10 Must-Know Things Before Riding A Superbike - SUV VEHICLE

10 Must-Know Things Before Riding A Superbike




  • Riding a 200-HP superbike is a thrilling experience.
  • These superbikes have powerful braking systems that can generate strong G-forces.
  • Superbikes are not fuel-efficient, so expect lower mileage compared to smaller motorcycles.

Whether you’re a cruiser, adventure, or dirt bike fanatic, you would never say no to riding a full-blown superbike if offered. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience – unless you can afford one – that changes your perception of speed altogether. Heck, even Formula 1 drivers can’t help but drool over these two-wheelers. That’s how infatuating superbikes are – particularly modern-day 200-horsepower beasts, such as the Ducati Panigale V4, Honda CBR1000RR-R, and Aprilia RSV4 1100. These motorcycles can accelerate faster than million-dollar supercars and reach aircraft take-off speeds in mere seconds.

But as fun as this sounds, it’s not something you should consider a joke. You should be wary of what these things are capable of, and must prepare yourself for the experience. All this becomes even more true if you currently ride an entry-level motorcycle. Lucky for you, that’s precisely what we’re talking about in this article. So here are the top things you must know before riding a 200-horsepower superbike.

UPDATE: 2024/04/14 15:30 EST BY UTKARSH SOOD

Riding a 200-HP superbike is no joke, and it’s something everyone should prepare for beforehand. So for all our readers, we have refreshed this article with updated information to make sure you know everything there is to know about riding a 200-horsepower monster.

For this story, we’ve sourced our points based on various Reddit forums and our personal experience with superbikes. We’re also assuming the reader is someone new to motorcycling, with little to no experience with big bikes.

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Ducati has taken it up a notch with the Panigale V4 R, and as far as we are concerned it’s the best Italian motorcycle on the market.

Superbikes Boast Incredible 0-60 MPH Times

Hold On To Your Dear Life

Ducati Panigale V4 Superleggera Slide action shot.

It’s only fair we start with the most obvious thing: the massive performance jump. A modern-day entry-level motorcycle – in the 300-450cc range – maxes out at about 100 miles per hour. To reach this speed, you need a long stretch of tarmac, the entire mettle of the transmission, and plenty of time. But on a 200-horsepower superbike, 100 miles per hour comes up in less than five seconds in the first gear itself. This level of performance can catch you off guard if you’re not cautious, risking a serious accident.

Forget 100 MPH, these superbikes will scare you just how fast their 0-60 MPH times are. It only gets scarier from there, as every other gear will take you to speeds you have no experience with. Neither your reflexes nor skill lever are prepared for this, so you should take it easy at first.

0 – 60 MPH Speed Times


0 – 60 MPH

Honda CBR1000RR-R

3.31 seconds

BMW S 1000 RR

3.1 seconds

Ducati Panigale V4

2.9 seconds

Aprilia RSV4 1100

3.1 seconds

They Come With Premium Brake Components

You Go Fast, You Stop Fast

2024 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 30th Anniversario 916 Brembo Brakes With Carbon Fiber Cooling Duct

Reaching serious speeds is one thing, but slowing down a superbike is a whole other ballgame. All leading 200-horsepower beasts come equipped with high-quality braking systems that comprise sintered pads, monobloc calipers, and top-shelf master cylinders. The result is a braking bite so strong, you’ll be experiencing all sorts of G-forces if you press the lever hard. Your hands will be locked onto the handlebar, your crotch on the tank, and it’ll feel like your eyeballs will fall pop out of their sockets.

Common Braking Components On Superbikes

  • Dual discs
  • Radial-mount 4-piston caliper for the front
  • 2-piston caliper at the back
  • Sintered brake pads
  • Steel braided lines

Don’t Expect To Go Far On A Full Tank

Fuel Efficiency? What’s That?

Kawasaki Ninja H2 Knee Down

Superbike engines are designed with a focus on performance and top-quality internals. But fuel efficiency is nowhere near the checklist, which is another thing you should know before riding such a high-performance motorcycle. To give you an idea, these superbikes average an efficiency of 30-40 miles per gallon when ridden sanely – almost half of what your average 300-400cc motorcycle can manage. And in case you keep the RPM in the ‘fun zone’, a full tank of gas might last you just 100 miles. Shocking, isn’t it?

Superbike Fuel Economy


Fuel Economy

Honda CBR1000RR-R

38 MPG

BMW S 1000 RR

37-40 MPG

Ducati Panigale V4

30 MPG

Aprilia RSV4 1100

34 MPG

200-Horsepower Superbikes Aren’t Focused On Comfort

Your Spine Will Work Overtime

2024 BMW S 1000 RR on the track
BMW Motorrad

Comfort isn’t exactly a priority on superbikes. Each superbike on sale at the moment comes with low clip-on handlebars, edgy fuel tanks, and rear set footrests to maximize cornering prowess. Add to this the slim saddle, and you’re in store for a not-so-comfortable riding triangle. This can come as a shock when you swing a leg over an SBK because new entry-level and middleweight sports bikes are nowhere near as aggressive.

Sure, you must’ve heard reviewers use adjectives like ‘comfy’ for some superbikes, but that’s in comparison to their rivals, not generic. If you’re short, things will be even worse for you. After all, most offerings have seat heights in the 32.4-inch ballpark, which means short folks will have a hard time planting both feet on the ground. So make sure you’re well-skilled with tall bikes before jumping aboard a superbike.

Superbike Seat Heights


Seat Height

Honda CBR1000RR-R

32.7 inches

BMW S 1000 RR

32.4 inches

Ducati Panigale V4

33.5 inches

Aprilia RSV4 1100

33.5 inches

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Ridiculous Turning Radius

U-Turns Are Not Easy

An Aprilia RSV4 RR Motorcycle
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When you ride a superbike for the first time, the weight will catch you by surprise. Fully fueled, modern-day superbikes average at around 440 pounds–a fair bit higher than your usual entry-level motorcycles–which means the turning requires more effort than your small thumper. But the bigger shock is the turning radius. You’ll require large spaces for U-turns aboard a superbike, thanks to the sharp rake and low clip-on handlebars. It’s certainly something you’ll need to prepare for in advance, especially if you’re used to a flat handlebar with oodles of leverage.

Insane Lean Angles And Grip

Thanks To Top-Notch Suspension And Tires

2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade

Don’t take the above point the wrong way, though. 200-horsepower superbikes make sure you’re rewarded for your efforts with shockingly good riding dynamics, as the race-derived frame and top-quality suspension ensure you reach insane lean angles. Plus, you’ll experience an all-new level of cornering grip since superbike tires are on a different level compared to small bikes. The bigger rubber size also means you have ample contact patch even when you’re dragging your knee on the ground. Of course, you’ll need to be fairly experienced at cornering to exploit a superbike’s potential.

Intimidating Electronics

Not For Those Just Starting Out

2023 BMW S 1000 RR 6.5-inch TFT
Guy Pickrell

Motorcycle electronics are smarter than ever, and you’ll find them in abundance on a modern-day superbike. These are all put in place to keep a leash on the manic performance, helping new riders (case in context, you) stay upright and safe. However, at first, the rider aids will intimidate you, even if you’re used to riding a feature-loaded entry-level bike like the new KTM 390 Duke. That’s because small bikes still can’t offer as much adjustability as offered on superbikes. We’d suggest you either go through the manual or ask someone knowledgeable before fiddling through these.

Common Electronic Rider Aids On Superbikes

  • Multi-level traction control
  • Ride modes
  • Multi-level engine braking control
  • Multi-level wheelie control
  • Multi-level slide control
  • Cornering ABS (with modes)
  • Rear lift mitigation
  • Multi-level launch control

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Superior Build Quality And Design

Feel Like A King

2024 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 30th Anniversario 916 Clutch With Carbon Fiber Open Clutch Cover

Although the electronics can be intimidating, a superbike will make you feel like a king. The fit and finish are immaculate, whether it’s concerning the paint, switchgear, or the instrument cluster. It’s an experience no entry-level motorcycle can match, let alone beat. You’ll almost feel inspired to become so successful, you can own such a premium superbike soon. The high-quality componentry – suspension, brakes, wheels – all add to the experience, too.

Common Premium Materials Used

  • Titanium bolts
  • Forged wheels
  • Aluminum chassis
  • Carbon fiber bodywork

Unmatched Engine Technologies

Enough to Smoke Most Supercars

Ducati Panigale V4 static shot

Most 200-HP motorcycles have four-cylinder engines. It’s inevitably become the go-to layout for most manufacturers. This is either in an inline four setup or a 90° V-angle like in the Ducatis. Again, these engines will smoke almost everything you come across on highways and deliver acceleration times fast enough to alter your brain chemistry as mentioned above.

Searing top-end performance and robust mid-range acceleration are hallmarks of four-cylinder mills. Yet, there are exceptions such as the likes of Lightning-218 and Damon Hypersport (both electric motorcycles with IPM electric motor and PMAC electric motor, respectively).

Superbikes Engine Configuration



Honda CBR1000RR-R

DOHC inline-four

BMW S 1000 RR

Inline-four (BMW ShiftCam)

Ducati Panigale V4

Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4

Aprilia RSV4 1100


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Incredible Power-To-Weight Ratio

Better Than Your Favorite Supercars

2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Wheelie

Do you know what directly contributes to a superbike’s acceleration? Its power-to-weight ratio! The greater the power-to-weight ratio, the bike will accelerate off the line more quickly. So you need less weight and more power–a recipe superbikes follow quite well! As you can see below, most modern-day offerings have ratios better than any other kind of bike and some even beat hypercars. That’s partly why many such bikes use carbon fiber parts and such premium metals.

Best Power-To-Weight Ratios


Power-To-Weight Ratio

Honda CBR1000RR-R

0.48 hp/lb

BMW S 1000 RR

0.47 hp/lb

Ducati Panigale V4

0.48 hp/lb

Aprilia RSV4 1100

0.48 hp/lb

Expensive Parts

Meaning DIY Builds Won’t Be Cheap

2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade

The next two points are some of the most important things to keep in mind when riding a superbike for the first time. Starting with expensive parts. Being flagship offerings, superbike spare parts are anything but easy on the pocket. Even small bits like rearview mirrors can cost hundreds of dollars, while the bill easily creeps into the thousands if something big breaks. It’s something you should particularly keep in mind if you’re riding a friend’s bike, loaning one, or taking a test ride. Not to mention, parts availability is a big issue too. Some can even take months to arrive. So don’t risk it!

Give It Time

Get Acquainted With The Bike Over Time

2023 BMW S 1000 RR static profile shot
BMW Motorrad

Finally, always take your time adapting to a superbike. We know the adrenaline takes over the moment you leave the clutch, but you must understand your limits before giving it the full beans. Take a couple of minutes to understand the braking feel, riding dynamics, and, most importantly, the power delivery. Another good way is to start with a low-power mode when you ride for the first time. There’s a high chance even that will catch you by surprise!

Source – Ducati, Honda, BMW,Aprilia


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