Built for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering, these machines love slicing the wind to go as fast as possible

Massive engines, aerodynamic bodywork, top-spec suspension and braking setups, aggressive riding positions, these machines have got it all to attack everything running on the street and the track. These sportbikes enter with the best of electronic packaging and power to just be the fastest one out there. Built for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering, they come equipped with components from the industry’s best names to achieve a little more speed every single time they get on the paved asphalt.

We here give you a list of machines in 2020 that do all that, without breaking your bank. For under $10,000, these machines will blaze the streets and sweep us off our feet in the most fashionable ways possible.

Kawasaki Ninja 400

Top Speed Top Six Sportsbikes to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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KAWASAKI NINJA 400
MSRP: $4,999

This ninja 400 replaced the Ninja 300 as the brand’s entry-level sportsbike when launched, having greater performance, better-structured chassis, better features, more rider aids, and top-quality fit and finish. It is also 17 lbs lighter. It carries styling influences of the chin spoilers and the tail cowl from the mighty Ninja H2 along with the swingarm mounting plate and the lightweight steel trellis frame.

The newly built 399cc powerplant will pump out 45 hp of peak power compared to the 38 hp from the Ninja 300. It gets a new Assist & Slipper clutch for effortless gear shifts, and aggressive downshifts without the rear wheel chatter. The 41mm forks replace the 37mms’ used on the previous editions and are there to give the rider precise feel and action. The bike comes equipped with the latest ABS unit from Nissin, clamping down on a 310mm semi-floating disc (the largest in its class). MSRP: $4,999.

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Top Speed Top Six Sportsbikes to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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KAWASAKI NINJA 650
MSRP: $7,799

For 2020, the Japanese Green Team gave its finest mid-weight sportsbike, the Ninja 650, a facelift with aggressive new lines, Led lights, and a modern TFT dash. The vented front fender gives a cut-down look, and the racing-style bubble screen slices through the air. The beating heart is a liquid-cooled parallel-twin that pumps out 48.5 pound-feet of torque and 67 hp.

The Ninja 650 gets a trellis frame under the skin, 41mm telescopic forks at the front and a horizontal back-link with preload adjustment at the rear, which are set up on a softer side when compared to the bigger brothers. The dual 300mm petal disc brake at the front and a single 220mm petal disc brake units are also borrowed from the Ninja, and they get the assistance of ABS as standard. MSRP: $7,799.

Honda CBR650R

Top Speed Top Six Sportsbikes to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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HONDA CBR650R
MSRP: $9,699

Overshadowing its mid-weight child, the CBR650F, the Japanese Red Winger added an “R” to its lineup with race-tastic tendencies and an aggressive rider’s triangle, way sportier than the “F”. Built on the lines of the mighty Fireblade, the 650R manifests itself mainly in the upper-front fairing that rocks a wind tunnel-tested look that’s lean as a snake above the brow, and LED headlights that give the R an angry visage below a minimal bubble screen.

The Honda features the same 649cc DOHC in-line four-pot from the F, but now it shines maxing at 94 hp (8 more than the F). The torque figures are in the same range of 46.5 lb-ft. Mated to a 6-speed gearbox, this motor redlines at 11500 and sounds sweet after about 9000 rpm. New for this year are the twin ram-air ducts. A slipper clutch and Selectable Torque Control feature keep the rubber on the asphalt. Also new for this year is the inverted, 41 mm Showa SFF at work opposite a coil-over monoshock. The anchors rely on some serious hardware in the form of dual, 310 mm discs and four-piston calipers up front with a 240 mm disc and uni-pot anchor outback. Dual-channel ABS protection comes standard. MSRP: $9,699.

Yamaha YZF-R3

Top Speed Top Six Sportsbikes to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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YAMAHA YZF-R3
MSRP: $5,299

The new YZF-R3 is a light and practical everyday useable motorcycle. The R3 too looks similar to the R25, and its styling has been heavily borrowed from its elder brother, the mighty YZF-R1.

Powered by a 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, four valves 321 cc engine, this motorcycle produces about 42 bhp of peak power and 20 lb-ft of torque. A set of 41 mm, KYB front forks provides a plush ride with monoshock on the swingarm. A two-pot, piston-and-anvil caliper bites a single, 298 mm front disc, and a one-pot caliper binds the 220 mm rear disc. MSRP: $5,299.

Suzuki GSX 250R

Top Speed Top Six Sportsbikes to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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SUZUKI GSX 250R
MSRP: $4,899

Bringing the satisfaction of Suzuki’s sportbike heritage to a broader audience, the GSX 250R introduces fun and reliability to new riders. A cyclops headlight leads the way at the peak of the beak below the cut-down flyscreen. Short, clip-on bars and jockey-mount footpegs force the rider into an aggressive riding position.

Suzuki powers the GSX250R with a 248cc fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine that makes 25 horses and claims 17.3 pounds of grunt. Tubular steel members make up the semi-double-cradle frame that comes set up to resist the forces. RWU KYB front forks likewise do the job, while at the rear, a monoshock handles business well. Petal-cut discs work with the calipers to slow the wheels with ABS coming in as an option. MSRP: $4,899.

KTM RC 390

Top Speed Top Six Sportsbikes to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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KTM RC 390
MSRP: $4,999
Source: photographer: A. Barbanti, Image Source: ktm.com

It’s been seven years since KTM introduced the Duke and RC series, and since their launch, they’ve sold like hotcakes. It inevitably attracted all the attention because of its aggressive new sharper styling and plenty of exciting features. There is hardly any fault regarding the overall packaging of KTM with their RC for its approach towards performance-oriented segments of motorcycles. Dual headlights lead the way from their recesses at the entry of the front fairing.

The RC 390 will continue with the same 373cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine which is capable of producing about 44 hp and 26.5 lb-ft of torque. A new ride-by-wire system ensured excellent throttle response and smoother acceleration. It borrows the adjustable brake & clutch levers to suit every individual’s tastes. At the front, the RC comes fitted with open cartridge adjustable 43mm inverted hydraulic telescopic forks. In contrast, at the rear, it comes with a fully adjustable hydraulic mono-shock with a rear aluminum swingarm, both of which are sourced from WP. The pads are now sintered, and at the front, the bike gets a 320 mm disc and a 230 mm unit at the rear, Brembo units by the way. The ABS is made by Bosch and is switchable. MSRP: $4,999.

Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! - sagar@topspeed.com
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read More
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