Will the BMW S 1000 XR, Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX or Aprilia Tuono V4 succeed in beating Kawasaki’s flagship liter-class bike? Let’s find outby Punya Sharma, on
With each passing day, motorcycle manufacturers are pushing the envelope of peak power that you can churn out from an engine. As a result, both sportbikes and sports tourers are getting more powerful and faster, to the extent that the gap between these two categories has shrunk.
This raises a very valid question - Can a modern-day sports tourer motorcycle keep up with (let alone beat) a modern-day liter-class sportbike? I’m sure this is a question, that many people want to know the answer to.
Lucky for us, Revzilla had the same idea, owing to which they brought along three leading sports tourer bikes - the BMW S 1000 XR, Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX, and Aprilia Tuono V4 - to a drag strip, pitting them against a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. Here’s how it went down.
The three sports tourer motorcycles here are all based on liter-class bikes and make a healthy amount of power. Check out the table below for their details:
|BMW S 1000 XR||165hp||84.08 ft-lb||BMW S 1000 RR|
|Kawasaki Ninja 100 SX||138hp||81.8 ft-lb||Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R|
|Aprilia Tuono V4||175hp||89.25 ft-lb||Aprilia RSV4 1100|
All three bikes went up against the 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R which draws power from a 998cc, inline-four mill that makes 203 horsepower and 84.8 pound-feet. Along with a big power advantage, the ZX-10R also weighs 456 pounds, which is less than all other motorcycles here.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R vs Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX
Being the heavier and less powerful bike of the two, it was quite obvious that the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX would struggle here, and that’s exactly what happened.
Even though the Ninja 1000 SX gets a pretty good launch, the ZX-10R jolts ahead and gaps the sports tourer Ninja in no time, ultimately taking the win by a decent margin. It’s worth noting, though, that the Ninja 1000 SX has panniers on it which would make it less aerodynamic and heftier, so it can go a tad bit faster than this. Still not faster than ZX-10R, though.
On to the next prey.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R vs BMW S 1000 XR
The BMW S 1000 XR makes a lot more power and weighs less than the Ninja 1000 SX, giving it a better fighting chance against the ZX-10R.
As soon as the lights go out, the BMW S 1000 XR, surprisingly, jolts ahead, taking a slight lead on the Ninja ZX-10R. However, once the ZX-10R slots into second gear and puts its power down, it eases past the S 1000 XR and takes the win, but by a shorter margin than it did with the Ninja 1000 SX.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R vs Aprilia Tuono V4 1100
This is where things get VERY interesting. Not only does the Tuono V4 weigh almost as much as the ZX-10R, but it also makes considerably more torque which can be crucial in drag racing.
So how did it go? Well, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R won. However, things were a lot closer here and the Aprilia Tuono V4 was ahead of the Ninja ZX-10R for a few seconds after the launch, post which the Ninja’s power advantage led to its win.
What’s interesting, though, is that Aprilia has equipped the Tuono V4 with an electronic limiter for the first two gears which makes it slower initially. According to the present, had there been no limiter, the Aprilia would’ve been even closer to the ZX-10R.
What we learned from these drag races is that surely sports tourer motorcycles are closer than ever to liter-class bikes and serve as a properly powerful yet practical alternative to the latter. But when it comes to outright speed, liter-class bikes still prevail.
Revzilla also performed a couple of other tests to prove the mettle of the sports tourers, which you can watch below: