Have you ever watched those insane motorcycle stunt videos and thought, “I want to do that!”? We’ve all been there! The thrill of catching air, riding wheelies down the street, and pulling off wild tricks looks so appealing.
But here’s the thing – you can’t just grab any old bike and hit the streets to become the next stunt riding sensation. Choosing the right motorcycle is crucial if you want to get into stunting safely and effectively.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about picking the best bike for stunting. From analyzing key features that make certain models ideal, to specific stunt bike recommendations across sportbikes, supermotos, and electrics.
By the end, you’ll have all the info you need to find a stunt-worthy machine that matches your skill level. Time to get ready for some hooligan fun!
What Makes a Good Stunt Bike?
When it comes to stunting, not all motorcycles are created equal. Certain qualities make specific bikes more suitable for wheelies, stoppies, drifts, jumps, and other tricks. Here are the most important factors to look for:
Lightweight and Nimble Handling
A lightweight motorcycle is much easier to maneuver than a heavy bike. You’ll be able to whip it around with less effort which comes in handy for precise stunting. Nimble handling also allows you to quickly change direction and transition between tricks.
Many stunters prefer a sub-400 pound curb weight for optimal agility. Lighter also means easier to pick up when you inevitably drop the bike practicing tricks.
Strong Power-to-Weight Ratio
Power is important for stunting to give you enough torque and speed for wheelies, burnouts, and other power maneuvers. But super high horsepower isn’t necessarily better.
Focus more on the power-to-weight ratio. Bikes with a ratio of 100 hp per liter or higher will have enough get-up-and-go without being overpowered.
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Quick and Responsive Throttle
Snappy throttle response is key for stunting so you can execute precise throttle inputs to balance the bike during tricks.
Ride-by-wire throttles with different engine maps or power modes allow you to customize the throttle response. This helps dial in the right aggressiveness to suit your riding style.
Broad, Strong Mid-Range Torque
While top-end horsepower numbers sound impressive, mid-range torque is what matters most for stunting. Strong torque through the mid-rpm range will give you the grunt needed to loft the front wheel or drift the rear end out.
Engine configurations like twins and triples tend to have meaty mids for stunting compared to inline-4 engines focused on top-end power.
Durable and Reliable Construction
Stunting puts a ton of stress and strain on a motorcycle. From accidental drops to repeated wheelies and stoppies, components take a beating.
A stunt bike needs to be over-engineered with a robust frame, suspension, engine, and transmission to withstand the abuse. Japanese stunt bikes are prized for their legendary reliability.
Confidence-Inspiring Suspension and Brakes
Quality suspension gives you the control and feel you need to handle a bike at extreme leaning angles. Fork adjustability lets you dial in the right compression and rebound damping for your weight and riding style.
Strong brakes with good modulation inspire confidence when braking from triple digit speeds before tricks. Radial-mount calipers and steel-braided lines offer superb control.
Excellent Traction and Stability
Running through all the gears during a rolling burnout or scraping pegs around a corner demands serious traction. Sticky sportbike tires work great, though many stunters opt for race-compound tires for maximum grip.
Bikes with a long wheelbase provide straight line stability for beginner riders learning stunts. More experienced stunters may prefer a shorter wheelbase for quicker direction changes.
Being able to fine-tune key components like the handlebar position, shift lever height, brake pedal position, and rearsets to fit your body allows you to dial in the ergonomics for stunting.
Aftermarket adjustable billet rearsets and clip-on handlebars allow extensive customization to your riding stance.
Strong Aftermarket Support
An extensive aftermarket catalog of parts lets you customize the bike’s performance and appearance to create the ultimate stunt machine. Common mods include exhausts, air filters, tuners, sliders, crash cages, and fender eliminators.
Bikes like the Suzuki GSX-R, Honda CBR, and Yamaha YZF-R6 have huge communities with tons of parts and mods available.
Now that you know what qualities to evaluate, let’s look at some of the top stunt bike options across different styles and engine configurations.
Top Sportbikes for Stunt Riding
Sportbikes are the most popular style of stunt bikes due to their lightweight frames, high revving engines, and razor sharp handling. Here are some of the best supersport models for aspiring stunters.
The Honda CBR900RR, also known as the Fireblade, offers a legendary balance of big power and feather-like handling. Introduced in 1992, the 893cc inline-4 pumps out 122 hp and can hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds despite weighing just 454 pounds wet. Fully-adjustable 41mm front forks and a short 54.7 inch wheelbase make it an agile machine.
With a huge aftermarket, you can outfit the CBR900RR with stunt parts like frame sliders, crash cages, and fender eliminators. It’s no wonder this machine is crowned the king of stunt bikes by many riders.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 636 gets special treatment for stunting duty. The 599cc inline-4 engine is bumped to 636cc for broader power delivery. With 120 hp moving just 423 pounds, it has the highest power-to-weight ratio on our list.An inverted 41mm Showa Big Piston fork offers excellent front-end feel. Add stunt parts like rearset mounts, case covers, and lever guards and you have a tricked out stunting weapon.
Triumph Street Triple R
The Triumph Street Triple R delivers the quick acceleration and easy mid-range stuntability stunters love. Its punchy 765cc inline-triple pumps out 116 hp and 77 lb-ft torque for power wheelies out of the hole. Fully adjustable KYB suspension, Brembo brakes, and a low 365 pound wet weight make the Street Triple R ready for hooligan duty straight from the showroom floor.
Yamaha’s MT-07, known as the FZ-07 in North America, burst onto the scene in 2014 offering big stunt fun on a budget. The agile chassis and torquey 689cc parallel-twin pumping out 74 hp and 50 lb-ft make the MT-07 a wheelie machine. Minimal bodywork and a low 397 pound curb weight let you toss this nimble stunter around with ease.
The Suzuki GSX-R750 offers a stunning combo of power and precision. Its 750cc inline-4 screams to 148 hp while advanced components like the Showa Big Piston Fork keep the 432 pounds under control. With a huge aftermarket range, you can outfit the GSX-R750 with frame sliders, crash cages, rearsets, and more to take your stunting game to the next level.
Honda’s CBR600RR is a perennial favorite as an entry-level stunt bike. While less powerful than liter-class models, its 600cc inline-4 provides plenty of oomph with 115 hp moving just 365 wet pounds. The twin-spar aluminum frame, 41mm Showa cartridge fork, and radial-mount brake calipers make this CBR a very capable trick machine right off the showroom floor.
KTM RC 390
If you’re just getting started with stunting, the KTM RC 390 is a user-friendly option that builds skills without intimidating power. The 373cc single-cylinder LC8c engine pumps out 44 hp and 26 lb-ft of torque which is plenty to loft the lightweight 348 pound package. An ultra-short 53.5 inch wheelbase makes it a flickable match for tight stunt riding maneuvers.
The newest entry in Yamaha’s R-series is the stunning YZF-R7. It may look like a mini R1, but the R7 was designed specifically for supermoto-style riding and stunting. The agile chassis and torquey 689cc parallel-twin pumping out around 74 hp make it a wheelie monster. Fully adjustable KYB suspension and sticky Bridgestone tires give you the control stunt riding demands.
As you can see, today’s sportbikes offer an exceptional mix of power, handling, and aftermarket support for stunt duties. Now let’s look at some smaller displacement options.
Best Supermoto Bikes for Stunts
Supermoto bikes blend nimble motocross-inspired handling with sportbike power to create incredible stunt machines right off the showroom floor. Here are some of the top supermoto models for learning tricks:
KTM 300 EXC
KTMs sharp-handling EXC models excel at supermoto riding. The 300 EXC packs a potent 293cc single-cylinder engine pumping out over 40 hp. With a featherweight 266 pound curb weight and precise WP AER 48 air fork, the 300 EXC eats up wheelies, slides, and jumps. An off-road derived chassis offers stability when landing jumps. Tall gearing keeps the power on tap.
Honda’s CRF250M offers an accessible gateway into supermoto riding and racing. Its 249cc single-cylinder engine churns out smooth, linear power focused in the midrange, which suits stunt riding perfectly. The lightweight aluminum twin-spar frame tips the scales at just 289 pounds wet for exceptional flickability. Long travel suspension soaks up harsh landings after getting air.
Yamaha’s WR250X transforms the off-road savvy WR250R into a pavement-ripping supermoto machine. Its fuel-injected 250cc liquid-cooled DOHC engine packs a hard-hitting punch focused in the midrange, pumping out 30 hp and nearly 18 lb-ft of torque. A button on the handlebar lets you adjust the power delivery between mild and aggressive. With a seat height under 36 inches, it’s quite forgiving for newer riders learning to stunt.
The DR-Z400SM takes Suzuki’s proven DR-Z400 dirt bike and equips it for road riding, making it an instant stunting hit. Its 398cc single-cylinder engine churns out plenty of torque for wheelies and slides. A wide-ratio 5-speed transmission offers either short gearing for tricks or tall gearing for cruising. Dual front disc brakes bring the 322 pound machine to a quick halt. The suspension provides a plush 11.8 inches of travel to soak up big hits when landing jumps.
Kawasaki entered the small displacement supermoto fray with the KLX300SM. Its 292cc fuel-injected single-cylinder engine offers smooth, tractable power focused in the midrange, which suits stunting needs perfectly. With a low 34 inch seat height and narrow ergonomics, it’s quite beginner friendly. ABS is available for enhanced braking confidence when learning to ride this 303 pound trickster.
Clearly, supermoto bikes offer incredible stunting potential right off the showroom floor. But there’s another style quickly gaining popularity for stunt duty – electric motorcycles.
Top Electric Motorcycles for Stunts
While electric motorcycles have traditionally prioritized efficiency over performance, recent models are changing that reputation by offering torque numbers that leave conventional bikes in the dust. Here’s an EV that stunt junkies are raving about:
Zero’s FXE uses an air-cooled ZF75-10 electric motor that produces 70 hp and a stump-pulling 116 lb-ft of torque – at zero rpm. All that grunt propels the featherweight 275 pound FXE from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, effortlessly lofting the front wheel. Bosch ABS keeps the stopping power in check while the rugged steel frame withstands repeated drops. With telemetry via the Cypher III operating system, you can fine tune the power delivery and top speed for stunt duties. Charge time is under 2 hours on Level 2.
The instant and massive torque production of the Zero FXE makes it an absolute wheelie machine. Electric stunt bikes are only going to get better as battery technology keeps improving.
Now that you know the best stunt bike options across different styles, let’s go over some key tips for buying, modifying and maintaining your stunt machine.
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Tips for Choosing and Modifying Stunt Bikes
Finding the right stunt bike to suit your skill level and budget is only half the battle. You’ll also need to set it up properly and keep up with routine maintenance to ensure your stunt machine performs safely and reliably.
Test Ride Before Buying
Don’t even think about buying a stunt bike before taking it for a test ride. You need to assess the power delivery, handling, brakes, and ergonomics for yourself. Dealer demo rides are ideal, but also consider buying privately from a stunter so you can see the bike’s condition after mods.
Install Protective Stunt Parts
The first thing you should do is install stunt parts to protect the bike from drops and crashes during practice. Frame sliders, engine cage crash guards, swingarm sliders, case covers, lever guards, and rear axle sliders are smart investments. Good armor keeps minor spills from turning into major damage.
Beyond protection, upgrading key components can really transform a stock bike into a capable stunt machine. Clip-on handlebars allow an aggressive stunt-friendly riding position. Aftermarket rearsets provide more ground clearance and adjustability. Stickier sport tires or race rubber offer better traction at lean angles.
Getting the ergonomics dialed in for your height and reach is crucial, since you’ll be shifting your weight aggressively during stunts. Many stunters replace rear shocks with shorter units to lower the seat height. Adjustable rearsets, clip-ons, levers, and sprockets let you fine tune your riding position.
Use Quality Chains/Sprockets
High quality steel or aluminum sprockets and a top grade chain are a must to handle the extreme demands of stunting. Stock components won’t last long under the intense torque loading of repeated wheelies and burnouts. Upgrade as required.
Stay on Top of Maintenance
Constant wheelies and stoppies take a toll on wear items like tires, brake pads, fluids, and drive chains.
Keep up with manufacturer recommended service intervals and inspect key components before/after rides. Carry a tool kit, spare master links, zip ties, and electrical tape for roadside repairs.
Choosing the right motorcycle and setting it up properly for stunting will give you the best chance to learn tricks safely as you develop your stunt riding skills.
But above all, wear all your gear all the time, start slow in empty parking lots, and only advance as your skill level improves. Stunt riding is an immensely rewarding hobby when done responsibly.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about picking the best bike for stunting. From lightweight sportbikes, to flickable supermotos, to torque-rich electric stunters, today’s options let you choose a stunt machine that fits your style.
We covered all the must-have features, specific bike recommendations, stunt parts and modifications, maintenance tips, and buying advice to set you up for success.
Now get out there, practice those balance point wheelies, and stay safe on two wheels! The stunt riding community can’t wait to welcome new riders to carry on pushing the limits.
Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.