Visordown readers' top 10 non-Japanese sports bikes

It doesn't have to be Japanese to be good, you know?

HERE are your 10 most highly-rated non-Japanese sports bikes on Visordown, as chosen by you.

We've taken all European and American sports bikes from our database with three reviews or more, then averaged out owners' detailed ratings on the engine, brakes, handling, comfort and build to bring you the consumer's top 10. The higher the score, the more highly rated the bike.

Remember, this list is created using your reviews. The ratings are out of a maximum of five. 

10. Aprilia RS 125: 4.08 out of 5

Low down the RS is rideable, if a little slow. Hit 8,000rpm and it all changes; the exhaust note switches to a high-pitched 'waaaa' and the little RS flies, until it runs out of puff at around 11,000rpm where it simply stops revving as though it can't draw enough fuel in. Handling is razor sharp and the brakes have more than enough bite for this 125kg flyweight.

9. Aprilia RSV Mille 1000: 4.19 out of 5

In 1998 Aprilia launched the fast and affordable RSV Mille. Whilst the V-twin has handed over its flagship status to the new RSV4, it doesn’t make the Mille any less of a gem. The fuelling is beautifully smooth and the gearbox shifts slickly. You can almost forgive the woefully underpowered engine (115hp is typical) when you feel the linear power delivery. The grunt is there almost regardless of gear choice, shoving the big bike forward with a strong, insistent surge that’s the sensible side of silly.

8. Triumph Daytona 955i: 4.2 out of 5

In 1998, the 955i succeeded the T595 Daytona Triumph's litre-sportsbike. The 2001-06 Daytona 955i gained more power, had a few more mph at the top and weighed 4kg less. Billed at 147hp, it actually only punts out around 110hp on the dyno. A decent spread of power, 50mpg economy, and cheap second-hand prices make the 955i a good ‘real-world sportsbike’ option.

7. MV Agusta F4 1000 R 312: 4.2 out of 5

Now don't get too excited there, the 312R doesn't really do 312kmh (194mph). The moniker is merely a celebration of the fact a modified MV F4 once did a satellite-verified 311-point-something kmh. Flat out. Possibly down a big hill. Making almost 170hp, the 312R was 9hp up from its predecessor thanks to titanium valves, new cam profiles and an increase in throttle bore. Although the MV was overshadowed by the excitement surrounding the Ducati 1098, it’s still massively impressive when you consider the near-race spec forks, race-spec wheels, that gorgeous exhaust and quality rear-sets. It cost £14,750 at launch, you could almost call that a bargain.

6. KTM RC8: 4.4/5

Perhaps one of the maddest looking sportsbikes on the market, the RC8 makes a true 133hp from its 1148cc v-twin engine. It has plenty of room for taller riders and sublime handling kept in check by fully adjustable WP suspension and Brembo brakes. Early models could do with a Power Commander to smoothen out the power curve. To be that extra bit madder, get the R edition.

5. Triumph Daytona 675 (2006-2012): 4.46 out of 5

Introduced in 2006 after a series of 4-cylinder Daytonas, many thought that Triumph's 675 3-cylinder supersport was a passing fad, an engineering anomaly that wouldn't hit the sweet spot. After all, if the Japanese were sticking to 4-cylinder machines, what did Triumph know? Well, the 675cc never cleaned up in racing but it was an instant success for Triumph. A near perfect blend of torque and hosepower in a usable chassis made the 675 the choice for novice riders and old hands alike. 

4. Ducati 848: 4.5 out of 5

So much more than just a baby 1098, Ducati made an entirely new engine for the 848. Weighing 168kg and making a claimed 135hp, the 848 is by no means miniature. It misses out on the Brembo Monoblocs of the 848 EVO but retains its  impressive mid-corner stability. It's all the bike you'll ever need and a clean second hand example will only set you back £6,000.

3. Ducati 1199 Panigale: 4.6 out of 5

No trellis frame, a claimed 195hp, revised brakes and enough electronics to make the bike ride itself, the Panigale is something very special. The Superquadro engine has the best traits of a twin but is happy to rev like an inline-four. It's smooth off the bottom end and a completely different animal to the 1198 - it's a refined package but faster than ever.

2. Ducati 1198S: 4.66 out of 5

An extra £3,000 will get you the S model over the standard 1198, which gets you some serious bling. The S has traction control, full Öhlins suspension, an adjustable Öhlins steering damper, and lighter seven spoke Marchesini wheels, which brings the claimed overall weight down a further 2kgs to 169kg. Making the same 170hp as the 1098R, the 1198S is a smoother, more docile, and refined animal.

1. BMW S1000RR (2009-present): 4.72 out of 5

BMW launched the RR in 2009, their first crack at making a superbike, and it set the world on fire. The 193hp 999cc machine thrashed every other bike in its class and four years later its only real close rival is Kawasaki’s ZX-10R. The 190kg dry weight is heavier than it seems and many riders compare the size of the RR to a 600cc machine. Other than a fairly serious recall where connecting rod bolts were coming loose, reliability is said to be good. We recommend forking out the extra £465 for the BMW Motorsport paint job that not only looks awesome but will also retain its value better. For £13,735 you can have one of the fastest and best handling production bikes in the world. How lucky are we motorcyclists?


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