When the Dodge Tomahawk motorcycle appeared in 2010, tremors of doubt could be felt burrowing through the veins of even the most seasoned riders. The Tomahawk’s 500 horsepower V10 engine was sourced from the Dodge Viper, making the four-wheel bike a monster capable of topping 300 mph on race tracks after blasting 0-60 in about 2 seconds.
Bikers looking for a speed demon won’t have the Tomahawk (priced then at $700,000) on the radar, but there are many potent options on today’s motorcycle market when you want to fire out of the gate on a hot bike. From exotic bikes enjoyed by celebrity racers to two-wheelers in everyone’s price range, here are eight motorcycles in the running for fastest bike in the world.
1. Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC ($20,499)
The 2014 Aprilia RSV4 Factory has the love of critics and riders plus five World Superbike Championships under its belt to back it up. In the latest model, Aprilia sought to improve safety with an upgrade of the ABS for even more ergonomic braking. Sporting a narrow V 4-cylinder engine that was the first of its kind in the high-performance category, the RSV4 Factory can make the 0-60 sprint in 2.7 seconds according to test runs. That type of acceleration is rare for any kind of motor-driven vehicle.
As for top speed, estimates put the 1000cc Aprilia close to 185 mph — well above most cars and trucks on the road these days. It is also one of the fastest factory motorcycles being built.
2. MTT Turbine Superbike ($175,000)
Any car or truck sporting a 32o-hp engine would be considered worthy, but a bike that that can crank that power with 425 lb-ft of torque? That’s the jet-engine force delivered by the Rolls Royce Allison engine in the MTT Turbine Superbike. Known to break 220 mph on speed tests, the feared Turbine has been a favorite of Jay Leno since the Y2K model appeared. The Rolls engine allows bikers to blast from 0-60 in about 2.5 seconds
It’s only going to get more intense in the next super-powered bike from MTT. The forthcoming Turbine Streetfighter will have models featuring 420 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque on the menu. Handle with extreme care.
The Yamaha YZF-R1 has the reputation of a speed demon with exceptional traction thanks to its MotoGP technology. Powered by a 998cc inline four-cylinder engine with six-speed transmission, it is capable of 182 hp on 85 lb-ft of torque, which is on the lower end of engine specs for the list.
What the YZF R1 lacks in pull it makes up for in its lightweight design. Capable of hitting speeds near 190 mph on the open road, this bike is a pure beast. It can go from 0-60 in about 3 seconds.
4. Honda CBR S 1000 RR ($13,999)
This superbike packs a 999cc liquid-cooled, four-cylinder engine that provides a maximum 170 hp for blasting out of stoplights. Capable of going 0-60 in 3 seconds, the CBR S 1000 RR is indeed a lethal weapon on the streets of any city or town.
The Honda CBR S 1000 RR keeps pace with most bikes on the list by reaching top speeds of 185 mph. Dual-stage fuel injection offers riders top performance in low and high rpm, making the bike a lightweight monster.
5. BMW S 1000 RR ($15,150)
BMW aimed to make it easy to handle the power of its 1000 RR by equipping the bike with four different riding modes. These settings make it easier to handle the power of the 193-hp engine that packs 83 lb-ft of torque.
Whether on the track or open road, the pull of the BMW S 1000 RR allows riders to sprint 0-60 in a mere 2.6 seconds. The bike is capable of hitting top speeds of 185 mph.
6. Kawasaki Ninja ZX 14R ($15,299)
The Kawasaki Ninja motorcycles are known for thrills in many different sizes, but the 1441cc model is clearly the intimidating one of the group. This Ninja’s four-cylinder, liquid cooled DOHC engine is capable of producing a maximum 189 hp.
At its fastest moments, the ZX 14R can make it to 186 mph. Straight out of the box, it can go 0-60 in just 2.6 seconds. Riders won’t have any issues merging into traffic anywhere with that power.
7. Ducati 1199 Panigale R ($30,995)
Lovers of speed and Ducati style find the perfect specimen in the 1199 Panigale R, a bike the Italian motorcycle maker equips with a 1199cc engine capable of max 195 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque. Titanium piston rods, Ohlin front and rear suspension, racing exhaust, and carbon fiber bodywork set this pricey bike apart from others in the class.
On the road, the 1199 Panigale R can hit a top speed of 186 mph after launching from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, while the track-only exhaust pushes that top speed over 200 mph with 202 hp.
8. Suzuki Hayabusa ($14,599)
In terms of pure speed per dollar, there is no equal to the sub-$15K Suzuki Hayabusa. Featuring the name of a bird that flies at a blistering pace and a 1340cc four-cylinder, in-line liquid-cooled 16-valve engine, the Hayabusa is capable of hitting maximum 197 hp. Touted by the bike maker as the “ultimate sport bike,” it features Brembo Monbloc brakes and ABS capabilities. Stopping power is always a priority in bikes this powerful.
At racing time, there is no equal among bikes in this class or price range. The Hayabusa can blast from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, but what this Suzuki does above that speed is truly amazing. It has been clocked at top speeds approaching 194 mph. Among bikes on two wheels, nothing made for a wide audience can top the Hayabusa on the road.