Money cannot buy you happiness, they said. But money can buy you big engines on burly bikes – and for petrolheads like us, that is like a never-ending Christmas. So ditch all the naysayers who believe that money cannot grant you pleasure. This is our guide to the ultimate superbikes you can buy in India to get maximum returns in the happiness quotient for the most amount of money off the table.
Ducati 1299 Superleggera (INR 1.12Cr)
The Superleggera is the most exclusive bike to come out of Ducati’s assembly line. The frame, swingarm, sub-frame, fairing, alloys – everything has been crafted out of exquisite carbon, keeping the dry weight of the bike at an incredibly light 156 kg. It gets a neat fairing with Ducati Corsa dual-tone racing stripes. The side mounted golden Ohlins mono-shock and the Titanium Akrapovic exhaust cans at the rear tell you that this is not any ordinary motorcycle to have rolled out of Borgo Panigale.
The Ducati features the Desmodromic 1285cc L-Twin Superquadro Unit which can put out 215 BHP of maximum power. This means that the Ducati has an astounding power to weight ratio of 1,287 BHP/ton even when it is fully topped up. It also gets Ducati’s neat traction control, slide control and Engine Brake Control technologies to help tame this beast. The catch is, only 500 of these bikes would be made and it is believed that all copies have already been sold. India received just one of these monsters and superbike aficionado Mr. Vikas Oberoi (owner East India Hotels Group) seems very unlikely to part ways with his prized possession.
Kawasaki Ninja H2R (INR 72,01,336)
The most extreme production bike to have ever walked the face of the planet, the Kawasaki Ninja H2R is so astonishing, it is only permitted on the track. The styling is simply otherworldly too. Since it would never leave the track, it makes do without stupid stuff like headlamps, rear fenders and mirrors and instead leaves big holes that are lined with carbon to direct more air into the engine. Sinister, is the word.
998cc, 317.10 BHP. Enough said. Forced injection is not something you commonly associate with bikes but when you let the engineers at Kawasaki loose with a set of superchargers at hand, the H2R is the extreme machine you get. What’s even more insane is that despite the supercharger, it makes do without an intercooler. Tuned by Kawasaki Racing, the H2R is capable of nudging past the 400 kph mark, making it the fastest production bike ever.
Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition (INR 59,18,000)
Revealed at the Laguna Seca Moto GP last weekend, the Final Edition is the aptly titled last version of the 1299 Panigale. The sleek headlamps, single-sided swingarm and the beautiful sculpted tank instantly tell you that this is undoubtedly a Ducati. However, the tricolor detailing and the single piece high-performance exhaust tell you that this is the ultimate road-legal track machine that the Italian marque builds.
The Final Edition gets a re-bored short-crank engine with a new updated capacity of 1285cc. It belts out a massive 209.4 BHP with 142 Nm of torque which, coupled with the feather-light 179 kg weight help it attain incredible performance figures.
MV Agusta F4-RC (INR 48,94,225)
I put it to you, ladies and gentlemen – MV Agusta makes the most beautiful bikes on the planet. Period. Cuts, curves, creases – it manages to do all, and with a finesse that is simply unmatchable. In the RC trim, the F4 gets the full racing livery from the company and the stickering makes it look more aggressive than ever.
It is powered by a 998cc in-line four that puts out a stonking 205 PS of maximum power. The light weight of just 175kg helps it to reach a top whack of over 302kmph. Needless to say, the TIG welded Chromoly frame paired with the Ohlins suspension is incredible around the track.
Note: MV Agusta F4-RR (INR 34,71,847) and Kawasaki Ninja H2 (INR 34,36,837) have been skipped in the interest of added diversity. These bikes are detuned versions of the F4-RC and the H2R respectively. Please refer to those sections above for a brief on the bike.
Ducati Monster 1200 R (INR 29,95,590)
The first naked streetbike on the list, the Monster 1200 R relies on the sheer brawn of its nude trellis to display its racing intentions. The Monster is typically beautiful, with the big twin-cylinder occupying its place of pride right in the centre. It manages to combine classic Italian curves with modern flair and in the end, yields a very attractive bike.
The 1200R is powered by an up-tuned version of the 1198.4cc Testastretta 11 degree engine. Here, it produces 160 BHP of maximum power and 131.4 Nm of peak torque, 25 BHP and 13 Nm more than the standard Monster.
Yamaha YZF-R1M (INR 29,86,559)
The R1 is one of the sharpest looking fully faired sportsbike on sale in the country. The front with the sleek DRLs and the twin-pod headlight cluster looks very menacing and the svelte body of the bike makes its superbike genes very clear.
The liquid cooled in-line four yields a solid 197 BHP and 112 Nm at the rear wheel. Paired with a 6-speed gearbox with a multi-plate slipper clutch, the R1M can hit a maximum speed of 299 kmph.