The motorcycle sector has a long and illustrious history dating back over a century. Motorsports gained in popularity fast, creating a new market for sportbikes.
Sportbikes are the fastest road-legal motorcycles, concentrating on acceleration, peak speed, and turning. We’ll look at motorcycles’ history and design philosophy to better understand what they are. The most iconic models in the United States and their attributes will be discussed later.
The Difference Between A Motorcycle And A Sportsbike
Motorcycles are the most popular type of motorbikes on the road. Their popularity stems from their user-friendly ergonomics. The relatively upright riding position with semi-forward-set footpegs does not force the rider to ride with outstretched legs or cramped arms like other bikes. In contrast, sportbikes are purpose-built bikes with speed, agility, and maneuvering in mind from the first concept sketch.
Sport motorcycles have higher seats, lower handlebars, and rear-set footpegs, making them the most-sporty bikes to leave the factory. Sportbikes can have any size or configuration of the engine, but the central concept is to transfer technology, research, and development from the racetrack to the street.
History Of Sportbikes
Sportbikes have a long and tangled history with motorcycle racing. The Tourist Trophy, which began in 1906 on the Isle of Man, is the most famous race. On the other hand, Sportbikes did not debut substantially until the 1950s.
Although British versions were gaining popularity in the United States, Harley-Davidson introduced the renowned K-Model in 1953. The Harley 45 flathead got used as a starting point, with the displacement remaining at 45 cubic inches. Aluminum cylinder heads and unitized casings were adopted to minimize weight.
In 1957, it was followed by the Harley-Davidson Sportster; a legendary motorcycle still built today. Although it is no longer considered a sportbike by current standards, it ruled the roads when it first appeared. It was initially powered with a four-stroke V-twin engine with a displacement of 45 cubic inches, which was updated substantially during manufacture.
The Honda CB750 is considered famous for the sportbike industry’s revolution. The transverse straight-four engine with a single overhead camshaft and front disc brake was a unique feature on a bike that cost under $10,500 after inflation.
It is hailed as one of the superb bikes of its day, capable of reaching a high speed of 120 mph while giving a smooth ride. The return of the four-cylinder engine let Honda claim the title of the first superbike with the CB750. Honda has sold over 400,000 motorcycles in the last ten years, cementing its leadership position in the sportbike market.
Types Of American Sportbikes
1. The Motus MSTR
Motus may be a newcomer to the American motorcycle scene, but that hasn’t prevented them from creating a solid first impression with the Motus MSTR. Before production began in 2014, the sports bike got unveiled during the 2011 Dayton Bike Week. The Motus MSTR claims to be the best American V4-powered sports tourer.
The Motus isn’t just a V4; it’s also the world’s fastest production pushrod V4, producing 180 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque. It’s quick and powerful, but it’s also comfy and practical, with a comfortable ride posture and a spacious 5.5-gallon petrol tank that makes long-distance riding a breeze. Motus also sent their great sports bike to the Bonneville Salt Flats, where it set a new world record for the fastest pushrod-engine production motorbike at a high speed of 169.89 mph.
Every Motus motorcycle was hand-built by real people, with top-of-the-line carbon fiber parts matched with the most outstanding hardware from Akrapovic, Ohlins, Brembo, Galfer, and Rizoma.
The Motus MSTR is an unquestionable piece of beauty, but it comes with a hefty price tag, as do all fantastic machines. If you have $36,975, put it towards one of these incredible American-made bikes.
2. The Erik Buell Racing 1190RS
Former racer Erik Buell’s first venture into motorcycle design and manufacturing was the Buell Motorcycle Company. Buell was founded in 1983 and got purchased by Harley-Davidson in 2003. After producing almost 140,000 high-end bikes, the Buell brand was finally retired in 2009.
Because there are still plenty of Buells for sale, we’ve highlighted it. However, the Buell included on our list is one you should buy in a heartbeat if you see one on the market: the iconic 1190RS. While the 1190RS has some Harley-Davidson DNA, it is a whole different kind of motorcycle.
The Erik Buell Racing 1190RS is more than a sporting bike; it’s a street racer. With a 1,190cc liquid-cooled v-twin engine capable of 175 horsepower and 97 lb-ft of torque, and a total dry weight of 389 pounds, it’s easy to understand why this is one of the most thrilling American bikes of the last decade. Pristine specimens may sell for approximately $40,000. Those with wear and tear can be bought for less.
3. The Lightning LS-218
Many Americans may not be ready for the phrase “electric,” but did you know that one American motorbike company presently produces one of the quickest street-legal production bikes on the market? The LS-218 is an electric motorbike with a top speed of 218 miles per hour.
Lightning Motorcycles is a company that specializes in electric technology, and their flagship Lightning LS-218 sports bike is one of the most intriguing electric motorcycles ever created. The Lightning LS-218 isn’t just among the most significant American sportbikes ever made; it’s also one of the fascinating production motorcycles ever built. With more than 200 hp, 168 lb-ft of torque, a 0-60 mph time of 2 seconds, and a range of around 100 miles on a charge, the Lightning LS-218 isn’t just one of the best American motorcycles ever made; it’s also one of the most exciting production motorcycles ever invented. However, such creativity comes at a high cost, in this case, $38,888.
4. The Harley-Davidson Street Bob
As the successor to the Dyna, Harley-Davidson has fitted it with a frightening new Milwaukee-8 1,753cc twin-cylinder capable of 110 lb-ft and wrapped it in a new, lightweight frame to give it a sharper edge than you’d anticipate.
The improved frame design, which allows for certain extreme lean angles, and the fact that the Street Bob has no extra weight are the secrets to the Street Bob’s sporty aspect. The Street Bob is surprisingly light on its feet when stripped down to its essential components, with no plastic fairings or extraneous steelwork as baggage even though it still weighs a heavy 630 lbs. This sports bike comes with a price tag of $14499.
America does not produce many sports bikes. However, the four named above are your best buy if you need a purely American sportbike and experience the true essence of motorcycling. A sports bike is the motorbike for you if speed, spinning genius, and the ability to be the quickest from one point to the other give the greatest two-wheeled enjoyment with no compromises for luxury or practicality. And the fact that doing so means that sports bikes have the most advanced engineering and technology wrapped up in racy, poster-bike styling adds to the allure.