• Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made?

    1988 HONDA CBR250RR Max RPM: 19,000
  • 1990 KAWASAKI ZX-R 250/R NINJA Max RPM: 18,000. SP model: 21,000
  • 2006 YAMAHA R6 Max RPM: 16,000
  • DRYSDALE V8 Max RPM: 17,000
  • 1988 YAMAHA FZR250/R Max RPM: 19,000
  • 1988 SUZUKI GSX-R250 Max RPM: 17,000
  • MTT Y2K Max RPM: 54,000 (compressor)
  • 1992 HONDA NR750 Max RPM: 15,000. The GP spec: 21,000

Here’s our list of the top screamers rolling out of the production floors

Motorcycles engines are known for their high-revving nature. Since they are limited in size and slapping them with massive big-block motors like the ones you see on automotives is a non-option, they compensate for making that big power by revving higher than most cars out there. For most motorcycles, 8000 to 11000 rpm’s are a standard affair, and all current sports bikes rev happily at these ranges and push the redline a wee bit more too.

But you are not here for these, are you? Well, fret not. Top Speed has got you covered. Although emission laws make things like those an impossible dream today, the motorcycles we are featuring here will give you a glimpse of that very high revving creation of our pasts. And it all starts with the Big four’s from Japan. But of course!

1. 1988 Honda CBR250RR

Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made?
- image 868755
Max RPM: 19,000

As the Japanese economy was seeing its big boom in the 80s’-90s’, so was the Red Wing company and its machines. Being born at the golden era of Grand-Prix motorcycle racing and the famous Suzuka 8 hours, the CBR250RR dominated the sportsbike sales for its cost and the difficulty of obtaining a license and registering a bike of more than 400cc.

Utilizing an inline-four-cylinder, DOHC, four-valve-per-cylinder powerplant, this mill pranced a mere 45 hp, but what raised eyebrows was it coming at a demeaning 19000 rpm. That screaming is equal to a modern-day Formula One race car, but things began to change for the baby blade post 94’ after emission laws slapped compliances onto the manufacturers.

2. 1992 Honda NR750

Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made?
- image 868756
1992 HONDA NR750
Max RPM: 15,000. The GP spec: 21,000

Another one from the 90’s Red Wing, this NR750 birthed the idea of having an aluminum frame, fuel-injection, carbon fiber, digital instrumentation, under-seat pipes, and a shimmering, color-shifting windscreen brought onto mass-produced motorcycles for us nobles. Basically this is the motorcycle we need to thank for all our Ninja H2s’, Panigale V4s’, and HP4s’.

But the NR750’s biggest USP was its engine with its unique oval pistons on the V4s’. Underneath those weird, oval pistons, the engine was designed like a V8, complete with two rods for each piston. With 32 valves and eight spark plugs in total, this NR750 peak revs were restricted to 15000rpm. Honda had also planned on a GP bike based on this NR750 that spawned the idea of spinning the engine up to 21,000 rpm.

3. 1988 Yamaha FZR250/R

Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made?
- image 868759
1988 YAMAHA FZR250/R
Max RPM: 19,000

This rarity Blue Fork model was produced from 86’ – 88’ and was only made available in Japan. It is estimated that only a handful of these pocket rockets have made their way through onto our shores. Built to be a competitor to Honda’s high revving CBR250RR, is powered by a 249cc 1HX engine producing 45hp with a redline of 18000rpm.

Yamaha also made an FZR250R model that has cylinder rods 2mm shorter and 6 lbs lighter, which helped it to rev all the way to 19000rpm. These machines were slightly wider, but are still light and nimble and had twin front disc brakes. However, later models were limited to 18000rpm and are detuned a couple of HP back to 45.

4. 2006 Yamaha R6

Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made?
- image 45403
2006 YAMAHA R6
Max RPM: 16,000

The controversial arrival of this motorcycle began with Yamaha marketing this machine as the highest revving motorcycle of the time, boasting a massive 17500 rpm. The modern-day market went berserk, and people started picking them like hotcakes. But disaster struck when a faulty tachometer issue was raised, and Yamaha had to repurchase them all and rectify the same.

Regardless, this machine would technically hit 16000 rpm and still would lead the charts of being the highest revving machine of the times. Eventually, Yamaha optimizes the engine’s power output in a quest for better lap times and emission criteria that made the redline come down to a mere 14000 rpm; which, of course, is still a respectable number.

5. 1990 Kawasaki ZX-R 250/R Ninja

Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made? Exterior
- image 755449
Max RPM: 18,000. SP model: 21,000

Introduced in 1988, the Japanese Green machine boasted of a twin-spar aluminum frame, inverted fork, dual 300 mm front discs, and a larger 110/70-17 front and 140/60-18 rear size tires showing off some serious sporting instincts. These machines were only made available in Japan, and it redlined at 18000 rpm.

Being the smallest of all the Ninja’s sold at that time, Kawasaki also made an SP model, also known as the ZX-R 250R. This had a couple of upgrades, including a larger exhaust, different ratios, and different carbs, making this machine rev all the way up to 20000 rpm. Luckily, we have reasons to believe Kawasaki is planning to get back the four-cylinder quarter-liter albeit it going to have a lower scream.

6. 1988 Suzuki GSX-R250

Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made?
- image 868758
1988 SUZUKI GSX-R250
Max RPM: 17,000

The legendary GSX-R series played a huge role in the popularity of the motorcycle racing movement during the late ’80s and early ’90s. Being a classic example of the quarter-liter fight from the big fours’, the GSX-R250’s tiny 49 mm bore coupled to a very short 33 mm stroke means sky-high rev capabilities, resulting in a 17000 rpm redline from the 248cc engine.

As if to drive that point home about lots of rpm, the tachometer doesn’t even begin reading until 3,000 rpm. This meant that the first gear was kept short to reduce the need for more torque to pull away from a stop, and this was a fun way to begin your day.

7. Drysdale V8

Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made?
- image 868773
Max RPM: 17,000

Developed by an Australian engineer, this V8 monstrosity was inspired by the 500cc Moto Guzzi V8 GP engine and used parts from five different motorcycles. Using two FZR600 16-valve cylinder heads, the 4 cam, 32 valve engine also uses Yamaha pistons. The transmission is a six-speed cassette-type box with parts from a variety of manufacturers and slides out for service and delivers power through an FZR1000 clutch. The upside-down fork, wheels, and brakes come from an R1. The swingarm is Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 with an Öhlins shock-mounted sideways.

With only half a dozen models built, this machine develops 150 horsepower and will spin to 15000 rpm, and redlining all the way to 17000 rpm. To set it all off, a gorgeous one-piece fiberglass bodywork was designed and fabricated in house and painted in glorious Ferrari Yellow.

8. MTT Y2K

Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made?
- image 868757
Max RPM: 54,000 (compressor)

Taking high revs’ to a whole new level of baddassery, the mighty big Y2K turned us into a small kid bursting saliva bubbles with its exhaust note. Obviously, who wouldn’t love to hear the Rolls-Royce Allison 250-series gas turbine engine (usually found in, erm, helicopters) roaring under this two-wheeled glory?

Made by a Louisiana based Marine Turbine Technologies (MTT), the Y2K was unleased in 2000 (hence the 2K), and it took the world charts to a shredder. With a 320 hp engine that ran at 54000 rpm compressor speed), The Y2K was humankind’s beautiful creation that could outrun a Bugatti Veyron, and rev more than three times that of a Formula One engine.

Here are the compiled video links for you to give your ears a pleasure of these machines

Source: CycleWorld

Sagar Patil
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 full bio
About the author

Related Articles

Guide: Selecting the right Motorcycle Engine Oil

MTT is coming with a 420 bhp turbine powered demon.

2006 Yamaha YZF R6

What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: