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What makes motorcycles so fun is that every variety has its own special features.
Take sports bikes for example.
Chances are, you have heard through the grapevine that they are more challenging to ride.
I wouldn’t say that’s pure hogwash.
But the truth is, ride comfort is a relative factor. And there are quite a few sports bikes that are comfortable enough for daily rides.
Want to know which is the most comfortable sports bike for long rides?
Let’s get going.
9 Sports Motorcycles That Have the Most Comfortable Ride
There’s a saying about sports bikes: they aren’t comfortable unless you’re over 100mph.
Frankly, with more and more technology being used in manufacturing these speed machines, I wouldn’t say they are THAT uncomfortable.
In reality, the concept of comfort isn’t easy to define.
When you consider the bare-bones design of a two-wheeler compared to a vehicle, you’ve got to admit: there isn’t much room for comfort or luxury.
And most veteran riders will tell you that the comfort also depends on the features and practicality of a bike. And that can vary from one bike to another.
Here’s something else.
Riding comfort, especially in a sports bike, depends not only on the length of your legs and arms but also on the strength of your core.
(Forget it. My fav machine at the gym is the television.)
That means it’s not easy to point out a single best, most comfortable sports motorcycle that will work for all riders.
And to be honest, I find the term “sports tourer” a bit vague. That really doesn’t describe how a bike is packaged in terms of performance and comfort.
So here are the 9 sports bikes that we feel will give you a comfortable ride without crushing your muscles.
Take your pick.
1. Honda VFR800R
Looking for a sports bike that’s an excellent tourer and great fun while dealing with the twisties?
The Honda VFR80R is a cult classic that will give the perfect relaxed feel during everyday commuting. It’s a middle-weight bike that comes with a comfortable riding position. Since it’s designed to carry extra weight, it’s also a great choice for touring holidays.
The 782 cc V4 engine is a solid performer but the bike never feels overly powerful. Also, it handles well and is easy to throw into corners.
In terms of comfort, the riding position isn’t perfectly upright but nor is it as low as a true sports bike. That offers the right balance of thrill and comfort. The design is comfortable for pillion riders as well.
To be honest, the VFR won’t light up the fire in true speed enthusiasts. But as an all-round performer, it’s a reliable choice.
2. Kawasaki Z1000SX
With the Z1000SX, Kawasaki has maintained the sports bike feel without making it challenging for newbie riders.
Firstly, the power delivery from the engine is butter smooth. Next, the chassis, suspension, and electronics of the motorcycle are fine-tuned to offer superb stability while cornering.
This makes the Z1000Sx a great choice as a first sports bike. You can easily depend on it for city rides, as well as weekend fun trips.
Besides, the rider seat is wider and extra comfortable. The seat is also reasonably upright which will give you more confidence. Riders have used it for hours without any signs of discomfort creeping in.
In addition, the foot pegs are roomy enough to offer sufficient comfort for tall riders.
What’s more, the handling is refined enough to make this an easy to control bike at most speeds.
If you’re looking for a combination of good value and comfort, the Z1000SX deserves a closer look.
3. Ducati Supersport 950S
How much comfort could you expect from a supersport when an ordinary sportbike is what it is?
You’d be surprised. The thing is, the Supersport 950S is a smartly designed bike that looks great. And apart from the classic Italian styling, you also get a solid performance from it.
In short, the bike is designed to handle street riding as well as track days.
The 937 cc engine from Ducati is super responsive and has good mid and bottom-end torque. In addition, the superb handling makes this bike a real joy to ride.
Admittedly, the bike delivers a composed ride experience at low-to-medium speeds. Even for less-experienced riders, maneuvering this bike isn’t demanding at all.
The narrow fuel tank and the wide seat make it easy for the rider to settle down comfortably. And the handlebars are perfectly positioned for everyday rides. Overall, you can ride with a “more forgiving sporty stance.
All in all, a casual sports bike with Ducati charisma — the perfect combination.
4. Kawasaki Ninja 400
The Ninja 400 is a middleweight bike that delivers the right combination of power and performance. Interestingly, Kawasaki has increased the power from its predecessor, the Ninja 300, and still managed to reduce the weight.
The power delivery and torque from the 399 cc engine are very linear and that makes the ride quality more enjoyable.
Coming to the everyday comfort levels, the handlebar is slightly raised and the well-padded seat is perfectly functional for longer rides. The design allows you to ride with a relatively vertical posture.
The handling is light and unlike heavier bikes, the Ninja 400 allows you to lead it. Most riders mention that the motorcycle offers the right balance of performance and handling to keep everyday riders happy.
Overall, a versatile bike that’s a solid choice for all sports bike enthusiasts.
5. BMW R 1250 RS
The 1250 RS isn’t a pure sports bike, but it’s superbly engineered to deliver fast performance and an effortless ride experience. And the comfort levels ensure that you won’t end up in a chiropractor’s chamber at the end of a long day of riding.
There’s a ton of technology built into the bike which might overwhelm newbies. But it delivers a top-notch riding experience.
Even with a relatively large size, the RS offers excellent handling. That makes navigating the twisties super easy.
The seat is well-designed and offers all-day comfort. The riding position is sporty but never uncomfortable. Even tall riders will find it hard to complain about the ergonomics.
And if you want more creature comforts, you can always add extra features like cruise control, heated grips, navigation, and more.
Anyone who loves speed but prefers a refined and comfortable ride will find the R 1250 RS one of the most comfortable sports bikes for long rides.
6. Kawasaki H2 SX SE+
The H2 SX might feel intimidating when you look at it, but you’ll be surprised how easy and comfortable the ride quality is. In short, you get a superb balance of smooth power delivery and composure.
With the superb throttle response and powerful braking, the H2 makes every type of riding easy. And despite the fact that it’s not a featherweight bike, the cornering ability is top-notch.
While it’s effortless to step into triple digits while riding the H2, the superb handling delivers just the confidence you need.
Due to its sports bike genes, the riding posture remains somewhat sporty. However, they never make the ride uncomfortable. The seats are wide and comfortable and riders praised the pillion accommodations too.
While the H2 isn’t cheap (even if you manage to find a used bike!), it’s one of the most user-friendly sports bikes you can pick.
7. Yamaha YZF-R3
Many veterans call the YZF R3 the perfect stepping stone to the world of sports bikes. And they are not wrong.
The design and features make this a great bike for tackling stop-and-go traffic or cruising at high speeds. It’s equally comfortable on a day on the track too. The 321cc engine is powerful but not intimidating.
Yamaha has also managed the hard task of balancing the ergonomics between comfy and sporty. The riding position is easy and the rider’s upper body stays relaxed during long rides.
New riders will find the handling confidence-inspiring. On top of that, there’s a well-balanced chassis and superb aerodynamics
On the whole, the YZF R3 is a terrific beginner’s sports bike. In addition, it has enough capabilities to lengthen the “out-growing” timeframe for any learner.
8. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
In terms of design, the Super Duke GT may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, if you’re more of a function-over-form rider, you’ll love it.
The 1,301 cc V-twin engine delivers the power and speed that feels like a top-end sports bike. However, you can only enjoy the full power of this beast in a closed-circuit course.
Beyond that, the handling is excellent on city roads, as well as on challenging roads. While you can easily ride at a relaxed pace, the bike handles sharp corners without breaking a sweat. In short, the on-road performance is nothing short of stellar.
The riding position and the overall ergonomics is good enough for all-day rides. The bars are slightly higher and the width is perfect for shoulder and elbow comfort.
Note, the 2022 version of the motorcycle has been upgraded with sportier tires and a new 7-inch TFT display.
9. Suzuki GSX-S1000F
While many riders mark this as a sports tourer, Suzuki classifies this as a sports bike with a higher level of comfort.
The 999cc engine of the GSX-S1000F offers smooth performance while giving you a sporty feel as well. The stability of the bike is impressive and it handles sharp corners really well. Whether you are ripping through tracks or maneuvering through traffic, you never feel out of control.
The seat is well designed for riders looking for all-day riding comfort. From the handlebars to the foot pegs, everything is comfort-oriented.
Granted, the GSX-S may not win beauty contests, it’s a comfortable sports bike that’s perfect for everyday rides.
Bottom Line: Are Sport Bikes Comfortable to Ride?
Here’s the fact: sports bikes aren’t designed to be uncomfortable and more demanding. In reality, they are a slightly different breed.
Let’s not forget that the fundamentals of sports bike design come from racing bikes. And even though they are more civilized, they get their genes from those rugged racing beasts that are designed for one purpose- raw power.
(I have to mention this. On my tombstone, they will carve: “It never got fast enough for me.”)
Here are some aspects that make it seem that sports bikes are harder to ride.
- The riding position is designed to deliver a more streamlined profile. This makes you lean forward and keeps the knees pointing straight. The handlebars are also kept low in most cases. This can get uncomfortable after long hours of riding.
- The forward riding position also shifts the center of gravity of the bike more towards the front wheel. If you’re used to riding in a more upright position, you’ll need some time to adjust to this shift.
- Most sports bikes are larger and heavier. At the same time, they are quite nimble. So riders take time to adjust to them, especially while maneuvering through traffic at lower speeds.
- Supersports and Superbikes come with larger engines and more power. Engines of higher capacity, above 750 cc, can be more challenging to ride.
- Since they come from the racing stable, sports bikes have a responsive throttle. For new riders, proper throttle and clutch control are crucial as things might take a wrong turn quickly. This needs some getting used to.
- Many newbie sportbike riders get nervous while leaning into a sharp corner. As these bikes have a high lean angle and with their heavier weight, it can be unnerving at high speeds. This is where rider training with a new bike plays an important role.
Quite simply, if you haven’t ridden a sports bike before, you need to learn and adapt. And let’s not forget that the learning curve is different for each rider.
However, for more experienced riders, the transition will be much smoother.
Keep in mind, when you’re riding with a passenger, the dynamics and handling of the bike will change dramatically. That will call for additional adjustments while riding.
Admittedly, I wouldn’t ask a beginner to use a sportbike while starting out. But once you get used to them, they are no harder to ride than a comfortable street bike.
So keep training and keep your skills sharp.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are sportbikes comfortable to ride?
For newbie riders, hardcore sports bikes aren’t the most comfortable choice for riding. But with the right practice, you will find them no less comfortable than other varieties. Also, there are sports bikes that offer the right balance between sporty performance and comfort.
Is a 600cc sportbike good for beginners?
That depends on multiple factors. A 600 cc sports bike can be good for beginners depending on the performance and the ergonomics. In addition, the handling of the bike also plays an important role.
Which motorcycles have the most comfortable ride?
When you’re planning to head for long trips, cruiser motorcycles are the most comfortable choice. That said, comfort also depends on your riding style and the ride conditions. You can also upgrade your old bike by adding new suspensions or aftermarket comfort seats.