Modern motorcycles have been through several advancements in design, powertrains, and electronics over the past few years. This makes the current crop of bikes some of the fastest machines – even when you include cars – on the planet. Things have been picking up speed since the 1990s and some of the fastest motorcycles of all time are modern sportbikes. A lot of motorcycle manufacturers have been simply estimating the speed of their bikes since they can’t just ask a rider to test drive their bikes at top speed. 

The reason for why motorcycles are much quicker in a straight line than cars comes down to their power-to-weight ratio. A 500-pound motorcycle with 200 horsepower will offer a similar power-to-weight ratio as a supercar with four times the amount of power because there’s a good chance that it weighs four times as much. Plus, without any doors, motorcycles have a greater sense of speed than cars, as 25 mph can feel like you’re doing 100. 

The majority of these bikes are relatively new so if you’re a speed demon, you need to check out these bad boys for yourself.  If you’re new to the world of motorcycles but enjoy cars in the fast lane, you should read about the best types of motorcycles and brush up on your motorbike slang before you jump headfirst into the world of fast motorcycles.

If you think you’re ready, then read on to discover the world’s fastest bike.

2017 MTT 420RR: 273 mph

Black 2017 MTT 420RR side profile.

Instead of a traditional internal-combustion engine, the MTT 420RR utilizes a gas turbine engine. If any of those motorcycles we drew as kids made it into production, they would be as crazy as the MTT 420RR. The Rolls-Royce Allison 250-C20 Series gas turbine engine produces a monstrous 420 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque — a ludicrous figure for a bike.

In addition to the gas turbine engine, the MTT 420RR has lightweight carbon-fiber fairings, light 17-inch carbon-fiber wheels, and an aluminum alloy frame. In case you were wondering, the “RR” part of the 420RR’s name stands for Race Ready, which the motorcycle certainly is. The MTT 420RR has a claimed top speed of 273 mph or, in MTT’s words, “Faster than you will ever dare to go.”

2000 MTT Y2K Superbike: 250 mph

Red 2000 MTT Y2K Superbike in broad daylight.

The MTT 420RR may well be the fastest motorcycle in the world, but it wasn’t the company’s first attempt at a ridiculously fast two-wheeler. That was actually the Y2K Superbike’s job. It was the first street-legal, turbine-powered motorcycle on the market. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Allison Model 250 C18 gas turbine engine, the MTT Y2K Superbike boasted 320 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque. At one point, it was the most powerful motorcycle on sale.

Despite the turbine engine, the MTT Y2K Superbike tipped the scales at only 460 pounds. Its light body and aerodynamic design meant the Y2K Superbike glided through the air and onto a top speed of 250 mph. MTT gave owners a guarantee that the Y2K Superbike would hit 250 mph, though we doubt any owners requested a refund after trying and failing to hit that figure. In addition to its insanely high top speed, the MTT Y2K held two records from Guinness World Records: the most expensive production motorcycle on sale and the most powerful production motorcycle.

2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2R: 249 mph

Shiny 2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2R on the road.

We won’t argue over the finer details of what motorcycle does and doesn’t belong on this list because of closed-course only requirements, but on top speed alone, the Kawasaki Ninja H2R belongs. Without the need to meet any road restrictions, the H2R looks like an extraterrestrial spacecraft and flies down a track like one, too. The supercharged inline-four puts out a claimed 326 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque, good enough to nip at the heels of 250 mph flat out.

The H2R may be blindingly fast, but it’s also built to demolish race tracks. To help riders put down quick lap times, the H2R comes with Kawasaki’s cornering management function, traction control system, launch control, engine brake control, and quick shifter. The fully-adjustable suspension, MotoGP-inspired transmission, and slick Bridgestone tires also help the H2R outperform nearly every other motorcycle on a track. 

2020 Lightning LS-218: 218 mph

Turquoise 2020 Lightning LS-218 parked outside.

Electric motorcycles haven’t gained a lot of traction yet, but Lightning has been looking to change that for over a decade. The company has come a long way since its first electric bike in 2006 and now sells the Lightning LS-218, which is the fastest electric motorcycle on sale. The green bike has a top speed of 218 mph, thanks to a 200-horsepower electric motor. 

If you’re unsure of Lightning’s place as a high-performance motorcycle company, it brought one of its electric bikes to the legendary Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 2013. Around the 12.42-mile course, racer Carlin Dunne managed to set a time of 10:00.694, not only winning the electric category but also beating other gas-powered motorcycles. So, the LS-218 comes from a company that knows what it’s doing.

2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2: 209 mph

2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2 being used for a trick.

As much as we love the track-only Kawasaki Ninja H2R, the track-only part of the motorcycle is a bummer. For riders that have no intention of going to the track but still want one of the fastest bikes ever made, there’s the H2. Kawasaki stunned the world when it introduced the supercharged H2 in 2015, as it was one of the first motorcycles on the market to use forced induction in decades.

The supercharged four-cylinder engine in the Ninja H2 produces roughly 220 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque, which are mega figures for a motorcycle. While the Ninja H2’s engine is certainly unique, the motorcycle also features a MotoGP-style dog-ring transmission that allows for contactless quick upshifts for blistering acceleration.

If you’re not a fan of the Ninja H2’s superbike design, Kawasaki also offers a Ninja Z H2 naked bike with the same engine. While the Ninja Z H2 doesn’t have the same output as the Ninja H2, it’s still crazy powerful and has a top speed of 200 mph. The Ninja Z H2’s science fiction design looks even more outlandish to the naked style.

Ducati Superleggera V4: 200 mph

Shiny Red 2020 Ducati Superleggera V4 on black background.

Ducati may not have the fastest motorcycle on the market, but the Italian marque makes some of the most exotic bikes available. The Ducati Superleggera V4, according to the brand, is the most powerful and technologically advanced motorcycle from the brand. The 998 cc V4 engine produces 234 horsepower, which is a mighty amount for the carbon-fiber heavy body, which weighs just 335.5 pounds with the available racing kit.

This isn’t the first time Ducati has used the Superleggera name for a motorcycle. The word means super light and perfectly describes the V4. Beneath the carbon-fiber bodywork, the motorcycle features a carbon-fiber subframe, wheels mainframe, and swingarm. Ducati was so serious about cutting weight that it uses titanium bolts in the V4 Superleggera.

Damon Motorcycles Hypersport Premier: 200 mph

Gray Damon Motorcycles Hypersport Premier parked outdoors.

Damon Motorcycles’ Hypersport Premier isn’t on sale yet, but the company is claiming some impressive figures. Someone at the company must be obsessed with the number 200, because that’s how much horsepower and range the motorcycle has. It’s also the bike’s claimed top speed. That’s right, the Hypersport Premier is an all-electric motorcycle with power coming from a 150-kW pack and energy being stored in a 20-kWh battery pack.

Beyond its impressive top speed, the Hypersport Premier impresses because of its high-tech features. The motorcycle has a 360-degree radar system called CoPilot that helps keep the rider safe by providing alerts on nearby obstacles. In the future, Damon Motorcycles’ cloud system will store data that’s gathered from every bike to help warn riders about specific issues they may run into. Going fast has never been this safe. 

2020 Ducati Panigale V4 R: 199 mph

Shiny Red 2020 Ducati Panigale V4 R parked ourdoors.

Take one look at the Ducati Panigale V4 R and you’ll notice the bare-aluminum tank. It may seem out of place to the rest of the motorcycle’s sculpted body, but it’s a hallmark trait that’s found on other homologation specials from Ducati. That feature reveals just how serious Ducati is about the motorcycle’s performance.

Power for the Panigale V4 R comes from a 998 cc V4 engine that makes up to 234 horsepower with the available racing kit. The latter brings the motorcycle’s weight down to a slim 365 pounds, giving the bike a power-to-weight ratio of 1.41. With that kind of performance, aerodynamics plays a large role in getting the bike to 199 mph. The available aerodynamic package brings a design that looks similar to something from Star Wars, but it helps the bike flow through the air.

2020 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory: 199 mph

Black 2020 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory's creative shot.

Very few riders would request more power or performance after riding the Aprilia RSV4, but for those that believe one can never have too much, there’s the RSV4 1100 Factory. It’s the lightest, fastest, and most powerful RSV4 in Aprilia’s lineup. The way to do that includes using a large amount of carbon fiber, having aerodynamic body fairings that come straight from MotoGP, and high-tech riding systems. Of course, Aprilia used a firecracker of an engine.  

The RSV4 1100 Factory comes with a 1077 cc V4 engine that makes roughly 217 horsepower and 90 pound-feet of torque. With that kind of power and a relatively low wet weight of 439 pounds, the RSV4 1100 Factory goes like an Italian missile in a straight line.

2007 MV Agusta F4CC: 195 mph

Shiny Black 2007 MV Agusta F4CC on plain background.

Companies that make motorcycles and cars rarely name their machines after people. It brings a lot of unnecessary risk to live up to its namesake. For the MV Agusta F4CC, the motorcycle was named after the late Claudio Castiglioni, who was MV Agusta’s managing director. While 2007 may not seem like it was that long ago, things in the motorcycle industry have changed drastically over 14 years, which makes the F4CC’s 195 mph top speed even more impressive.

The F4CC uses a 1078 cc inline-four that produces about 200 horsepower and 92 pound-feet of torque. Power is only one part of the go-fast equation, with MV Agusta relying on exotic materials — at least for the time — to keep weight down. Carbon-fiber fairings and lightweight aluminum wheels meant the F4CC weighed just 413 pounds. The limiting factor with the F4CC’s top speed was its Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa Pro tires that would have been torn to shreds at speeds above 195 mph.  

2020 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX-1300R: 194 mph

2020 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX-1300R's creative shot.

The Suzuki Hayabusa is a legend in the motorcycle industry that everyone on the road knows of. The elongated, menacing motorcycle came out at a time when Honda had the fastest production street bike in the world. Not wanting to fall behind in the top speed wars, Suzuki stuffed a 1,298 cc four-cylinder engine making 175 horsepower into the bike. Unfortunately, soon after the original Hayabusa was introduced, Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki came together to agree to limit motorcycles to 186.4 mph after the motorcycle set a world record of 194 mph.

Despite being over 20 years old, the Hayabusa has only received one major upgrade since it was introduced. In 2008, Suzuki put a 1,340-cc engine into the Hayabusa and added more aerodynamic bodywork, though the design was still as recognizable as ever. The new 2022 Hayabusa is on the market and we sincerely hope that it once again takes the fight to Kawasaki.

Suter Racing MMX 500: 193 mph

Suter Racing MMX 500 parked in a building on wet concrete.
Suter North America

Suter is a prominent name in the world of motorcycle racing, as it’s been involved in motorcycle road racing since the late ’90s. While modern MotoGP bikes come with one-liter four-stroke engines, race bikes used to come with half-liter two-stroke motors in the ’80s into the early ’00s. While those bikes are long gone, Suter decided to imagine what MotoGP bikes would look like if they continued to come with the smaller engines with the MMX 500.

The MMX 500 is a hand-built motorcycle with loads of carbon fiber and a wet weight of just 280 pounds. The bike’s V4 engine didn’t have a lot of weight to push around and with 195 horsepower, so it certainly got down the road in a hurry with a top speed of roughly 193 mph. There are a few downsides to the MMX 500 with the major one being its price tag of nearly $130,000 when new in 2018 and the incredibly limited production of just 99 units.

2022 BMW S 1000 RR: 192 mph

BMW S 1000 RR parked in the pit lane of a race track with blue skies in the back.

BMW flipped the superbike world on its head when it introduced the S 1000 RR in 2009. Not only was the original S 1000 RR an absolute monster, it also led the segment with high-tech electronics that set a new bar for everyone else to follow. A fully redesigned S 1000 RR appeared in 2020 and has arrived with noteworthy upgrades to make it even more capable than the original bike from 11 years ago.

On top of having tech that would make any rider feel like a pro, the S 1000 RR comes with a 999 cc inline-four that’s pumping out 205 horsepower. The standard bike has a wet weight of 434 pounds or 427 pounds with the M Package. The latter brings all sorts of upgrades that include a lightweight battery, carbon wheels, Ride Modes Pro, and an adjustable swingarm pivot point. Flat out, the S 1000 RR will hit 192 mph.

Speed isn’t for everyone. If you’re more interested in going camping with your motorcycle, be sure to check out everything you need to know about spending a weekend outdoors with your bike. Regardless of whether you’re looking for one of the fastest motorcycles in the world or something you can go into the wilderness and camp with, you’re going to need a helmet. We’ve rounded up the best available helmet deals to help you score a good deal.

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By Tara