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Superbikes


2012 BMW S1000RR2012 Honda CBR1000RR
Superbikes are the pinnacle of high-performance sportbike motorcycles. Superbikes are often referred to as literbikes, or liter-class sportbikes, referring to their large-displacement 1000cc and higher engines. The apogee of production roadracing, most manufacturers deliver full-factory support of their flagship superbikes in the world’s roadracing series – the most notable being the Superbike World Championship (SBK) and various national level series like American Superbike and British Superbike.

The Big Four Japanese OEMs have long dominated the Superbike
2012 Kawasaki ZX-10R2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000
class, with Inline-Fours like the Honda CBR1000RR, Kawasaki ZX-10R, Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Yamaha R1. Ducati superbikes, like the 999, 1098 and current 1198, hold their own with the Big Four thanks to the torquey Twin powerplant and its current 200cc handicap. Past Japanese models have also embraced the Twin, most notable modern superbike being the Honda RC-51.

Other European superbike models include European Twins
2012 Aprilia RSV4 Factory2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale
like the Aprilia RSV1000RR and KTM’s first production superbike – the KTM RC8. Aprilia also produces a four-cylinder superbike with its V-Four-powered RSV4. Another European four-cylinder is the BMW S1000RR, and Inline-Four and the first true superbike racer produced by the Bavarian marque. The American-made Buell 1125R is the first liquid-cooled Buell and features a Rotax Twin powerplant.

Defined by racing success, the win on Sunday sell on Monday philosophy is at definitely at work in the superbike class. As such,
2012 KTM RC8R2012 Yamaha YZF-R1
superbikes are often a showcase for developing motorcycle technology and racers often drive off-track marketing and brand ID. Just look at Mat Mladin's decade-long domination of AMA Superbike aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000, Troy Bayliss's three titles with Ducati Superbikes, or the incomparable Valentino Rossi, whose MotoGP star power is used to hawk the Yamaha R1.

Motorcycle USA gathers the superbike class together annually to test on street and track. The result is our most popular test of the year, the Superbike Smackdown. Stay tuned for Smackdown VI, as the best keep getting better in the high-performance superbike class.
Superbike Smackdowns
2012 Superbike Smackdown IX Track
Monday, June 25, 2012
Nine of the world’s highest-performance Japanese and European sportbikes face off in our annual liter-bike comparison. Which one do you need in your garage?
2012 Superbike Smackdown IX Street
Monday, June 11, 2012
Motorcycle USA gathered up eight liter-bikes and put them to the test in 2012 Superbike Smackdown IX Street. Find out which superbike is the champ this year.
2011 Superbike Smackdown VIII Street
Friday, May 06, 2011
Motorcycle USA rides the latest 2011 liter-class sportbikes on the street in our annual Superbike Smackdown VIII sportbike shootout. Find out what motorcycle gets crowned champ this year.
2011 Superbike Smackdown VIII Track
Monday, April 11, 2011
Another year, another crop of brand-new liter-class sportbikes and MotorcycleUSA puts these motorcycles to the test in the Superbike Smackdown VIII Track shootout.
2010 Superbike Smackdown VII Street
Monday, May 17, 2010
Motorcycle USA puts the latest 2010 Superbikes to the test in our annual Superbike Smackdown VII motorcycle shootout.
2010 Superbike Smackdown VII Track
Friday, May 07, 2010
MotoUSA takes the latest liter-bikes and put's them to the test in our annual big-bore shootout. Welcome to the 2010 Superbike Smackdown VII!
2009 World Superbike Comparison
Monday, November 30, 2009
MotoUSA goes to Portugal following the final round of the World Superbike Championship to ride all seven factory WSBK machines and bring you the ultimate Superbike comparison!
2009 Superbike Smackdown VI Track
Monday, May 18, 2009
Motorcycle-USA takes the latest liter-bikes and put's them to the test in our annual big-bore shootout. Welcome to the 2009 Superbike Smackdown VI.
2009 Superbike Smackdown VI Street
Monday, May 11, 2009
Motorcycle USA tests five production superbikes to see what literbike comes out on top in the competitve world of liter-class sportbikes. See the street ride results in the 2009 Superbike Smackdown VI Street comparison.
2008 Superbike Smackdown V
Monday, March 31, 2008
Five motorcycles of the highest performance, we get the best from Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Ducati for a little Smackdown.
2007 Superbike Smackdown IV
Monday, May 07, 2007
The Big Four's latest batch of literbikes - CBR1000RR, ZX-10R, GSX-R1000, and R1, we'll put them through the motions on the track and street.
2006 Superbike Smackdown III
Monday, April 03, 2006
We assemble the gnarliest wheelie-popping class of sportbikes for a big-bore brawl to see if the mighty Gixxer Thou can be knocked off its high perch.
2005 Superbike Smackdown II Street
Monday, May 16, 2005
There's more power on tap in any of these 400-pound bikes than you'll find in a 3200-pound base-model Honda Accord. Hang on tight!
2005 Superbike Smackdown II Track
Monday, May 16, 2005
We open up a can of whup-ass at PIR for the second portion of our Superbike Smackdown II.
2004 Superbike Smackdown Track
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
We already told ya which literbike was best on the street. iIt's track time, wound out to the max by former AMA champ Steve Crevier.
2004 Superbike Smackdown
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Better than you and not afraid to show it, these bikes epitomize the high-performance motorcycle. Oh yeah, and they're freakadillishly f-f-fast!
Superbike Smackdown Results
2012 - BMW S1000RR
2011 - BMW S1000RR
2010 - BMW S1000RR
2009 - Honda CBR1000RR
2008 - Honda CBR1000RR
2007 - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2006 - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2005 - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2004 - Kawasaki ZX-10R

World Superbike Champions
2011 - Carlos Checa - Ducati 1098R
2010 - Max Biaggi - Aprillia RSV4
2009 - Ben Spies - Yamaha YZF-R1
2008 - Troy Bayliss - Ducati 1098R
2007 - James Toseland - Honda CBR1000RR
2006 - Troy Bayliss - Ducati 999R
2005 - Troy Corser - Suzuki GSXR1000
2004 - James Toseland - Ducati 999R
2003 - Neil Hodgson - Ducati 999R
2002 - Colin Edwards - Honda VTR 1000
2001 - Troy Bayliss - Ducati 996R

AMA Superbike Champions
2011 - Josh Hayes - Yamaha YZF-R1
2010 - Josh Hayes - Yamaha YZF-R1
2009 - Mat Mladin - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2008 - Ben Spies - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2007 - Ben Spies - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2006 - Ben Spies - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2005 - Mat Mladin - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2004 - Mat Mladin - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2003 - Mat Mladin - Suzuki GSX-R1000
2002 - Nicky Hayden - Honda RC51
2001 - Mat Mladin - Suzuki GSX-R750

Superbike Dealerships
Recent Sportbike Reviews
Cheap Track Yamaha R6 Project - Part I
MotoUSA contributing editor Neale Bayly happens on a lightly crashed 2005 Yamaha R6 - an ideal platform upon which to build into an affordable, real-world trackday bike.
2015 KTM RC390 First Ride
KTM is bringing its single-cylinder RC390 sportbike to the States in 2015, and MotoUSA gets an early sampling on the backroads of Italy followed by laps on the Modena circuit.
2015 Honda CBR300R First Ride
Honda ups its game in the small displacement sportbike segment with its 2015 CBR300R, which features more juice than the outgoing CBR250R and styling to match its larger CBR siblings.