Motorcycles, because of their open-air designs, feel fast at any speed. If you’ve never been on a motorcycle before (and you should try riding on one), 25 mph feels more like 100 mph. Motorcycles, however, don’t stop accelerating even at 100 mph. Thanks to advancements in designs and powertrains, modern motorcycles have become some of the fastest vehicles on the planet.
A lot of motorcycle manufacturers have only claimed or estimated figures for their motorcycles, as few have ever asked a rider to test their two-wheeler’s top speed. Although the speed war started in the ’90s, most of the fastest motorcycles of all time are modern sport bikes. Since then, manufacturers continue to raise the bar with more powerful and track-focused
If you’re a speed demon who wants to drive at the speed of light, we’ve gathered the fastest motorcycles of all time. The majority of them are relatively new and on sale, so you may want to check out these bad boys for your upcoming summer road trip. If you’re new to the world of motorcycling, check out our detailed guide to motorcycle slang and the best motorcycle types.
2017 MTT 420RR: 273 mph
Instead of a traditional internal-combustion engine, the MTT 420RR utilizes a gas turbine engine. If any of those motorcycles we drew as kids made it into production, they would be as crazy as the MTT 420RR. The Rolls-Royce Allison 250-C20 Series gas turbine engine produces a monstrous 420 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque — a ludicrous figure for a bike.
In addition to the gas turbine engine, the MTT 420RR has lightweight carbon fiber fairings, light 17-inch carbon fiber wheels, and an aluminum alloy frame. In case you were wondering, the “RR” part of the 420RR’s name stands for Race Ready, which the motorcycle certainly is. The MTT 420RR has a claimed top speed of 273 mph or in MTT’s words, “Faster than you will ever dare to go.”
The MTT 420RR may well be the fastest motorcycle in the world, but it wasn’t the company’s first attempt at a ridiculously fast two-wheeler. That was actually the Y2K Superbike’s job. It was the first street-legal, turbine-powered
Despite the turbine engine, the MTT Y2K Superbike tipped the scales at only 460 pounds. Its light body and aerodynamic design meant the Y2K Superbike glided through the air and onto a top speed of 250 mph. MTT gave owners a guarantee that the Y2K Superbike would hit 250 mph, though we doubt any owners requested a refund after trying and failing to hit that figure. In addition to its insanely high top speed, the MTT Y2K held two records from Guinness World Records: the most expensive production motorcycle on sale and the most powerful production
We won’t argue over the finer details of what motorcycle does and doesn’t belong on this list because of closed-course only requirements, but on top speed alone, the Kawasaki Ninja H2R belongs. Without the need to meet any road restrictions, the H2R looks like an extraterrestrial spacecraft and flies down a track like one, too. The supercharged inline-four puts out a claimed 326 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque, good enough to nip at the heels of 250 mph flat out.
The H2R may be blindingly fast, but it’s also built to demolish race tracks. To help riders put down quick lap times, the H2R comes with Kawasaki’s cornering management function, traction control system, launch control, engine brake control, and quick shifter. The fully-adjustable suspension, MotoGP-inspired transmission, and slick Bridgestone tires also help the H2R outperform nearly every other motorcycle on a track.
Electric motorcycles haven’t gained a lot of traction yet, but Lightning has been looking to change that for over a decade. The company has come a long way since its first electric bike in 2006 and now sells the Lightning LS-218, which is the fastest electric motorcycle on sale. The green bike has a top speed of 218 mph thanks to a 200-horsepower electric motor.
If you’re unsure of Lightning’s place as a high-performance motorcycle company, it brought one of its electric bikes to the legendary Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 2013. Around the 12.42-mile course, racer Carlin Dunne managed to set a time of 10:00.694, not only winning the electric category but also beating other gas-powered motorcycles. So, the LS-218 comes from a company that knows what it’s doing.
As much as we love the track-only Kawasaki Ninja H2R, the track-only part of the motorcycle is a bummer. For riders that have no intention of going to the track but still want one of the fastest bikes ever made, there’s the H2. Kawasaki stunned the world when it introduced the supercharged H2 in 2015, as it was one of the first motorcycles on the market to use forced induction in decades.
The supercharged four-cylinder engine in the Ninja H2 produces roughly 220 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque, which are mega figures for a motorcycle. While the Ninja H2’s engine is certainly unique, the
If you’re not a fan of the Ninja H2’s superbike design, Kawasaki also offers a Ninja Z H2 naked bike with the same engine. While the Ninja Z H2 doesn’t have the same output as the Ninja H2, it’s still crazy powerful and has a top speed of 200 mph. The Ninja Z H2’s science fiction design looks even more outlandish to the naked style.
Ducati may not have the fastest motorcycle on the market, but the Italian marque makes some of the most exotic bikes available. The Ducati Superleggera V4, according to the brand, is the most powerful and technologically advanced
This isn’t the first time Ducati has used the Superleggera name for a motorcycle. The word means super light and perfectly describes the V4. Beneath the carbon fiber bodywork, the
Damon Motorcycles’ Hypersport Premier isn’t on sale yet, but the company is claiming some impressive figures. Someone at the company must be obsessed with the number 200, because that’s how much horsepower and range the motorcycle has. It’s also the bike’s claimed top speed. That’s right, the Hypersport Premier is an all-electric
Beyond its impressive top speed, the Hypersport Premier impresses because of its high-tech features. The motorcycle has a 360-degree radar system called CoPilot that helps keep the rider safe by providing alerts on nearby obstacles. In the future, Damon Motorcycles’ cloud system will store data that’s gathered from every bike to help warn riders about specific issues they may run into. Going fast has never been this safe.
Take one look at the Ducati Panigale V4 R and you’ll notice the bare-aluminum tank. It may seem out of place to the rest of the motorcycle’s sculpted body, but it’s a hallmark trait that’s found on other homologation specials from Ducati. That feature reveals just how serious Ducati is about the motorcycle’s performance.
Power for the Panigale V4 R comes from a 998 cc V4 engine that makes up to 234 horsepower with the available racing kit. The latter brings the motorcycle’s weight down to a slim 365 pounds, giving the bike a power-to-weight ratio of 1.41. With that kind of performance, aerodynamics plays a large role in getting the bike to 199 mph. The available aerodynamic package brings a design that looks similar to something from Star Wars, but it helps the bike flow through the air.
Very few riders would request more power or performance after riding the Aprilia RSV4, but for those that believe one can never have too much, there’s the RSV4 1100 Factory. It’s the lightest, fastest, and most powerful RSV4 in Aprilia’s lineup. The way to do that includes using a large amount of carbon fiber, having aerodynamic body fairings that come straight from MotoGP, and high-tech riding systems. Of course, Aprilia used a firecracker of an engine.
The RSV4 1100 Factory comes with a 1077 cc V4 engine that makes roughly 217 horsepower and 90 pound-feet of torque. With that kind of power and a relatively low wet weight of 439 pounds, the RSV4 1100 Factory goes like an Italian missile in a straight line.
Companies that make motorcycles and cars rarely name their machines after people. It brings a lot of unnecessary risk to live up to its namesake. For the MV Agusta F4CC, the motorcycle was named after the late Claudio Castiglioni who was MV Agusta’s Managing Director. While 2007 may not seem like it was that long ago, things in the
The F4CC uses a 1078 cc inline-four that produces approximately 200 horsepower and 92 pound-feet of torque. Power is only one part of the go-fast equation, with MV Agusta relying on exotic materials – at least for the time – to keep weight down. Carbon fiber fairings and lightweight aluminum wheels meant the F4CC weighed just 413 pounds. The limiting factor with the F4CC’s top speed was its Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa Pro tires that would have been torn to shreds at speeds above 195 mph.
The Suzuki Hayabusa is a legend in the motorcycle industry that everyone on the road knows of. The elongated, menacing
Despite being over 20 years old, the Hayabusa has only received one major upgrade since it was introduced. In 2008, Suzuki put a 1,340-cc engine into the Hayabusa and added more aerodynamic bodywork, though the design was still as recognizable as ever. A new Hayabusa is coming in 2021, and we sincerely hope that it once again takes the fight to Kawasaki.
Speed isn’t for everyone. If you’re more interested in going camping with your motorcycle, be sure to check out everything you need to know about spending a weekend outdoors with your bike. Regardless of whether you’re looking for one of the fastest motorcycles in the world or something you can go into the wilderness and camp with, you’re going to need a helmet. We’ve rounded up the best available helmet deals to help you score a good deal.
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