Making a case for Superbike

Taking a step back from MotoGP, let’s see what the fine folk over at World Superbike are up to.

Now, I’ve always loved how MotoGP and F1 are exclusive to purpose-made machines for their respective sports. It’s the whole reason they’re known as the “premier” class. Get those experimental monstrosities out there and let’s see what the tech is capable of. But Superbike beats to the march of a different drum.

While it has never held the luster of MotoGP – nor could it ever, truly – that doesn’t stop it from offering something interesting of its own.

Every bike out on the track is suped-up version of a publicly available model. Which, in theory, if you had the funds you could replicate. It adds a special flare to the sport when you can not only pick your favorite team based on manufacturer/rider, but when you can sit down to watch a race and then go hop on the exact model of the bike (save for aftermarket adjustments), it adds a special bit of brand loyalty to the whole experience. And probably a little too much reckless riding in the favor of emulation.

black/green kawasaki bike
It’s hard not to want to shoot down to the store at highly illegal speeds when you’re sitting on something like this.

Sure, they’ll never hit the speeds that MotoGP does – but to attribute any form of shortcoming to the riders and racers themselves would be a mistake. While it once might have been known as the poor cousin of MotoGP, the current incarnation of World Superbike is anything but. The performance gap between the two is becoming ever-smaller. Any fears of less-powerful machines on display are quickly relieved.

In fact, it would be far more accurate to point to Moto 2 or Moto 3 in that regard. With both divisions charting in at a considerably weaker power level than Superbike. Unfortunately, it appears that it’s a recurring misconception that Superbike is somehow less than the “premier” ranks.

As a tasty little treat for reaching the end of this rabbling, here’s a video of Moto3 crashes. Enjoy, ya filthy animals.