Top 5 Sport Bike Comparison Tests

The most popular comparison tests from our road test archive

Comparison tests are a staple feature of the magazine, as they are the best way to see how a certain model stacks up against its competitors. But comparison tests are not always about pitting bikes in the same displacement category against each other. It could be number of cylinders, country of origin, or even simply the color of the bikes. It's all part of making the articles entertaining as well as informative.

Here we have compiled our five most popular comparison tests from the magazine. We based the selection on a number of criteria, and ended up with a nice sampling, from a bread-and-butter middleweight comparison feature to something decidedly more fun. Additionally, at the bottom of the list are five more honorable mentions.

Scroll down to view the brief synopsis of each test, or use the links to read the entire feature.

1: Superbike Slugfest! - 2012 Literbike Comparison

After several years of economic turmoil that wreaked havoc on the sportbike market, the literbike class blossomed in 2012 with several new models. It made for a huge undertaking, as we included eight bikes in the test: the Aprilia RSV4 R, BMW S 1000 RR, Ducati 1199 Panigale, Honda CBR1000RR, Kawasaki ZX-10R, KTM 1190 RC8 R, Suzuki GSX-R1000, and Yamaha YZF-R1. Two days at the track, more on the street, performance testing, dyno runs and a lot of banter among our testers and we had a winner. Read the test here: Superbike Slugfest! - 2012 Literbike Comparison

2: Beasts, Not Beauties - 2014 Big-Bore Naked-Bike Comparison

2014 big-bore naked-bike comparison test

These open-class naked bikes are perhaps the most fun motorcycles on the planet, making this test a grin-fest from start to finish. Included are the Aprilia Tuono V4R ABS, BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, Kawasaki Z1000 ABS and KTM Super Duke R. "I simply can't help but to laugh whenever I'm on that bike and turn the throttle to the stop," wrote our man Bradley about one of the bikes. "And that's what riding a big-bore naked bike is all about, right?" Read the test here: Beasts, Not Beauties - 2014 Big-Bore Naked-Bike Comparison

3: Italy's Best - Italian Sportbike Comparison Test

From 2013, our test of three high-dollar Italian exotics - the Aprilia RSV4 Factory, MV Agusta F4RR and Ducati 1199 Panigale R - showcased the latest and greatest in electronic wizardry and superbike homologation trickery. Sometimes European exotica bikes end up being "overpriced underachievers" but that was far from the case here. Read the test here: Italy's Best - Italian Sportbike Comparison Test

4: Big Fun, Little Packages - Lightweight Sportbike Comparison Test

Long regarded as "newbie" bikes, the lightweight 250cc sportbike class exploded several years ago with some stiff competition for Kawasaki's Ninja 250. Here we put the Honda CBR250R and Hyosung GT250R against the recently updated Ninja 300; while the class has blossomed in just the couple years since this test, with more entries, this particular comparison featured a fun racetrack element and input from riders outside our regular staff testers. Read the test here: Big Fun, Little Packages: Lightweight Sportbike Comparison Test

5: Middleweight Movers - Middleweight Entry-Level Sportbike Comparison Test

2014 middleweight entry-level sportbikes - Honda CBR650F, Kawasaki Ninja 650, Suzuki SFV650 and Yamaha FZ-07

From just last year, this feature looks at Yamaha's new FZ-07 and Honda's new CBR650F, and how they stack up against the class stalwarts, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and Suzuki SFV650. Looking to have some serious fun on a budget? One of these bikes could be for you. Read the test here: Middleweight Movers - Middleweight Entry-Level Sportbike Comparison Test

Honorable Mentions:

Three's Company - 2014 Middleweight Naked-Bike Comparison
Triumph and Yamaha square off with their three-cylinder naked-bike contenders, the Street Triple R and the FZ-09

When Worlds Collide - 2014 Middleweight-Plus Sportbike Comparison
Ducati 899 Panigale vs. MV Agusta F3 800 vs. Suzuki GSX-R750

With A Sporting Intent - Sport-Touring Comparison Test
Two sport-touring machines with a decidedly sportbike bias - Honda's new Interceptor meets Kawasaki's Ninja 1000

Absolutely Brilliant Stopping - ABS Comparison Test
Three literbikes with anti-lock braking systems - BMW S 1000 RR, Honda CBR1000RR C-ABS and Kawasaki ZX-10R ABS

Three's Company - Adventure-Touring Comparison Test
Testing the Aprilia Caponord 1200, BMW R 1200 GS and Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring during a 1,400-mile trek to Utah

For even more comparison tests, check out our Road Test Index.