Sports bikes are not known for their comfort. These machines have traditionally been about speed and performance. However, modern versions of these bikes have included characteristics that make for greater riding comfort than what these motorcycles are known for.
If you are particularly looking for a sports bike that offers a greater comfort level, keep reading this article of the top five most comfortable sports bikes we can recommend, including video reviews of each of the bikes.
So, are sports bikes comfortable to ride?
Here’s my answer:
Sports bikes can be uncomfortable to ride at the start. Still, once the riding position becomes familiar, they can become extremely comfortable, especially now many manufacturers have added more comfort features. Many sports bikes are small and lightweight, allowing for easy handling on the open road and within city traffic.
Our Top 5 Most Comfortable Sports bikes:
- Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R
- Yamaha YZF-R1M
- Ducati Panigale V2
- BMW S 1000 RR
- Yamaha YZF-R6
Sports Bikes Comfort And Riding Position Explained
The most uncomfortable part of riding a true sports bike is the riding position. To get an idea of what this is like, imagine the starting position that a sprinter assumes when starting a 100m sprint race.
The position is almost kneeling, with the knees raised slightly above the ground, the body leaning forward with the hands and arms carrying the upper-body weight, and the head raised to concentrate on the track ahead. Now try to hold this coiled spring-style stance for 30-minutes or more!
Many sports bike manufacturers have taken into account that as well as their bikes being used for tearing down the highway at breakneck speed or enjoying days out at the track are also used for other, more practical, purposes such as daily commuting.
To make their motorcycles safer and more comfortable for riders, they have incorporated features in some models that improve the riding position for slower, longer duration rides.
With these bikes, you still have the ability to scoot your rear end back and tuck in behind the fairing for your blistering weekend rides, but you can also use the motorcycle for other everyday styled ridings!
Let’s get to it and talk about the sports bikes that have incorporated these changes to make them the more comfortable rides in the sports bike class.
Once you have read this article you may also be interested in my article: Are sports bikes harder to ride?
1. Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R Comfort Level
The Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R is a classic sports bike that comes from a series of GSX-R sports bike models with a long pedigree. This latest in the GSX-R generation was brought out to celebrate the Suzuki centenary. The sleek racing lines of this bike epitomize the history of the Suzuki racing line.
While this motorcycle has, without a doubt, a racing history, the street-legal version has a surprisingly comfortable riding position when sitting in an upright position, which is more suitable for every-day riding.
Slipping into the tucked-in racing position is an easy and comfortable progression from the upright stance. Suzuki has a long history with this range of motorcycles and has developed a ride that is as comfortable on urban and suburban streets as it is on the track. These are some of the reasons that this range of motorcycles is one of the most popular sports bikes on the market today.
2. Yamaha YZF-R1M Comfort Level
The Yamaha has nice clean racing lines, and it is a compact sports bike that seems to fit the rider like a glove. The Yamaha YZF-R1M is a 1000cc beast with outstanding balance, and you feel like you become part of the bike instead of sitting on top of it.
The controls are easily visible from an upright riding position and when you are lying down over the tank.
The seat on the Yamaha is more comprehensive than on most other sports bikes, which makes a surprising difference to the rider’s rear end’s comfort. The throttle on this motorcycle is cableless, electronically controlled, making for much smoother throttle control.
A nifty feature of this particular sports bike is that you can modify riding modes with a smartphone app. These riding modes allow you to customize your bike’s performance according to the riding conditions, which gives you a greater comfort level across a broader range of conditions.
3. Ducati Panigale V2 Comfort Level
From the Italian stable, this beautiful sports bike not only comes with style but comfort as well. There is something different about this bike, other than the distinctive Ducati sound, making it feel comfortable and safe. The low-slung seat makes it easy to reach the ground with both feet and allows for comfort in the upright riding position.
The forward-facing part of the fuel tank slopes away from the rider, which gives the feeling of space in front of the control panel, which further enhances the comfort feel.
The drop handlebars are low enough to reach a comfortable racing position but not so low as not to accommodate a comfortable upright riding position when you choose to do so.
4. BMW S 1000 RR Comfort Level
BMW is not only a manufacturer of luxury motor cars; they make some excellent motorcycles, even in the sports bike class. The BMW S 1000RR is such a bike born on the racetrack which found its way to our city and suburban streets!
While this bike has the nature of a track beast, it is a surprisingly comfortable street bike. The ergonomics are well thought out to provide comfort for the rider whether you are riding to work or scraping your knees around a corner on a track.
The bike is very lightweight, which feels even lighter when you ride it due to its excellent design. This is all down to superb German engineering that has gone into constructing this fantastic motorcycle.
5. Yamaha YZF-R6 Comfort Level
Yamaha gets two places in our most comfortable sports bike lineup. The R6 is the little brother of the R1M but still has a super-powered 600cc engine that has been a race winner for Yamaha time and again! The R6 features the same broad seat that the R1M has, but what makes this bike so much easier to ride and comfortable is its lighter weight.
The bike feels like a feather in your hands, and as a result, it does not put as much pressure on hands, wrists, and shoulders when maneuvering this bike around, even in rush-hour traffic.
The bike’s lightness and easy handling make it especially comfortable for riders of a smaller stature that may struggle with a heavier motorcycle weight.
The upright riding position on this bike does not feel awkward or uncomfortable as it does on some other sports bikes designed to be ridden mostly in the racing position.
When taking this bike out on an open highway, the typical race riding position becomes as naturally comfortable as the upright riding position in city traffic.
Sports bikes will never be a comfortable luxurious ride for a road trip, but when the need for an adrenalin rush calls to you, these bikes don’t fail to deliver. While they do not provide much comfort for long-distance riding, they are designed to provide comfort at high speed.
Just as a sports bike is uncomfortable over long journeys, so is a touring motorcycle uncomfortable when riding at high speeds navigating corners. They don’t handle so well as a sports bike. Different comfort levels are required for the various niches that each type of motorcycle fills.
Most modern sports bike manufacturers have made some concessions for comfort on their performance-oriented bikes to make them more multi-purpose and allow speed fans to use these bikes as their daily transport.
The comfort concessions are enough to make these motorcycles functional as an everyday commuter and display every bit of their racing pedigree when the daily work run is exchanged for the weekend breakfast run.
Of course, if you are looking for a comfort-rich riding experience, then the sports bike is probably not the motorcycle class you should be looking at. On the other hand, if you love these bikes’ aggressive nature, there is no need to have a separate bike for your daily commute! You will just have to exercise extreme control over your throttle hand!