The latest model releases from the two recent motorcycle shows in Milan and Cologne prove that power is still king in the two-wheel world.
A new road leader has emerged and some older models have been pushed down the order.
The list of the most powerful is still dominated by the track-only Kawasaki H2R at 240kW.
New road king
However, the new king of the road-registered bikes is the 2019 Ducati Panigale V4R pictured at the top of the page.
With 162kW of power it leapfrogs Honda’s RC213V-S which rates 158kW with a track kit, equal to the MV Agusta F4RC.
The V4R has been homologated so Ducati can go World Superbike racing again, so it is 998cc, not 1103cc.
Despite having fewer cubes, it has more poke.
Two bikes joining the top 10 are the updated BMW S 1000 RR with ShiftCam technology and 152kW, plus the 2019 Suzuki GSX-R1000 R1 in 10th place with 150kW.
Anyone who says power isn’t everything hasn’t twisted the throttle on a powerful sports bike.
Unfortunately, the only places left to experience these bikes is on unlimited-speed roads, at track days and in that all-important 100m traffic light drag.
There may not be many places left to experience the full power of some of the world’s most powerful bikes, but it’s always good to know the power is there.
So we’ve complied three lists of currently available new sports bikes with the most power, the most torque and with the highest power-to-weight ratio.
We have used factory supplied power and wet weight figures for Australia. The figures may vary slightly for some other countries.
For interest’s sake, we have also included at what revs they achieve peak power and torque to give you an indication of where they get most of their thrust.
Talk the torque
While the kings of power are important, torque is that thrust in the chest at the starting line that we all love.
The king of grunt is still the brawny Yamaha V-Max. Kawasaki isn’t far behind with its forced-induction models and the normally aspirated Kawasaki ZX-14R.
If you were to include cruisers, Triumph’s 2.3-litre triple would be the undisputed king with 203Nm of stump-pullling grunt and several other cruisers would also rate high, including Harley’s Milwaukee Eight 114-cube FXDR which makes 162Nm.
Power and torque are meaningless if your bike is a porker like the 310kg V-Max. So we’ve also compiled a list of the best power-to-weight ratio sports bikes.
Again the winner is the Kawasaki H2R track-only weapon which has more kilowatts than kilograms for a power-to-weight ratio of 1.11. That compares with the V-Max at 47ptw.
So if you want a lithe sports bike with a good mix of heady power and gut-crunching grunt, Kawasaki should be your first port of call, or go to your local performance shop for a supercharger or turbocharger.