NOT that many years ago people would speak with awe of MotoGP bikes that made more than 200hp and the godlike figures that rode them. Now you can take your pick of manufacturer, stroll into a dealer and ride off on a perfectly legal, emissions-compliant, quiet, reliable and really quite sane production bike that also breaches the psychological 200hp barrier.
It’s astounding, really. And thanks to modern electronics – traction control in particular – even us ham-fisted mortals can be trusted to take charge of these bikes.
Most of us would agree that anything that even approaches that much power probably falls into the ‘fast enough’ category, but the relentless efforts of manufacturers to out-do each other means that performance rises year by year.
Here are the 10 most powerful production road bikes currently on sale, based on manufacturers’ claims. We’re sticking to fully homologated, road-going models here. No ‘race kitted’ specials allowed (sorry, Honda RC213V-S, you don’t make the cut without an expensive tuning kit.)
Since we last did this, some power figures have also changed. Notably those of Ducati, which has de-rated several of its models including the previously ‘205hp’ 1299 Panigale – now classed as 197hp thanks to nothing more than a revised measurement method.
Here we go...
10: Kawasaki ZX-10R/ZX-10RR: 200hp @ 13,000rpm
The latest-generation ZX-10R hits the 200hp mark at a standstill but the firm is alone in also claiming a second ‘ram air assisted’ figure, suggesting that it will actually make 210hp with the supercharging effect of air being thrust into the frontal intakes at high speed.
To separate a rash of bikes that sit at the same claimed 200hp, we’re using the peak revs as a differentiator. The Kawasaki needs to scream to 13,000rpm to hit its maximum, so slots into 10th place.
Now find out what it makes at the rear wheel on the dyno...