Upgrading from RE Bullet to a superbike: Confused between the options

Had a test ride of the S1000RR a few days back, engine response was good so far. Will try it out a second time to get a better feel.

BHPian raja_ys recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi Folks,

Am looking to purchase a 4 cylinder sports bike and will be extra happy if it has two exhausts. Please suggest which brand and model to look for. Have been riding a 500 STD Bullet for the past 9 years in Delhi-NCR and sold it off recently.

Online search has resulted in shortlisting the following:

  • Kawasaki ZX10R (Rs 16.50)
  • Honda CBR1000RR-R (Rs 23.12)
  • BMW S1000RR Pro (Rs 23.00)
  • Aprillia RSV4 (Rs 25.11)
  • Ducati Panigale V4 (Rs 27.41)

Visited the Kawasaki showroom but sadly they neither have a bike in display nor a test ride facility for any of their products. Was informed that a to be customer delivered vehicle will be coming next week and I can see it in flesh. ZX10R is a plain Jane on the external looks factor but the pricing is very attractive due to its CKD route.

Upon visiting the Honda showroom in Gurugram last month, the sales person informed me that no big bike is available and offers me to consider a 300F . The Honda is in a total sleep mode.

Had a test ride of the S1000RR a few days back, engine response was good so far. Will try it out a second time to get a better feel. Out of the three variants, the mid one i. e. Pro model is in my consideration due to its normal cast alloys. The top model M Sport Pro has the M brakes and carbon alloys and has the better looks but skeptical of the carbon wheels cracking.

Regards the Aprilia neither there is showroom in NCR that sells motorcycles nor there is any response from the website after expressing interest.

Ducati has the best looks along with the V4 but also the most exorbitant pricing. There’s a 7 lakh difference over the BMW in a variant to variant basis. Will be checking out the bike today.

Here’s what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

@Raja_YS: You haven’t mentioned what you want the bike for. That should be instructive in providing some guidance on which is the best bike for “your proposed use case”.

As a side note, (and I don’t know the totality of your riding experience from your post) but if all of your riding experience has been on a standard bullet, I’d recommend at least one intermediate stepping stone sort of bike which is sub litre class before making the jump to the options shortlisted in your post.

If I were to respond from a pure product standpoint, (judging by MotoGP or otherwise) its the V4S engines that are ruling the roost currently so its the Panigale followed by the Aprilia which are a clear 1 and 2 in that shortlist followed by whichever other bike suits your fancy. Ducati and Aprilia are a notch above in this segment without a doubt.

From an India dealer footprint and active desire to sell bikes here, I’d peg the Ducati, BMW and the Kawasaki as the shortlist worth considering.

BHPian raja_ys replied:

Looking for Super Sports; Power around or above 200 hp, Weight around or below 200 kgs. Had some experience with other bikes and categories and last nine years primarily with the Bullet 500cc, so looking to double the cc now. Currently have 2 smaller bikes for city commute as I travel 60kms to & fro daily to work. Ducati is pro active on sales with various models while Aprilia is in a complete coma and doesn’t even bother to reply to any queries.  Kawasaki not offering a test ride so last option for now.

Apart from the above my criteria for a bike purchase also has to meet the following:

  • Display Vehicle
  • Test Ride
  • No handling/logistics charges
  • No compulsory dealer Insurance or any forced accessories
  • A little extra discount if vehicle is more than 4-6 months
  • No extra charges for preferred colour choice
  • Primary Showroom and workshop within 50kms from home
  • Minimum customer parking in front of showroom/workshop
  • Decent range of accessories

Here’s what BHPian deepfreak15 had to say on the matter:

You might want to consider going down the used bike market. If you are looking for a new bike with the above criteria get ready for a whole lot of frustration. Try to get involved with your local biking community, you might end up tempering your expectations. As much as I hate to admit it, our market isn’t mature enough to cater to your list. Most dealers are and will continue to sell to people who walk in knowing what they want or “think they know what they want”.

Here’s what BHPian no_fear had to say on the matter:

I believe you already bought a Ducati Monster SP from NSA Ducati Delhi. If you had a pleasant experience with them, and they held up to your administrative standards, best would be to stick with them (tried and tested).

In your list, you have mentioned the 1000cc. I might even consider adding the Ducati V2 to the mix – its 955 cc and probably the best bike suited for India’s roads. May not fit your 200 BHP criteria, but it’s a subjective matter.

+1 to what Axe77 said. The forum may not be the best place for your specific needs. Best if you join several of the Whatsapp riding groups in Delhi, and have a discussion.

Here’s what BHPian RMN had to say on the matter:

Among the choices you have listed, I’d say just go for the S1000. While the other options do have their advantages over the Beemer, the S1000 is a motorcycle that you just can’t go wrong with.

If budget isn’t an issue and you like the feeling of an exotica, go for the Ducati.

Here’s what BHPian niranajanrvce had to say on the matter:

Hi Raja, I currently own both a 2014 RSV4 APRC and a new 2023 s1000rr Msport so thought of adding my views here:

  • Ignore the Japs if this is a ‘get hold of the last lot of the ICE chapter’ kind of a bike. There are 3 that sit on top of the litre bike pile – the Duc v4s, RSV4 and S1000rr. Stick with one of them.
  • Aprilia service coverage is non existent. But if you can find a good neighbourhood garage, parts availability is not a problem. Note that you will need to get into the details on your own – help in root causing any issues, find correct part numbers, order them and get them fitted. Parts come within a few weeks from Italy. But if you want a full fledged SVC experience then this is not the bike for you.
  • BMW has the best service for me here in Blore. In general, I4s are less complex than V4s and BMW has a slightly better reliability track record than the Italians. Your point 7 will be well satisfied here I think.
  • Duc has good service coverage but parts availability and lead times can be unpredictable. My friend’s Multi sat in the SVC for 6 months while they figured out an oil weep issue and ordered parts one by one. Not sure if it is much better in Delhi.

That said, all the 3 bikes are chalk and cheese in character.

The RSV4 is in my opinion, the most satisfying bike to ride of the 3, especially the post 2021 models. Its handling is telepathic like nothing else out there. It has the best sounding engine of any motorcycle – at full revs, that v4 is as close as it gets to sounding like a full blown race bike. But it is also the smallest and most cramped of the 3. The riding posture is more track focused with high raise pegs that won’t be comfortable for long road riding.

The Duc is the hardest accelerating and best looking of the 3. I can’t tell you the number of times I have struggled to keep up with one of these on the straights at MMRT. But it is also quite temperamental and requires you to adjust to the bike rather than the other way around. It takes a bit more to get the bike setup to how you like it for the handling part as well. I hear that the newer 2022/2023 ones are far more rider friendly but I haven’t ridden the newer ones yet.

The S1000rr is the most balanced of the 3 – and till the 2023 version, was considered a little too ‘friendly’ in character compared to the other 2 V4s here. The 2023 model has had significant tweaks to make the power delivery far less linear and more engaging- there is now a proper kick post 6k rpm and with a Brentune, it will be as fast or faster than the other 2. It has the best ergos, best electronics and the most neutral handling of the 3 here.

I picked the S1000rr Msport over the Pro version for two simple reasons – carbon wheels reduce unsprung mass and improve agility very noticeably. And you get Msport carbon adjustable rear sets. Well worth the 2L difference IMHO. And if you do crack the carbon wheels, you can get insurance coverage for it.

Having said all that – I graduated to these bikes after riding ~100bhp middle weights like the Street triples of the world for 10s of 1000s of Kms. I did a lot of track time on these middle weights apart from completing school sessions like CSS. And yet, these litre bikes at full pelt scared the hell out of me. An RSV4/Duc v4 at 11k RPM is the hardest accelerating thing one can ever experience. With nothing but crazy electronics to keep them from somersaulting off. With electronics completely off, all 3 bikes will power wheelie on all the gears with even minimal throttle – that is how crazy 200+bhp on a motorcycle is. As a comparison – I have another litre, a Ninja1000, which almost feels like a commuter bike when ridden back to back against any of these 3. So please, do consider if you want to spend more time with middle weights for a year or two, get some track training school time if you haven’t done yet, and then grab one of these 3. Apologies on the unsolicited advice here but just wanted to point out that these 3 will be available into the foreseeable future and EVs will take there time to replace litre class super sports. So, imho, you need not hurry into buying one of them and can instead take your time so that you will truly enjoy one when you get it.

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