World’s Fastest Motorcycles (1/4 mile under 12 seconds)
The quarter mile has been used for decades to determine the world’s fastest motorcycles. The following list represents the fifteen fastest quarter mile times from a standing start of commercial, production motorcycles. Kawasaki tops the list with not only the fastest overall time, but also with the most bikes on the list. Kawasaki is represented five times in the top fifteen. Ducati has four bikes in the top fifteen, followed by BMW with three, Yamaha with two and Suzuki with one. Let’s take a look:
15. 2014 BMW S1000R
The 2014 BMW S1000R shares many similarities with the S1000RR superbike. In fact, BMW Motorrad based the design of the engine, gearbox, frame and suspension on the S1000RR. Another striking similarity between the two superbikes is their quarter mile time, with only a hundredth of a second separating the two to take the final spots on this list. The 2014 BMW S1000R clocked in with a quarter mile time of 9.94 seconds at 141.74 mph (228.11 km/h).
14. 2011 BMW S1000RR
The first time the BMW S1000RR hit the track it was purely a racing bike, designed by BMW Motorrad for the Superbike World Championship in 2009. By 2010 a true production version of the bike was available for commercial sale. The 2011 BMW S1000RR stayed true to its racing roots by notching a 9.93 quarter mile time at 149.8 mph (241.1 km/h).
13. 2011 Ducati 1199 Panigale S
Ducati makes its fourth appearance on the list with the 2011 Ducati 1199 Panigale S. The bike takes its name from Borgo Panigale, a district of Bologna in northern Italy. When this bike burst onto the scene it was tested to have the 10th highest speed and 5th highest rear wheel horsepower of any production motorcycle at the time. The 2011 Ducati 1199 Panigale S took the quarter mile in 9.91 seconds at 145.95 mph (234.88 km/h).
12. 2004 Yamaha YZF-R1S
The 2004 Yamaha YZF-R1S lands only three spots behind the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1, with only a fraction of a second separating the two. The original design of this superbike was in 1998. Over time, several generations of the R1 evolved, with the most drastic changes occurring in 2002. By 2004, the Yamaha YZF-R1S had altered its style, its exhaust and its brakes, while also introducing the R1 Ram-air intake. 2004 saw upgrades in the brake calipers and a quarter mile time of 9.90 seconds at 144.98 mph (233.32 km/h).
11. 2002 Kawasaki ZX-12R
We told you there was another Ninja still lurking out there, hiding in the shadows, waiting to destroy its enemies in the quarter mile. With a top speed of 187 mph (300.94 km/h), the ZX-12R reigned for over two-thirds of a decade as the fastest production motorcycle available. The 2002 Kawasaki ZX-12R posted a quarter mile time of 9.87 seconds at 146.29 mph (235.43 km/h).
10. 2014 Ducati 1199 Panigale
Originally unveiled at the Milan Motorcycle Show in 2011, the Ducati 1199 Panigale rounds out the top ten with its 1,198 cc (73.1 cu in) four-valve L-twin engine. Bringing cutting-edge technology such as electronically adjustable suspension and a redesigned exhaust system, the 2014 Ducati 1199 Panigale pushed boundaries in the world of production motorcycles. It managed the quarter mile in 9.84 seconds at 145.68 mph (234.45 km/h).
9. 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1
The 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 was the eighth generation of the R1 series. A number of upgraded electronics marked the greatest improvements in the R1, including a Traction Control System and a Slide Control System, which was the incarnation of race technology incorporated in a production motorcycle. With a time of 9.83 seconds at 149.91 mph (241.26 km/h) in the quarter mile, the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 earned its place in the top ten and is the first Yamaha to make the list.
8. 2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Be careful, you’re surrounded by Ninjas. This lineup from Kawasaki now commands four of the top eight places on this list, and the second ZX-10R on the list (the 2010 model holds the number five spot). Not to mention there is still another Ninja out there lying in wait. The 2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R ripped through a quarter mile in 9.76 seconds at 149.08 mph (239.92 km/h).
7. 2013 BMW HP4
The 2013 BMW HP4 is related to the BMW S1000RR (which will make several appearances at the end of this list). The 2013 version demonstrated one of the most impressive innovations seen in any production motorcycle up to that point with the introduction of a Dynamic Damping Control system that communicates with the suspension through a series of sensors and throttle input, altering the suspension every 11 milliseconds for optimum performance. But we’re here to talk about how fast this bike is; it broke a quarter mile in 9.76 seconds at 152.4 mph (245.3 km/h).
6. 2008 Ducati 1098R
The Ducati 1098 was produced between 2007 and 2009. There were three iterations of this sport bike: the 1098, the 1098S and the 1098R. Designed by the well-respected Giandrea Fabbro, the 2008 Ducati 1098R is the second entry here from the Italian manufacturer and holds a 9.75 second quarter mile at 148.6 mph (239.1 km/h).
5. 2010 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Originally released in 2004 and improving on the previous Kawasaki ZX-9R, the first generation of the ZX-10R won Cycle World’s Best Superbike two years in a row (2004-05). 2008 saw the largest change in the line, with an increased engine compression ratio and single side exhaust, but the improvements didn’t stop there. 2009 brought an upgrade to the shift shaft and the 2010 version was highlighted by several small changes to design, including a once piece fairing and recessed headlights. The most significant improvement to this version was an upgrade to the Öhlins steering damper. By 2010, the Kawasaki ZX-10R notched a 9.72 second quarter mile time at 150.0 mph (241.4 km/h).
4. 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa
The Hayabusa has been produced by Suzuki since 1999, and came right out of the gate as the fastest street-legal production bike on the planet. Speed limiters were implemented on future models, but that didn’t stop the bike from developing countless improvements that eventually landed the 2008 Hayabusa at number four on our list of fastest quarter mile times with a 9.70 second time at 148.48 mph (238.96 km/h).
3. 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2
The second of five Kawasaki Ninjas to make the list is the 2015 H2 with a time of 9.62 seconds at 152.01 mph (244.64 km/h). The racing version of this “supercharged supersport” is the Ninja H2R, which boasts 310 horsepower (230 kW) and 326 horsepower. The H2 is rated at 200 hp–210 hp (150 kW) and is equipped with a variable-speed centrifugal-type supercharger.
2. 2008 Ducati Desmosedici RR
Coming in second, and standing out as one of only two bikes on this distinguished list to crack the nine- and-a-half second mark, the 2008 Ducati Desmosedici RR clocked in only .02 seconds shy of the ZX-14R, reaching 152.80 mph (245.91 km/h) for a time of 9.49 seconds. The RR designation stands for “Racing Replica;” the Desmosedici RR is a street legal replica of the Desmosedici MotoGP, a professional racebike.
1. 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R
Holding the fastest quarter mile time for production sportbikes is the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R, a member of the Ninja family and a name that will get to be quite familiar as you continue down this list. The 2012 redesign improved both the looks and the performance of the bike, and it was the first appearance for the R designation. The 2012 ZX-14R recorded a quarter mile time of 9.47 seconds with a speed of 152.83 mph (245.96 km/h).