Top 600CC sportbikes
Supersports are bikes designed for the racing circuits before being plated, mirrored and tuned for the streets. With so many options in the supersport sector of motorcycling (a number that continues to grow every year), how does one wade through all the branding, head down to the local dealership, differentiate between logos on the gas tanks and settle on just one model designation on the tail? Don’t sweat it, Brucey has you covered.
First, let’s define our focus. The popularity of sportbike-crossovers has been on the rise in recent years with plenty of awesome naked bikes, lightweights and big-bore rockets hitting the market every year, but we’re talking about pure supersports here. Within the supersport relm, there are two main categories: superbikes with around 1000cc engines and sportbikes with roughly 600cc engines. There are top performers in each, but let’s further narrow our scope by eliminating the exotic/super-rare/high-priced outliers and focus on bikes that are widely available and in the $12, 000-15, 000 price range. So what does 2014 have to offer? We list the best 2014 sportbikes.
Price: $15, 499
In the premier league, an Italian factory is pumping out a red superbike that may not be branded with your default Italian badge. Aprilia’s V4 configuration of the four cylinders comprising the 1000cc powerplant in the RSV4 produces power like none other. Controllable torque down low with plenty of ponies in the high revs, puts this bike in a league of its own.
Extremely linear yet robust power delivery coupled with a rock-chassis, Brembo braking setup and electronic wheelie/launch control systems give the rider on board the RSV4 plenty of confidence to comfortably explore the capabilities of the bike around the race track. Aside from the tall gearing, the RSV4 also makes a very comfortable street bike with road-friendly racetrack aides such as the smooth-operating quick shifter and traction control system. Aprilia’s home-country rival is shaking in its Italian leather with the RSV4 on the market.
Price: , 150
The S1000RR is an excellent demonstration of the engineering and craftsmanship expertise the Germans are known for. In true BMW fashion, the company entered the supersport sector a mere five years ago with an instant podium contender.
The power metrics achieved by the inline four-cylinder engine are staggering but this magnitude of muscle is very manageable. Electronic aides such as power modes, traction control and anti-lock brakes enable this racing beast to be a comfortable tool around town as well. The suspension, chassis and braking system allow for great feedback on and off the track, producing a very capable dual-purpose machine.
It’s amazing that BMW was able to put out such an excellent supersport model on its first shot, but then again, the company seems to have a pretty solid grasp on the high-performance vehicle manufacturing industry.
Price: $13, 499
Dropping down a few hundred cc’s, Triumph has a supersport model that is giving the Japanese a run for their money. The Daytona 675 R ABS produces an awesome powerband with the unique three-cylinder inline engine. The larger bore of each cylinder raises the torque curve down low then delivers a top-end punch similar to the characteristics we all know and love of the legendary two-stroke powerband.