Sport bikes have the highest death rates among all types of motorcycles, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. Drivers of these high-performance racing motorcycles are being killed nearly four times as often as people who drive standard models, a new insurance study shows. Motorcycle deaths in general have skyrocketed from 2,116 in 1997 to 4,810 in 2006, and now account for 11 percent of all traffic fatalities, U.S. Transportation Department figures show. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety blames the popular super sport motorcycles in part for the dramatic increase. Sport bikes made up less than 10 percent of registered motorcycles in 2005 but accounted for over 25 percent of rider deaths. Super sport bikes are built on racing platforms but modified for the highway and sold to consumers. They are very lightweight and have powerful engines. For example, a 2006 model Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R produces 111 horsepower and weighs 404 pounds. In contrast, the 2006 model Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide produces 65 horsepower and weighs 788 pounds. We know that a lot of the people who get into sport bikes are adrenaline junkies with a daredevil mentality. They’re not out to take a cruise to enjoy the countryside. They want to get a rush by pushing it to the limit.