Sportsbikes on the slow track to recovery
I wait until I am well and truly out of the corner, both wheels in a very straight line before tentatively opening the throttle.
The motor momentarily bogs down a little as I’m going so pitifully slowly in third gear. Then, as the revs creep upwards, the 999cc inline four motor clears its throat and my peripheral vision blurs.
The BMW S1000RR is getting into its stride now. Two gears later and the speed is building as are my adrenalin levels. Determined to get into top, I kick in one final gear and give the throttle one more twist before I bottle it. A glance down at the speedo suggests I should have bottled it a bit sooner!
I am massively impressed by the supersonic German sportsbike and completely understand how it – and its sharply-focused brethren attract so many thrill-seekers. A modern-day sportsbike is an incredible thing to behold, to ride even. To own? Not for me. And yet I get the appeal... and the world of motorcycling would be a much duller place without bikes like this. With the sportsbike renaissance in full swing it looks like there is a place for the world-blurrers after all. Our sportsbike shootout (see page 16) also gives a clear indication of just how good the current crop are.
After years of decline, new bike sales in the supersports class increased by nearly 12% in 2015. Now, only the naked, scooter and adventure categories sell more new bikes. And that’s just the number of bikes shifted. The average profit made by each supersports bike is likely to be higher than the average of the naked or scooter class, making supersports sales hugely significant to the manufacturers. And with most technological advances being made on these cutting-edge machines, it’s crucial that these road rockets continue to play a part in the rich fabric of motorcycling.
Plus, there’s the racing. Without awesome 600 and 1000cc road missiles, we would not have the spectacular domestic series we enjoy or the dramatic, high-speed duels at the TT. Now we just need Suzuki and Honda to join the fun and games.