Top 10 Sportsbikes of 2020

Fast, fun and more accessible than you think, Sportsbikes get our hearts racing in all the right ways - these are the Top 10 Sportsbikes of 2020

Yamaha YZF-R1 2020

WITH a host of new or facelifted sportsbikes to choose from this year, the options for the Top 10 Sportsbikes of 2020 are varied and exciting.

In this Top 10, we aren’t just going to focus on the 1000cc and over brigade, we’re going to pick the best CBT friendly sportsbike, the best A2 sportsbike, the best middle-weight sports bike, and the best 1000cc+ sportsbike - including the all-new Yamaha R1

Top 10 Sportsbikes of 2020 (so far)

10 - Aprilia RS 125

Quick Specs - Aprilia RS 125
Engine124cc 4 stroke single

At a glance, the baby RSV is almost indistinguishable from it’s bigger and faster brother, the new RSV4 1100. With an aggressive riding position, firm suspension and lightweight, the Aprilia makes an ideal B-road weapon, although slightly harsh on the daily commute.

9 - Kawasaki Ninja 125

Quick Specs - Kawasaki Ninja 125
Engine125cc 4-stroke Single

With its big-bike looks and team-green paintjob, the Ninja 125 is about as much bike as you can get on a CBT. With its punchy motor, head-turning looks and handling to match, Kawasaki have created a fun and easy to ride learner legal motorcycle.

8 - Honda CBR500R

Quick Specs - Honda CBR500R
Engine471cc 4 stroke parallel twin

Honda’s sweet handling CBR500R is a jewel of a bike, that really shouldn’t be overlooked in favour of bigger machinery. It’s comfy, quick, and enthralling to ride. Add to that Honda’s legendary reliability, cheap insurance and those baby-Blade looks – there really is very little to dislike about this bike!

7 - Kawasaki Ninja 400 Performance

Quick Specs - Kawasaki Ninja 400
Engine399cc Parallel Twin

Taking a leaf out of the H2’s book and wearing a slinky trellis frame, the Ninja 400 looks every inch the supersport machine. Only the riser bars and low-set, comfortable footpegs give a clue that this Ninja is not just a one trick pony. Once the weekend is over, the Ninja makes a surprisingly good commuter too.

6 - Honda CBR650R

Quick Specs - Honda CBR650R
Engine649cc 4-stroke In-line 4

Like the CBR500R only a tad heavier, twice as much power and the same eye-catching looks. The launch of the CBR650R was in Almeria, just north of the circuit. The mix of fast straights, sweeping bends and grippy tarmac made for a very memorable experience indeed.

5 - BMW S1000RR

Quick Specs - BMW S1000RR
Engine999cc 4-stroke In-line 4

For 2019, BMW’s flagship superbike has ditched the boss-eyed styling and slimmed down to make the S1000RR a much more svelte and slicker looking package that gives the Bavarian marque a very attractive range-topper. For only a second-generation model up against a host of seasoned pretenders to the sportsbike throne, the BMW S1000RR makes a very compelling argument.

Quick, slick to ride and desirable, whilst there are still some kinks to iron out in the package - which will no doubt come in time - the BMW S1000RR holds its head very high in accomplished competition. 

4 - Yamaha YZF-R1

Quick Specs - Yamaha R1
Engine998cc 4-stroke In-line 4

The new 2020 Yamaha R1 may looks familiar from the outset to its predocessor but the Iwata marque has worked hard on the oily bits to fine-tune what was a strong, if dated package. Indeed, the changes have brough the R1 right back up into contention with its main rivals with an updated electronics package that makes excellent use of the power in real-world situations - whilst sharpening its edge on the track - and endowing it with a soundtrack this side of a MotoGP machine.

A complete package, only its slippery aerodynamics, whilst great in carving through the air in a straight line, makes it a touch harder work through bends though this shouldn't affect it so much on the roads.

3 - Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja SE

Quick Specs - Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE
Engine998cc 4-stroke In-line 4

The top-spec Ninja gets a raft of electronic goodies for 2019 including, electronic steering damper, IMU, quickshifter, race-style – cassette transmission and finger followers to help boost top end. With 213hp at full chat – yes that frontal airscoop actually increases the bhp at speed – the new Ninja is surely one of the most formidable superbikes of 2019

2 - Ducati Panigale V4R

Ducati Panigale V4S - 2019 Review

Quick Specs - Ducati Panigale V4R
Engine1103cc 4-stroke 16v

We're already a huge fan of the Ducati Panigale V4 but the 'race-ready' Ducati Panigale V4R is a special way to really emphasise the superbike's thoroughbred DNA into a road-going package. It's blisteringly fast and emits a soundtrack that makes the hairs on your neck stand on end, with the 16,500rpm redline goading you into getting the full effect from that marvellous V4. 

Borne from the desire to give its WorldSBK riders the best possible chance to compete with Kawasaki on the racing stage, the Ducati Panigale V4R has thus sprouted wings which do their bit in keeping the power (relatively) tamed and while it thus loses some of the standard V4S' friendlier torque and more compliant ride, this is the Superbike that really emphasises what these road-to-track machines are about. 

1 - Honda CBR1000RR-R SP

Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP (2020) Review | Sound Engine |

Quick Specs - Honda CBR1000RR-R
Engine999cc 4-stroke 16v
Weight201kg (wet)

With the focus for this bike being to put Honda back on the top step in championships like the BSB and WSBK there are some features which the casual road rider will need to either forgive or learn to live with. It’s not that the bike is more focussed or harder to live with day to day than other top-flight sportsbikes. It’s just that for so long riders have looked to the Fireblade as a bastion of ease of use and of levels of comfort you can’t find elsewhere in the superbike market. This latest Fireblade isn’t like that, but it is so much better in many ways.

*Prices and spec correct at time of publication