Sportbikes are often dismissed by those looking to get into big bikes due to their aggressive, hunched-over positions. While this is true for most supersport and hypersport motorcycles, there are indeed a few sportbike options out there which offer rather neutral ergonomics. These bikes feature mid-rise clip-on bars, and have rear-sets which aren’t as upswept as those of their track-focused counterparts.
While not exactly beginner-friendly machines, these bikes offer impressive performance and an ergonomics package that makes them incredibly versatile. Be it on the street or the track, these bikes are sure to offer an enjoyable riding experience. That said, let’s take a look at our top 5 picks for the best intermediate sportbikes currently available in the local market.
Starting off our list we have the most approachable, yet aggressive and sporty-style Honda CBR500R. Just like its bigger sibling the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, the CBR500R is clearly inspired by Honda’s racing machines, and thus sports a full-fairing, sharp styling, and a menacing fascia. Honda just recently announced the launch of the 2022 CBR500R which retails starting at P364,000, and now features premium components such as dual disc brakes and an inverted fork. As for power and performance, we find Honda’s ever-reliable 473cc, 180-degree, parallel-twin motor which pumps out around 47 horsepower.
Kawasaki Ninja 650
Moving up the list, we have a bigger, more powerful machine, albeit one that’s equally versatile thanks to its neutral riding position. Kawasaki’s Ninja 650 is an extremely popular choice among big bike riders thanks to its value for money, as accentuated by its impressive performance, reliability, and sporty styling. It’s powered by Kawasaki’s tried and tested 649cc parallel-twin engine, and churns out a respectable 68 horsepower. Additionally, it gets premium features such as a full-color TFT display, Bluetooth smartphone integration, and even a slipper-assist clutch. The Kawasaki Ninja 650 retails for P426,000, and is available in an array of eye-catching colors to match its sporty nature.
Aprilia RS 660
The next bike on our list is more performance oriented, and has been proven to perform extremely well on the race track. The Aprilia RS 660 has been met with outstanding reviews all over the world thanks to its perfect balance of power, performance, and technology. It does, however, feature slightly more aggressive ergonomics, making for an overall sportier riding position. It’s powered by Aprilia’s potent 659cc, 270-degree parallel-twin motor which pumps out 100 horsepower. It comes with a slew of performance-oriented tech such as a built-in bidirectional quick shifter, riding modes, and cornering ABS, and adjustable suspension. The price? Well, the RS 660 comes in at a steep P860,000.
Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX
We already mentioned the Kawasaki Ninja 650 as a versatile, all-around sportbike. However, for those who are looking for more performance in a package that’s equally sporty, yet ready to go the distance, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 could be the best bike for you. Unlike the Ninja 650, the Ninja 1000 is decked out in premium creature comforts designed for long-distance touring. It gets cruise control, IMU-powered riding aids, and an up and down quick-shifter. It draws power from a 1,043cc inline four-cylinder engine pumping out a respectable 156 horsepower. In 2021 trim, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX retails for P697,500.
Ducati SuperSport S
The last bike on our list is the Ducati SuperSport S. Unlike the Panigale V2, the SuperSport S features a more comfortable riding position ideal for long-distance touring and city riding. However, this isn’t to say that this bike is incapable of riding in a performance-oriented environment. It’s powered by Ducati’s tried and tested 937cc Testastretta, L-Twin motor with Desmodromic valve actuation. It pumps out a decent 110 horsepower and 93 Nm of torque. To complement the bike’s performance, it comes with standard electronic features such as ABS and traction control. The price for this beautiful Italian stallion starts at P1,105,000.