We’re getting a little giddy around here as we begin to gather the gamut of new superbikes for our most intensive shootout of the year! We’ve got a fabulous two-day street ride to begin our testing, stringing together some of our favorite twisty roads on an overnight trip to begin our superbike shootout. And then the hardcore performance testing will take place over two days at Auto Club Speedway with our friends at Fastrack Riders. If you can be near Fontana, California, May 26-27, you should sign yourself up for a fun day at the track with us!

Fastrack Riders

The year 2017 will go down as a banner era in the development of street-legal superbikes, with two totally new literbikes from Japan in the form of Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 and Honda CBR1000RR. They join the formidable ZX-10R that debuted just last year and the sexy R1 that launched in 2015, the last time we put together an all-hands-on-deck superbike shootout.

2015 Six-Pack Superbike Shootout Final Answer!

The GSX-R1000 is new from the wheels up, and it’s a massive step forward from Suzuki, whether talking about the 1000R I rode in Australia or the regular 1000 reviewed by Trizzle a few weeks ago at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. Troy “Trizzle” Siahaan also was the editor behind the review of Honda’s massively updated CBR1000RR ridden at Portugal’s Portimao racetrack.

Also revving up the category is the recently updated RSV4 from Aprilia, which Tom Roderick reviewed from COTA just a couple of weeks ago. And no literbike comparison in the better part of the last decade could be complete without BMW’s scintillating S10000RR, a bike that has won or nearly won every MO superbike shootout since its debut in 2010.

V-Twin engines have always played a significant part in superbike racing, and that theme will continue in our upcoming shootout. Ducati has, since the beginning of superbike racing, been the V-Twin challenger to its four-cylinder competitors. However, you won’t see one in our shootout, as Ducati didn’t bother stocking its press fleet in 2017 with any of its liter-plus-size Panigales. Maybe it’s because the Italian brand is preparing for a V-4 future in superbikes…

But fear not, booming V-Twin lovers, as EBR has stepped in to uphold the honor of superbikes with less than four cylinders! Yes, the American company is still in business and was willing to supply us with one of its 1190RXs. Although its design is now three years-old, it’s still an appealingly unique cocktail of agility and torque. EBR’s RX also has the lowest price of the group, a wallet-friendly $13,995. Keep in mind, though, this price doesn’t include ABS or an Intertial Measurement Unit (IMU), the only bike in our comparo without both.

2014 EBR 1190RX Review – First Ride

Each of the bikes in our test (except the EBR) are available in versions with higher specifications, but we’re focusing this time on the base models – the 1000R variant of the GSX-R isn’t yet available, so we’re sticking with everyone’s least-expensive versions. Since a couple of the bikes are equipped stock with antilock brakes, we’ve ordered up all the bikes (save the EBR) with ABS.

As such, our $14,999 GSX-R1000 is the least expensive of our four-cylinder superbikes, the ABS adding just $400 to its base MSRP. Kawasaki’s ZX-10R is the next step up in prices, to $16,099 with ABS ($15,099 w/o), followed by Yamaha’s slinky crossplane-crank R1 at $16,699. Honda’s lightweight CBR1000RR retails for just 100 Benjamins more, at $16,799 ($16,499 (w/o /ABS). Sneaking in under the $17k mark is Aprilia’s intoxicating RSV4 RR, and its $16,999 MSRP is a scant $200 more than the Honda!

So that’s four bikes priced within just $900. Or maybe it’s five if we can include BMW’s S1000R. Its retail price for the base version without options starts at just $15,695, and we requested our tester to have as few options as possible. That said, we’ve learned to expect a BMW without options to be as rare as Brough Superiors, and we haven’t yet been able to confirm the state of the S1000 tester we’ll soon pick up.

2017 Superbike Spec Chart Shootout

If you’re a regular MO reader, you’ll recall that Trizzle already primed the superbike pump with a shootout preview you can revisit in the link above. He included more details than we have here, so it’s a good reference for those who are keen to have all the info about what we’re expecting during our week of testing. The specs we put together for Trizzle’s preview can be seen by hovering over the image below.

Meanwhile, we’re licking our chops in anticipation of ripping up the canyons and squeezing out more than 170 mph on the front straight at Fontucky! Keep your browser tuned to MO!

 

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