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The 10 Best 1000cc Motorcycles – The Ultimate Guide

Choosing the right motorcycle is always a tough choice. No matter whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced rider, it’s important you choose the right one, as it’s a big investment. So, it’s useful to compare the best 1000cc motorcycles on the market so that you can make the right choice.

The 10 best 1000cc motorcycles are:

  1. Honda CBR1000 Fireblade
  2. BMW S1000RR
  3. Suzuki GSX-R1000
  4. Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
  5. Ducati Palingale V4
  6. Yamaha YZF-R1
  7. Aprilia RSV4
  8. Kawasaki Ninja H2
  9. Ducati 1198
  10. MV Agusta F4

Below, we’ll go through the list above in more detail, so you can see which bike is right for you. We’ll discuss the main pros and cons of each bike, but before that, we will also go through what you should be looking for in a 1000cc motorcycle.

What To Look For In A 1000cc Motorcycle

When buying any kind of motorcycle, there are some key things to look out for and consider. The main factors to think about are the brand, model and price of the motorcycle itself, and these three factors are often intertwined.

Brand, Model And Price

The brand takes into account things like quality control and overall aesthetic, but it will also largely influence the price. The specific model may be more down to personal preference, and there may be major performance differences between variations of different models.

Why Are You Buying It?

However, the first thing you need to consider is why you’re actually buying a 1000cc motorcycle in the first place. You’re most likely not buying one of these bikes as an absolute beginner rider, as you probably have some experience with perhaps a 500cc bike, or even other 1000cc motorcycles.

But you still have a reason for buying the bike. This could be for cruising down the highway, or maybe you just need a new daily driver. No matter the reason for buying a 1000cc motorcycle, understanding what it is before you think about any other factors will help make sure you get the right bike for your specific needs.

Power And Speed

The power and speed of the bike that you choose are probably going to be a driving factor in your purchasing decision too. 1000cc motorcycles are much more powerful than their 500cc counterparts, so if you are making the jump from the lower displacement ranges, it’s important to consider how much power is too much power for your needs.

But if, on the other hand, you’re a more experienced rider, you may be looking for a bike with a power rating closer to the top end. If you just plan to ride about the city, you won’t need much power. But if you’re going to be spending a lot of time cruising on the highways or even racing on the track, speed may be a more important factor.

Fuel Economy

The fuel capacity and range of the bike are probably going to be important regardless of how you plan to use it. Longer road trips will require a bigger fuel tank, but fuel economy will be just as important. Most of the bikes on our list below have roughly the same fuel economy, but it will vary depending on the specific model you choose.

Comfort Factor

You need to think about how comfortable the bike is going to be as well. It’s probably going to be influenced largely by how you plan to use the bike, as longer rides will put more put of an importance on things like seat height and handlebar arrangement.

However, a lot of this will come down to personal preference, and perhaps even what you’re used to on previous bikes. If you’re used to smaller bikes, it can be quite a jump. So, if you can test out the bike before you buy it, that’s a good idea.

The Tech On The Bike

You may also want to think about the different tech that comes with your bike. Some of the bikes on our list are older than the others, and don’t have as much tech as you might find on newer bikes. This could include the physical display on the dash, and the different settings you can tweak like abs and traction control.

However, if simplicity is what you’re looking for, this won’t be a problem. If you prefer to have lots of information in front of you when you’re riding, make sure to think about the technology on the bike before you buy it.

Other Costs To Consider

Finally, there are also other costs to consider when buying any motorcycle, and especially 1000cc bikes. We’ve already touched on fuel economy, which will dictate how much money you spend on fuel, but also think about things like replacement parts, and even repair costs.

Newer bikes may be easier to find replacement parts for, but the bike will probably be a bit more expensive to repair than some older bikes. Older bikes on the other hand may make it hard to come by replacement parts, but when you do, they may be a little cheaper and repair jobs might also come with a lower cost.

Bearing all of these factors in mind, you’ll be able to pick the right bike for you. However, to help you out, let’s take a closer look at the 10 best 1000cc motorcycles.

The 10 Best 1000cc Motorcycles

1. Honda CBR1000 Fireblade

The first Honda Fireblade appeared on the scene in 1992, and it featured an 893cc engine. There have since been several generations of the bike produced since then, and it now boasts a liter engine that will take it to top speed of 186 miles an hour. It boasts 201 bhp and is designed to be a strong contender on the racetrack.

Excellent Handling

The bike produces this peak power at 40,500 rpm, and offers peak torque of 113 Nm at 12,500 rpm. It offers improved grip over other bikes in its class through its fairly long wheelbase and swingarm. Fuel capacity sits at 16.1 L, and the 2019 model sees fuel economy of about 38 miles per gallon.

Some of the newer models of the CBR1000 Fireblade are fairly pricey, coming in at around $28,000 for a brand new one. However, for this price you get excellent power and speed, combined with some of the best engineering Honda has to offer.

A Great Choice Overall

It features Brembo brake calipers, along with smart suspension from Ohlin, to make the overall handling and performance of this bike difficult to beat. Overall, this is an excellent bike for those looking for the absolute best experience from a 1000cc motorcycle.

PROS:

  • Excellent power and speed
  • Good ride quality
  • Very reliable

CONS:

  • Pretty pricey

2. BMW S1000RR

The BMW S1000RR is a bike that truly ticks the aesthetic box. But along with the great looks come some excellent performance specifications. Its 1 liter engine can reach a top speed of 185 miles an hour, offering a pretty incredible 240bhp. It’s lighter than its predecessors, offering sharper steering too for better control.

Fixing Old Issues

Past models had some strange asymmetric headlight issues, but they are gone on the newer models. Other upgrades include a new variable valve timing engine, and an upgraded dash and semiactive electronic suspension system if you choose the M Sport package.

The fuel tank on the BMW S1000RR is 16.5 L, and you can expect to get about 35 miles per gallon, which is one of the best fuel economies on this list. To top it off, MCN awarded the BMW S1000RR as the best sportsbike in 2020, so you know you’re in safe hands here.

PROS:

  • A great looking bike
  • Awesome amount of power
  • Good fuel economy

CONS:

  • An expensive choice
  • Older models have some issues

3. Suzuki GSX-R1000

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 is another truly impressive 1000cc motorcycle. While it does offer slightly less power and tech than some of the other bikes on this list, it’s still a highly reliable bike that will reach 173 mph if you push it.

Built For The Road And The Track

This is a bike built to perform both on the track and on the road. You’ll be able to make use of the 199 hp, 999cc, inline four-cylinder engine, along with all of the other bells and whistles that come with this bike. It has fairly stiff suspension, which makes the bike feel somewhat sportier on the road, but one weak point of the GSX-R1000 is its braking system.

Not The Best Brakes

If you’re pushing this bike on the track, you will notice that the brakes are prone to fading faster than others. There won’t be a problem on the road, as they are powerful enough to stop you safely. But you might notice a somewhat overly conservative ABS system in the corners, which might hinder your lap times at the track.

The 16 liter engine on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 offers about 28 miles per gallon on the newer models, but you’ll find that the older models have better range. So, it’s a trade-off between better range and higher spec when it comes to choosing between older and newer versions of this bike. However, no matter what you opt for, you get an incredible 1000cc motorcycle in the Suzuki GSX-R1000.

PROS:

  • Great overall performance
  • Older models are still very competitive
  • Not the most powerful bike on this list

CONS:

  • Brakes are prone to fading
  • Newer models don’t have the best fuel economy

4. Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

The ZX-10R from Kawasaki hasn’t seen much in terms of upgrades over the last couple of years, with most being produced for the sole purpose of racing on the track. The chassis hasn’t changed much since 2011, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing! This bike is known for being reliable and durable, so there hasn’t been a need to change much over the years.

Less Tech Than Others

This bike is a little behind the others in terms of technology though, as it doesn’t offer a TFT dash, or any data logging apps, and you might not get the best brakes or system electronics. However, ZX-10R does come with everything that you would expect from a top sports bike from a driving perspective.

You get various power modes, angle-sensitive ABS and traction control, launch control, anti-wheelie system, five stage traction control, and auto blip functionality on the shifter. Along with all of these features, you get 200 bhp that can take you to the top speed of 180 mph in no time.

Upgrading The Suspension

You need to spend a bit of extra money if you want to get the semiactive suspension package, and whether or not this is worth it will be largely down to personal preference. However, the bike’s standard suspension system is a little harsh on uneven surfaces, and so this may be an important factor to consider.

In terms of fuel economy, you can expect around 32 miles per gallon, which makes it one of the best on this list. Overall, the Ninja ZX-10R is a beast of a sportsbike, but it does lack some of the features that are fairly standard on other superbikes today.

PROS:

  • Has everything you need from a sportsbike
  • Plenty of power
  • Good fuel economy

CONS:

  • Not the most tech-rich bike
  • Standard suspension is a little harsh

5. Ducati Palingale V4

The Ducati Palingale V4 is one of the pricier options on our list, but it’s definitely one of the most exciting. This is a fairly heavy bike, coming in at about 436 lbs, but its 211 hp engine can take you to a whopping top speed of 191 mph. This bike has been designed largely with the track in mind, with many of its features centered around racing.

A True Racing Bike

It features advanced traction control systems for catching wheelspin, and you get some nice carbon fiber foils to generate downforce. For road riders, you can still benefit from an extremely good-looking motorcycle that offers excellent speed and decent fuel economy from its 16 liter engine.

One useful feature for city drivers is the number of vents that push heat away from the rider, and the rear cylinder bank that stops firing when you’re idle in traffic to really reduce the heat you feel when compared to some of the older iterations of this bike.

Top Performer

Overall, this is a great bike to go for if you’re looking for a top performer at the track, but it’s still an ideal choice for everyday riders as well if you want something with real pace.

PROS:

  • One of the fastest bikes on this list
  • Excellent on the track

CONS:

  • Can be a rough ride on the road
  • Older models have heating issues

6. Yamaha YZF-R1

The Yamaha YZF-R1 is a true masterpiece. This bike brings with it plenty of features, and you can expect excellent quality and reliability with this motorcycle. This is another bike that is clearly made with the track in mind, and you might notice this in the sometimes choppy suspension, common for some bikes of this spec.

Lots Of Control

However, the 197 hp sitting underneath you will quickly make you forget about that, and you can make use of four different power modes to suit your riding style. Some of the extra features include 10 levels of traction control, three levels of engine braking control, cornering ABS settings that you can change for both road and track, various launch control settings, and three shifter modes.

Excellent On And Off The Track

You also get a cableless ride-by-wire throttle system for more control over things like throttle mapping. The handling of this bike is truly excellent, and while it might not be the most comfortable bike to ride for hours at the track, it does serve well for riding around the city or gentle cruising.

One thing to note is that on the sportier settings, the ABS can kick in a little too early and brakes will fade under pretty hard use, something that is not exclusive to this bike. The 17 liter engine offers decent fuel economy at 36 miles per gallon, which is one of the best on this list. Overall, this is a great bike for those that favor reliability over sheer performance.

PROS:

  • Brilliant both on and off the track
  • Good fuel economy
  • Very reliable bike

CONS:

  • Brakes can fade earlier than on other bikes
  • Suspension can be choppy at times

7. Aprilia RSV4

Up next we have the Aprilia RSV4, which is a well-built sportsbike with just about everything that you could ever want. While some of the older models can be a little unreliable, the newer models have definitely dialed everything in, and reliability is a certainty.

Ideal For The Track And The Road

This bike has a low center of gravity, offering excellent handling and stability, which is ideal because you have 214 hp at your disposal. One eye was on the track and one eye was on the road when this bike was designed!

The massive 17.9 liter engine should still produce 30 miles per gallon or more, which is decent from a bike with that much power underneath it. You’ll see some aerodynamic tweaks over the older models, but the bike still lacks a bit in the dash display department.

Brilliant Brakes

You get four piston radial Brembo Stylema calipers on two discs on the front brake, and on the rear you get a 220 mm disc with twin piston Brembo caliper. While it is perhaps not the prettiest or the best equipped bike on this list, the Aprilia RSV4 is still one that should be on every prospective buyer’s radar.

PROS:

  • Good stopping power
  • Brilliant handling and stability
  • Decent fuel economy

CONS:

  • Lacks some extra features common on other bikes
  • Older models can be unreliable

8. Kawasaki Ninja H2

Up next we have the Kawasaki Ninja H2, which is the road legal version of the track-only H2R. The H2R boasted an alleged top speed of 250 mph, with 310 brake horsepower. However, the H2 ‘only’ offers 200 bhp, which still allows it to power to speeds upwards of 180 miles an hour.

An Expensive Choice

So, while the H2 isn’t the fastest and most powerful production motorcycle on the market, unlike the H2R, it still offers plenty of bang for your buck. However, that buck will be quite a big one, as you might expect with a bike of this caliber. It’s a futuristic-looking motorcycle, and it has seen many upgrades over the years of its production.

The 2019 edition has some extra power over previous iterations, along with better brakes and grippier tires. Supercharged power delivery is what allows it to accelerate superbly fast, but it’s also smooth as a result of its top-of-the-line electronics systems.

An Award-Winning Bike

It won MCN’s 2015 Bike of the Year award, and even though it is impressive in the power department, it’s still highly reliable as you might expect with any Kawasaki. Along with the high ticket price, you can expect to pay a little more than usual for second-hand parts and repairs. The bike’s also pretty heavy, at 520+ lbs, which might deter those primarily riding in the city.

But if you want a truly stealthy high-performance bike, the H2 is definitely one to consider. It’s got all the tech of the most modern bikes, from phone syncing via Bluetooth and even the Rideology app from Kawasaki to track your trips. Overall, this heavy powerful bike offers a decent mix between superfast and supercool.

PROS:

  • Very fast bike
  • Lots of tech
  • Great looking bike

CONS:

  • Very expensive
  • Very heavy bike

9. Ducati 1198

In at number nine is a bike that was only in production from 2009 until 2011. However, the Ducati 1198 is still an excellent superbike for those that don’t mind going for something slightly older.

A Cheaper Option

This does mean that you’ll usually be able to pick up the bike for cheaper given that you won’t be going anywhere but second-hand, but that does not mean that this bike is out of date. It offers plenty of comfort with lots of room behind the handlebars and fairly standard dimensions, but it will also handle well on the track.

Plenty Of Control

You can adjust the ride height and suspension to suit your own riding style, and you have a variety of electronic aids available to ensure that you’re always in control. You get decent suspension, a good traction control system, and various other bits of tech that allow this bike to perform with the best of the modern 1000cc motorcycles.

You shouldn’t expect any reliability issues with this bike if you take proper care of it (and if the previous owner did too), and you can also expect decent mileage of about 30 mpg from its 15.5 liter fuel tank. The 1198 has the lowest power rating on this list, at 170 hp, but it’s also one of the lightest at 441 lbs when wet.

Overall, if you don’t mind rolling back the years, the Ducati 1198 is definitely one to look out for.

PROS:

  • Can usually get it for less than the others on this list
  • Offers lots of control and adjustability
  • Has all the necessary features of a sportsbike despite its age

CONS:

  • No longer in production
  • Missing some of the tech on modern bikes

10. MV Agusta F4

Finally, we have the MV Agusta F4. The latest iteration of this bike came out in 2018, and as such you will probably pick one up on the second-hand market. This bike is fairly unique, as it offers 195 hp from its hemi-spherical cylinder head chamber engine, which has four valves per cylinder, making it very unique in that the world of superbikes.

Great Handling

The bike offers excellent handling and grip, making it a brilliant choice for track days, but it’s Ohlin suspension makes sure that no matter where you’re riding this bike and at what speed, you’ll experience a comfortable ride. You benefit from Brembo brakes to ensure that you can stop when you want, and the ride-by-wire system gives you even more control over your ride.

All The Tech

You get an anti-wheelie system, various riding modes, eight stage traction control, and quick shifter technology, and so this bike has just about everything that you could want in a 1000cc motorcycle.

You should expect to pay a higher price for the newer models of course, and repairs and replacement parts can be expensive too. But this motorcycle is definitely one to check out whether you’re a beginner making the jump from the lower ccs, or a more experienced rider looking for a truly unique bike.

PROS:

  • A very unique motorcycle
  • Reasonable power and speed
  • Plenty of tech

CONS:

  • Parts and repairs can be expensive

Final Thoughts

All the bikes on our list of the best 1000cc motorcycles tick all the boxes for those looking for a new sportsbike. Speed, power, handling, and a wealth of extra features set these bikes apart from the rest. They’re all from brands too, so you can be sure that no matter which one you pick, you get an exceptional motorcycle.