The litre-class is truly the gold standard of the consumer performance bike category, and there are very few players that dominate this market with their selective offerings. The reason for this exclusivity is the high bar of technology and engineering that these superbikes set, which are in certain cases on par, if not directly derived from the company’s professional racing machines. They represent the best that the company has to offer, and are therefore the ultimate indulgence for people who aren’t afraid to spend enormous amounts of money just to feel the rush of living on the edge. In fact, the only limitation you might face with any of these beautiful works of art is that you will run of road long before you have the chance to truly unleash the full potential of the bike, which is why most of them are only ever ridden on track. Still, that is as much an endorsement of the vehicle, as any other number we can spout. So let’s have a look at some of the best in the segment and what makes them so.
- Kawasaki Ninja H2
When it comes to sheer power and raw performance, few machines can stand toe-to-toe with this beast, which features a 998cc supercharged engine that produces a massive 242BHP of peak output with 141Nm of torque. This makes it easily one of the fastest production motorcycles in the world, with a top speed of 300kmph. To handle these speeds, the bike gets a lightweight Trellis steel frame with a single-sided swingarm, massive Brembo brakes and a set of custom tyres. The entire body has been sculpted around the frame to provide the best aerodynamic performance, which is crucial for performing high-speed manoeuvres in tight corners. You can get the standard variant at a starting price of `35 lakh, with special editions going all the way up to ₹75 lakh.
- MV Agusta F4 RR
Superbikes are meant to shine in all aspects, however the most striking feature is often their design; and this particular model is one of the best examples of that with a diamond shaped head and sleek lines that often get it referred to as the most beautiful superbike in the world. However, the aggressive design also translates to a very aggressive riding position which can get hectic after sometime. Even beyond the outer shell, the bike features unique elements, like the frame, which is made from a unique Chromium Molybdenum blend, and supports the impressive 998cc engine which produces 201BHP of power and 111Nm of torque. This figure is comparable to the RSV4, even though the top speed goes down by a point to 298kmph. You get all of this, and a lot more features at a starting price of around ₹35 lakh.
- Suzuki GSX-R1000R
Suzuki is one of the more respected and well-known brands in the Indian market. Even the design of the bike is familiar, as some of the elements have trickled down to lower end Gixxer models. Yet this bike retains the MotoGP pedigree, with a superbly tuned 999cc engine, which makes a decent 202BHP of power and 117Nm of torque. The top speed is capped at 299kmph, which is a great figure considering the bike is a bit heavier than the competition despite its aluminium construction. However, the real focus is on refinement, with a smooth power delivery and relatively sporty seating style. What really puts the cherry on top of the cake is the fact that all of this technology and engineering prowess can be yours for just ₹22 lakh, making it the cheapest entry on this list.
- Aprilia RSV4 RF
The value of this model can be discerned by the name itself, with the RF representing Race Factory, a tag that indicates the MotoGP pedigree of this bike, as well as its limited nature, since the company only made 500 units of this unique vehicle. What you get inside, is a 999cc engine that makes a good 201BHP of power and 111Nm of torque. This puts it at the high end of the spectrum, with a top speed of 299kmph, one number just shy of the H2. It gets a lightweight aluminium chassis for a change, with a tall body and sporty riding position. This is great for chucking the bike through small spaces at high speeds, but can take a toll on the body on rough roads. You can get one of these limited edition pieces for around ₹23 lakh.