10 of the best classic 90s sport bikes

Blue Yamaha FZR1000 with green space and lake in the background
Image source: brudertack69 – stock.adobe.com

The 90s saw the production of many iconic sport bikes. From Yamaha to Suzuki, Honda to Ducati, this was the decade of motorcycle innovation. Here, we have rounded up 10 of the top 1990s motorcycles, accounting for speed, power and, of course, style.

Watch the video below for a deep dive into some of the stand-out models from our list.

1. 1991 – Yamaha FZR1000

Originally released in 1987, the Yamaha FZR1000 was still in production during the early 90s. The bike saw many iterations, but we’ve selected the 1991 model, the FZR1000RU EXUP,  for its innovative chassis – Yamaha fitted the model with upside-down telescopic forks.

The bike offers 145hp at 1000rpm and an impressive maximum torque of 107Nm. Weighing 209kg, the vehicle is able to reach top speeds of 169.8mph.

2. 1992 – Honda CBR900RR

The Honda CBR900RR was granted the nickname ‘The Fireblade’. The bike was Honda’s first RR-dubbed bike, the first of a legacy of models.

The infamous Tadao Baba was the pioneer behind this motorcycle, developing the first generation of the CBR900RR in 1992. The vehicle’s 893cc engine helps to fuel high speeds of up to 160.9mph. The bike’s power is 122hp at 10,500rpm and its torque is 88Nm.

3. 1994 – Ducati 916

Red Ducati 916 SPS standing upright
Image source: ScuderiaAssindia

The iconic 916 from Ducati marks one of our 1994 choices. Thought to have been inspired by the Honda NR750, the bike was designed by Massimo Tamburini and Massimo Bordi, and achieved four Superbike World Championships for rider Carl ‘Foggy’ Fogarty.

We would consider this bike to be the “posterboy” of the 90s, with every other manufacturer seeking to replicate its stylish design and practical features. The 916cc V-twin engine sits within the trellis frame that also houses USD forks and the distinct single-sided swingarm. The 198kg vehicle offers 90Nm of torque, 114hp at 9000rpm and top speeds of up to 158.5mph.

Many regard the Ducati 916 as the most beautiful motorcycle money can buy. Learn more about it in our video above.

4. 1994 – Honda RC45

Honda’s RC45 features a V4 engine, which reaches competitive speeds of up to 160mph. The bike offers a tank range of 110 miles and the maximum torque is 75Nm. Its max power is 119hp at 1200rpm.

The bike’s distinctive silhouette has divided opinion over the years but for true fans, its appearance only adds to its charm. However, it’s the model’s high production quality that secures its place on our top 10 list.

5. 1996 – Suzuki GSX-R750

The Suzuki GSX-R750 is remembered for its lightweight twin-spar frame. Weighing only 163kg, the bike can reach top speeds of up to 173.5mph and 86.3Nm of maximum torque. With speeds like that, the Suzuki GSX-R750 gives the Kawasaki ZX-11 a run for its money.

Due to the GSX-R750’s popularity and classic status, Suzuki has released a 2021 model to celebrate 100 years of the brand.

6. 1996 – Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R

Green Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R upright on gravel
Image source: Mick

Another bike from the Ninja family, the Kawasaki ZX-7R was first introduced in 1989. Our favourite model was released in 1996 having received a serious upgrade, with new six piston brakes being installed, along with the fully adjustable suspension and twin tube ram air. It remained in production until 2003.

The 748cc bike creates 124hp and 79Nm of torque, while the midweight frame of 203kg can reach top speeds of 165mph. If you favour style, this bike will definitely turn heads – the Ninja ZX-7R’s launch colours were a punchy red or green with a purple seat.

7. 1997 – Suzuki TL1000S

The Suzuki TL1000S is a classic that offers style, comfort and speed. While the rear shock system and restrictive exhaust let the model down for some sports bike enthusiasts, most owners have mastered the handling and have come to enjoy the occasional ‘jump scare’.

The 996cc engine combines 125hp at 12500rpm and 103Nm of torque, with riders able to reach exciting speeds of up to 160mph.

8. 1998 – Yamaha YZF-R1 4XV

Thought to be inspired by the classic Honda CBR900RR, the Yamaha YZF-R1 4XV offers all the thrill of its rival with additional power. Smooth handling allows the bike to offer 148.8hp at 10000rpm and maximum torque of 108Nm. Top speeds can then reach very competitive speeds of up to 172.2 mph.

Discover more about this great bike with our video above.

9. 1998 – Honda VFR 800

We’re rounding up our list with the Honda VFR 800. We’ve featured several 90s Honda motorcycles in our top 10 – the manufacturer did not disappoint at the end of the millennia.

The sleek bike stood out from other bikes of the decade, with its V4 engine and dual combined braking system. The bike has 105.64hp at 10500rpm and 75Nm of torque. While it’s not the fastest bike on our list, with a high speed of 144mph, the VFR 800 offers all-rounder appeal.

10. 1999 – Yamaha YZF R-6

Red 1999 Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Yamaha Communication Plaza
Image source: Rainmaker47

The Yamaha YZF R-6 first launched at the end of the decade, in 1999, as the super sport alternative to the YZF-R1. As the world’s first 600cc production four-stroke, the R-6 is a standout for the decade despite being a 90s bike for a limited time. A commercial success, it remains in production to this day.

This motorcycle is lightweight with excellent handling, making it agile and speedy on the road – its weight of 169kg and the liquid cooled 599cc engine means it can reach 160mph. The vehicle also offers 118hp, 75Nm of torque and can accelerate to a quarter of a mile in 11.2 seconds.

Interested in reading more about 90s bikes? Take a look at our favourite modern classic bikes from the 1990s.

Make sure you’ve got the right motorbike insurance cover

If you already have a 90s sports bike or are planning to invest in one, Bikesure can offer you peace of mind with one of our tailored classic motorbike insurance policies. Contact us for a quote today.

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August 8, 2023