Whether you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or not, the idea of being in the open air, minimally protected, is fascinating. It’s incredibly daring and woefully dangerous. Speed-loving motorcyclists are extremely confident as they complete their risky maneuvers. Confident to the point that it sometimes seems as if they don’t fathom just how close danger is riding alongside them. But, as we all know, those kinds of stakes are just the type that get us Adrenalists out of bed in the morning.
This feature is for anyone who’s ever seen a motorcycle fly by their car and been terrified, impressed and curious all at once. It’s for those fascinated by the concept of ungoverned speed and the potential for catastrophe. We advise you to take lessons before attempting a neighborhood spin with any model on this list.
Here are four of the fastest motorcyles ever made.
MTT Turbine Superbike Y2K
Towards the end of the 20th century, the competition among manufacturers to create the fastest production (non-custom) motorcycle came to a halt. Threatened by a potential high-speed motorcycle ban favored by politicians growing increasingly concerned about safety, manufactures entered into a gentleman’s agreement that stated bikes’ top speeds should not surpass 186 mph. In light of this, it’s pretty difficult to find a superbike that tops out at over 186 mph. Unless, of course, you’ve got a spare $200,000 on hand. That chunk of cash happens to be the cost of the MTT Turbine Superbike Y2K, which the Guinness Book of World Records calls the fastest production bike on the planet. Powered by a turbine jet engine, MTT’s manufacturers don’t add any electronic speed governors to this model that tops out at 230 mph.
The MTT is widely recognized as the fastest production bike, but the Dodge Tomahawk is the fastest custom model of all time. Created by Chrysler for the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Tomahawk was never meant to be mass produced. It was and is a showpiece purposed more for artisitic appreciation than highway riding. That said, road tests have confirmed a top speed of over 300 mph, which would seem incomprehensible were it not for its 500 horsepower. Though Chrysler reportedly sold nine Tomahawks through luxury retailer Neiman Marcus for a whopping $555,000, these bad boys still aren’t street legal.
BMW’s S1000RR does not go 300 mph, but it’s still a very impressive, very fast machine. Though equipped with an impressive 193 horsepower and able to reach top speeds of up to 188 mph (placing it among the fastest in the non-MTT, non-Tomahawk set), the bike’s superior handling ability wins it accolades as one of the most drivable supercycles on the road. Experts say it is a perfect selection for anyone who’s interested in building up their skills before joining the race circuit.
Ducati Desmosedici RR
Imagine a time when your biggest concern was whether or not your Ducati Demosedici RR could beat a Ferrari 430 Scuderia in a very high-speed, very high-style race around a professional track. Ah, that’d be nice. Especially if you won, as the rider in this video does. Though it may seem surprising that a bike could beat out a car as flawless as the Ferrari, the Ducati’s equally marvelous Italian craftsmanship, complete with 200 horsepower that allow top speeds of up to 190 mph, proves sobering for anyone who doubts the power of the two-wheeler.
Cover Photo Credit: WorldWideMotorcycles - flickr.com