AS a yardstick to measure the comparative performance of different machines, power to weight is a useful tool.
And it’s something that’s been the focus of much attention over the last year. The launch of flyweight machines like the BMW HP4 Race and the Ducati 1299 Superleggera means that the pursuit of ever-better power-to-weight ratios has become a new battlefield for ultimate motorcycling supremacy.
So we’ve scoured the spec sheets to come up with a list of the 10 bikes with the best power-to-weight ratios out there. We’re including track-only bikes like the HP4 Race, with the proviso that you’ve got to be able to buy them. And to add a level of fairness, where a factory track kit comes with the bike (or, as with Honda’s RC213V-S, is sure to be bought by every customer), we’ve assumed it’s fitted.
We’re using dry weight figures to try to give a level playing field, too.
10: Ducati Panigale R: 1.209hp/kg
With all the fuss over the even more powerful Superleggera, the Ducati Panigale R has been pushed from its position as Ducati’s superbike top dog. But it’s still got some impressive numbers. In fact, a few months ago it would have been higher on the list. Ducati used to claim 205hp at 162kg, giving a 1.265hp/kg power-to-weight. It’s recently re-evaluated that power claim, dropping it to 196hp to comply with European testing rules. Still, anything over 1.2hp/kg is pretty astounding. And remember, it’s still got the old 1198cc engine, not the 1285cc motor of the 1299 Panigale.