6 Best Sports Motorcycles for 2024 – Good Mileage, Affordable, Nice Look

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6 Best Sports Motorcycles

Recently Triumph announced their brand new 2024 Daytona 660, which basically takes the famous Daytona formula of a triple-cylinder sports bike and just chills it out a bit in order to make a more usable and practical day-to-day kind of bike.

Now I was lucky enough to go and see it in the flesh and I was really quite impressed, but the question is how does it stack up against the competition in 2024?

we’ll go through all of the key competitors in this sort of relaxed middleweight sports bike kind of segment and we’ll go in price order ascending and along the way, I’ll tell you which bike is right for which type of rider.

Kawasaki Ninja 650

So first up at 7,389 pounds, we’ve got the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and it has to be said it’s quite a margin cheaper than the next bike up on this list.

As a result, you’re gonna sacrifice a little bit in terms of performance and features with the parallel twin engine that makes 67 horsepower peak being the least powerful on the list. 6 Best Sports Motorcycles

Also, it has a 180-degree crank in this engine as opposed to the 270 of many of the other bikes, and that just gives it a little bit of a flat feel in terms of vibes and sound,

Kawasaki Ninja 650

although I would say it is a reliable, consistent performer that they’ve used in a whole bunch of bikes over the years.

Now I’d also say it’s probably got the most simplistic chassy spec as well with a fairly basic right way at fork, just preload adjustment on the shark and two piston actually mounted brake calipers up front.

So it’s not exactly gonna be the most exhilarating ride on this list, but look, here is a good case for buying the Ninja 650.6 Best Sports Motorcycles

It has a very low seat height, the lowest on the list at 790 millimeters, and also the bars are fairly high up and pulled back towards the rider.

So whilst there isn’t particularly sporty and I’ve tried it on the track and it is perhaps a little too upright,

if you want something that looks sporty but actually is comfortable to ride day in, day out for commuting and picking your way through town traffic, then this bike is well set up to do the job.

It’s not so much a wolf in sheep’s clothing as a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Then you’ve got a fairly slender wet weight of 193 kilograms.

And so this probably feels like one of the more manageable bikes on the list and therefore would be a good shout for anyone new to ride in. And the bonus is you still get a slice of that ninja styling and flare.6 Best Sports Motorcycles

Triumph Daytona 660

1200 quid extra though will indeed get you the bike. And that’s the brand new Triumph Daytona 660.

Triumph Daytona 660
Triumph Daytona 660

And while it is a significant step up in price, I think it’s fair to say that it’s also a significant step up in terms of performance and features.

At the heart of it, you get the same 660 inline triple that’s been a real success in the Trident Naked and the Tiger Sport Sports Tour.

But for this particular bike, they’ve managed to lift the red line by a couple of thousand RPM, and so the extra arrives result in quite a bit more peak power going from 80 horses up to 94. 6 Best Sports Motorcycles

Then you’ve got suspension from Shoa with an upside-down fork at the front, rage

Mounted, four-piston brakes that are Triumph branded and also some neat techie goodies like three riding modes of sport road and rain as well as switchable traction control.

Now of course, with it being just announced, I’ve yet to sample one out on the road, but I did own a Trident for a year or two with which it has a lot in common and that bike was pretty fantastic in terms of the ride.

So my expectations are high for this one, and yes, I do understand that it’s not a Thoroughbred Daytona and perhaps some more hardcore sports bike fans would rather they hadn’t used the name for such a road-friendly interpretation of a sports bike. 6 Best Sports Motorcycles

But certainly, at that launch price, it is looking pretty tempting, especially if you’re a fan of a triple.

Honda CBR 650R

The next one is the Honda CBR 650R, which has been in their lineup for quite some time now, but for 2024, brings an interesting new feature to the table.

You see this is one or two bikes that will be available with their new E clutch, which effectively means that you can ride it in a sort of twist-and-go manner without having to use the clutcher as standstill or to pull away.

You can also shift up and down without having to operate the clutch Lever two, although it is still fitted to the bike in case you want to drag it for low speed maneuvers for example. 6 Best Sports Motorcycles

Now to me it certainly sounds kind of interesting, especially if you’re doing a lot of stop start riding in low speed traffic, but out on the open road E clutch or not, this is still a decent proposition with a fairly 650-in-line four that makes the same 94 horsepower peak as the Daytona 660 that’s gonna give it some of that proper sports bike sound and feel.

Although you’ve still got a fairly relaxed riding position with an 810 mil seat height, so it’s definitely not as aggressive as a true super sport.

Genuinely this still looks like a strong option in 2024. Now having a TFT display fitted and also slightly updated styling, which gives you a smidge of that fire blade vibe.

And I think the only major downside is the fact that it’s the heaviest bike on this list at 208 kilograms wear naturally that’s gonna blunt some of that power advantage, but I still consider this one if you like the idea of an inline form, but just wanna experience it with some levels of comfort. 6 Best Sports Motorcycles

Kawasaki ZX-4RR

Now look, I know I was bashing the Ninja 650 a little bit earlier for being so easygoing, but the solution for Kawasaki is a simple one, which is to have two bikes on offer in this segment.

You see the ZX-4RR is quite a step up in price from the ninja, but what it does give you is a much more sporty riding experience that’s a lot less geared towards beginners and commuting.

Kawasaki ZX-4RR

Now, as you may well have inferred from the name, this is a 400 cc inline force, so the smallest capacity on the list, but it revs up to a wizzy 16,000 RPM red line just before which it makes its peak power figure of 76 horses.

So a significant step up from the Ninja 650 in terms of power and while you do have to work the engine harder to get the most out of it,

I think that’s actually part of the appeal to a lot of riders, especially those who rode smaller capacity sports bikes when they were younger.

On top of that, you get a more focused sporty chassy spec with a show, a separate function, big piston upside down fork that gets preload adjustability, a fully adjustable horizontal backlink shock at the rear and twin radially mounted monobloc four piston brake calipers up front. 6 Best Sports Motorcycles

Now the seat height is 10 mil up versus the Ninja 650, so 800 mil in total.

And while that is still relatively low, it’s much more in line with the rest of the bikes on this list and the bars are lower and further forward to give you that more engaging and aggressive rider triangle.

So yes, absolutely one for anybody who likes the sound of a screaming inline four.

Yamaha R7

Now next up we’ve got the R7 from Yamaha, and what’s perhaps a little surprising about this bike is that it’s towards the more expensive end of the list, but from a tech and creature comforts perspective, it’s actually pretty simple.

There are no riding modes or traction control and it gets a pretty simple looking LCD display, whereas elsewhere you’ll see plenty of TFTs with phone connectivity and such. 6 Best Sports Motorcycles

Yamaha R7

But really the focus is on delivering good mechanical components. And I think it’s fair to say that this is also the most aggressive riding position on the list.

So you get the same CP 2 parallel twin as all of that other middleweight bikes, and there’s no difference in the tune here.

So it gets the same 72 horsepower peak, but the suspension and brakes are significantly upgraded to give you more adjustability and also better handling and stopping.

And then with pretty low clip-ons, rear set foot pegs and also the taller seat height on the list at 835 ml, this is definitely the most, most down tail ergonomic that you’ll find in this relatively affordable and approachable segment.

I think realistically, if you’re looking to go and do track days as well as ride on the road, then despite the fact that this isn’t the most powerful bike on the list,

it’s probably the one that’s gonna keep you entertained for the longest because it’s easily the most sporty feeling straight out of the box.

Suzuki GSX-8R

Now, a new entry into this market for 2024 is the Suzuki GSX-8R, which is effectively a sports bike adaptation of the GSX 8S naked that they launched last year.

So at the heart of it, you’ve got this brand new parallel twin, which is also used in the V Strom 800 adventure bikes. 6 Best Sports Motorcycles

Suzuki GSX-8R

And while it isn’t that VY or punchy at the top with 82 horsepower peak, it does feel rich and usable.

So this could well make for a brilliant sports bike for the road. Now on the spec sheet, there isn’t really one single thing that stands out about this bike.

It’s not the most powerful, it’s not the lightest, it’s not the most affordable either, and so it is a little bit difficult to see where it stands out from the crowd.

But my experience of reviewing the GSX 8S was that it was actually as a whole greater than the sum of its parts and a really pleasant bike to ride.

I also really like the tech package, which is simple and easy to use, and also that they’ve been fairly daring with the looks.

So I’m hoping that this new ATAR model delivers more of the same but just a touch more engaging to ride through corners. 6 Best Sports Motorcycles

I’d say put this on your to demo list if you like a rich talky twin and also Stalin at the more modern end of the spectrum.

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