Top 10 Fastest Motorcycles in the World
These Bikes Are The Fastest Production Motorcycles In The World
Updated August 24, 2018
What is the fastest motorcycle in the world? Forget your one-off concepts and purpose-built racers – we’re talking about real life – real-world motorcycles that you can go out and buy right now. Remember that Dodge Tomahawk thing that always gets put on these lists? Yeah, you’re not going to find that on here – it was only a concept, and while we’re sure that someone with more money than sense out there could physically buy it, it’s not really the kind of motorcycle that we have in mind when we think about the “fastest motorcycle in the world.” Similarly, don’t expect to see MTT’s turbine-powered Y2K machinery either. Again, you could buy one but only if the highly skilled engineers at MTT think you’re deserving of one…which rules out pretty much everyone but those with deep pockets, huge balls, and the ability to competently service a jet engine.
However, we will be including a few special exclusive units, because otherwise, the list would be a pretty dull affair. Fortunately, the days of the manufacturer’s ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ are pretty much over, which has allowed for some remarkable motorcycles to surface in recent years. If you’re not familiar with the gentlemen’s agreement, it was basically an agreement between motorcycle manufacturers that limited motorcycle top speeds of 300km/h (186 mph) after Suzuki unleashed the Hayabusa on the world, which was so fast that many manufacturers feared a retaliatory safety crackdown from regional safety commissions.
Because of the 1999 gentlemen’s agreement, the first decade of the new millennium didn’t produce anything particularly exceptional in the performance department, and any type of fastest motorcycle in the world competition was pretty much owned and dominated by the Suzuki Hayabusa. That was, of course, until BMW decided they’d had enough in 2010. With BMW pushing the limits of the agreement, everyone else just had to follow suit. Over the last seven years, we’ve seen horsepower figures and top speeds rise…and this is how the leaderboard stands today.
Our list of the fastest motorcycles in the world takes top speeds from real-life road tests by amateurs and professionals alike and combines them with manufacturer’s claims. Some motorcycles listed have been known to go faster, and some a little slower, so consider our entries based on averages. Also, note that our entries are for their most current version. So, without further ado, here’s our list of the world’s top ten fastest motorcycles.
Which Bike Is The Fastest Motorcycle In The World?
#10. Suzuki GSX-R1000R – Top Speed: 183 MPH
For many people, this might come as a shock. You see, in a straight shootout, the top-of-the-line GSX-R1000R actually has a faster top speed than some of its more expensive competition. Compared with the likes of the Honda CBR1000RR SP or the Kawasaki ZX-10RR, the GSX-R1000R actually beats them both. With 199 hp available from its new super slim engine, the GSX-R1000R boasts a smooth power curve and formidable acceleration. Weighing in at 203 kg (448 lbs), the power to weight ratio is quite attractive, but not nearly as attractive as the price. With a base MSRP of $17,199, the Suzuki GSX-R1000R actually comes with a smaller price tag than all of its competitors and offers better performance than most of them.
#09. Aprilia RSV4 RF – Top Speed: 185 MPH
Next up, we’ve got the tour de force that is the Aprilia RSV4 RF. Anyone that has any doubts about the speed capabilities of the Aprilia RSV4 need only take a look at the model’s illustrious racing history and pay particular attention to the five World Superbike Championships that have been won thanks to these stellar motorcycles. Boasting 201 horses at 13,000 rpm and 84.8 lb-ft of torque at 10,500 rpm from its 999.6cc, 65-degree, V4 engine and a dry weight of 180 kg (397 lbs), it’s no wonder the RSV4 can be counted as one of the fastest motorcycles in the world. In fact, the Aprilia RSV4 RF can ring up top speeds of 185 mph, but it has been known to go even faster in the right hands and under the right circumstances.
#08. Yamaha YZF-R1M – Top Speed: 186 MPH
The top-spec Yamaha YZF-R1M is next up on the list. The R1M is essentially the more track-oriented version of the standard R1 package. It comes with a lighter weight, a power increase, and a whole host of high-spec goodies to help it move forward at a frightening pace. In brief, the R1M’s 998cc inline four cross-plane engine produces an almighty 200 hp at the crank, 83 lb-ft of torque, and can exceed speeds of 186 mph. While the engine is impressive, the real punch is thanks to the bike’s compact and streamlined nature, as well as the liberal application of lightweight parts. Oh yeah, maybe the MotoGP derived electronics help too…maybe? Weighing in at a svelte 438 lbs – fully laden with fuel – there’s absolutely no reason you can’t hit 186 mph with one of these between your legs. You’ll go faster too if you really know what you’re doing.
#07. MV Agusta F4 RR – Top Speed: 194 MPH
And then there was the MV Agusta F4 RR. If you weren’t familiar with MV Agusta but knew what a fast motorcycle should be, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the F4 RR wasn’t a production motorcycle. It performs and handles like a specially made, bespoke machine – but it isn’t. While all MV Agusta motorcycles are made with love and care, there’s something quite special about this one. In particular, we’re in awe of the powerful, 998cc, 16-valve, four-stroke engine that can shoot out a very, very impressive 201 hp at 13,600 rpm and produce 82 lb-ft of torque at 9,600 rpm. The engine itself features a plethora of titanium parts and lightweight billet features. The lightweight engine combined with all 418 lbs the whole package weighs makes it easy to see why the MV Agusta F4 RR can hit its claimed top speed of 185 mph…but in reality, it goes quite a bit faster with 194 mph being clocked on a regular basis.
#06. Suzuki Hayabusa – Top Speed: 194 MPH
Next, we have the game-changing Suzuki Hayabusa, the very model that provoked the famous gentlemen’s agreement in the first place. Since 1999, the Hayabusa has been a regular feature on pretty much any list that concerns speed. In terms of bang for buck, you can’t really get much better than the ‘Busa. Even the earliest incarnations of the Hayabusa have been capable of reaching speeds in excess of 194 mph thanks to the raw power produced by its 1340cc inline-four motor. We’re talking about 197 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque, with the latter being incredibly useful considering the Hayabusa’s mighty 586 lbs of….bulk. All in all, the manufacturer puts the Busa’s top speed at 186 mph, but we all know that 194 is a more reasonable assessment. With a few small tweaks, we’ve seen the Hayabusa go even faster.
#05. Ducati Panigale 1199R – Top Speed: 202 MPH
The Ducati Panigale 1199 R is more than just a superbike: it’s a super superbike. In fact, it ticks all of the right boxes. It’s powerful, agile, full of character, absolutely beautiful to look at, and most importantly: it’s fast. It’s also very expensive, but that’s not important because it should be expensive. Now, like many of the motorcycles on this list, top speeds can be interpreted differently. With the road legal settings punched in some of these machines will make less impressive speeds, but when converted to race mode, they begin to produce some blisteringly quick results. While the 1199cc engine produces a huge 205 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque from its twin cylinder engine, it only makes a top speed of 186 mph. Swap to the race settings and bolt on that track-only exhaust and the needle will easily point to 202 mph given the right rider. That right there is what makes the Ducati one of the fastest motorcycles in the world.
#04. Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R – Top Speed: 208 MPH
In truth, there’s not much that separates the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R and its longstanding rival, the Suzuki Hayabusa. Both are electronically limited to top speeds well below their capabilities. While the ‘Busa’s 194 mph remains universally acknowledged as the “safe” top speed for a relatively stock model, the ZX-14R has been known to destroy the manufacturer’s speed limit of 186 mph over and over again, clocking ridiculously high speeds. On paper, the ZX-14 comes equipped with a 1441cc engine that can produce up to 200 hp, along with 113 lb-ft of much-needed torque to heave the 584 lb behemoth up and down the drag strip. With a different set of tires and a small gearing adjustment, the Kawasaki ZX-14R can reach speeds of 208 miles per hour and more. We might be in the territory of removing manufacturer’s limiters and making a few mods, but that’s what makes the fastest motorcycle in the world competition interesting.
#03. BMW S1000RR HP4 – Top Speed: 217 MPH
The BMW S1000RR HP4 is a motorcycle that needs no introduction. Unfortunately, it comes with a factory limit of 190 mph. While 190 mph is undoubtedly incredibly fast, this top of the range superbike’s engine can do better. Already equipped with a fantastic 999cc transverse four-cylinder engine that’s capable of 199 hp and 83 lb-ft of torque, it doesn’t take much to squeeze out a lot more speed. By disabling the factory limiter, the S1000RR can easily hit speeds of 196 mph. Add a few minor mods, and it can reach 208 mph. If you’re prepared to put in a little more effort, you can make the BMW S1000RR reach speeds of up to 217.7 mph. If you don’t believe us, you might want to check out Valerie Thompson’s speed runs at the Bonneville Salt Flats aboard an S1000RR HP4 back in 2016…
#02. Lightning LS-218 – 218MPH
By rights, the Lightning LS-218 should really be in first place. If you’re looking for the fastest motorcycle in the world that’s a regular production bike, then you are looking at it. Purists don’t like the Lightning LS-218 though because it comes with a character trait that many still consider improper – it’s electric. Lightning’s flagship model, the LS-218 was named after its top speed: 218 mph. Back in 2011, the Lightning team took their bike to stretch its legs on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and it chalked up a groundbreaking speed of 218 mph, making it one of the fastest motorcycles in the world. Even the biggest electric haters can’t deny the performance of the LS-218: 200 hp, 168 lb-ft, 0-60mph in 2 seconds, and a freakin’ top speed of 218 mph. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget, this a regular street legal production bike. It would be number one, easily, if it wasn’t for the obvious…
#01. Kawasaki Ninja H2R – Top Speed: 249 MPH
Well, what did you expect? It might not be street legal, and is most definitely reserved for track riding only, but it is a production bike, and the fastest motorcycle in the world that you can buy. Granted, you’ve got to be a special kind of rider to get your hands on one of these, but you can do it, and people have. Powered by a supercharged 999cc transverse four-cylinder that can produce approximately 300 horsepower, the Kawasaki Ninja H2R famously reached the rather fantastic speed of 400 kilometers per hour whilst being piloted by supersport racing guru Kenan Sofuoğlu. Now, the H2R’s street legal brother, the H2, should also be mentioned. It’s not nearly as fast as the H2R, but it’s still quick. We figured having two H2 models on the list wouldn’t be fair though, would it? So there you have it, the fastest motorcycle in the world: the Kawasaki Ninja H2R.