 GSX-R1000R.

It builds on the £2,850 cheaper base GSX-R1000 with more advanced Showa suspension, a bi-directional quickshifter, launch control and a lighter battery.

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 1,000 cc
  • Power: 199 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 825 mm
  • Wet Weight: 203 kg

Suzuki GSX-R1000

Suzuki GSX-R1000 For Sale

New for 2017 the GSX-R1000 re-design focused on more power from a Variable Valve Timing (VVT) engine, aerodynamics and being more compact however the exhaust grew into a bit of a monster.

For £2,850 extra you could have the GSX-R1000R with more advanced suspension, launch control and a bi-directional quickshifter.

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 1,000 cc
  • Power: 199 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 825 mm
  • Wet Weight: 202 kg

How Did We Rank Our Top Ten?

We looked at all the best road focused sports bikes you can buy new and picked the top contenders, taking into account style, power, technology and value for money.

What Is A Sports Bike?

Sports bikes have one goal in mind, which is going as fast as possible from A to B. They achieve this by minimising weight while at the same time maximising power (ideally around 1 bhp per 1 kg of weight), a low aggressive riding position, full aerodynamic fairing, state of the art technology and the best lean angle possible for cornering as low as possible. The most expensive bikes are usually closely related to the manufacturer's MotoGP race bike of the time.

What Is A Sports Motorbike?

Sales have been suffering recently though because they aren't that comfortable, pillion friendly, economical or really that practical for everyday riding and if you can only have one bike an Adventure or Sport Touring model probably makes more sense, particularly if you won't be taking it anywhere near a track.

The middle capacities, around 600cc, have suffered the most though with the only real option still on sale being the gorgeous Yamaha R6.

Check out the other types of motorbikes.