Top 10s

Top ten most iconic superbikes ever made

To coincide with the launch of Ducati Panigale V4 916 and the new Yamaha YZF-R1, here’s our rundown of the top five most iconic superbikes ever built

5. Honda CBR900RR (SC28)

At its launch in 1992, the FireBlade (early models had a capitalised ‘B’ in blade) stunned the world with its 205kg (2kg heavier than the CBR600F of the time) and with 128hp on tap, the established factories didn’t see which way the ‘Blade went…

Until the R1 that is!

4. Kawasaki ZX-7R Ninja

Looking every inch the endurance racer, the ZX-7 wasn’t actually the best sportsbike on the block, but that didn’t stop it gaining a cult following that continues to this day. The chassis included upside-down forks, six-pot brake calipers and huge 180-section rear tyre.

There were very few changes to the ingredients through the ZX-7R’s lifetime, with just some minor changes to styling and colours along the way. For the purist ‘Team-Green’ fan, the lime green bikes are the ones to have, with prices for tidy examples on the increase every day.

3. Yamaha YZF-R1

When a range of motorcycles has been on the planet for 21-years, you know it’s a winning formula! Few bikes command as much respect as the mighty R1 thanks to its razor-sharp handling, class-leading power output and ferocious speed along the road or a track.

Officially billed as the bike that stole the crown from the FireBlade, the R1 was an evolution of the YZF1000R and boasted a revolutionary stacked gearbox, 140bhp and such a focus on handling it would take years for the rest of the industry to catch up!

2. Ducati 916

We couldn’t feature this list without the legend that is the 916. Yes, riding one today might leave you feeling a little underwhelmed, but you cannot deny the impact this bike had on the global motorcycle industry.

The styling of the bike is timeless and to me, looks as good today as it did back on the show stand in 1994. While it wasn’t the most powerful bike out therein, boasting 114bhp when it’s peers were knocking on 140bhp, it was a sweet handling machine which had svelte bodywork and that unmistakable L-Twin burble.

1. Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja

A machine that boasts more WSBK wins than any other bike (65), the ZX-10R Ninja is about as iconic as it gets. And for 2019 the improvements continue thanks to finger followers, WSB developed suspension, Brembo M50 calipers and a new cylinder head to accept high-lift cams.

If the wail of a WSBK developed four-cylinder is what you long for, you can’t get much more authentic, or fast as a Ninja!

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