Today, superbike lovers are spoiled for choice. From the Japanese giants to Italian exotica, there’s an endless selection of bikes to choose from, whether you’re making your first motorbike purchase or adding to an existing collection.
Buying second hand has its pros and cons, but if you’re patient, it’s certainly an excellent way to wait for manufacturers to work out the kinks of a new model before committing to purchasing. It’s also far more affordable than buying a bike fresh out of the crate.
Below we take a look at ten used bikes any two-wheel aficionado would be happy to have in their garage.
Suzuki GSX -R1000
Introduced in 2001 to replace the already powerful GSX-R1100, the 1000 is a beautiful, lightweight and high-tech machine that has been prominent in the superbike community for more than ten years.
While the 2001 model was already a thing of beauty, over the years it has been continually improved and will go down in history for its sharp throttle response, impressive power and surprising fuel efficiency. It’s also known for being surprisingly comfortable, especially compared to similar bikes, and is an easy and enjoyable ride.
MV Agusta F4 R312
One for the speed demons, the R312 was introduced in 2007. With insane acceleration and speeds clocking in just over 193mph, this bike is not for the amateur rider. The engine is packed with screaming horsepower, and even with the excellent handling, it requires a seasoned rider to harness its sheer might.
Combining a visually appealing and slick design with power and speed, the R312 is perfectly designed for track riding, but is an absolute joy for the experienced road rider, too.
Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade
When Honda introduced this version of the Fireblade they did so to critical acclaim from both the journalists and the members of the public that bought them. Introduced in 2004 and loaded with a whopping 172 horsepower, it’s infamous for its precision handling and the way it maintains its composure at high speeds, as well as being a highly satisfying and stable ride.
Honda threw everything they had into developing this bike, packing it full of MotoGP technology and power, making it a legendary, solid and high-quality ride.
The ZX-10R was originally released in 2004, and to this day remains one of the favourite Ninja models. Just looking at this bike is exciting, as it’s obvious from its sleek design and sexy curves that the ZX-10R is built to be a wild ride. Considering that this bike is essentially a race bike built for the road, it’s no surprise to learn that riding it is more than many can handle.
Clocking in at 180mph, the ZX-10R is packed with thrill after thrill. The earliest models are still highly sought after, with the newer models continually being developed and improved.
Ducati 1299 Panigale
One of the newer and more pricey bikes in our list, the Ducati 1299 was unveiled at the infamous Milan Motorcycle show in 2014. The breath-taking design is typically Italian – full of curves that scream speed.
As a newer motorbike, the Panigale is loaded with leading techy features which offer not only improved speed, but also higher safety specifications (win-win). All in all, the 1299 makes for an exciting and powerful ride thanks to its light weight, top notch performance, braking and responsiveness.
Kawasaki Ninja H2R
Rightfully classed as a “supercharged supersport” bike, the H2R was announced in 2014 and took the two-wheeled world by storm. In the years following its release, a series of speed tests were conducted with the H2R, first by James Hillier, who reached over 206mph, and then Kenan Sofuoglu who, after extensive training and preparation, managed to reach an astounding 250mph.
The street legal H2 is obviously packed with less juice, but still boasts a hefty 200 horsepower and clocks in at 183mph, making it an exciting ride for experienced bikers.
This bike will likely only ever be a wish list item for most of us, as it costs nearly £140,000. Even still, this MotoGP replica built for road use is slick and futuristic with an assortment of new technology, including a remote fob and no ignition.
With the RC213V-S, Honda set out to build a highly manoeuvrable bike and achieved superb handling and a surprisingly easy ride for a bike with such power. Reaching 180mph with a standard horsepower of 159, the RC213V-S is an unforgettable bike coveted by bike collectors the world over.
Screaming in at top speeds just under 178mph, the RSV4 is a bike that sounds as good as it looks. Introduced in 2009 to race that year’s Superbike World Championship season, this undeniably sporty bike has already claimed 54 championship titles.
In the RSV4’s short lifespan it has already become a legend, and comes packed with all the gizmos and gadgets one would expect from a modern Italian motorbike. Beyond this, it’s a lightweight and reliable machine obviously built with quality in mind, and is more comfortable on long runs than many of its competitors.
KTM 1290 Super Duke R
Introduced in 2013 and initially referred to as “The Beast,” the 1290 is a lightweight bike that is wildly pleasing to the eye with every angle screaming masculinity and power. One wouldn’t expect such a sporty bike to be comfortable, but KTM designed the Super Duke with excellent ergonomics in mind which is obvious from the minute you climb on.
Clocking in at 180mph and roaring with 177 horsepower, the Super Duke offers out of this world power, especially for a naked bike. However, thankfully, the forgivable handling compliments this power, making it a surprisingly easy ride.
The R1 is one of those bikes that has been around for a while (it was introduced in 1998) but has truly stood the test of time. With its release, it brought in the new standard for superbikes and to this day remains at the helm of performance and quality.
Some enthusiasts maintain that you can’t beat the original 1998 model, but any R1 produced in the last 20 years still has that pristine classic superbike look and feel, and would make the perfect addition to anyone’s garage collection.
Simon Colley writes on behalf of Motorcycle Spare Parts.