Cycle World’s 2016 Superbike Comparison Test - The Video

Associate Editors Bradley Adams and Sean MacDonald run through the pluses and minuses of each bike participating in Cycle World’s 2016 Superbike test…and pick a winner.

There were screams and insults, name calling, and lots of bickering; winners and losers. But after countless hours spent deliberating which bikes we should include in Cycle World's 2016 Superbike Showdown, a decision was finally made. Four bikes made the cut.

Those four bikes may or may not be what you expected us to bring together for what's traditionally been a very straightforward test. They include Aprilia's recently updated RSV4 RR, Ducati's 959 Panigale, Kawasaki's new ZX-10R, and Yamaha's YZF-R1. Yes, we said 959 Panigale instead of 1299 Panigale, and no, there is no BMW S1000RR. Nor a Suzuki GSX-R1000, Honda CBR, MV Agusta, or other.

That’s not to say, to you BMW, Suzuki, or Honda fans out there, that your bike isn’t still great. Protocol has always been to include in a test like this only new bikes, bikes that we have not yet included in a comparison, and the winner from the previous shootout. Yamaha’s R1M/R1 won last year’s comparison test, and we had yet to include Aprilia’s RSV4 RR in a test. Meanwhile, Kawasaki’s ZX-10R had its gloves laced up, and was ready to duke it out with what Kawi had so clearly intended for it to do battle with.

superbike motorcycles group static
This year's test includes Aprilia’s recently updated RSV4 RR, Ducati’s 959 Panigale, Kawasaki's new ZX-10R, and Yamaha’s YZF-R1.Jeff Allen

As for the Ducati 959; so many of you had commented on previous posts (both at and on social media), arguing that this was no longer a middleweight, essentially suggesting that it was something closer to a literbike. Ever willing to settle an argument, we figured what better way to figure out how close it really was to a true literbike by throwing it into the mix. And, since the 1299 was not updated and had already lost out to the Yamaha R1/R1M last year, it didn't need to be included.

So, you know what bikes we brought along and why. Now, for what you really want to know—what wins and why—here’s the video from our 2016 Superbike Showdown. Click play, watch it, and let us know what you think we got right, wrong, or just completely missed.

And stay tuned for the full written comparison test, which goes live next week!