WHAT A world we live in. Not long ago the idea of strolling into a dealer, signing a finance agreement and speeding off on a bike making more than 200hp was little more than fantasy. Now it’s not only possible but there’s a choice of such bikes on offer.
With the reveal of the 2019-spec, Kawasaki Ninja H2 – making a full 231 metric horsepower (228 of our, fractionally beefier, imperial horses) we thought we’d bring a rundown of the 10 best 200hp machines out there.
This isn’t an out-and-out list of the most powerful current production bikes (you’ll find that here) but a more subjective selection of bikes, both new and used, that hit the magic 200 horses*.
*We’re going to use those pesky metric horses, just because there are quite a few bikes that manage 200 metric horsepower but don’t quite hit the same figure when converted to imperial hp.
10: Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 (2012-on)
The old ZZR1400 might not be on the cutting edge of modern technology but it’s been making 200 metric horsepower since before most of the other bikes on this list were even thought of. Although the ZZR’s been in production since the mid-00s, you need to opt for the 2012-on, 1,441cc version to get the full 200hp-plus experience. The earlier 1,352cc model scraped by on a meagre 193hp… The post-2012 models start at around £6500 on the used market.
9: Aprilia RSV4 (2016-on)
There’s a surprising lack of love for Aprilia’s storming V4 superbike, despite the fact that it’s got multiple WSB titles to its name. And we loved it on test a couple of weeks back. Yes, it may not be as easy to get parts and servicing as a Honda or Yamaha, but the RF and RR versions made during the last couple of years squeak past the 200hp mark. Earlier bikes aren’t quite as powerful.
8: Yamaha R1 (2015-on)
Since 2015 the Yamaha R1 has claimed exactly 200 metric horsepower (that’s 197 imperial horses, but were still part of Europe at the moment, right?) And of course it does it with all the ruthless efficiency and reliability that you’d expect from a Yamaha. In this case, though, there’s less benefit to buying used; R1 prices seem almost depreciation-proof, with dealers asking £11k-plus for 2015 models, while new ones can be had for around £2k more.
7: Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2017-on)
The latest and greatest GSX-R1000 has made up for a lack of development over the previous few years with a huge step forward, bringing power to some 202 metric horses thanks in part to its clever variable valve timing system. It’s a bit of a bargain, too, both new and used. Haggle hard enough on a used 2017 model and you might even get one for sub-£10,000. These days that’s new 600cc supersports money…
6: Kawasaki ZX-10R (2011-on)
We might have seen several updates since 2011, but it was seven years ago that Kawasaki’s ZX-10R first pushed past the 200hp mark, making a claimed 200.1 metric horsepower. That made it the first of the mainstream Japanese superbikes to pass the 200 mark. Early ones are now dropping to the £6,000 mark on the secondhand market; not bad at all for a bike that’s still essentially the same under the skin as the current, WSB-dominating model.
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