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The Fastest Motorcycle in the World


Speed is the undeniable attraction of motorcycles. So is raw power. A motorcycle, after all, is nothing more than an engine on a two-wheeled frame. (Of course, a motorcycle is much more than that, from a design and engineering standpoint, but this paints the picture.) A powerful engine on a vehicle that weighs practically nothing, as compared to a car or a truck, will both top out and accelerate faster than pretty much all else on the road.

That is part of what makes motorcycles so appealing - and dangerous.

No Lectures Here

If you thought we were going to lecture you on wearing a helmet, you'd be mistaken.

Of course, it makes sense to wear a helmet, but helmets alone won't necessarily protect you from the negligence of a driver who turns into your lane or "didn't see you." From the perspective of California law, which takes the position of "contributory negligence," it's true that an injured motorcyclist in some cases may be considered partially at fault for his or her injuries (especially brain/head injuries), by virtue of the lack of a helmet. Yes, you should wear a helmet and ride safely.

But we digress.

The Kawasaki Ninja H2R

We don't condone or endorse this kind of riding, but if you tend toward the daredevil side, the fastest motorcycle in the world appears to be the Kawasaki Ninja H2R, at least in terms of production motorcycles intended for ordinary consumer use. This is the motorcycle pictured above.

At this point, we should note that the Kawasaki Ninja H2R's place as "fastest" - the track-only version apparently tops out at 210 mph and does not have a speed limiter - will not hold for long, if it is indeed true (nor is this claim official).

In fact, it's interesting to note motorcycle manufacturers' "gentlemen's agreement" regarding how fast they'd make their bikes - and note the temptation to flout that nonbinding agreement.

The 'Gentlemen's Agreement'

Since Man first started building motorcycles, manufacturers have been in a race to make the fastest one, according to Wikipedia's list of fastest production motorcycles. This race harkens back to around 1894 and continues (more or less) to this day. Owing to regulatory pressure, the major manufacturers in recent years decided to stop competing against each other to build the fastest bikes.

But the Wikipedia entry cites the words of a journalist on the matter, which encapsulate the issue perfectly, and make clear the limits of this handshake agreement:

"MV [a motorcycle manufacturer] sees no reason to abide by the manufacturers' agreement. Politics be damned: MV is Italian and the Italians have a national imperative to make their bikes as fast as possible."

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