2016 - 2020 Suzuki Hayabusa
It’s a Hayabusa. Is there really anything more to be said? Suzuki’s Gixxer 1,340 cc monster speed machine is back again for 2020. The ’Busa is one of the biggest sportbikes out there, so yeah, big and heavy; you don’t want to go slow for very long. Once at speed, the bike is in its element. Look up ’Stupidfast’ in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of a Hayabusa.
Aprilia put together the Tuono V4 1100 range for folks who want racebike performance but have no intention of ever taking it past the parking lot at the track. The “RR” serves as the base model with the aptly-named “Factory” as a factory-custom model that pulls exclusively from the top shelf for the most discriminating elbow-draggers out there. Both versions rock newly-revamped electronics suites, but of course, the Factory takes that a step or two further, as well, with the new RSV4 superbike’s DNA in evidence across the board. If you’re looking for a street-legal bike that’s also a racer-like bike, Aprilia’s Tuono V4 line may be your Huckleberry.
2019 Ducati Panigale V4 S Corse
Ducati expands its Panigale lineup and replaces its “1299” with a new model that’s meant to take over as the new apex-predator – the Panigale V4 – and the new Panigale V4 S Corse builds on that platform with a race-worthy package. Not only does it closely resemble the MotoGP version with much the same look and equipment, it doubles down with the factory race team’s unmistakable colors in its unique livery. Lest there be any confusion on this point, let me be clear; this is not a wannabe/poser machine. It doesn’t waste any weight on the road-legal gear that’s rather superfluous on a racebike, and it’s intended for the closed-circuit and proper road-courses only. However, no expense was spared in the ride-control electronics department, and the robust suite makes this a veritable marvel on two wheels.
2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory
Most of the major players have some sort of street-legal racebike on the market, and for Aprilia, that honor falls to the RSV4 1100 Factory. Aprilia pulls from the top shelf for the electronic safety and comfort systems to put together a machine that delivers track-like performance with a veritable alphabet soup of under-the-hood features. Aprilia gives you everything you need to manage the power that sets a new standard for a production V4 with over 200 ponies on tap.
2017 - 2019 Ducati 1299 Panigale R FE
Ducati released the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition in 2017 with much celebration. This last edition of the 1299 Panigale R superbike comes laden with top-shelf electronics and racing livery in a finale for the twin-cylinder Superleggera-derived Superquadro engine.
2018 - 2019 Aprilia RSV4 RR
The “RR” version of Aprilia’s race-tastic 2019 RSV4 superbike is something of a dual-purpose ride. The "RR" is essentially a racebike made street-legal that can easily be set up for trackday through the use of the optional Track Kit. The liter-sized mill cranks out over 200 horsepower, and the “RR” comes with an electronics suite packed with top-shelf ride-quality gadgets to help you keep it rubber-side down.
2019 Ducati 959 Panigale / 959 Panigale Corse
Like all the major players on the world stage, Ducati offers (relatively) street-friendly models in the 959 Panigale and 959 Panigale Corse for 2019. This pair showcases the Italian giant’s performance chops from the brushed-up stressed-skin structure all the way down to the newly-tuned innards of the 955 cc engine to compete against the other top-shelf, racebike-like offerings. Top-shelf electronics finish off the package to give them all the rider aids and safety systems you can reasonably expect at almost any price point, so you have a chance of keeping it dirty-side down while you raise your riding game.
2018 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE
Most of the major players have a street-legal racebike replica on the market for relatively ordinary Joes/Janes, and for Kawasaki, that distinction falls to the 2018 Ninja ZX-10R Special Edition. The SE borrows its plant from the Kawasaki Racing Team’s WSBK liter-bike race program along with top-shelf electronic rider aids that add safety and value. Plus, this model comes stock with Kawi’s Electronic Control Suspension system that delivers three separate modes, each with their own performance profile for quick switchups. Best of all, the Ninja ZX-10R SE is priced with us mere mortals in mind, having a sticker in the lower five-digit range instead of the six figures a few manufacturers demand for their equivalent machine.
2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+
Kawasaki beefed up its Ninja lineup ahead of MY2019 with the upgraded H2 SX SE+. Competition is fierce at the top of the liter-bike range, but Kawi has a not-so-secret weapon in its fight for street dominance in the form of a supercharger (compressor) that significantly boosts performance. The electronic suite received a buff as well with electronic suspension control bundled with new riding modes and the ability to network with your smartphone. Plus, it rocks a “self-repairing” finish that resists dings and scratches to help it keep its curb value.
2017 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-R1000R
Coming off a fresh update in 2017, Suzuki carries its GSX-R1000R into MY2019 with a new color palette, but little else in the way of changes. The next-gen “Gixxer” 1000 brings an all-new 999.8 cc powerplant to the table with a claimed 199 horsepower at the shaft and a whole passel of electronic goodies to help manage all those ponies. Traction control, lean-sensitive ABS, launch control and more, Suzuki’s flagship literbike comes equipped with overlapping safety nets to help keep us mortal, non-professional riders dirty-side down as we explore our electronically augmented performance envelope. MotoGP tech influences the design to give the rider a little taste of track-day performance, or at the very least, ’performance light.’
2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX / H2 SX SE
Brand new in 2018, the Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX SE from Kawasaki present as a sort of hypersport-next-door with large-ish windshield and relaxed rider’s triangle that is part of the comfort-oriented features package. This new line adds a dose of “super” to the sport-touring genre with its supercharged four-banger that cranks out a generous 101 pounds o’ grunt with enough electronic fandanglery to help you tame the beast, or at least protect you from yourself somewhat. Commuter or ’really’ fast tourbike, the SX siblings cover a lot of everyday-riding ground for riders who are looking for more than run-of-the-mill performance.
2018 - 2019 Ducati Panigale V4
Ducati continued its Panigale legacy in 2018 with the V4 base model and its variants, the V4 S and the V4 Speciale. Dramatic as it may sound, the V4 family may well be the finest streetbikes at their price points, and that’s not just clever sales prose, it’s the troofus roofus. It isn’t just about the raw power — 214 horsepower from the base model V4/V4 S and 226 horsepower from the Special — because the electronics suite is nearly beyond compare with an absolute alphabet soup of acronyms for all the engine/brake/chassis-control features. That performance comes bundled with a sexy superbike visage that looks fast even when sitting still, and all for $21,195 for the base model. This is a weapon of mass seduction that is drawing down on the general riding public rather than an elite (read: rich) few.