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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 344 > BUY SMART


We’ve been testing the second division of superbikes this month, and we reckon they’re almost as good as the posh ‘uns for most folks.


But that’s not always been the case. There’s a fairly long history of fancy-dan versions of sportsbikes, from the Japanese-market ‘SP’ Sport Production versions of the Suzuki GSX-R750 and RGV250, through the SP, SPS and R versions of Ducati’s 916 family. And unlike nowadays, the special bikes were often very different from the standard models in lots of ways.


Japanese firms are very good at making things from steel, so their forged steel connecting rods have been excellent for years, being both strong and light. But back in the Eighties and Nineties there was still room for improvement on the then mega-high revving engines. So bikes like the Yamaha FZR750R OW01 used titanium con rods instead. Ditto Honda’s megabucks RC30.

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About Fast Bikes

Base model blitz! Massive 6 bike budget shootout - The 2018... Aprilia RSV4 RR // Kawasaki ZX-10R // Ducati V4 Panigale // Suzuki GSX-R1000 // Honda CBR1000RR // Yamaha YZF-R1 Hypersport hoops - the best road & track rubber rated. Ultimate local blast - how to ride the IOM's quickest road. PLUS: Hicky's guide to nailing the Ulster GP. Master Silverstone: Choose the best exhaust // used MV Agusta Brutale 675 // How to buy a BMW HP4 // Do trackdays in the rain. 215 BHP with no traction control - behind the bars of Hawk Suzuki's British Superbike.