Top 10 middleweight sports bikes of 2024

First came the Aprilia RS 660, then the Yamaha R7, but now the middleweight sports revival is in full swing, and the class is thriving once again

Yamaha R7

The middleweight sports bike class might not be what it once was - a sea of screaming 600s - but that does not mean the segment has lost all of its shine. There are still some great examples out there.

Bikes such as the Aprilia RS 660 and Yamaha R7 have seen a reimagining of the middleweight sports category, and a continuing stream of new arrivals - including the Suzuki GSX-8R and Triumph Daytona 660 - means that this is a class once more on the up and filled with variety.

Top 10 middleweight sports bikes of 2024

10. MV Agusta F3 800

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£16,800798cc147bhp65lb ft @10,100rpm186kg830mm16.5L

Poised, exotic, irresistible, the MV Agusta F3 800 represents the premium in mid-capacity sportsbikes, proving as elegant as it is raucous on the road and the track.

With the 675cc succeeded now by the larger, more powerful and altogether more suitable 798cc triple-cylinder engine, the F3 delivers a silky smooth 147bhp to outspent its rivals here and even keep up with the 1000cc big boys too.

Willed along by a welcome thrust of meaty torque, the MV Agusta F3 800 may not be as nimble and sure-footed as the less powerful, yet still riotously fun Aprilia RS 660, but if your deal is feeling special as well as thrilled, then the F3 800 wins hands down.... even at £14,840.

9. Zero SR/S

PriceBatteryBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightRange
£20,70017.3kWh110bhp140lb ft235kg787mm142 miles

While Energica may have pioneered the notion that electric and sports bike can work in rapidly accelerating harmony, for now the Energica Ego sits at the more premium end of the fully-faired spectrum.

As such, it has been left to that other veritable ‘veteran’ electric two-wheel brand, Zero Motorcycles, to fulfil a rather less intimidating EV sports bike brief with the Zero SR/S.

A sportier, more filled out take on the well-proven - albeit ageing - SR/F roadster, the Zero SR/S stands out from its sister model, though its bulky bodywork and dated finish around the headlights makes it appear dowdier than it really should.

Indeed, it's not a great first impression, particularly if it comes before you learn it also wears a price tag of £23,995. Making it the most expensive model in this Top 10 by almost £10k, of course you'll gather back the savings in low running costs. But with its most like-for-like rivals - such as the Honda CBR650R and Kawasaki Ninja 650 - coming in a full £16,000 cheaper than the Zero, you'd have to really love the environment to justify that canyon-sized margin.

Visordown Review | Zero SR/S [2020]

8. KTM RC390

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£5,699373cc43bhp27lb ft @7,000rpm166kg824mm13L

It may be doing the business in MotoGP right now but has been without a proper punchy sports bike in its range since the demise of the quirky-turned-cult RC8 990cc V-twin superbike. However, KTM hasn't entirely abandoned its racing credentials with the RC 390 (and smaller RC 125) offering learner legal thrills lower down the range.

Better still, a fresh second generation model is now on sale in the UK boasting tidied up looks - including colourways inspired by its MotoGP effort - and more generous kit levels. 

The modifications are less extensive under the skin, meaning a punchy 44bhp 375cc single can still be found in held in a dinky, slimline chassis. Formerly limited by its tiny, cramped ergonomics, the latest generation KTM RC390 is far less compromising, yet remains a slingshot faster than almost anything down tight and twisty B-roads. 

7. Honda CBR650R

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£8,599649cc94bhp46lb ft @9,500rpm208kg810mm15.4L

If Honda’s affordable, four-cylinder middleweight sports offering reminds of the classic all-round brilliance of the CBR600F which proved so popular throughout the 1990s then that’s entirely deliberate. 

A more affordable, novice-friendly foil to the then full-on supersports CBR600RR, it was also to revive the spirit of the original CBR600F and succeeded due to its blend of practicality, sporting ability and affordability.

Further updates came in 2014 (to 650cc) and 2017 (extra power and other refinements) and in 2019 was renamed the Honda CBR650R gaining, like the CBR500R above, Fireblade mimicking styling. It’s been a big success, as well, partly due to the fact that it combined Honda's engineering prowess with enough of the hallowed Fireblade blessing, added a four-cylinder engine and kept the price reasonable.

It won't blow you away but it's not for ambitious novices either - call it the Goldilocks of the Top 10 here.

Visordown Review | Honda CBR650R [2021]

6. Kawasaki ZX-4R

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£8,699399cc79bhp29lb ft @13,000rpm189kg800mm15L

Kawasaki was one of several manufacturers to almost completely remove its middleweight sports offering at the collapse of the four-cylinder 600cc demand, leaving more or less only the Ninja 650. But it’s back now, with the ZX-6R and, perhaps more excitingly, with the new and very affordable ZX-4R range, which also includes RR and SE variants.

At 400cc, this four-cylinder screamer is not an absolute reversion to the old days of the class, but it packs a significant punch with 79bhp, and of course, provides the part of the old-school middleweight supersports machine that everyone misses the most: the soundtrack.

The ZX-4R might not make the most torque, or have the best fuel consumption, but at £8,699 it’s hard to argue about its financial competitiveness, at least from the dealer, and you just know you’re going to have an absolute blast riding it.


5. Suzuki GSX-8R

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£8,899776cc82bhp60lb ft @6,800rpm205kg810mm14L

The Suzuki GSX-8S burst onto the scene for 2023 along with the Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE with an all-new engine from Suzuki, which is a novelty in itself by now.

We enjoyed the torquey nature of the new 776cc 270-degree parallel twin [link] in its lower rev ranges, and we feel like this characteristic could be a great asset to the Suzuki GSX-8R that was unveiled last November.

Having not ridden the 8R itself yet, it’s hard to give an absolute verdict on the machine, but its derivation from the 8S means we’re anticipating the newest Suzuki sports bike to be among the best in the middleweight division, and priced at £8,999 it’s fairly competitive with its rivals in that regard, too.

4. Yamaha R7

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£8,910689cc72bhp49lb ft @6,500rpm188kg835mm13 L

The Yamaha R6 is dead... long live the Yamaha R7?

Having initially resisted the purge sweeping across the supersport class that claimed its Suzuki and Triumph rivals, the axe finally came down on the brilliant but expensive R6 in 2020, Yamaha scaling it back to track-only RACE trim.

However, Yamaha's rich 'R' sports bike bloodline remains plentiful with the launch of the R7, which acts as its de facto replacement. In reality, they are only loosely related with the Yamaha R7 best described as a 'warm' sports bike with its 682cc engine toning down the shrill with a modest but eager-to-please 72.3bhp, though it does a decent job of replicating its involving riding dynamics.

And anyway, if those performance figures - and the somewhat divisive design - do spark a welling up of misty-eyes, the Yamaha R7's price tag of £8,200 - some £4k cheaper than the R6 - should dry those peepers pretty quickly.

Visordown Review | Yamaha R7 [2021]

3. Kawasaki Ninja 650

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£7,599649cc67bhp47lb ft @6,700rpm193kg790mm15 L

As a twin cylinder, novice-friendly, middleweight sportster, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 may not exactly boast headline-grabbing stats like those around it, but look a little closer and you'll find a temptingly great value, warm-to-hot lively sports bike.

Following the latest round of annual nip-and-tucks, the 2023 MY Kawasaki Ninja 650 has risen in price recently to nestle in at £7,649 but it remains a quality machine offering up plenty of fun from its 67bhp 649cc twin-cylinder engine, enough to ensure it lives up to its rich Ninja bloodline.

Thriving on keen revs, the Ninja 650 consolidates this with a well balanced chassis that - though not as honed as the ZX-6R - remains an entertaining accompaniment on the twisty stuff.

Visordown Review | Kawasaki Ninja 650 [2020]

2. Triumph Daytona 660

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£8,595660cc95bhp51lb ft @ 8,250rpm201kg810mm14L

The Triumph Daytona 660 has been on our radar for a while, and it has finally been revealed at the beginning of 2024. Based on the Trident 660 with which it shares the 660cc three-cylinder motor, the new Daytona certainly starts off with a strong base.

As with the aforementioned GSX-8R, we haven’t had a chance to ride the Daytona 660 yet, but we do know the Trident 660 is a match for the likes of the Yamaha MT-07 and Kawasaki Z650. With that in mind, we see no reason why the Daytona 660 can’t cut it in the middleweight sports scene.

Putting 95bhp on tap for £8,595, the new Daytona is impossible to ignore in this class, even if it remains just slightly off in the distance for now.

1. Aprilia RS 660

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£9,550659cc100bhp49lb ft @ 8,500rpm183kg820mm15L

Few motorcycles have generated as much buzz as the Aprilia RS 660 in recent years, so when we finally got our chance to throw a leg over it at the official press launch, let’s just say there was hype… 

There are many reasons why the Aprilia RS 660 is potentially so pivotal. It doesn’t have a direct rival in that it steers away from the ZX-6R/R6 shrunken superbike for the road model, but with 100hp and weighing only 169kg it is more potent - and expensive - than a 650 Ninja/CBR650R.

The result is a model that deserves to stand in its own unique place and one that could well inspire other manufacturers to shuffle things closer to its low weight, responsive useable power and exceptional handling model, though Aprilia does raise the bar a little further by cramming in all manner of clever tech to make its RSV4 big brother proud.

There is a lot riding on the RS 660 - because it will spawn a whole family of models including a Tuono naked and Tuareg ADV - but Aprilia can be safe in the knowledge it has not only nailed this one, it might have just saved the entire class altogether!

Visordown Review | Aprilia RS 660 [2020]

 Top 10 middleweight sports bikes of 2024 | Key specifications and technical details comparison

 PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap
10MV Agusta F3 800 R£16,8007988cc147bhp65lb ft @ 10,100rpm186kg830mm16.5L
9Zero SR/S£20,70017.3kWh110bhp140lb ft235kg878mm142 miles
8KTM RC390£5,699373cc43bhp27lb ft @ 7,000rpm166kg824mm13L
7Honda CBR650R£8,599649cc94bhp46lb ft @ 9,500rpm208kg810mm15.4L
6Kawasaki ZX-4R£8,699399cc79bhp29lb ft @ 13,000rpm189kg800mm15L
5Suzuki GSX-8R£8,899776cc82bhp60lb ft @ 6,800rpm205kg810mm14L
4Yamaha R7£8,910689cc72bhp49lb ft @ 6,500rpm188kg835mm13L
3Kawasaki Ninja 650£7,599649cc67bhp47lb ft @ 6,700rpm193kg790mm15L
2Triumph Daytona 660£8,595660cc95bhp51lb ft @ 8,250rpm201kg810mm14L
1Aprilia RS 660£9,550659cc100bhp49lb ft @ 8,500rpm183kg820mm15L