General

Top 10 most powerful bikes of 2019

Remember when only GP riders got to experience 200hp?

There’s a power struggle going on between the world’s motorcycle manufacturers and as a result, we’re seeing ever more insanely muscular machines appearing each year.

We’re using manufacturers’ claimed figures in this list, for European-spec bikes, since the EU demands that such claims match up with real, type-approved power levels. And to keep things easy to understand, all the claims have been converted into good old-fashioned imperial horsepower. Bear in mind that those British horses are bit brawnier than their European, metric equivalents, so the numbers we quote here may be a little lower than the ones on spec sheets. Even when manufacturers quote ‘hp’ the actual numbers are often DIN horsepower (better known under their French or German ‘CV’ or ‘PS’ names), equivalent to 0.986 of one of James Watt’s original horses.

In the 2018 list only the top three beat 200 imperial horsepower, but such is the rate of improvement that this year that figure is virtually an entry requirement for the top 10, with eight bikes surpassing it.

Of course, all the numbers here are for road-legal bikes. No race-only tuning kits or track bike specials allowed here. Yes, we know the Kawasaki H2R makes much more power than any of these, but if you can’t ride it on the road, straight out of the showroom, it’s not making the list.

10: Kawasaki ZZR1400 – 197.4bhp @ 10,000rpm

The oldest bike on this list by a country mile, the ZZR1400 still manages to be a seriously muscular machine, hitting 200PS and, according to its official specs, pipping its own in-house rival – the supercharged H2 SX – by 0.1bhp. It also keeps machines like Yamaha’s R1 off this list by the same tiny margin. With no sign yet of a new Suzuki Hayabusa to compete with it, the ZZR1400 is the last of the old-school speed machines, but still holds its head high.

9: Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 199.1bhp @ 13,200rpm

The last bike to make this top 10 without reaching the magic 200bhp mark, the GSX-R1000 is another that usually has its power quoted in metric horses. On that scale, it makes a more impressive-sounding 202PS/CV. Either way it’s a crazy amount of power, and crazier still that there are seven more road-legal bikes that make even more.

Head to page two for the next bikes.

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