10 Sportsbike Models You Need In Your Dream Garage!
Got An Unlimited Budget? Then You Need More Than One Insane Sportsbike, Right?
Updated August 27, 2018
In an imaginary world where you have infinite garage space and an unlimited budget, what sportsbike would be your number one, must-have purchase? But let’s not settle on one, how about 10 instead? And before this pipe-dream goes too far, lets lay down some ground rules. For a start, your dream sportsbike options have to exist in the real world – no movie props! Secondly, they can’t be race-only prototypes like MotoGP bikes, so you can rule out that YZR-M1, RC213V, Desmosedici GP, and the rest.
Our criteria also includes real life sportsbike models that you’d actually enjoy owning, riding, and looking at. Thing like the Y2K don’t get a look in, neither does the awesome MTT turbine behemoth either. That being said, this is a subjective list and it is by no means a list of the best sportsbikes ever made, or the most expensive. It’s just a list to provoke you into playing the classic “If I won the lotto…” game. Because if I was handed a huge stack of cash, this is what I’d be investing it in.
10 Dream Sportsbike Models For Your Dream Garage
The Suter MMX500
Fast, expensive, rare, and incredibly well made – this is the Suter MMX500. You don’t need a liter class sportsbike to enjoy huge speed and incredible power, not when the Suter MMX500 exists. Powered by a 576cc V4 two-stroke engine, the Suter can produce an absolutely frightening 195 horsepower at 13,000 rpm in package that weighs a devastatingly low 280 lbs in total. Along with the powerful engine and lightweight aluminum twin-spar chassis, the Suter MMX500 also boasts a whole host of MotoGP and WSBK derived goodies, such as a Mectronic ECU, GP-spec Ohlins suspension, top of the line Brembo brakes, a titanium exhaust system from Akrapovic, OZ wheels (available in aluminum or magnesium), and carbon fiber bodywork. As a bonus, Suter will paint your carbon fiber bodywork in whatever livery you want.
You don’t need to be a race-engineer to see the advantages of having one of these in your garage: it’s fast, light, and will blow away anything else on the track in its class, and yeah, you will be requiring a closed circuit to ride this on, because it is anything but street-legal. But since we’re talking about unlimited budgets, after you’ve shelled out $123,500 for one of these limited-production Suter models, you’ll be able to afford plenty of track time.
The Lightning LS-218
Variety is the spice of life, and while we like small sized two-strokes, ultra-light liter class machines, old-school racers, and supercharged offerings, there’s always room for something different, like the Lightning LS-218 electric sportsbike. Even if you’re not ready to commit to the electric revolution, you’d be foolish not to have one of these in your dream garage. Why? Because it’s the fastest, street-legal production bike in the world. Back in 2012, the Lightning LS-218 electric sportsbike managed to hit a top speed of 218 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats…and that should be reason enough to want one.
If the top speed of 218 mph doesn’t impress you, how about the rest of the sportsbike’s specification? With a maximum power output of 200 horsepower, a maximum torque figure of 168 lb-ft, the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in 2 seconds, and a battery that allows up to 100 miles of rideable range per charge at highway speeds, you can see why you’d want a Lightning LS-218 parked in your dream garage. This cutting edge electric sportsbike isn’t exactly cheap at $38,888, but with unlimited funds at your disposal, why not take two? Or save your money and wait for Lightning’s next machine, because they think they’ve built something that can go even faster.
The Kawasaki H2R
An obvious choice? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. You don’t need to like the opinion dividing bodywork, you don’t have to worry about the practicality, and you most certainly shouldn’t worry about whether you need another track-only beast in the stable – because while the Suter will be a blast, it’s going to be worlds apart from the 310hp supercharged Kawasaki behemoth. And if you’ve got an unlimited budget, you might as well have the legendary H2R in your garage…but what you don’t spend in real money, you’d have to spend in real time, because Kawasaki recommend a maintenance interval of…15 hours. But what did you expect?
In fact, we’re starting to wonder whether the H2R is really worth it? Sure, it has some sick performance stats, but it comes with baggage. Yes, it can reach a heady top speed of 249 mph but you have to arrive at the top speed in no more than 30 seconds otherwise your tires are likely to blow out. Indeed, it’s a fantastic track machine, but only if your local track allows it because it’s not track-legal in some places. And we bet it’s a bitch to repair…especially as Kawasaki give you absolutely no warranty for your $55,000 investment. Fortunately, this isn’t a list about common sense. It’s about what we want, and we want one, regardless of how useful it is or isn’t.
The Ducati 1299 Superleggera
It was a tough decision between the Ducati Superleggera and the BMW HP4 Race…but ultimately, we’ve decided on the Superleggera. If we were allowed an eleventh sportsbike on the list, the HP4 Race would certainly be added though but we chose the Ducati this time ‘round, purely because it’s road legal, and the BMW is not. We already have a couple of track-only machines anyway, so we needed something a little more road-oriented to balance the books – and there’s no greater option for a super-light street-legal machine than the new Ducati Superleggera: the most powerful twin-cylinder production sportsbike ever made.
Though not Ducati’s first Superleggera, the 1299 is far more impressive. Powered by a 1285cc superquadro engine that boasts an incredible 215 hp at 11,000 rpm and weighs 4.6 lbs less than the usual Panigale engine thanks to a new streamlined profile, the liberal use of titanium, and aluminum pistons. The engine weight is one thing, but it’s nothing compared to the weight saving achieved by Ducati’s carbon fiber monocoque frame. The whole package has a wet weight of a mere 368 lbs. One of these sportsbike marvels would set you back $89,000 but since all 500 of these limited edition models sold out before production even started, the large price tag isn’t the biggest stumbling block on your road to owning one.
The Honda NR750
Old but gold, and literally worth its weight in gold, the Honda NR750 is one of the most innovative motorcycles to ever roll out of the Honda R&D department. We can all agree that the NR750 had a hand in the evolution of the modern sportsbike but it was unappreciated in its time. These days we can look back on the NR750 fondly, but in its day it was an over-priced commercial failure. When it first went on sale it came with a price tag of around the equivalent of $100,000 in today’s money, which made it prohibitively expensive, but it commanded that enormous price tag for a reason.
Firstly, it was made of carbon fiber, which helps account for some of that price tag, but the real secret was in the engine’s internals. Basically, Honda tried to make a V8 motorcycle with only half the cylinders. By using oval shaped cylinders which allowed for more valves per cylinder, Honda managed to create something quite unusual, but quite innovative. And innovation and engineering like that costs money. Needless to say that only 322 of these were ever produced for street use, and back then none came to the USA. However, a few have made the journey over the water, and if you can find one, you can expect to pay about the same price now as you would’ve had to back then – because they are so damn rare.
The Suzuki RG500
While we’re on the subject of old but gold, let’s talk about one of the most legendary motorcycles ever made, and the grandfather of the modern sportsbike: the Suzuki RG500. For many racing enthusiasts, this two-stroke race machine from the golden age of motorcycle racing is one of the most excellent bikes ever made. The RG500 Gamma is a two-stroke, twin-crank square-four powered beast that could shoot out 94 horses and hit top speeds of just over 150 mph. It was fast and loud, but there was more to this 80s beauty than its engine.
The RG500 came with adjustable front forks, an advanced rear monoshock arrangement, and weighed in at an unbelievably light weight of only 340 lbs (dry). With some aerodynamic bodywork to hold it all together, and no less than four separate exhausts to look at, you can see why the RG500 was such a formidable sportsbike and track demon. Unfortunately, they are very rare – and when they do come on sale, these old girls can sell for more than $19,000 a go. And if you manage to find one with zero miles on it, then prepare to re-mortgage your house.
The Honda VFR750R “RC30”
There is absolutely no reason not to own a Honda VFR750R RC30 if you’ve got unlimited funds and unlimited garage space. For many riders, it’s everything a sportsbike should be. Essentially, the RC30 was a race machine that was ever so slightly diluted, and then unleashed on public roads. It was an expensive motorcycle in its day, with a retail price of $15,000 (a huge sum at the time), and its value has only increased as the years have passed, with prices exceeding $30,000 in some cases. But what was so special about the RC30 sportsbike to make it such a collector’s item?
First of all, it was a homologation special, which helps add some value but while it was released to satisfy entry requirements into the first World Superbike Championships in 1988, the RC30 actually rode into the history books by winning the first ever title – which adds even more value. Boasting a 748cc gear-driven-cam V4 engine capable of 118 hp, 51 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 153 mph, you can see why the Honda RC30 is such a sought after motorcycle. And that’s before we even get started on the looks…because it is easily one of the most beautiful sportsbike models ever made.
The Vins Duecinquanta
You might not have heard of Vins Motors, but you should own one of their bikes. Founded by a group of ex-Ferrari Formula One engineers, Vins Motors was created to build the ultimate small-capacity, racing machine, and their Duecinquanta machine is a very impressive motorcycle. It might be a 250, but this is more motorcycle than many riders could handle. Powered by a powerful 244cc, v-twin, two-stroke engine that can fire out 90 screaming horses, and hit a top speed of 149 miles per hour, and wrapped in a beautifully designed carbon fiber body, this lightweight 187 lbs pocket sized 250 defies “small capacity” logic.
And how much do you pay for such a motorcycle with such impressive specifications designed by former Ferrari nerds? Well…a lot. Coming in two flavors, a track only competition beast and slightly more manageable street-legal model, you’ve got the choice of paying a lot, or a little bit less than “a lot.” The street-legal sportsbike will set your imaginary wallet back $47,545, while the track-only weapon will cost you a massive $59,420. Expensive, but worth every penny for an exotic race bike designed by Ferrari’s old Formula One specialists. And that’s not a cheap boast.
The Honda RC213V-S
Talking of silly money, no imaginary dream garage would be compete without the civilian model of Honda’s incredible RC213V MotoGP race prototype. While it doesn’t pack the same kind of power figures as the model you’re used to seeing Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa riding, it does come with an exclusive Premier Class inspired price-tag: $184,000. That’s a lot of money, and when you read the performance specifications, you’ll agree that it’s a lot of money for not a lot of bike. In stock form, the RC213V-S makes different performance figures depending on where you live. You see, the 999cc V4 machine is sold with 157 hp in Europe, a mere 68 hp in Japan, and only 101 hp in the USA. And that’s not so fun, is it?
But Honda recommend any RC213V-S buyers to invest a further $12k on their official HRC Sport Kit, which elevates the Honda sportsbike to new levels thanks to a new ECU and exhaust, allowing the MotoGP replica to psh out over 212 horses at 13,000 rpm. So it’s not all a loss then? Well unfortunately, that wonderful HRC Sport Kit isn’t available to US customers. But this is all about imaginary dream bikes, so why let import regulations affect your choices. We’ll take one European-spec RC213V-S please, Mr. Honda.
The Ducati Desmosedici RR
We might have ruled out prototype racers, but we’ve already had one street equivalent from Honda, so what about the Desmosedici RR from Ducati? Up until recently it was the only V4 Ducati mere mortals could buy, with the Desmosedici GP models reserved strictly for premier class racers, and while wouldn’t mind a V4 Panigale, we’d never turn down the old Desmosedici RR. Argued to be the first faithful road replica of a MotoGP motorcycle, limited edition low-volume production run, and with a retail price of $72,500 at the time, the Desmosedici RR is one seriously rare sportsbike.
Boasting around 200 horsepower and a top speed of 188 mph from its 989cc V4 engine, the Desmosedici RR was nothing short of a marvel when the first units were delivered in 2007. Supported by a tubular steel hybrid chassis with a carbon sub-frame, carbon bodywork, Ohlins gas-pressurized forks, forged magnesium wheels, and plenty of titanium bits and pieces, the Desmo was a veritable powerhouse – as you’d hope for the cost. The price also included a race kit with a race ECU and track-only exhaust system, but unlike Kawasaki and the H2R, Ducati treated Desmo owners with three years of warranty and servicing. These days, Desmosedici RRs aren’t overwhelmingly expensive – but now that Ducati are once again a force to be reckoned with in the MotoGP, expect prices to rise.