Big bikes can be quite intimidating, often large and heavy, making them less than ideal for beginners or those with limited riding experience. It's crucial to emphasize that enrolling in a class with a professional instructor is a must if you aspire to handle these powerful machines safely. However, if the idea of big and heavy motorcycles doesn't quite appeal to you and you're more inclined towards a nimble ride with top-tier performance, rest assured, there are options better suited to your preferences.
Indeed, the motorcycle market has seen a surge in popularity for surprisingly lightweight options, weighing in at less than 200 kilograms. This not only makes them incredibly maneuverable but also ideal for riders looking to learn the ropes while having a blast on two wheels. What's even more enticing is that these sporty machines come equipped with cutting-edge technology, emphasizing safety and control. So, without further ado, let's delve into our top five picks for big bikes under 200 kilograms.
KTM 790 Duke - Always Ready To Race
KTM's dedication to the sheer enjoyment of motorcycling shines through in everything they do. Their tagline, "Ready to Race," encapsulates their philosophy, and this ethos is evident in all their products. Take the 790 Duke, for example. Despite its time on the market, it's far from outdated or showing its age. It's a true testament to KTM's technological prowess and a nod to the capabilities of the Philippine motorcycle industry, being built and assembled in KTM's factory in Laguna.
Remarkably, it tips the scales at a featherweight 187.7 kilograms with a full tank of gas, making it ready to hit the road with agility and ease. Handling is where it truly excels; this already lightweight bike feels incredibly responsive. Its deceptively fast performance owes much to its high-tech electronics, which make it approachable for riders of all backgrounds. However, it's essential to exercise caution and not switch off the electronic aids unless you're well-versed in what you're doing.
Powering this nimble beast is KTM's 799cc LC8C engine, a parallel-twin marvel with liquid-cooling, fuel-injection, and an eight-valve cylinder head. This engine churns out an impressive 105 hp and 82 Nm of torque, delivering an exhilarating ride that perfectly aligns with KTM's "Ready to Race" spirit.
Triumph Street Triple RS - Razor-sharp all-rounder
When you're seeking refinement and cutting-edge technology in a naked bike that's derived from one of the most iconic sportbikes in history, look no further than the Triumph Street Triple, especially in its RS trim. This iteration is engineered to deliver one of the most exhilarating naked bike experiences available, focusing on refinement and balance—just the right blend of power, a lightweight chassis, and race-derived technology.
With a wet weight of 188 kilograms, it strikes a remarkable balance. At its heart, you'll find a 765cc inline-three cylinder engine featuring liquid cooling, electronic fuel injection, and a 12-valve cylinder head. Interestingly, this very engine is used in Moto2 race bikes, essentially making the Street Triple RS a race bike for the street. It's also the most potent bike on our list, boasting an impressive 128 hp and a linear 80 Nm of torque, with most of its power concentrated in the mid to upper reaches of the rev range.
Nevertheless, it's not just about raw power; the Street Triple RS comes loaded with sophisticated technology. It includes features like a quickshifter, cornering ABS, traction control, and multiple ride modes, all contributing to an outstanding riding experience that combines the legacy of an iconic sportbike with modern innovation.
Aprilia RS 660 - Middleweight supersport for the street
Aprilia lives and breathes the racer's spirit, and the unveiling of the RS 660 back in 2021 exemplified their commitment to superbike performance without the need for a high-displacement engine. The RS 660 places a strong emphasis on adaptability and honing your riding skills. It boasts the same razor-sharp styling as the RSV4 1100 but is wrapped in a much more approachable package, tailor-made for riders here in the Philippines.
Remarkably, it weighs just 183 kilograms, positioning itself as one of the lightest bikes on this list. At its core, you'll find a 659cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine. What sets it apart is its 90-degree crankshaft configuration, delivering power akin to a V-twin and producing an incredible exhaust note. With 100 hp and 67 Nm of torque on tap, it offers linear power delivery and remarkably tractable performance.
Navigating tight corners becomes a breeze, thanks to its light and well-balanced chassis, and it's backed by cutting-edge technology, including a quickshifter, cornering ABS, traction control, and multiple ride modes. The Aprilia RS 660 truly embodies the spirit of being a racer, delivering an exhilarating riding experience that caters to both seasoned riders and those looking to sharpen their skills.
Ducati Hypermotard 950 - Uncompromising hooligan performance
Ducati's Hypermotard has always held a distinctive position within the Italian brand's model range. While it may not be designed primarily for sheer performance, it offers a ride that's nothing short of enjoyable and engaging, packed with hooligan energy. This bike truly comes to life in the hands of skilled riders who know precisely what they're doing.
One of its standout features is its notably tall seat height and upright ergonomics. These characteristics not only provide maximum ground clearance but also grant riders the leverage needed to manipulate the bike with finesse in technical situations.
On the scales, it registers at 198 kilograms, and beneath the surface, it boasts a 937cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, Desmodromic L-twin engine – a hallmark of Ducati's high-performance machines. With 114 hp and 96 Nm of torque at your disposal, it's more than capable of delivering an adrenaline-pumping experience. Furthermore, it comes equipped with cutting-edge technology, including a quickshifter, cornering ABS, traction control, and multiple ride modes, ensuring that while it may be a wild ride, it's also a controlled one. The Ducati Hypermotard is a true embodiment of spirited riding and is best enjoyed by those who relish the thrill of mastering its untamed energy.
Yamaha XSR900 - Dapper on the outside, rowdy on the inside
Closing out our list is a gem from Yamaha, and it's the sole retro-inspired bike in the lineup. The Yamaha XSR900, in essence, is akin to an MT-09 donning a stylish suit. At first glance, its retro aesthetics might trick you into believing it's a sluggish, heavyweight machine, but in reality, it's quite the opposite.
Underneath its classic exterior, it boasts a full aluminum frame and swingarm, granting it a feather-light weight of just 193 kilograms. Powering this spirited machine is the latest iteration of Yamaha's CP3 engine, an 889cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, inline three-cylinder powerhouse, delivering a hearty 117 horsepower and 93 Nm of torque.
It doesn't stop there; the XSR900 inherits the racing chip found in the YZF-R1, incorporating an inertial measurement unit (IMU) that enhances its cornering ABS and traction control. With multiple ride modes, adjustable suspension, and a quickshifter in the mix, this Yamaha not only embodies the retro charm of yesteryears but also brings a host of modern features to the table, offering riders the best of both worlds – classic style and contemporary performance.