Superbike racing is a category of motorcycle racing that employs modified production motorcycles. Superbike World Championship is the worldwide superbike championship. Many countries such as the United Kingdom the United States, Japan, and Canada operate national superbike championships. Superbike racing is very popular with manufacturers, since it helps promote and sell their product. “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” is very relevant in Superbike racing.
Superbike racing motorcycles are derived from standard production models. While rules vary from series to series, in general the motorcycles must maintain the same profile as their roadgoing counterparts. The overall appearance, seen from the front, rear and sides, must correspond to that of the bike homologated for use on public roads The frame cannot be modified. Teams can modify elements of the bike such as the suspensions, brakes, swingarm, and the diameter and size of the wheels.
Superbike racing motorcycles must have four stroke engines of between 800cc and 1000cc for twins, and between 750cc and 1000cc for four cylinder machines. The World Superbike Championship as well as many national championships have changed their rules to allow twins of up to 1200cc to compete from 2008.
For a bike to be eligible for Superbike racing the manufacturer must first homologate the model and manufacture the required number of roadgoing machines.
Superbikes are based on standard production models, MotoGP bikes on the other hand are propotype machines that bear little resemblance to production machines. One might consider that a MotoGP bike is related to a Superbike in the same way that a Formula One car is related to a Touring car.
The analogy is imperfect, however; while a touring car could never compete with a Formula One machine, the performance gap between a Superbike and a MotoGP bike is much smaller. MotoGP bikes develop approximately 230 bhp, and reach top speeds of 340 km/h while superbikes develop 220 bhp and reach speeds of 320 km/h. Based on lap times from circuits where both MotoGP bikes and Superbikes race, superbikes are 2-3 seconds per lap slower than MotoGP bikes. This means that a number of superbikes would be able to easily qualify for a MotoGP race.
Superbike World Championship (also known as SBK) is the premier worldwide superbike Championship. the championship was founded in 1988. Its regulated by the FIM and managed and promoted by FGSport.
Once regarded by the public as the poor cousin to the more glamorous MotoGP championship, Superbike World Championship has grown over the years into one of the top professional road racing series in the world. Many of the rider that competed in SBK over the years are household names among motorcycle racing fans. The most successful rider SBK history is England’s Carl Fogarty, who won the championship four times (1994-95, 1998-99). Ducati has been the most successful manufacturer in the series over the years, with the Italian manufacturer winning 14 times. Honda has won it 4 times, with Suzuki claiming one championship. Australia's Troy Bayliss won the 2006 title riding for Xerox Ducati and James Toseland, from the UK, was the winner of the 2007 championship riding for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda.