Sports bikes are not known for comfort. They are built to go fast, win races, and ooze style.
Given the majority of us aren’t entering into World Superbikes or MotoGP anytime soon, we spend our time riding the streets, maybe with the occasional track day, so comfort can be important.
Sore backs, aching wrists, and twisted necks are just some of the issues we face when spending the day in the saddle of our beloved motorcycles. Oh what we do for love!
Fortunately, there are some sports bikes that are more comfortable than others, and we’ve gathered them together for you to look through.
Kawasaki Ninja 650
- Engine: 649cc, parallel-twin
- Max power: 67 horsepower
- Max torque: 64 Nm
- Seat height: 31.1”
- Curb weight: 429 lbs
- MSRP: $7,999
The Kawasaki Ninja is one of the greatest sports bikes of all time. The Ninja name is legendary; even non-motorcyclists have heard of it.
Kawasaki has split the Ninja title across two categories, Street and Track, so the Ninja 650 has a much more track-orientated supersport sibling in the form of the ZX-6R.
The Ninja 650 is one of my favorite motorcycles. It has the power and performance of a supersport but with the comfort of a street bike. This makes it the perfect bike for the rider who loves sports bikes but wants to be able to ride all day and maybe even do some overnight trips.
You get the typical Ninja aggressive styling with angular bodywork, aggressive headlights, and upswept tail. Most importantly, you get the 649cc parallel twin that delivers smooth power across the mid-range. The responsive performance makes it an awesome sports bike for the street.
Kawasaki has raised the handlebars for easy reach, and there is adequate wind protection from the screen, which helps reduce fatigue on long days.
The pegs are mounted in a comfortable but still sporty position. You also get a thick passenger pad, which is not only great for your passenger but also acts as extra hip and back support for the rider.
You have a choice of adding ABS, and there is a KRT edition of the Ninja 650 that is equipped with upgraded parts and the Kawasaki Racing Team colors.
Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX
- Engine: 998cc, in-line four with supercharger
- Max power: 198 horsepower
- Max torque: 137.3 Nm
- Seat height: 32.9”
- Curb weight: 590.9 lbs
- MSRP: $28,000
Next up, we have the extreme Ninja, the H2 SX. A supercharged superbike with nearly 200 horsepower at its disposal and 137 Nm of torque.
The H2 SX is the most comfortable edition of the H2 range. It is loaded with the latest technology to make riding the beast a breeze. Top tech features include cruise control, engine brake control, launch control, traction control, power modes, smartphone connectivity, ABS, and electronically controlled suspension.
These features are essential when riding a supercharged bike. They help the rider control the bike in all riding scenarios so that they are comfortably in control.
The handlebars and footpegs are in a more neutral position than the standard H2 or the H2 R models. The idea is that the H2 SX can be set up for 2-up riding and even some long-distance touring.
When fully loaded with luggage accessories that can be bought from the Kawasaki catalog, the H2 SX arguably becomes the ultimate sports tourer.
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- Engine: 321cc, twin-cylinder
- Max power: 42 horsepower
- Max torque: 29 Nm
- Seat height: 30.7”
- Dry weight: 375 lbs
- MSRP: $5,499
Yamaha’s YZF range is not set up for comfort. The flagship YZF-R1 is a straight-up supersport produced to win races whether on a track or the street traffic light GP.
The YZF-R3, however, is significantly less aggressive, with a more neutral, upright riding position, raised bars, and easy access footpegs.
The R3 is targeted at getting new riders into the fold of Yamaha supersports, which is why it has more neutral ergonomics. However, the by-product of this is that the bike is super comfortable, lightweight, easy to ride, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Of course, you don’t get the masses of power from the bigger R7 and R1, but what you do get is a YZF-styled sports bike that you can ride all day long with no bother. It has the look of the bigger bikes, and for a small-capacity bike it has a huge presence.
On top of that, small capacity sports bikes are a riot. Chasing the red line on a small bike is way more fun. Unless you are channeling your inner Rossi on a track, you aren’t going to utilize all the power of the bigger bikes.
- Engine: 1340cc, four-cylinder
- Max power: 187 horsepower
- Max torque: 150 Nm
- Seat height: 31.5”
- Curb weight: 582 lbs
- MSRP: $18,799
From one extreme to the other, we move on to the Suzuki Hayabusa.
The Busa needs no introduction. It is an icon and has been a favorite of hyper-sport enthusiasts since it was first introduced in 1999.
Today, the bike has been modernized with the latest tech and upgrades, which keeps it ahead of the competition.
Styling hasn’t changed much since 1999. The Busa still has a huge presence, with designers focused on retaining the aerodynamics the bike has become known for. The bodywork not only prevents the wind from slowing down the bike but it keeps it off the rider. With huge side panels and a windscreen, the rider can avoid wind-blast completely.
There is plenty of space to move on the Hayabusa, with a huge plush seat and backrest attached to the rear cowl. The bars have you slightly reaching over the tank, but they are nice and wide, so your weight is balanced, leaving you in complete control.
Just like the H2 SX, the Hayabusa is equipped with an almost endless list of rider aids and tech that ensure the rider is in control of the bike. They can tailor it to the road conditions and ultimately be more comfortable on top of such a huge bike.
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- Engine: 649cc, inline-four
- Max power: 95 horsepower
- Max torque: 63 Nm
- Seat height: 31.9”
- Dry weight: 445 lbs
- MSRP: $9,899
The CBR650R is the more street-focused version of the sportier RR.
Raised handlebars, neutral-type footpegs, and upright riding position are the key differences between the R and RR models.
The windscreen keeps the wind-blast off the rider and the seat is a nice low 31.9”, which helps you feel like you’re sitting into the bike instead of on top of it.
The CBR650R is easily one of the most comfortable bikes in the middleweight class. It also manages to balance rider comfort with exciting performance, so hardcore sports-bike fans won’t be disappointed if they give it a chance.
The inline-four engine provides smooth, responsive power that is suited to a variety of riding situations, making it the perfect everyday ride.
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Ducati Supersport 950
- Engine: 937cc, Testastretta 11
- Max power: 110 horsepower
- Max torque: 93.5 Nm
- Seat height: 33.3”
- Dry weight: 405 lbs
- MSRP: $15,195
When it comes to Ducati sports bikes, comfort is the last thing you think about. They have bags of style and an abundance of power. Ducatis dominate the track, and they are exotic Italian monsters.
The Supersport 950 is all of those things. It still looks incredible, sounds incredible, and has plenty of power at its disposal. It differs from the supersport Panigale line in two ways: It is more financially accessible, and it can be ridden as a street bike pretty comfortably.
The latest model has been styled even more aggressively to closely resemble the Panigale V4. The fairings have been shaped in the same way and the lower fairing has been placed to hide the mechanics of the bike so it looks much more track ready.
Ducati has equipped the Supersport with an adjustable windshield so you can keep the wind off you regardless of your riding style or height. The seat cushions you comfortably without sacrificing versatility if you want to engage in a more spirited ride.
You can really tuck in behind the screen and make the most of the Testastretta engine on a track day, or you can sit more neutrally and just enjoy your Ducati on the streets in all circumstances.
The Supersport 950 is the most versatile and comfortable Ducati sports bike. The best bit is that it sacrifices none of the good stuff that we love about the Italian brand to do that.
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Aprilia Tuono V4
- Engine: 1077cc Aprilia 4V 65°
- Max power: 175 horsepower
- Max torque: 120 Nm
- Seat height: 32.4”
- Curb weight: 460 lbs
- MSRP: $16,199
Aprilia’s Tuono V4 is a powerhouse that has been designed for riders to engage in sporty riding without sacrificing usability, passenger comfort, or the option of longer trips.
The bike is equipped with raised handlebars, neutral mid-mounted pegs, a tall windscreen, and a seat that offers back support.
Aprilia’s revolutionary chassis is now even lighter, thanks to an aluminum swingarm. It is the most agile and precise handling chassis that Aprilia has produced.
There is no shortage of electronics with the Tuono either. There are a total of six riding modes, traction control, ABS, wheelie control, and electronic engine braking.
Aprilia argues that the Tuono V4 is the best bike in the hyper-naked class in terms of both performance and sophistication. I have to admit there are few bikes that are as much of a pleasure on the track as they are on the street. The fact that this bike does it all is down to the bike’s design with the everyday rider in mind.
The Tuono V4 Factory is a more expensive upgrade at $19,599. The Factory model is more performance focused, with upgraded components, but the rider-friendly ergonomics ensure that comfort is still one of the best things about the bike.
Aprilia RS 660
- Engine: 659cc, parallel-twin
- Max power: 100 horsepower
- Max torque: 66.9 Nm
- Seat height: 32.2”
- Dry weight: 403 lbs
- MSRP: $11,499
Aprilia also produces the RS 660, which is a much more traditionally styled sports bike.
The RS 660 is a state-of-the-art, performance-focused motorcycle with the latest APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) package, which includes traction control, cruise control, wheelie control, and a quick shift.
The RS 660, however, is ergonomically more suited to the streets than the track. The handlebars are raised to avoid you hunching over, which can be tiring on long stretches. You also get a large front fairing and windscreen to protect you from the elements.
The RS 660 is much more user-friendly than the bigger RSV4, which is significantly more track-oriented.
BMW R 1250 RS
- Engine: 1254cc, twin-cylinder, boxer engine
- Max power: 136 horsepower
- Max torque: 142 Nm
- Seat height: 32.3”
- Curb weight: 636 lbs
- MSRP: $15,695
The BMW R 1250 RS is a street-friendly sports bike from BMW. It has rider comfort in mind, along with everyday riding scenarios. BMW places the RS into the sports touring category, which is why it is more ergonomically friendly than something like the S 1000 RR.
The bike has been carefully crafted to retain the sporty nature of the flagship RR while being suited for touring 2-up with luggage. The boxer engine is punchy and smooth, with a naturally easy-going nature until you want to turn things up and then it can be as aggressive as you like.
You have a choice of Eco, Rain, and Road ride modes as standard, with optional Dynamic and Dynamic Pro modes as optional extras.
There are three packages to choose from: the Dynamics, Comfort, and Tour packages. The Dynamics package is the most focused on performance, with the Comfort and Touring packages focusing on rider comfort for longer rides.
You can get a lower or taller seat option, but heated grips and keyless ignition come standard with the Comfort package, whereas the Tour package adds cruise control, a sat-nav holder, and a center stand.
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Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- Engine: 1160cc, inline 3-cylinder
- Max power: 177.5 horsepower
- Max torque: 124.7 Nm
- Seat height: 32.7”
- Dry weight: 437 lbs
- MSRP: $18,895
Last we have the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS, a bike that is setting new standards for the naked sports bike sector. Aside from the sportier ergonomics and half fairing on the 1200 RR, the RS is pretty much identical to the flagship supersport.
It is a powerhouse with 177 horsepower and 124 Nm of torque, and it weighs in at just 437 lbs. The triple-cylinder engine is lively and sporty by nature, with quick acceleration and power right across the rev range.
The 1200 RS is built with a solo rider in mind. The seat curves at the back to hold you in place and the wide bars are within easy reach for maximum control and comfort.
The light weight of the bike, along with the advanced chassis design means it is extremely well-balanced and agile and offers precise steering.
One thing that sports riders may miss is the half fairing found on the 1200 RR for some wind protection. Aside from that, the bike is ready for long sessions, whether on the track or the streets. #
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Read our guide to the best beginner sport bikes