Superbikes, the pinnacle of road-going motorcycles. The bikes most aspire to, to taste the performance that comes with riding top-of-the-range machinery.

It has to be acknowledged that today’s superbikes have become focussed weapons, meant for the race track. While you could, in theory, ride a superbike daily (and we have), it is a waste of the bike’s performance.

For this video, we gathered together three superbikes, a 2019 Honda CBR1000RR SP1, a Kawasaki ZX-10R SE and the Yamaha YZF-R1M. While the R1M is not currently available in the Malaysian market, the other two are and the basis for selection in this case was all three are top flight superbikes with electronically controlled suspension.

For those about to say, “but what about… ?”, well, we tried. We sent requests to all the main distributors in the country for their respective superbikes and were told the bikes were unavailable.

So, yes, the error of omission is regretted and although we did want to make the showdown as complete as possible, alas, it was not to be. Taking what we had, compare the specifications between the three and share some thoughts about what these superbikes were like to ride.

Of the three, the R1M and ZX-10R were most track focused, with the ZX-10R being particularly notable for being developed to suit five-time World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea’s racing style. The R1M, despite being a generation of out date – it’s been replaced by the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M – is still a formidable race bike in its own right.

But, for us, the CBR1000RR SP was the easiest to get on and go fast, with forgiving handling manners and tolerant of ham-fisted throttle and brake inputs. It would have been interesting to see how the CBR1000RR would stack up against the BMW Motorrad S1000RR which we had for long term test last year, another approachable superbike that made it easy for the rider to look like a racing hero.

The detailed review of the 2019 Superbike Showdown will be published shortly. In the meantime, enjoy the video.