11 Reasons Why You Don’t Want A Literbike

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11 Reasons Why You Don’t Want A Literbike

Literbikes are the fastest accelerating vehicles on the road. Why buy a Porsche for $150,000 when one of these is faster for $15,000? Yeah, no. R1s, RSV4s, GSX-Rs, CBRs and Panigales aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, here’s 11 reasons why you don’t want a literbike. Really.

Literbikes Are Different

1) Why Literbikes Are Different

Literbikes, superbikes, 1,200cc V-twins — whatever you want to call them — are about one thing: horsepower. When I bought my first one a decade or so ago, it made 118 bhp and that felt like a rocket ship. Today’s bikes are closing in on 200 bhp at the crank and are now topping out at over 200 mph.

With that massive increase in power has come all sorts of technological development designed to tame it. Semi-active suspension, traction control, wheelie control, launch control; it’s all designed to turn an unrideable power-to-weight ratio into something that might not kill you. Maybe.

This horsepower war is fuelled by racing, of course, but also got kicked-off last decade as the industry chased its ever more-mature audience, giving them reasons to upgrade their bike every few years or to switch brands in pursuit of the latest and greatest. Trouble is, in the process, the bikes have almost ruled themselves out of relevancy. Here’s why.

Literbikes Make You A Lazy Rider

2) Literbikes Make You A Lazy Rider

Out riding with your buddies? Doing a track day? On a literbike, all of a sudden you don’t have to try terribly hard. Want to close a gap? Just open the throttle and unleash the four horsemen of the accelerative apocalypse. Hell, they’re so fast that you don’t even need to shift down a gear or fully open the throttle, typically 20 percent or so of the twist grip will do. Where’s the fun in that?

Literbikes Get Stolen

3) Literbikes Get Stolen

See that news story about the CHP busting a huge motorcycle theft ring in Los Angeles and recovering hundreds upon hundreds of stolen bikes? Watching it, you could literally sit there and go, “literbike, literbike, literbike, literbike.” There wasn’t anything else. Riding one around town, you have to carry a heavy chain, a disc lock alarm and secure the bike both to an immovable object and by both wheels ­— every time you stop. They get stolen from locked garages, luxury condo buildings, secure trailers and in broad daylight. The latest generation of thieves have even begun bike-jacking them, waiting until you’re stopped a red light, then knocking you off and taking your pride and joy.

The Razor’s Edge Is Not The Safest Place To Be

4) The Razor’s Edge Is Not The Safest Place To Be

To put down 180 bhp or more, the latest generation of tires has had to become incredibly specific. They work pretty well in the dry, so long as you take the time to heat them up, but the wet and cold? Just look at the incredibly minimal sipes for evidence of how that’s going to turn out.  All that electronic trickery has been developed for a reason, too. The bikes have become virtually unrideable without its help. On anything but a track or dry, warm mountain road, you’ll need to turn down the throttle response and outright power output, turn up the TC and wheelie control, then still ride the bike on virtual tip toes. Any lapse in attention could cause a crash.

Literbikes Aren’t Any Faster Than A 600

5) Literbikes Aren’t Any Faster Than A 600

In the real world, on real tracks and real roads, cheaper, more exploitable, more manageable 600s are just as fast. I mean come on, your bike might be theoretically capable of 186 mph, but when’s the last time you took it over 120? A 600 will hit 170 mph and get there 95 percent as quickly. Outright lap times on the track are a hair’s width apart. So why bother?

Literbikes Make You A Target

6) Literbikes Make You A Target

Rolling around on a loud, flashy literbike isn’t exactly a low-key thing to do. Everyone will turn and look, everyone will know you’re up to no good. That includes the cops — who disproportionately target literbike riders and tend to write them harsher tickets — and other riders, to whom passing you becomes something of a trophy. Is there anything worse than being that guy at a track day on the fastest bike there, getting passed by some 16-year old on a 250?

Continue Reading: 11 Reasons Why You Don’t Want A Literbike >>

  • vince

    Thanks! I needed This article.

  • Archie

    Points 5 and 6 are a bit silly.

    Litrebikes most certainly are faster than 600′s for the same reason you stated in point 2. You can roll the throttle on in high gear and still overtake people at warp speed. You just can’t do that on a 600. That alone effectively makes them a lot faster. Even when you’re in the powerband on both bikes you’re still going to be left behind on a 600. My father rides a CBR1000RR, my brother rides a CBR600RR. Both made in 2009, both stock standard. There is absolutely no way the 600 can keep up with the big blade in a straight line.

    As for litrebikes making you a target, here in Australia you’re instantly a target no matter what you ride, especially if it’s a sports bike. Doesn’t matter how many cylinders it’s got or how big it’s displacement. I have an MC22 that I love to ride on the road and it turns more heads than any jap litre bike.

    • Bruce Steever

      If all you’re doing is using your sport bike in a straight line, i feel sorry for you. And in corners, smaller bikes are nearly always capable of maintaining higher speeds (from a variety of factors including better traction, rider confidence, better dynamic inertial numbers, etc).

      • Archie

        Read again. I never said such a thing. I was talking specifically about the contradictions between points 2 and 5.

        • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

          Not really a contradiction. On a track most passing is done in the brake zones and who carries the most corner speed. That’s not a question of who has the most horsies, but who has the biggest balls.

          You can try to squeeze by someone on the straight but if you’re compensating for skill with a literbike you’re going to stuff yourself and others in the next corner. Same with in the real world. Great, you can go felony speeds on the straights, but once you have to turn you’re going to be caught. So yeah, a literbike is faster… for whole seconds at at time.

          • Archie

            You’re discussing braking braking and corner speed with someone that rides a 250 i4 on the road for exactly those reasons.

            • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

              I didn’t know there were i4 250′s. You learn something new every day.
              So great, why make the argument that hp makes a bike faster?

          • Stuki

            What you say is massively amplified if you ride twisty canyons or mountain roads, rather than a track. There is just no way the same rider is going to able to flick a production liter bike from left to right and back as fast as a 600. And on the road, you really have to want to spend the rest of your life as Bubba’s cellmate, if you try to make up for it on the straights….

            There was a brief period when only liter bikes had all the fancy electronics (tc, wheelie control, abs with stoppie limiters); which possibly enabled less than very skilled riders to feel more confident braking late and getting on gas earlier and harder; but with the 899 (and 636); no way you’ll be faster across Angeles Crest or similar on a Panigale than on an 899;

            I haven’t tried it, but the only thing the liter bikes have left, is the semi active suspension on the HP4. Maybe that enables some added speed on certain kinds of roads vis-a-vis the pieces on a Supersport; but I highly doubt it.

            Another issue with literbikes, is that throttle control becomes more difficult, since all that forward power is accompanied by heavier engine braking. So instead of a +5hp to -5hp equivalent during throttle closing, you now have +10 to -10.

            And, for regular riding; the silly high 1st gear torque’y liter bikes can pull for max racing speed; make them a nuisance in the city. And necessitates a heavier clutch spring. And, the heavier engine internals causes more vibration.

            Even 600s are probably “too fast” to be the fastest bike for canyon riders, for the vast majority of riders these days. Full time moto journalists and club racers excepted; I’d be surprised if most of us wouldn’t have an easier time following Wes if we had a 400; (or a 549 Duc) than a 600; assuming it was as highly developed as today’s liter and supersports bikes.

            • Mugget

              “There is just no way the same rider is going to able to flick a production liter bike from left to right and back as fast as a 600.”

              Yes, there is – if the rider has developed their “quick steer” ability sufficiently. And riding on the road would actually minimise the difference in effort required to execute quick turns due to the lower speeds. Riding on the track would magnify the differences between the two.

              • Piglet2010

                So the weight of the bike makes no difference “if the rider has developed their “quick steer” ability sufficiently”. What is this “quick steer ability” that will let me flick a Boss Hoss as quickly side to side as a 125cc GP bike?

                • Mugget

                  Nice try, but this article is about literbikes and their similarly sporting yet smaller capacity relatives.

                • Piglet2010

                  I can see you lack education in formal logic.

                • Mugget

                  I see you’re suffering a lack of logical thought process of your own.

                  I was responding to a comment comparing a literbike with a 600. You reply with a comparison of a Boss Hoss and a 125GP bike. One of these comparisons is not like the other.

                • Piglet2010

                  But you only made the qualification after the initial post, so I am logically correct, and you are weaving and ducking.

                • Mugget

                  Ummm… no.

                  I even included the quote that says “literbike” and “600″ in my original comment, just so there wouldn’t be any doubt as to what I was commenting on. You can go and read it again if you don’t believe me.

                  Looks like you’re the one who’s out there trying to duck & weave your way down Stelvio Pass on a Boss Hoss.

                • Piglet2010

                  Do you still content that differences in both total weight and rotating weight make no difference? If a 1,000cc race replica can be turned in as quickly as a 600cc race replica that weighs less and has less rotating mass, then it logically would have to follow that these factors make no difference, so there should be no difference even between the 125cc GP bike and the Boss Hoss.

                  You really do need to take a class in logic.

                • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

                  the weight of the bike does make a difference, but it does not matter nearly as much as you wish that it did

                  Wider tires and a longer wheelbase not to mention narrow, low clip-ons matter also
                  There is just so much more to motorcycle handling than engine-displacement and weight, yet you seem to want to make it all about displacement & weight

              • Stuki

                So, it is possible to develop “quick steer technique” to the point where one can steer a bike that is heavier, with higher rotational inertia, has a longer wheelbase, and wider rear tires; as fast as as the lighter/smaller/narrower bike? Is there no limit to size and weight that renders this exemplary technique insufficient? Can you “quick steer” a ‘Busa as fast as a 125GP bike as well, if only your technique is developed enough?

                Seriously, dude; no matter how good you are; lighter weight, less rotational and reciprocating mass, narrower tyres and a shorter wheelbase makes a bike quicker to turn, all else equal. That’s a major reason why builders go through the hoops they do, to reduce weight and girth to begin with.

                And higher speeds slows down steering of liter bikes at least as much as 600s. The heavier engine internals and wheels/tires see to that. But most tracks designed for either 600s or liter’s, are much more open than most mountain canyons. Hence the liter’s can, in some cases, make up for the slightly slower turn in, by higher speed on straights, while getting some payback in max steady state cornering speed for the larger contact patch enabled by the wider tire(s).

                • Mugget

                  Correct. For a given speed it just takes more effort to steer a 1000. So the same rider taking a corner at 100km/h could steer a 600 with less effort – this may be perceived as being “quicker to turn” (to describe it correctly it should be phrased as “easier to turn” or “less effort to turn”). But the rider could also take the corner on a 1000, just that it would require more effort.

                  There is a limit of course, to how quickly any bike can be turned – when the rear tyre starts to slide as a result of the speed at which the bike is turned (that is the time it takes from the bike to go from vertical to max. lean) I’d take that as a sign that it can’t be turned much faster.

                  How many people on the road do you see steering the bike so fast that it slides the rear wheel? You don’t, because at road speeds a 1000 is just as capable as a 600. The whole idea that a literbike on the road is going to be unwieldy and difficult to ride is nonsense of the highest order.

                • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

                  it would require the SAME amount of effort to take the turn.
                  It would possibly require more effort to INITIATE the turn. But when countersteering this is trivial.

                  “The whole idea that a literbike on the road is going to be unwieldy and difficult to ride is nonsense of the highest order.”

                  …even more than you said.

              • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

                Even more to the issue, that just doesn’t matter 99.9% of the time in 99% of your time of the road.
                I just do not need a bike that handles as quickly as an R6 or even a 6R.

                Can I use the extra power of a Gixxer 1000, 10R or even an R1? You’re damm straight. Far more usable, far more often.

                And the handling penalty is negligible in the real world.

                there is way too much here of literbike-haters overemphasizing if not outright making up problems with literbikes or strengths for 600s over literbikes and ignoring or even denigrating the real-world needs and preferences of certain riders who ENJOY riding literbikes. You don’t like ‘em? Fine, don’t buy ‘em. That’s why we have so many choices. But enough of the nonsense.

            • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

              that’s not entirely true, it depends on the tuning…note that engine-braking is adjustable on the panigale, the first gear ratio also depends on the bike…you’re overgeneralizing

          • Cory

            Agreed until you said “or even a 250″. Lets be realistic.

            • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

              I watch 250′s keep pace with 1000′s all day. Lets be realistic.

              • Cory

                I typed out a long response and than figured out what a pointless debate it is. Agree to disagree.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  I can hear the argument already. The only valid argument is against the stock suspension on most 250′s, which is very cheap and easy to remedy.

                • Cory

                  That and the people you watch on the 1000′s have no business on the track. And the people you watch on the 250′s belong in professional racing.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  My experience is with a group of mostly b+ riders, some A’s. Some certainly have a chance of winning amateurs…. point being the discrepancy between skill set isnt THAT different.

              • Stuki

                I watch Ferraris being passed by bicycles all day long…….

                Realistically, equally skilled riders, unless they are very fresh to sport riding, will be faster on a liter bike than any stock 250 sold in the US. Don’t know about other places.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  I don’t read your comments because i never understand what you’re saying.

                • Stuki

                  In gridlock, even the fastest cars can’t keep up with the slowest single trackers out there….. And gridlock is pretty much all there is in SF/Silicon Valley and LA these days. Hence, bikes and Ferraris….

                  Or, do you mean, my comments in general are too poorly written?

                  Or, are they reliant on too much assumed context, that should be made more explicit.

                  Or, are they generally simply too long and pointless to be worth taking the time to read?

                  Or, ………?

                  Is English your first language? I’m not trying to be snide. Just never thought I was THAT obtuse.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  nobody’s talking about gridlock. and in general i don’t understand your posts for all the reasons above.

                • Justin McClintock

                  Agreed. If you took what these guys are saying at face value, Moto2 and Moto3 bikes would be just as quick around the track as MotoGP bikes. Newsflash: They’re not.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  That’s a false dichotomy. A 600 has as much in common with a MotoGp bike as does a liter bike. The most your average rideapart reader can aspire to would be a novice race series in WERA, AFM, etc… If you go to an open race event you’ll see daytona 675′s neck and neck with literbikes fighting for first. What you notice is while the literbike may pull away out of the turn, the 675 is right on his butt into and through the turn. Literbikes are for people who enjoy creating traffic for faster riders.

                • Justin McClintock

                  Fine then. Go to a AMA (or whatever they’re calling it now) race weekend and check the lap times of the Supersports and the Superbikes. Even at a smaller, tighter track like Barber, the Superbikes are MUCH faster. Lap times don’t lie, and those guys ARE about equally skilled.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  You’re comparing two entirely different kinds of races. One’s as balls out as you can go. The other is pretty much production bikes with production suspensions on street tires.

                • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

                  power to weight aside
                  optimal gear-ratio aside
                  tuning the bike for the track aside

                  I am quite sure that there are some tracks out there where “superbikes” are no faster than “supersports”.

                  That is hardly the issue. The issue is real simple.

                  On the straights you know which are faster. No question.

                  In the corners, even if a smaller, lighter bike is faster (which is not just because it is smaller and lighter) is it so much faster in the corners as to make up for the distance lost on the straights? Because then it is easy to figure out a ratio of turn-length to straight-length for which the bikes will turn exactly the same laptimes when ridden at their potential, right?


                  What are the odds of wrecking the bike if you try to do that?
                  Anyone with even a hint of exposure to statistics can see that the probability of a crash rises with the “exploitation ratio” that is to say the percent of 100% performance that the rider extracts from the bike. At a certain point the probability of a crash becomes high enough that a crash is near-certain over the course of a race. Now you can vary the instantaneous exploitation-ratio as a function of both relative position on the track and absolute position over the race-distance, right? So again on a give bike a given rider is likely to finish a given race with the lowest average laptime. Now let’s vary the races, the lap-distances, the racing-conditions, etc. A lot of variables we’re talking about, here.

                  Now let’s talk about street-riding.
                  Are we still talking about racing, just on the street, now?
                  Are we talking about just keeping pace with other riders who may in fact be “racing” on the street?

                  Or are we talking about the Famous “Riding At Your Own Pace”?

                  Because if we’re talking about riding your own ride at your own pace on the street, or even riding at a sane pace on the street with riders who aren’t racing? Then suddenly everything is subjective. There is no objective measure to any of the aspect of riding other than NOT WRECKING. When you wreck, you have written past the limit. You have exceeded 100% of the performance capability of your motorcycle. If you have not wrecked you have remained under 100% of the performance capability of your motorcycle.

                  The rest is purely subjective. So just let it go already.
                  You will not convince a guy who likes 600s to ride literbikes instead, or vice-versa.

                  You will only scare noobs away from trying bigger, faster bikes.

                  And unless that is your true goal here, then just let it go.

                • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

                  ” If you go to an open race event you’ll see daytona 675′s neck and neck
                  with literbikes fighting for first. What you notice is while the
                  literbike may pull away out of the turn, the 675 is right on his butt
                  into and through the turn. Literbikes are for people who enjoy creating
                  traffic for faster riders.”

                  ….not seeing how that means that literbikes are for people who enjoy creating traffic for faster riders, especially if the literbike is leaving the 675 in the dust coming out of the turn. When exactly is the 675 catching them? Certainly not on the straights, and they haven’t gotten into the turn yet so not in the turn, so that leaves braking. Now absolutely with a 50lb weight advantage (stock, with the same rider weight) you might see the 675 make up some ground under braking, but that’s a hard way to make a living as a racebike and definitely not the way that I’d want to have to ride to keep up with people on the street.

                  The thing is that on the street this is a moot issue. We all know that eventually literbikes will have to slow down, even stop, and at that point any bike can catch them. A frigging 50cc scooter can keep up with a 1200cc Panigale if there are enough stops along the way.

                  it’s still going to be a 50cc scooter though.
                  Hey if the guy on the literbike gets arrested for reckless-riding, the 50cc scooter will definitely beat it :)

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  I can already tell this is going to go for a long time. if you’re lookign for a talk, you can hit me up on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/kevinrtong
                  In the meantime think about this: the 675 had the fastest lap times of the race. It’s a little bit more to it than 50 lbs.

          • Mugget

            If you’re talking about road riding the comparisons just don’t make any sense. Keeping to the speed limit, it’s a piece of cake to corner at the same speed on a 1000 compared to a smaller bike. 100km/h or 60mph just isn’t that fast – if you’re having trouble with your 1000 at those speeds it doesn’t say so much about the bike as much as the need for the rider to take some good training and really learn how to ride.

            • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

              Unless we say what turn, saying 100 kph isn’t fast is too hard to say. I know plenty of turns where 70 kph is really fast. And skill level doesnt mean much without including confidence. A 600 will always require less skill and give more confidence. A 250 even moreso… after you upgrade the suspension, but we’re not comparing a budget bike to a $12000 bike. And lots of people would be even faster if they rode a supermoto.

              I will give you this: There are tracks that a 1000 is just faster on. Those tracks are better suited as airports, In MY opinion. But around here, on my roads, and at local tracks like sonoma raceway, displacement gives absolutely no advantages.

              • Mugget

                I really can say that 100km/h isn’t all that fast. It doesn’t have so much to do with the radius and type of turn, the difference is in the weight of the bike and the amount of effort required to overcome the centripetal forces. Riding to the speed limit means there’s always going to be a maximum limit to those forces.

                I can tell you that there is no corner on the road where I could use my maximum turn rate. If I tried – I would ride off the inside of the corner. So if I can manage that on a 1000, what makes you think anyone on a 600 is going to have an advantage? The fact that a 600 or smaller requires less effort to turn is a moot point when the effort required to turn a 1000 is never a problem at legal speeds.

                It’s a common misconception that isn’t helped by articles like this one. But the fact is that as always, rider skill plays a much larger role than the type of bike.

                As for skill level and confidence – receiving good training, practicing and putting in the effort to improve your riding is what will give you real confidence. Riding a smaller bike because it gives you “confidence” is a band aid solution. That type of confidence is a blind faith that you should be able to handle the bike because you know it requires a lower skill level. That might be okay for someone who has only ridden a motorcycle a handful of times, but eventually that rider is going to need to step up and build some real confidence.

                I don’t know your local roads or tracks, but I’ll take your word that displacement gives no advantages there. But that’s not to say that it gives a disadvantage, or that smaller bikes do give an advantage – which is what this entire article is saying.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  I can’t tell if by *”speed limit”* you’re referring to a posted speed limit, or the physical limitations of traction. I’m assuming the latter. For sake of argument we don’t care about what speed a sign or speed camera is telling you to go.

                  *”I will never drag hard parts under 100 kph”* Well those guys, dragging elbow around dead man’s corner in all those rnicky mouse’s videos aren’t going over 100 kph. I live in norcal rather than socal but the terrain is similar, and my favorite roads are similarly tight.

                  * “If I have no problem dragging hard parts on a 1000, how would a 600 be faster in turns?” *
                  This goes back to that confidence level. How late are you willing to brake? How much trail braking are you willing to have? How much feel do you have from your tires mid-turn? How much throttle control do you have when you’re at the edge of grip and that rear tire starts dancing on you? When you do lose the rear, can you recover smoothly? How fast can you flick your bike in that chicane?

                  “It’s a common misconception that isn’t helped by articles like this one. But the fact is that as always, rider skill plays a much larger role than the type of bike.” I dont disagree with you. I said that the type of bike affects confidence, which is as important as rider skill. If you’re not happy, you’re not fast. And if your bike feels off, or unstable, you’re not happy. Also this article is saying “Here’s the argument against buying a literbike that you havent heard.” Because at least here in the states we have no restrictions on what novices can buy. You have guys that go from getting the M1 to a 250 to 600 to 1000 in five months… if they didnt just start on a literbike. Then they crash it and wonder what happened.

                  *”Riding a smaller bike because it gives you “confidence” is a band aid solution. It’s not a smaller bike, it’s not a baby liter bike.”* Lol. It’s a better bike. Go watch that video i was talking about. Here it is again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AkNAbnGtqw . Let me know what you think when a 675 and an R1 are at eachother’s throats. Does one bike take more skill to ride? Does one rider have more skill?

                • Piglet2010

                  I hate to say this, but I agree with KR Tong.

                  And I have met people who can use all the power of a liter-bike – the thing they have in common is that they either currently or in the past raced at the professional level.

                • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

                  no one needs to use all the power
                  or all the handling

                  of ANY bike on the street

                • Mugget

                  We’re talking about road riding – the “speed limit” is the actual speed limit. As in the one that police hand out fines for exceeding. Riding any faster on public roads is illegal and I do not condone that.

                  I don’t know why you’re quoting me as talking about dragging hard parts – I never said anything like that. You’ve gone off on a completely different tangent…

                  “This goes back to that confidence level you have with that certain bike.”

                  Well I guess we’ll just have to disagree about that. I am convinced that the most important thing is the riders confidence in their own skills. Take a rider who is confident in their abilities, put them on a bike they’re never ridden before too long they’ll be able to ride it on the road just the same as any other bike.

                  The skills remain, so why should a rider feel any more confident taking a turn on a 600 compared to taking the same turn at the same speed on a 1000? It’s not the speed (which would be the same), on the road the 1000 is still perfectly capable of matching the 600. So the only thing stopping the rider from using the 1000 the same as a 600 is an unrealistic outlook. The rider is the limiting factor, not the bike. Unless the 600 rider is actually riding near their maximum ability, in which case they should be worried about getting some training rather that choosing a bike that gives them warm fuzzies.

                  And talking about the rider feeling happy… I’ve never seen emotional decisions work out well when riding motorcycles.

                  So, back to my original point – no, I’m not going to be caught by a 600 or a 250 on any road ride.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Mugget I’m sorry but you simply do NOT comprehend what I’m saying.

                  “We’re talking about road riding – the “speed limit” is the actual speed limit.”
                  No mugget, “we” are not talking about a posted speed limit. You are. We are talking about going fast. We are talking about bikes competing against one another. We are talking about racing at the track, and on the street.

                  “I don’t know why you’re quoting me as talking about dragging hard parts – I never said anything like that.

                  False. Here’s what you said,

                  “I really can say that 100km/h isn’t all that fast. It doesn’t have so much to do with the radius and type of turn, the difference is in the weight of the bike and the amount of effort required to overcome the centripetal forces. Riding to the speed limit means there’s always going to be a maximum limit to those forces.

                  I can tell you that there is no corner on the road where I could use my maximum turn rate. If I tried – I would ride off the inside of the corner.”

                  You’re saying a motorcycle could never reach maximum turn in at 100 km/h around any corner. Maximum lean angle for any bike is when it begins to drag hard parts. I could’ve just quoted you verbatim but i wanted you to understand exactly what it was you were suggesting. If you actually think it was a “Tangent,” BY ALL MEANS, show me how you “would ride off the inside of ANY corner at 100 kph.” please prove that video wrong.

                  “Well I guess we’ll just have to disagree about that. I am convinced that the most important thing is the riders confidence in their own skills. Take a rider who is confident in their abilities, put them on a bike they’re never ridden before too long they’ll be able to ride it on the road just the same as any other bike.”

                  Have you ever been tired while riding? Has one bike worn you out faster than another? Have you ever heard a rattle from your bike that you didn’t know what it was and worried you? Have you ever felt a weird vibration or a jostle? Tires seem to always either be too hot or too cold? Can’t find that point in the powercurve where you want to be? Can’t get your suspension set up just right? These are ALL things that will unsettle a rider and make them slow. The podium at motogp isn’t ranked from best rider to worst. Its not even ranked most technically advanced motorcycle to least. There has to be harmonious synchronicity between bike and rider and no matter what you think, YOUR literbike will never be as happy as my 600 in the corners.

                  i don’t expect you to agree with me today or tomorrow. Eventually you’ll understand.

                  Also, your point seems to be, “if we’re all stuck going 45 mph, no other bike will ever catch me.” Sorry but, Nobody cares. lol.

                • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

                  Hear hear.

                • Mugget

                  Okay, let me recap this for you:

                  You said: “Great, you can go felony speeds on the straights, but once you have to turn you’re going to be caught up to by a 600 or even a 250. So yeah, a literbike is faster… for whole seconds at at time.” You also dropped “real world” in there. This leads me to believe that you were talking about riding on public roads.

                  I said: “If you’re talking about road riding the comparisons just don’t make any sense.”

                  I never mentioned track riding. I was addressing the outrageous claim that a literbike on the road is going to be caught in the corners by a 600 or 250. So you can keep all your comparisons and talk of track riding to yourself, don’t try and make this about something else just to try and win a few brownie points.

                  Talking about which bike is fastest on the street is a non-point. A 600 or a 1000 can only go as fast as the speed limit, and at those relatively low speeds a literbike can be turned around any corner just the same as a 600. The elbow dragging R1 vid illustrates that point perfectly – if the rider can do that on an R1, what benefit would a smaller bike give?

                  You’re saying a motorcycle could never reach maximum turn in at 100 km/h around any corner. Maximum lean angle for any bike is when it begins to drag hard parts. I could’ve just quoted you verbatim but i wanted you to understand exactly what it was you were suggesting. If you actually think it was a “Tangent,” BY ALL MEANS, show me how you “would ride off the inside of ANY corner at 100 kph.” please prove that video wrong.

                  “Turn in” or turn rate is the speed at which a rider can take the bike from vertical to the desired lean angle. Using a quick turn rate reduces the required lean angle for any given turn. Maximum turn rate means the steering input is not completely until max lean (nearly dragging hard parts) is reached.

                  Look at the R1 rider in the video you posted, and look at his turn rate. Would you say that was a fast, or slow turn in?

                  It’s slow. Really slow. It’s a fair bet that he’s an experienced rider with track riding experience (maybe some racing as well). Guess what would happen if he increased his turn rate and completed the same steering input in half the time, where would the bike be heading? Now imagine if he tried to use the maximum turn rate (that could easily be 4x as fast as his turn rate in the video) – I’d bet he wouldn’t even reach max lean before he was on the dirt on the inside of that corner.

                  I hope that helps explain maximum turn rate.

                  “Have you ever been tired while riding? Has one bike worn you out faster than another? Have you ever heard a rattle from your bike that you didn’t know what it was and worried you? Have you ever felt a weird vibration or a jostle? Tires seem to always either be too hot or too cold? Can’t find that point in the powercurve where you want to be? Can’t get your suspension to feel right?”

                  Sure I’ve been tired while riding – I once rode for 24 hours straight. I can’t say that any particular bike has worn me out faster than another, for me that has more to do with the type of riding and the way the bike is being ridden. Yes I’ve heard strange noises from my bikes, and I take to them to the shop to get fixed. I don’t dwell on them while I’m riding because there’s much more important things to worry about. Yes I’ve felt weird vibrations, both mechanical and feedback from the bike due to my inputs. Tires for me never seen to be too hot or too cold, that implies that I expect them to be a certain temperature. I don’t, I ride according to their actual temperature. I tend not to focus on the powercurve so much as focusing on the result I want to produce within the bike, achieved through correct use of the throttle. Suspension is a tricky one because it’s something that actually does affect the bike and it’s performance, but it’s also something that people can keep chasing and blaming for their own inability to have a good feel operate the bike correctly. If a bike is setup with 20mm front and 40mm rear sag, yes that should definitely be fixed. But once the suspension is setup correctly the rider should focus on building a good integration with the bike and work on their skills and technique, this will allow them to have a good feel of what the tyres are doing and that will lead to real confidence. Chasing some elusive “perfect setup” is not going to help a rider to develop their skills. In fact if a rider doesn’t have a certain skill level they won’t even know what the bike should ideally feel like. They may have a completely unrealistic view and expect something that just isn’t possible.

                  A motorcycle is just a machine. There’s a correct way to operate it, and a wrong way. So what comes first – gaining the skills to produce good riding outcomes? Or adjusting the machine in order to make the rider happy? I know that when a rider uses their skills to execute a manouver just as they planned, that makes them happy. But as for adjusting the machine to make the rider happy, I’m not so sure about that. That’s why I place much more importance on gaining skills than on any type of fine-tuning, chasing the “perfect” bike setup.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  I already got that you misread everything i write. Now you’re just getting rude about it. You’re responding to a post that i made, remember?

                  And If I talked about track riding in the first post, you don’t get to change the subject away from track riding and onto abiding speed limits. Also maximum turn in, we’re not talking about how FAST you can turn it in, or about turning in EARLY.

                  And being tired after 24 hours is not the same as being tired after a track day on a literbike vs a track day on a 600.

                  And the race video i posted, saying that the guy at FRONT of the race has only had at most a couple races before is just DUMB. Sorry, it is. What you’re saying here is DUMB. You’re being DUMB, so you don’t have to be WRONG, but now you’re just being DUMB and WRONG. AND contentious. AND rude.

                • Mugget

                  Yes, I know I was responding to your post, that’s what I just recapped above… I was specifically responding to the outrageous claim that a literbike on the road is going to be caught in the corners by a 600 or a 250.

                  Turn in describes the describes the steering input that moves the bike from vertical to leaning. The force of the steering input determines the speed at which the turn in is completed. The duration of the steering input determines the lean angle. For example a very forceful input of short duration would only result in a moderate lean angle. Maximum turn in describes a very forceful steering input of long duration, until the bike is at maximum lean angle. If you don’t agree with this – then what do you understand “turn in” to mean?

                  I didn’t say anything about a rider having “at most a couple of races before”? I didn’t say anything about any race video. I only commented on the “Elbow Dragging on R1″ video.

                  I can only suggest that you try and take care to carefully read and fully understand what I’m writing, that might go some way to alleviating any feelings of frustration and confusion.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Nobody’s talking about steering input!! You know that. You’re flaming out over semantics.

                  Go argue with someone who cares about speed limits, Mugget. You clearly don’t care about what i’m talking about. As you continue to ignore everything anyone else has said.

                • Mugget

                  Yes, I am talking about steering input! That’s what maximum turn rate means, it’s the “rate” of turning (not the limit) – I explained all of that above. This is why I said you went off on a tangent. You somehow thought I was referring to dragging hard parts, I tried to explain what I actually meant, but you refuse to accept that I know what I wrote.

                  I even asked what you believe “turn in” means. It looks like you’re confusing turn rate with maximum lean angle.

                  The maximum lean angle is limited by the point at which hard parts start dragging, obviously – no problem there. But “turn in” is what gets you to that point. You can have a slow turn in, or a fast turn in. Maximum lean angle is just one factor that will limit the possible speed for any given speed/line/corner. The turn rate will drastically affect things like your choice of turn point and the line & speed through a corner. To put it into a practical example – if you want to increase your speed through a corner while keeping the same turn point, you must increase your turn rate.

                  This is the basics of motorcycle control, now I’m just trying to help explain it to you. If you’ve never learnt or heard about quick steer or turn rate then I can understand why it may have gone over your head. If you want to understand my comments about 100km/h not being fast and there being no corner on the road where I could use my maximum turn rate – then I’m happy to explain. But you will need to put aside any preconceived ideas and look at it with an open mind, ready to learn something new.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  I’ll rephrase Nobody ELSE is talking about steering input. You want to change the subject to steering input and speed limits be my guest. I’m out.

                • Mugget

                  Let me get this straight – you weren’t actually interested in understanding my statement, you just wanted to prove I was wrong based on your own understanding of what I said (regardless of however far removed that may have been from reality)?

                  That turned out to be a great exercise in futility… Well glad to at least have that finally cleared up.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  I didn’t come into this comments section, see your post, disagree with it, then when I was wrong attempt to change the subject to something else. No, you came in and responded to my statement. I have no interest in starting a conversation on a new subject beyond what was in my original post!

                • Mugget

                  Yes, I said that your comparisons about road riding just don’t make any sense. I didn’t try to change the subject – you have some trouble seeing the flaw in your original comment and I’ve just been trying to elaborate on my own comment hoping that you will see that there’s no real difference between 1000/600/250 cornering speeds on the road unless there’s some serious lack of skills.

                  Well I guess if you’re gonna stick to your guns it’s not going to go anywhere. But anyone who reads over this will be able to see my point, so I guess I’ll just have to settle for that.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  Yep. I got that you think 1000′s are as easy to ride as anything else in your first post. There’s no motorcycle review in the world that cosigns your opinion, but you’re more than welcome to it.

                • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

                  wait a minute
                  now we’re talking about what is EASY to ride?!?

                  How did how EASY it is to ride even become relevant?

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  You tell me. What’s faster: Something with jerky throttle respone that will bite you when you make a bad input, or something that’s forgiving or easy to work with?

                • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

                  “…bite you when you make a bad input”? I think that you are defining “a bad input” as something that causes the bike to “bite you”.

                  There’s nothing at all wrong with the throttle response of a motorcycle if you don’t twist the throttle too much and too abruptly especially at low RPMs. Now you may not like the throttle response of a specific bike but that doesn’t mean that it has to be “jerky” just because it’s a literbike.

                • Piglet2010

                  “I once rode for 24 hours straight.”

                  Refueling on the move, or a very large auxiliary tank?

                • Mugget

                  Awww… that’s cute, looks like I’ve got a follower trying to catch me on a technicality.

                  You got me – I wasn’t on the bike for 24 hours. I was “on the road” for 24 hours. I’ll let you have that little internet victory for your efforts.

                • Piglet2010

                  People that live in glass houses…

                • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

                  “YOUR literbike will never be as happy as my 600 in the corners.”

                  Your comment is just utter nonsense.
                  There is absolutely nothing about the fact that a motorcycle is a literbike that means that it will not cannot is impossible to ever be as “happy” as a 600 in a corner. That’s just garbage. Now maybe if you want to talk about YOUR SPECIFIC BIKE it might make sense, depending on the state of tune of your bike. But to say that someone elses’ literbike can corner as “well” (subjectively) as your bike because it’s not a 600 like yours?

                  You really ought to be ashamed of yourself for spewing crap like that on the Internet.

                • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

                  You ever notice a motorcycle review will say “This bike handles like a 600″ when it’s really good in cornering? Why do you think that is.

                  Your name “experienceisthebestteacher” is pretty ironic. If you had any experience with literbikes and 600′s you’d never disagree.

                • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

                  Not only are you underestimating my experience with literbikes and 600s, you’re assuming that I would agree with you if you felt that I was experienced with them. But back to your question…people often say things that aren’t literally true. Why do you think that is?

                  It’s called “hyperbole”…look it up sometime

              • Stuki

                Once you’re allowed to upgrade the suspension, I’m with you all the way down to 250. Particularly if you can equalize tires as well. Off the showroom floor, for average 200lb guys, the 250s currently sold in the US are not really all that confidence inspiring.

                • Piglet2010

                  On the other hand, an under-damped suspension makes the bike *feel* faster than it is – maybe part of the reason why race-replicas are so boring when being ridden slowly?

                • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

                  …maybe they’re not boring…
                  and somehow I don’t think that a poorly-tuned suspension is the key to a motorcycle that feels good when I’m riding it
                  I could be crazy

                  Maybe I should get the rotors warped too, and the pads “pre-worn” so I can get extra “excitement”
                  someone send me their worn-out tires for extra fun

                  damm now you’ve got me wantin’ to drain the fork oil

            • Piglet2010
              • Mugget

                Nice try again, but if you think even a 250GP bike is going to ride the entire road at 100km/h… well I don’t need to say any more.

                • Piglet2010

                  Making false claims about what other people write is a very poor debating form.

                • Mugget

                  What false claim?

                  Why would you say that you want to see me ride that section of road on a literbike? I assume that you mean the entire section, including corners, while sitting on 100km/h? You know that wouldn’t be possible even on the easiest to turn bike like a 250 GP.

                  Your comment was nonsense to start with. It’s not finishing much better either.

                • Piglet2010

                  I never claimed it would be possible to ride the entire section at 100 kph on a 250GP bike – your implying that I did is a lie.

                • Mugget

                  Hahaha okay whatever you like to think… you’re clutching at straws now.

                  FYI – notice how I said “if”. I didn’t say “you do believe”. There’s a difference.

                • Mugget

                  Hahaha okay whatever you like to think… you’re clutching at straws now.

                  I said “if”. That means that you might believe that, but also that you might not. I deliberately left it open so you could clarify your point, if there was any.

                  Your claim about my false claim is a lie.

                • Piglet2010

                  Funny that the person creating strawmen accuses others of clutching at straws.

                • Mugget

                  It’s not funny that you felt the need to go on the defensive so quickly instead of trying to explain your point. It’s a bit sad actually.

                  But then you never did have a point, did you? You still haven’t mentioned it. Hmmm… figures.

                • Piglet2010

                  Oh, “the I won the argument because I said so” tactic.

                  After arguing on the Internet for 15 years, I was hoping to see something new.

                • Mugget

                  Ah, so you were just looking for an argument after all? You might want to work on your argument technique – if someone else has valid points and you don’t respond to questions and instead just reply with nonsense, it doesn’t do much for your chances of winning any “argument”.

                  I guess you’re trying for the “I won the argument because I made the last comment” tactic.

                • Piglet2010

                  Playing stupid (or being stupid?) does you no credit.

    • Nathan

      Agree big time on the last point. Baby blades for the win!

    • SniperSmitty

      You must have lots of roads that only go in a straight line. Where I live, there isn’t one. It’s not the bike, it’s the rider. If you feel you must ride a liter bike so other riders will “respect” you, well then you have bigger problems than your displacement.

      • Archie

        As a matter of fact, we do. I live in the suburbia of Perth, Western Australia. The suburbs are all dead straight. The highways are all dead straight.

        As for the ‘respect’ comment, is that directed at me or a generalization towards your local riding community?

  • Austin Tiller

    If you’re 6’6″ you just can’t ride a 600…

    • Archie

      Twaddle. I have a friend that’s 6’5″ and rides an RS125 comfortably.

      • Bruce Steever

        Yo momma’s so fat, she has to ride a liter bike!” Ohhhhhhhhh snnnnaaapppppp, sooooooonnnnn!

        • Rameses the 2nd

          You win this thread! Nothing else to see here folks.

    • Bruce Steever

      But this is crystal-clear BS, because the ergonomics on liter bikes are essentially identical, and oftentimes, more aggressive, than the ergos found of middleweight sport bikes. Try again please…

      • Austin Tiller

        I sit on them daily and sell them for a living. I can tell you that I am far more cramped on a 600 than I am most of the literbikes. I will admit that the CBR1000 feels the most like a 600 to me.

        • Bruce Steever

          I actually ride them daily, am paid a salary to review them, and in doing so, perform some of the most detailed ergonomic measurements in the industry. Nearly every 600 and 1000 built today have ergos within fractions of inches of each other.

        • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

          Sounds to me like another salesman trying to justify all the liter-bikes he sells to folks that have no business being on one.

          • Austin Tiller

            Absolutely not, I won’t be any part of a sale that involves someone trying to buy a bike they have no business being on. I don’t want that on my conscious when I go to sleep at night.

        • NOCHnoch

          buy some custom rearsets and stop bitching.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          The CBR has more spacious ergonomics of any liter bike on the market with the possible exception of the GSXR.

          An RSV4 is 1mm shorter than an R6.

          • Stuki

            I believe the Beemer (s1000RR) has a bit more legroom than any big4; both liter and 600. At least it felt less crunched to me.

    • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

      Don’t tell that to this guy. He races 600′s. (not that one, that one’s his)

      • Will Mederski

        FZRs FTW!

  • markbvt

    Great article. I’ve always agreed with the old saying that I’d rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow.

    • Kemal Kautsar

      this. it also applies to cars too. Mazda Miata anyone?

      • akrokdesign

        yes. more power isn’t always better.

      • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

        Trackday bro?
        ( I jest, because I agree. )

      • Tupack Shackur

        I was looking into Miatas, and then I realized that its power-to-weight is the exact same as my Cobalt Coupe. Basically scratched that off the list for me.

        Not that I need much more power, I just wanted to be zippier than what I have now… (BRZ, WRX, S2000, MR2 Spyder would be nice)

        • Piglet2010

          You need to try a “Spridget” or Triumph Spitfire to know what a slow sports car is like.

    • Rameses the 2nd

      It’s probably most fun to ride a fast bike fast.

      • Zanpa

        Also a lot harder and more dangerous.

        • http://www.motard.ca/ Guillaume Béliveau

          Also… cops.

        • Monte Lutz

          So a 600 that goes 160 out of the box is safe and easy to ride?

          • Piglet2010

            A Ninja 650 or similar is a better choice for most riders than a super-sport, even on the track.

            • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

              not riding on the track at all is a better choice for most riders

          • Zanpa

            Do you really think that when people say “ride a slow bike fast”, they are talking about 600s?

            • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

              …do you really think that people think when they are talking?

        • Mugget

          Yes, but do you ride motorcycles because you are risk-averse, or because you enjoy it?

          If a rider is sensible, they won’t try to ride beyond their limits regardless of what bike they’re on. It is possible to ride fast and safely, if you make the effort to receive good training and apply yourself to improve your skills.

          • Zanpa

            Yes, and all of this is even more true on a “slow” bike. Your limits are even higher when riding a Ninjette or CBR250 (on the street) than when you are on a litre bike.

            • Mugget

              Uummm… Don’t you mean that the limits are lower when riding a smaller bike? They require less skill to ride and the bikes maximum potential can be used easier.

              Literbikes actually have quite high limits if you turn off nanny-mode and are looking to use it’s ultimate performance.

      • markbvt

        That’s a bit impractical on the street though.

    • Sloan Essman

      Yep, I have a blast on my SV650 at the track. So what if I can only do 120-130 on the long straights. I still have faster lap times than half the “faster” bikes out there. Mid-corner we all use the same horsepower. AND I got to ride a Ninja 250 in an endurance race last year. I ALMOST had more fun than my SV. I was laughing my a** off rolling onto full throttle mid-corner. lol

      • John Guan

        I’ve raced an sv650 for a couple years and ridden them on the street for 5. My R1 was much more fun, in a different way. On the street I would take the liter bike every time.

        • Sloan Essman

          My daily rider is a 06 VFR with bags and topcase. It’s nowhere near a liter bike but the available power dwarfs the SV. However, as I have it configured, it weighs close to 600 pounds. So I ride the VFR all week, then get on the SV at the track and it feels tiny, light as a feather and it’s like I’m perched on top with the tall rearsets. It’s not as fast, but WAY quicker. Then I get back on the VFR the next day and think, “Man, this thing is comfortable.” lol I only rode the SV on the road for about 500 miles before making it track-only.

    • Monte Lutz

      Riding fast bikes fast is really fun as well.

      • Piglet2010

        Riding to jail in the back of a cop is fun too?

        • Mugget

          I wouldn’t have thought so, but I’ve never tried it out.

          • Piglet2010

            Getting a race replica super-bike to power peak in 1st gear on a regular basis on public roads will eventually get you that ride.

            • Mugget

              Then you’ll have to limit yourself to riding a slow bike slowly otherwise you’ll be in the back of the cop car with me.

              And if I had a choice of riding a slow bike slowly, or a fast bike slowly – I’ll still be riding the fast bike.

            • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

              just as taking a Ninja 300 to power peak in 6th gear will.


              • Piglet2010

                New a long and steep downgrade to reach the power-peak in 6th gear on a Ninjette.

        • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

          …”ridiculous extreme”. Got it.

          Luckily for you, a Ninja 250 is a “get out of jail free” card.

          • Piglet2010

            As is a nym-shift to get around being banned?

            • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

              it’s not my fault that you guys can’t handle facts and logic.

  • Jack Meoph

    All you need for a real world sport bike is a Kawi 300 Ninjette. But it’s hard for anyone to really hear that who equates bigger with better. Still, it may not be what you need, but it’s what you want that matters when you’re ready to throw down the bank. And I’m sure the dealerships are more than happy to sell those literbikes with the bigger margins. I know that IF I feel I need another sport type bike, it will be one of the smaller displacement MC’s that are around right now.

    • Piglet2010

      I enjoy riding my pre-gen Ninjette more than the F4i it replaced.

    • Stuki

      I keep hearing that; and it may well have some merit. But, if you ride with guys that are approx equally fast and skilled; in the real world the guys riding Supersports will almost inevitably have to wait for the guys on Ninjettes. By the time things get tight enough for this not to hold true; both supersports and ninjette riders will likely be passed by a similarly skilled rider on a DRZ-SM.

      The Ninjette rider, assuming the whole group is fairly fresh; will not unlikely have more fun, and perhaps learn more about motorcycle dynamics. But he will be left behind by 600 riders; almost anywhere.

      • Piglet2010

        I would rather ride my own ride.

      • Jack Meoph

        Before the bike I have now, I rode a 2009 ZX-6R, so I know that anyone who has a super sport or more is going to pull away from a Ninjette on the straights. I don’t mind. I was on a ride with the Ninjettte and was rolling with the front fast guys because the road we were on was tight and twisty. When we stopped to let the rest of the group catch up, everyone was standing around the Ninjette asking if it was a 500 or bigger. Nope, it’s a 2fidyy, and yeah, I’m keeping up with you guys. The real problem with the low displacement bike is climbing out of a well, those slow uphill turns. You really do feel like getting off and pushing. I can’t wait for the OEM set of tires to wear so I can put some better rubber on. Oh yeah.

    • james

      yeah no those ninja 250s are not sports bikes by any streach of the imagination, why? because they require nothing more than turn in, open throttle to maximum, bring the bike up. They are totally non threatening and you dont need throttle control at all to ride them. Unlike a real bike. Anyway, they are also dam slow, if your keeping up with a 600 or a 1000 he is probably stuck in first.

    • Ayabe

      Depends on where you live and what you use it for, if you’re surrounded by 60-65mph highways and don’t putt around the city, then no, it’s absolutely not enough power to get around comfortably. Just because the bike can do it doesn’t mean it’ll perform ‘well’ or be comfortable performing under those conditions.

      • Ryan Mayo

        “Just because the bike can do it doesn’t mean it’ll perform ‘well’ or be comfortable performing under those conditions.” This is my biggest problem with the smaller CC bikes. Where I live anything over 500CC is ridiculous on insurance. Until the new Honda CB500s came out there were very few sub 500s that would make a good all around bike and still be able to do some fairly serious highway riding. (because of the insurance people dont’ let go of their SV500′s very often)

        • hunkyleepickle

          i second your sentiment, except our lowest insurance tier is 400cc, which makes it even tougher. Anything over 400cc and the insurance basically doubles, regardless of bike type, and sport bike riders get dinged even worse. I really thought the ninja 400r would be a godsend, but it kind of turned out to be a dud. I love my street triple, but will definitely give some serious thought to the RC390 if it gets released in N.A. That bike on paper sounds like the perfect combo of cheap insurance, perfect power/ergo’s/fun factor.

      • Alex

        I ride a ninjette 250, and most of the time it’s enough for me on the highway during my commute. There have been a few situations where I have seen a gap, and thought to myself, “I could make that on a 600, but not this bike.” Usually though I just downshift, and pin the throttle. That’s a really fun part about riding a 250; I get to practice downshifting all the time. I also only weigh 175lbs. Riding two-up though, I avoid the highways as much as possible, and maintain hyper awareness of surrounding vehicles and lane position when I have to use them.

        • ThinkingInImages

          I have a CBR250R, before that a 750c Shadow RS. Downshifting to pass is part of the experience.

          I get the point Wes is making here. I’m enjoying the CBR250R more than most motorcycles I’ve owned because it does require me to ride and think. It reminds me a lot of my first motorcycle, a FT500 – a 500cc single. There wasn’t a lot of power there either but I did a lot of distance runs on that motorcycle. I looked at it as an adventure. It was a chore on long, flat, dull, highways – but get it on a twisty mountain road and it was brilliant.

    • runnermatt

      Or KTM RC390… when it gets here.

      • Alex

        I will buy one the day they’re available in the US … if that ever happens.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      That’s ignoring the fact that the ninjette has a crappy frame and crappier suspension. I’m looking forward to the RC390.

      • Piglet2010

        The soft suspension forces your riding technique to be better, which is a good thing.

        • Mugget

          The soft suspension forces you to change your riding to compensate for soft suspension.

          • Stuki

            And a good part of that compensation, is smoothing out control inputs. Which you at some point will have to learn on better suspended bikes as well, as your cornering speeds increase. Just as the massive power of larger sports bikes covers up your mistakes and allows you to stagnate in your learning, so does their fantastic suspensions.

            Of course, just as you at some point stop progressing on a 250 due to never having to learn to deal with the effects of big power, ditto as the 250s wallowy suspenders prevents you from practicing truly deep lean angles and truly quick transitions at high speeds.

            • Mugget

              Learning to be adaptable is a great thing, but to learn that the rider must be aware of the fact that they’re not actually learning the ideal method to ride a bike, and recognize that they’re merely adapting to use their current equipment as best as possible.

              That’s far from making anyones riding technique better.

              I’d go so far as to say that if a rider was unaware of that fact, and did manage to deal with their soft suspension all the while thinking that they’ve learnt the ideal method to ride, it would actually be a really dangerous thing. That’s how people get into bad habits and it takes so much effort to overcome.

              I really question that there is any benefit to be gained from riding a bike with soft, wallowing suspension. Especially thinking about a 250, there’s not so much power there, so you could practically pin the throttle regardless of what the suspension is doing and it’s not going to have much of an effect. In my mind that could actually teach a rider to be ham-fisted with the throttle.

              The thing is that suspension is designed to work in a certain way. Trying to use sub-par suspension to learn any kind of bike control skills is like trying to use a bike loaded with a fuel map that looks like a share price graph to learn about throttle control.

            • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

              …take the wheels off and you’ll be good enough to ride MotoGP in 6 months

        • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

          “The soft suspension forces your riding technique to be better, which is a good thing.”

          …this is one of your stupid comments that goes right up there with “you should buy a Ducati Multistrada” and “torque is power”

          If something that is bad for handling forces you to have better technique then you are wasting your time with a 250 you should be riding a 2500

    • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

      “And I’m sure the dealerships are more than happy to sell those literbikes with the bigger margins.”

      Wow, really.
      So you think that an R1 or CBR1k or Gixxer 1k that cost maybe $15k new has a bigger margin than an R6 ($14k) or CBR600 $13k or a $13k Gixxer 600?

      Yeah I’m sure there’s a huge difference…gotta be 2 to 1, at least

  • FreeFrog

    Love it. I retired my FZ1 dyno’d at 139hp for a Tiger 800xc just a month ago. The FZ1 only started to wake up at 90+mph and and was an awesome bike, but it was near impossible to take full advantage of on real roads. I find the Tiger’s 96hp is plenty and I’m always in the power band, handles the back roads even better, has PLENTY of front wheel fun, and fuel mileage is way better. Nothing wrong with uber HP save it isn’t really any more fun except in an unrestricted strait line.

    • David E

      Despite having lower fuel economy the range is more in my 1st gen FZ1. Tiger 800xc was a lot of fun to demo, but not as practical for my riding. Wonderful bike though.

      • FreeFrog

        Interesting. My mileage on the 800xc is 20-40 miles more per tank depending on how aggressively I’m riding. Mind you my FZ1 (California model) had about 68k before selling.

        • David E

          Well if the fuel economy was at the higher end for my freeway commute riding style it might have worked fine for me. I don’t think I’ve ridden a FI bike with smoother off-idle throttle response .

    • Steve p

      I did the same thing. Sold my Ducati sport classic for a triumph tiger 800 xc and love the switch.

    • Mugget

      I rate the FZ1, super-easy to ride. If you can’t take full advantage of the FZ1 on real roads, you should go and find some fake roads.

      • FreeFrog

        LOL! You’re right; on good roads the FZ1 is easy as pie to ride — love it with Pilot Road 3s especially. I stand corrected. However, many of the backgrounds and city streets I uses are really torn up or have small amounts of debris gravel, so like most short travel sport bikes, the FZ1′s suspension gets upset and the Tiger just soaks it up unbothered. On anything smoother he FZ1′s a fine machine.

  • Mark D

    The ironic thing is, 1000cc+ tall-rounders like the GS or Multistrada are probably the fastest real-world-road bikes out there. Its not displacement necessarily, its tuning and chassis design.

    • Bruce Steever

      Don’t forget the ergonomic/confidence advantages granted by the tall seating position.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      I’ve never ridden faster on the road than I did in total confidence and safety on a Multi.

      • JP

        This sounds like a really good idea for a RideApart article. Which bikes inspire the most confidence in which scenarios?

        Twisties, track, rain, crappy pot-hole ridden roads, sand, gravel, rocky, autobahn, grid, etc etc.

        • Mugget

          Or an even more important article – which is most important: a bike that inspires confidence, or riding skills that inspire confidence?

      • Harve Mil

        On a retuned 1198 literbike engine, how ironical is that?

      • Piglet2010

        The other good thing about riding a Multistrada is that you do not have to look at it. Who thought that styling motorcycles after insects is attractive? Ducati needs to ditch the off-road pretense, and put some proper sport-touring bodywork on.

        • Greg Linton

          I respectfully disagree with the bodywork comment. Having owned many bikes with full body work, including the 999, I no longer understand the point. It doesn’t really do anything except look super groovy. Peeling all that body work off was at PITA. The Multi is the perfect compromise between a naked bike and a fully clothed sport tourer. You get to see all that beautiful machinery, but get spared most of the weather that comes with being naked.

      • Greg Linton

        Last year, I sold my 999S and bought a Multi 1200. This article points out several of the reason I sold the “liter bike.” Theft, comfort, mostly unusable power, handling. But they missed one; heat! Holy roasted nuts, Batman, I couldn’t ride the 999 in traffic in warm weather. The Multi on the other hand is fairly innocuous, fast as you like, handles brilliantly, is all day comfortable, and the heat dissipates better. The main reason my friends still ride liter bikes, besides having small tackle, is that they like the low down grunt of the big motor. With lower gearing, they are pretty easy to ride in town. But my Multi has that too, so suck it!

    • Stuki

      Are they faster that their own version of middleweights, the Hypermotard, though?

      • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

        Multistradas are terrifyingly quick to behold in real life, in real condidtions. Was on a ride with some friend-of-friends, one of the ‘older grey beards’ on his 1200 Multistrada took off like a shot down the lumpy old patched-up tarmac while the ‘kids’ on our 600s needed to be a little more reserved navigating the garbage road conditions before winding up.

        If I had a big bucket of cash and only one bike, I have seen several reasons why a newer Multistrada would be be it.

        • gleite311

          I test-rode a MS a couple of years back and it’s a phenomenal bike. If I could afford one, I’d have one in the garage. I’d say the fact that they’ve been at the top of their class the past few years at Pike’s Peak is a testament to how fast and capable they are.

          • Piglet2010

            If only the Multistrada did not have those hideous “nostrils”.

        • Mugget

          Sorry – I just have to say that I’m getting so sick and tired of everyone talking about “real world” conditions. Has anyone ever ridden in “fake world” conditions??!

          • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

            I sort of threw up in my mouth when I typed it, too.

            What I meant was ‘the opposite of all the internet/bench racing.’ Without a doubt, a Panigale S or a Mission R or another bleeding edge tuned hyper-bike will be frontal-lobe meltingly fast. 200+ mph top speeds, 0-100 elapsed times only made capable by more computational horsepower than we sent a man to the moon with make for some impressive spec sheets, and in the hands of the top racers on race tracks, it will make a real difference.

            On that day, “an old man on a heavy sport touring bike” ran away from a bunch of younger guys on 600cc sportbikes, because it was the right tool for the job.

          • Stuki

            Tracks are a fake world for streetbikes. Like Epcot France is to the real thing.

            • Mugget

              … that makes no sense… literbikes are designed to go fast on the racetrack.

              The great thing about motorcycles and riding them fast is that if you can ride a motorcycle fast, you are fast. There’s no cheating, there’s no faking it.

          • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

            The phrase annoys me, too. In this case the “real world” was garbage road with sand, bumps. and tar snakes The “big, heavy sport tourer” used it’s long legs and electro wizardry to suck it up and tear off into the horizon, while the “light, nimble 600s” got jarred around, and thus had to wait a bit to wind it up.

            On some “fake world” roads (like perfectly smooth, beautifully maintained tracks” it might have been a different story. Maybe. I’m really not that fast, regardless.

    • Stuki

      The MS may be different, and perhaps the latest GS, but aside from possibly those; no way is any pre ’13 GS as fast on even halfway decent roads as a 600. I’ve owned and rented GS’ extensively, and they start getting really heavy at substantially lower speeds than a 600 ridden with some focus. Even by soomeone with my limited sport bike skills. I can totally imagine something like the Duke 690 being absolutely spectacularly fast, though.

      • Piglet2010

        The Duke 690 is on my “short list”, but I am waiting to see how the Husqy 701 turns out – the latter of course will share the engine with the Duke 690.

        • Stuki

          I like it in theory too, but I was rather dissapointed by a 690 enduro I tried. Perhaps completely different, but that bike lurched and stuttered all the way to above 3000rpm, and above that, it started vibrating fairly hard. And, constant throttle callibrated for a steady 50mph, had me seemingly going 50-40-60-50-60-….. And the gearbox had a tall first and a short top, while the whole bike seemed designed around a steering damper someone forgot to mount; making the whole darned experience so frantic, I was kind of put off by the whole thing. Actually reminded me of what I would assume an overgrown, high strung two stroke would feel like. Fast and fun if you’re a great rider on Redbull bender, but a bit too much for us old, slow folk….

          Of course, the Duke may be completely different.

          • Piglet2010

            I want something I can ride on roads such as these* and actually be able to use the gear-box – on a super-bike I would never get out of first gear without dropping well below peak torque. And a motard would make the occasional gravel sections less hairy (and less expensive if I did dump the bike). I may wait and see if the upcoming KTM 390 motard is imported.

            * https://maps.google.com/?ll=43.040885,-89.775767&spn=0.016937,0.042272&t=h&z=15

    • Ken

      I got off a sportsbike onto a naked about 10 years ago and I haven’t felt so secretly liberated since I sold my 1978 Jaguar XJ6.

  • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

    Very interesting topic. Makes total sense in terms of sport bikes. For me, I feel like the place for the liter bike is for sport touring. That extra power makes all those road hours that little bit easier.

    • Stuki

      I think it’s more that there are no sport tourers that aren’t large displacement. The Suzuki 650 engine is about the nicest engine I can imagine for a sport tourer, but they don’t put it in a proper one; although the Vstrom ain’t so bad itself.

      • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

        There’s the Triumph Tiger 800, BMW F 800 GS, Honda NC700X – not 650s, but still sub-liter machines.

        • Justin McClintock

          I wouldn’t really consider any of those “sport-touring” machines. They’re all ADV bikes. All of them make compromises to their on-road ability in the name of maybe being slightly less tedious on a dirt road.

          The only bike I would really consider an honest small “sport-touring” bike (as it arrives from the factory anyway) is the Honda NT700V….the Deauville.

          • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

            True, I guess I just think about it in terms of how part of what makes my Tiger 1050 a great touring experience over smaller bikes I’ve owned is the extra power and size — that it doesn’t feel like it’s having to work super hard to do what I’m asking it to do. Not feeling like I’m stressing the bike makes the miles more relaxing.

            • Mofles Gutz

              Touring on my Sprint GT 1050 is very comfy :)

              • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

                Great motor, isn’t it? It’s like having a pet tidal wave.

          • Bruce Steever

            That’s a tourer, mate…and a dull one at that.

            Sport-tourers still sold to today are limited to the Ninja 1000 and the VFR800. Maybe in a pinch, you could include things like the ZX-14, but that’s not the bike’s MO.

            • Piglet2010

              Are you calling my Honda Dullsville dull?

              • Bruce Steever

                It’s only dull when you’re riding it. Or looking at it. Don’t take it too personally, i own a DL650, so i’m in the same boat.

                • Piglet2010

                  Since I actually use my Deauville for transportation, dullness beats “character” in many cases. No, I would never recommend a NT700V as a weekend toy, but as a practical motorcycle it is hard to beat.

                  When you are 200 miles away from home, it is 40° F, dark, and raining, a supermoto, street-fighter, or race-replica is not what you want to be riding.

                • Bruce Steever

                  Same here with the DL. I won’t own a car, so the back-to-basics V-Strom does wonders. But then i ride something like the 1290 Super Duke R and my heart sinks, because i know i have to go back home to my plain jane DL650.

            • SnowCrash

              getting a 2001 vfr800 in a week or two here, can’t quite call it touring because it’s got 100hp at the wheel and top speed of 155mph or so- it’s a comfortable sports bike is what it is :)

          • Piglet2010

            My primary bike is a Honda NT700V, and I suppose it depends what you mean by sport-touring – works well on twisty roads as long as you are smooth (since the fork is under-damped and shock over-damped) and do not try to push the pace above 7/10th or so. It even was fun to ride here* (the paved part of the Motorplex supermoto track, not the “big track”). But with equal ability riders, a “Dullsville” would not keep up with a Ninja 650 or SV650 with a top-box and hard panniers.

            * https://maps.google.com/?ll=43.798916,-87.998911&spn=0.004182,0.010568&t=h&z=17

      • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

        the CBR500 definitely fits that bill, FZ6R also
        guess that means you’re wrong

  • Heath Collins

    I hate how the author assumes that all 1000cc bikes are supersports.

    • NOCHnoch

      Does he? A supersport typically means a 600.

      • Imran Uddin

        He did mention “1200cc V-Twin”, which makes every Harley bigger than the 883 a literbike… Probably not the reference he was going for, but that’s how crap journalism goes.

      • NOCHnoch

        Imran Uddin wrote: “He did mention “1200cc V-Twin”, which makes every Harley bigger than the 883 a literbike… Probably not the reference he was going for, but that’s how crap journalism goes.”

        The Panigale is a 1200cc V-Twin, moron.

    • Richard

      “Literbike” is universally used as a term for a 1000cc sport bike. Nobody refers to an R1100GS as a “literbike”, despite it having a 1085cc displacement.

  • skongara

    Great article. After my R1 was stolen a few months ago, I had this exact same debate with one of my buddies. A lot of soul searching and just being honest with my self led me to the exact same conclusions drawn in this article. Although the insane power was awesome, I never really got to exploit it. I loved the R1, but it was too much bike for the streets. On the highways doing long stints I did see the advantages of a liter bike. Being able to maintain consistent 85 mph without the engine sounding like a banshee was good. Being able to overtake folks by just a slight twist of the wrist is a big bonus. But the R1 was def more work in the canyons (where I would lik to spend most of the time) compared to my previous bike (R6). I think I was much faster on my R6 and definitely much more confident in corners. Insurance was higher on the R1 as well. Although I had the $$ to maybe get myself an exotic liter bike, I am glad sense prevailed and I got myself a middle weight (Daytona 675). Jumping back on a middle weight was such a revelation and reminded me how much easier riding a 600 was. Not trying to trash liter bike riders, but in my case I do believe a liter bike was just too much for me. Still, my R1 getting stolen STINGS.

    • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

      …it was too much for you for the type of riding that you like to do on the type of roads that you like to ride on. A 10R will stay with a 6R in the twisties all day long and then eat it for lunch on the straights. With the Gixxer 1000 you’re trading away a little bit of handling quickness relative to the Gixxer 600 for a lot more power throughout the powerband coupled with longer gearing. Both literbikes are just head and shoulders above an R1…it is just not a good representative of the breed.

      • skongara

        Whether the R1 is a good representative of the breed is a different question. I am sure with my skill set, I would have been equally good/bad on a 10R or Gixxer 1000. In good hands any of the liter bikes would keep up with a 600 in the twisties. And like I mentioned and you concurred, for “my type” of riding and needs/expectations a liter bike was too much. I have ridden a Gixxer 1000 and a 1000RR and felt the same way. I’d rather enjoy what I ride and be confident riding it, than worry about trying to keep up with my ridding buddies. Again not trying to trash liter bike riders, its just an opinion.

        • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

          It sounds like you’re not really concerned with either enjoying what you ride *or* keeping up with your riding buddies.
          You’re just worried about explaining why you didn’t want to buy another R1 after your first one was stolen.
          What else is one to make out of sentences like this: “I loved the R1, but it was too much bike for the streets”.
          What is this, a fictional crime novel?
          Did you sell the R1 before it was stolen? Obviously not.
          Would you have sold it if it hadn’t been stolen?

          Let’s compare the 675 and the R1.
          They’re the same price. R1 weighs 50lbs more, just over 10% more. Wheelbase 5% longer.
          24deg rake & 4″ of trail on the R1 vs 23 deg rake and 3.5″ of trail on the 675 so SLIGHTLY faster steering geometry & lighter weight.
          The bikes look almost the same, same riding-position, same seat-height.
          The big difference is that the 675 is 115hp peak vs 165hp peak for the R1.
          And probably the gearing on the R1 is longer as well. I’m not going to say that the R1 is the ideal streetbike, it has its issues,
          and the 675 may be a better match for you, plenty of people like it, but the bikes are practically the same as far as their being “too much for the street”. One is just a lot less desirable for thieves than the other, but I can show you a video on YT of a 675 being stolen in broad daylight in front of an apartment-building. Yet again someone else here making a huge deal out of very little.

          You like your 675 better but please don’t denigrate an entire class of bikes in favor of another as a result of your experience with one bike of each class. There are already way too many people doing way too much of that.

          • skongara

            I think its pretty clear from my responses that this is my opinion from my experiences. And I have “if you dint notice” tried in as many words not to disrespect/denigrate liter bikes/riders. My opinion is not going to stop someone from getting a liter bike. Just like similar arguments dint stop me from getting a liter bike.
            And yes, I would have eventually sold the R1 for a 600.
            You clearly don’t agree with the article, and I respect that. But I don’t understand what’s gotten you so worked up. Its an opinion in response to a discussion. I am in no way denigrating an entire class of bikes.

  • Armin Pelkmann

    Interesting topic .. and quite frankly I disagree. And to some point you do to.. (Remember the video you made of the Panigale R and how it made you smile? )

    Yes they are expensive and yes they are stupid fast, but man I love them. They are the pinnacle of motorcycle engineering and art. I love technology. I love the beauty. It’s dating a super model that works as a rocket scientist and I will never brake up with her, as long as I can ride her.

    Here are my reasons:

    1. Liter bikes are the most beautiful race bikes that are build.

    2. They come with the latest, best and safest equipment. They pioneered amazing brakes, Race ABS, Traction control, computer controlled suspensions etc etc. Yes they are so fast they need it but

    3. They are safer than most bikes. I ride a BMW S1000 RR. The perfect brakes and ABS saved me already a couple of times. Because I went to fast? No! Because of cars and stops that are impossible on non ABS bikes without this amazing huge Brembo Brakes liter bikes have.

    4. California California Superbike School teaches on a S1000 RR. Why? Because it is so easy and safe to ride.

    • NOCHnoch

      You know that modern 600s come with ABS and fat brakes, right? And that liter bikes aren’t necessarily race bikes? And that it’s spelled break, not brake? (maybe your supermodel/rocket scientist girlfriend can help you with that in the future)

      • Armin Pelkmann

        Oh you found a typo. You can keep it.

        Aside from silly typo comments here some facts:

        BMW S1000RR 60-0 : 118.1 Feet
        CBR600RR 60-0 : 126 Feet

        Despite the extra weight it stops almost 8 feet quicker.

        And ABS is only one system. All the latest gadgets are first in the liter bikes and then trickle down to the cheaper bikes.
        For example different engine modes and Traction control for rainy days.

        Still questions ?

        • NOCHnoch

          I’m not sure from where you’re getting your stopping distances, but wouldn’t it make sense to compare the CBR1000RR to the 600RR? I genuinely have no idea which is faster at stopping, but for fairness’ sake I’d compare bikes from the same maker.

          As for farkles, well, the BMW rider stereotype lives on :)

          • Armin Pelkmann

            Of course you are not I didn’t mention it: mcnews.com
            I think we discussed brakes long enough: my point a lot of expensive liter bikes come with better brakes than some 600 bikes.

            I don’t see electronic suspension, fly by wire throttle that dampens the reaction speed down in rain modes or anti-stoppie or anti-wheelie controls as farkles, but systems that safe lives. Most riders laughed when ABS was introduced to bikes now countries will make it mandatory for every new bike. Welcome to the future.

            • NOCHnoch

              Those systems certainly are useful. Perhaps we should fault the manufacturers, for trying to upsell literbikes by making their equipment unavailable on smaller displacement bikes. It’s not impossible for a 600 to have, say, TC, but the manufacturers are fleecing riders out of their hard earned rubles by forcing them to by 1000s.

              • Armin Pelkmann

                Totally agree! I wish they’d update the 600 bikes. I really don’t need the 400 extra cc.

            • Ken

              Actually, they didn’t laugh so much as sneer. I think that kind of purist snobbery is dying thank goodness. I’d retro fit ABS if I could.

        • Stuki

          s1000rr wheelbase: 56″
          cbr600, 53.9″

          On either bike, the brakes are good enough that endoing them is the limiting factor of how hard they can brake on dry pavement with warm tyres. The HP4, with it’s semiactive suspension, does decrease braking distances further, by firming up to prevent dive on the brakes. Also, the extra weight contributes to lowering the total COM of the bike/rider complex, since rider wight sits higher than bike weight. Allowing yet more braking power before endo limiting kicks in.

          Now, the reason why million dollar MotoGP prototypes (which have good quality brakes on them) have even shorter wheelbases, is that the slight increase in straight line stopping distance, is more than made up for by the quicker turn in of a shorter bike. And on twisty roads, which are the main reason people buy sports bikes; crashing from running wide becasue the bike is slow to turn in, is much more common than crashing from having a bike that doesn’t limit-brake as fast as a longer one could.

          CSS are sponsored by BMW. They charge boatloads of money from people who can afford it. Meaning, lots and lots of overlap between their target market and BMW’s. I doubt you’ll ever hear Keith Code claim in all earnest, that most of his students would be faster around the Streets of Willow on an S1000RR than a 600, Never mind across Angeles Crest or The Snake. Even on Big Willow, 600s aren’t far off literbike pace these days, and the kind of guys who ride there are generally quite a bit above average riders..

          • Armin Pelkmann

            Excellent points Stuki. And I don’t think liter bikes are much faster either.
            My dream bike would be an R6 with the electronics of a big Ducati or BMW.
            I just think some liter bikes can be safer and easier to ride than some 600s because of the technology advances that somehow are stagnating on the 600s. Which is super sad!

            • Stuki

              It’s kind of sad across the board. Almost all new tech and top spec components go into bikes that are just too large, heavy and powerful to be ideal for what is ostensibly their mission; for the vast, vast majority of riders. Things are at least as lopsided in the ADV bike world, where bikes weighing more than many Harley’s are touted as “good offroad”. And in the “heavyweight” cruiser world, weight is touted as something positive for it’s own sake….

              Since BMW has no presence in Supersports anyway, and that market is so competitive that noone makes any money there; I say BMW needs to do an S400RR. That would be one heck of a shakeup; and probably be the fastest bike for the most riders under most conditions; bar none. Just like the Supersports were, back when they burst on the scene on their way to market dominance.

        • akrokdesign

          hmm…could had been better tires on the BMW.

        • Justin McClintock

          Panic stopping distances on most sportbikes aren’t a measure of how good the brakes are. They’re a measure of the bike’s geometry. You clamp down on the brakes on a non-ABS equipped bike and if that front tire gets good traction, it’s simply going to endo the bike to the moon because the CG is too close to the front axle. For that very reason, a V-Rod will outstop just about every sportbike built in a panic stop situation (109.5 ft).

      • james

        What are you talking about, break means to destroy something, a brake is something that stops something, in any mechanical situation.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      California Superbike School teaches on the S1000RR for two reasons: 1) it helps lure in new students. Who wouldn’t want to try that bike? 2) BMW pays them too.

      • Mugget

        How about the fact that crashes drastically reduced after they started using the S1000RR??

        They wouldn’t use CR500 supermotos just because someone was going to pay them to.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          I’d speculate that the reduced crashes are 1000000000% due to all the electronic aids being set on max. Which is sorta the whole point of this article. If you have to ride a bike with the power turned down and TC, ABS, etc all turned to max, then you’re paying for power without using it.

          • Mugget

            A versatile, safe and capable motorcycle as a long-term aid to increase skills and allow more power as the rider is ready – since when did that idea become a bad thing?

            Plenty of people riding 600s on the road are paying for power without using it as well. That point is a non-point.

          • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

            Now you just sound totally jealous.

            I don’t expect that anyone who owns a motorcycle uses ALL the performance every time they ride the bike. Much less the whole time they are riding. But hey if you want to make motorcycle-riding all about “efficiency” be my guest. You can be the Efficiency Police, ticketing people on the street for riding at less than 100% of the capability of their motorcycle.

  • DavidyArica Freire

    I say ride whatever bike you want but if you do evolve in your motorcycle career, your priorities tend to change. And let’s be honest a fast rider is going to be fast on pretty much “any” bike…

    • moshumi13

      Not as a response to DavidyArica Freire, though I agree on your point, but I buy “barn/warehouse find” 80′s and early 90′s bikes and restore them, and would like to know how a 1993 FZR1000 would figure into this conversation. Superbike of it’s time and still very capable. All of it’s merits are still used today. Frame style, down drafts, exup type exhaust valve, etc. It has 145hp about 135ish hp on the ground. No aids of any sort. It’s a liter bike that has no input other than the rider’s, minus the exup controller. I know it’s not cutting edge but it was way back when ’til the blackbird. Wouldn’t that bike counter all arguments of the original article? Just curious of others opinions on that. Not trolling. Thanks.

  • Kuro

    I ride a liter bike simply because I want to. Screw practicality. Practicality is a moped.

    • NOCHnoch

      Practicality is a full face helmet.

      • Kuro

        Yup… Sitting right there on the tank. But my point is I had a 2006 CBR F4i still mint when I bought a 2011 BMW s1000rr. The F4i was overkill for street riding. The only thing I considered when I signed the paperwork was fulfilling the promise I made at the 2010 motorcycle show: I would own one. The HP4 was again purely because I wanted it.

        • NOCHnoch

          Fair enough. There’s no arguing with a collector; the heart wants what the heart wants! But even my pokey 781cc sport tourer is a little much for the streets of NY. There’s just no way I can use all that power without riding around 12 o’clock style.

          • Kuro

            I only have the HP4 now. I had the F4i and my 2011 s1000rr at the same time for a while (which came in handy while the s1k was recovering from a lowside). But after getting it fixed up, I sold the F4i. I no longer felt comfortable riding it and it was shaking my confidence while riding it. The whole month my s1k was in the shop, I felt nervous being on the F4i. I don’t collect bikes (wish I could so I could add a cruiser and a Diavel to the stable). The s1000rr was fulfilling a promise to myself: make a dream come true. Then BMW had to put out a better dream :D

            • karlInSanDiego

              Wait, where were the nannies when that BMW let you crash it? ;^)

              • Kuro

                BMW warns in the manual several times the rider aids will not let you ignore physics. Lost the front on sand in a turn

                • Stuki

                  Stay safe, dude.

                  If there was ever one literbike that could get me to pony up the cash, it would be the HP4. That semiactive suspension just sounds like the bee;s knees.

                • Piglet2010

                  Wait five years, and there will likely be something just as good at half the price.

        • Stuki

          How is the HP4? Aside from being an incredibly cool bike? :)

          • Kuro

            DDC is a game changer. That’s one reason why the industry and motorcycling in general NEEDS liter bikes: the technology being introduced and developed on the platforms. BMW’s DDC. Ducati’s Skyhook Suspension and whatever future semi-active suspensions, KTM’s Motorcycle Stability Control (ABS which operates while leaned over to help avoid lowsides) and the various iterations of traction control are all examples of advancements changing how we ride. Advancements that probably would never have been developed for sub liter class bikes but will eventually trickle down to them (as the costs to manufacture drop). And the purists (of which I was one) can stubbornly claim the rider should have the skill and control to never need such accessories. But everyone has an off moment. I’d rather have them and not need them instead of need them and not have them.

            Which annoyed me about point 4 of this article. To say these bikes are unridable without the nannies ignores something big: Honda CBR1000rr.

            • Bong Garrovillas

              i agree, i owned a zx6r and feel safer on my ’13 cbr1000rr going 50% faster on the same twisties. yes, the liter bike is faster and more powerful but is also engineered to handle that extra power better and safer.

            • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

              the Gixxer 1000 is also free of electronic rider-assistance

  • Piglet2010

    Much of this article sounds like a paraphrase of a speech Jason Pridmore gave during a Star Motorcycle School class I attended a couple of years ago.

    Right now the only race replica I would consider buying (if it becomes available) is the KTM RC390.

    • NOCHnoch

      excellent choice, sir

  • metalheartmachine

    My kz1000 is maybe 95+? Liter bike but not at all modern. FAST, but manageable, enjoyable.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Right. So for the purposes of this article and purposes of general description, a “literbike” is a full-on superbike. Think ZX-10R, not an old UJM.

  • Cory

    Representing police: I can guarantee you that 80 to 90% of police officers cannot tell the difference between a ninja 300 and a gsxr1000 (yes I switched the brands on purpose). To police, all crotch rocket riders look like someone who is just about to break the law. Even to me and I love bikes. Anyways, good article besides that little tidbit.

    • Rich Wentz

      Except for cycle cops. Most those guys are bike whores and do track days.. Just sayin. ;-)

    • taba

      Pulled over on my CBR250R for 87mph, the officer thanked me several times for not running away from him like the last 6 sport bikes that morning had, and gave me only a warning.

      I didn’t volunteer that I was flat out.

      • RyanO

        If I was that officer the first thing I would have said to you “How did you get that 250 to 87mph?” :D

        • taba

          A slight decline helped.

        • Professor Oak

          I had a Two Bros Juice box and a full system on my CBR250R and I got her
          up past 100mph twice. Downhill, with no headwind. Realistically the
          top speed was around 98mph with those two mods.

        • scout

          At first I thought he was on a track 250. Those can go and np prob in tight stuff. I think a crown can keep up with it on a slab, though, at least long enough to get a plate.

      • hunkyleepickle

        maybe i’m just a normal johnny law compliance, but i can’t imagine every ‘getting away’ from the cops, regardless of what bike i’m on! I try to follow the rules, and when i happen to be bending them, and get caught, i consider it my misfortune, not my chance to run! Call me crazy haha.

        • toumanbeg

          No, I call you dead man riding. Started riding in 1965. Lost a lot of friends over the years. Most of them could have had a ticket instead of a funeral. Think about it.
          Rules of the road were written for cars. Try to ride like a car and you WILL die young.

          • hunkyleepickle

            Based on my original comment, i will assume that means you would advocate running from the authorities. This would almost certainly entail speeds well in excess of the posted limit. I think you’ll find statistics dictate a majority of fatal and serious motorcycle crashes involve excessive speed. So rather than shout from the hills what a great experienced rider you are without knowing anything about my level of experience or history of tickets/incidents, explain to me how you ‘losing friends’ has any correlation to them stopping for the police or not?

          • Piglet2010

            While traveling *slightly* faster than the average flow has the safety
            advantage of avoiding most tailgaters, running from the police at high
            speed is hardly a safety advantage – police shooting motorcycle riders
            at traffic stops for no reason is an extremely rare occurrence.

          • Evan Tate

            Well said mate well said. The rules part I mean.

      • IRS4

        I’ve gotten that same thank you. Can’t outrun a radio was my response.

        • toumanbeg

          Actually, a radio goes no faster then whatever it is bolted to. I think you mean a radio wave. The LEO using that radio wave to report your direction and rate of speed has to see you first. Bikes rule the street because they are narrow. My FZ-6 entered the world at 30.5 inches. I replaced the bars and the turn signals. Now it is 29 inches as best I can measure. That means I can hit a hole that no car can even dream about. On an open road or a racetrack, an automobile with it’s superior aerodynamics will beat any bike.
          200 MPH is bull5hit. The top speed ever measure by Motortrend was 182 and change by a ‘busa. That is in a measured mile. Drag Coefficient is too high on a motorcycle. Top speed is all about horsepower overcoming drag.
          US DoT uses 140 mph to define ‘fast’. Any vehicle that from the factory can exceed 140 MPH is required by law to come with ‘Z’ rated tires.
          So a vehicle either will go over 140, which is fast, or it won’t. Not fast. Everything else is an ad gimmick.
          As far as results, it’s the rider NOT the ride. King Kenny used to routinely beat professional racers on race prepared 750′s with a 350 2-stroke.

          • IRS4

            Huh? Who’s talking about 200 MPH?

            • toumanbeg

              “Today’s bikes are closing in on 200 bhp at the crank and are now topping out at over 200 mph.”
              Last sentence first paragraph. Didn’t read the article?

              That shows you have an adverse balls to brain ratio. Which makes you an ideal Superbike rider.

              • IRS4

                You could have made that argument in a reply to the main article. Was a non-sequiter in the comment thread. And my balls and brain have provided me with plenty of fun and survival over 24 years of motorcycling, so I have no problem with either.

          • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

            Actually, the 1199 R really will hit 202mph. I’ve done it and it’s since been radar-verified by several other publications.

            Put those Internet muscles away when you comment on RideApart please.

            • toumanbeg

              I’m sure. It might hit 250 if you were high enough when you dropped it. RADAR Smhadar. What counts is the measured mile.
              Motor cycle rags exist to sell motorcycles. Like ALL salespeople, they lie. Show me a measured mile. Bonneville will do it for a price. Several test tracks are available also. Until them you are blowing smoke.

            • Piglet2010

              Were you hitting the rev limiter? If not, a few more mph on the top end would be available to a midget, er Moto3 size rider.

              • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler


            • Nelson

              Not bad Wes Siler. My FZ 800 tops out at 250 kph

          • deABREU

            a 350 2-stroke is more than match for a 750 4-stroke. back in the day here in Brazil, the only “large” bikes we had were the Honda CB750 and the Yamaha RD350, and in any street race they were pretty much evenly matched (the 750 had some more top speed, but the 350 was quicker out of the line)

          • ExperienceIsTheBestTeacher

            “Actually, a radio goes no faster then whatever it is bolted to.”

            Than you for that critical piece of information, Mr. Literal.

    • RyanO

      You beat me to it. The biggest differentiation between motorcycles that LEOs can discern is Harley guy/dirtbike kid/scooter loser/crazy sportbike rider who sounds like he is speeding.
      In general, sportbikes attract to much attention. Especially after the land rover incident in NYC.

      • Piglet2010

        You forgot touring and ADV riders in “snowmobile suits” – hardly noticed by traffic cops for the most part.

        I am surprised that scooter riders are not stopped more often, since so many ride without the proper endorsement.

        • RyanO

          Yea but a LEO loses street cred for pulling over a scooter. I mean what’s he going to do, arrest the scooter rider for not having the proper endorsement? He’s a scooter rider, his life already sucks.
          Before any scooter riders start crying…my best friend knows a guy who rides a scooter so I can say these things…

          • Piglet2010

            I have owned a race replica, and currently own a scooter – the latter is much more fun to ride around town.

            • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

              …why is it “much more fun” to ride around town, Piglet…

              • Piglet2010

                Because you dislike it.

          • RedGrey

            RyanO: You think that LEO cares about street cred, and they only hand out tickets for speeding? I’ve been handed a ticket on a freeway off-ramp, doing 10mph on a Vespa for bypassing a car blocking traffic on the right side. And it was a whole production. One officer hiding in the bushes jumped out in front of me, got on his radio then ordered me to slowly pass all stopped traffic on the left and go see his partner awaiting me at the end of the ramp. I can assure you neither officer cared about street cred. All they were interested in was handing me a ticket.
            Lastly, using your logic, if your best friend knew a guy who was non-Caucasian, it would be OK for you to be a racist a-hole?

            • RyanO

              RedGrey: Dude you have no idea, all LEOs care about is street cred. It’s a fact. Example: If you get pulled over with a stolen bike but you have mad street cred because you can pull +100mph wheelies they’re forced to let you go, it’s the law. It’s actually in the officer’s best interest to let the offender go because doing so will ultimately raise his or her own street cred and that is what matters to LEOs. And yes, by said logic if I was friends with a guy who was non-Caucasian it would be ok to be said a-hole. Although I am non-Caucasian so said person would have to be Caucasian for it to work. The first year I had my motorcycle license was spent riding a scooter to college every day, and I never received a ticket. Your street cred must be lacking to the fullest.
              Lastly, I am sorry you didn’t pick up on my clearly obvious comment that was a joke. You must be new to the internet.

              • Tupack Shackur

                Loves it.

        • Carter

          Cops do tend to ignore the ADV bikes. I own a Buell Firebolt and a Buell Ulysses – same engine, same basic chassis – but the Uly is tall, decked out in ADV attire, bright colors, and has an upright seating position. The Firebolt looks like a typical sportbike. I’ve had more attention from LEO’s on the Firebolt than the Uly – and the last cop flat out told me to ride one of my other bikes that looks slower!

        • Devin Byrnes

          When I bought my current ride (Benneville) I treated myself to textile gear with a strip of high-viz and a solid white helmet. All the BMW geezers wave at me now and the cops ignore me. People let me in when I arm signal, it’s been riding bliss.

          • Ben Mcghie

            Okay, sounds like I need a DRZ400SM and a white helmet and a a high viz jacket.

            Hooligan wheelies all day long, at legal speeds… and once the front is back down, nobody will suspect!

    • Nick Fragedakis

      That is exactly what I was going to say after reading this. I would venture to guess that 99.99% of police officers have no idea what size a sportbike is by getting a passing glance at it. Especially GSXR’s! They all look the same!

    • msay

      I got pulled over on a 2004 Ninja 250, the cop asked me if it was a 600 then when I told him what it was he told me to buy a bigger bike. He told me he rode a Hayabusa then let me go with a warning.

    • Monte Lutz

      I used to take a single plate and move back and forth between a Ducati 996, Triumph Trophy 1200, Honda TransAlp, RZ400 and Ducati 900 SP….

  • Rameses the 2nd

    Good article. Now we need a counter article to go over positive points of liter bikes. I know I won’t even come close to pushing limits of any 600 anytime soon, let alone a liter bike. However, I do think that liter bikes look better than their 600 CC counterparts, e.g., Panigale, CBR and R1. Is there a reason liter bikes are more prone to theft? On Craigslist, 600 outnumber 1000 roughly 5 to 1, so technically 600s should be more compelling option for theives.

    • akrokdesign

      white 899 panigale, ooooh…sexy.

      • Rameses the 2nd

        I went to my local Ducati/Triumph dealer and 899 just look meh compared to 1199 with silver and red color scheme. 899 is probably a great bike, but on just looks alone, there is no comparison.

        • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

          …I’m guessing that red is nice for the Panigale. But black has to be bad-ass.

    • Mugget

      Lots of reasons for literbike theft. It’s not only streetbike owners who would be looking for parts or whole bikes, I remember an article about theft a while back that talked about how the race scene is tied up with theft as well… lots of stolen bikes or parts make their way onto the track. But basically it would all come down to supply & demand – lots of literbikes for the taking, lots of people to sell them to. No other reasons for crooks to take the risk on an unprofitable bike.

  • Scott Jones

    The bike I miss the most: 1050 Speed Triple.

    I get your point but in all fairness the 600 class has been stagnant for far to long. I’m excited for the middleweight resurgence.

  • Jason 1199

    Good article though it assumes you only have one bike in the stable.

  • Ken

    Riders try to construct a logical framework for owning one of these tools but there isn’t one. You own it because you can. It goes to 11. It’s none more black. If you like whizzing round corners fast, what you want is an NSR250. If you like speed, a Hayabusa is much more useful. If you want to do everything, a Tiger. But an R1 you own because it’s The Bike and you’re The Man. Fair enough, but don’t kid yourself otherwise. Classic RideApart discussion Wes. It’s why I come here.

  • jonoabq

    and 1050 reasons why you do… S3.


    My issue with literbikes (same reason their adherents like them so much) is the feeling that the acceleration rush will never stop until you hit escape velocity and blast into space. By contrast, with even the fastest middleweight super sport, you definitely can tell there is an edge to the envelope, even if you might never reach it. For some reason, that’s much more satisfying to me at least.

  • grb

    As Yamaha explains, the R6 is not a smaller or less expensive version of the R1, they are different bikes, built for a different purpose, each being the ultimate for what they are designed for. The R6 is focused more on offering ultimate lightness, handing and agility, the R1 is focused, as Wes said, on more power.

  • Pablo Perez

    “…you don’t know how to ride well, you simply know how to transport yourself from A to B on your overcompensation machine in some semblance of safety.” I didn’t check the byline before I read the article. Once I read that sentence, I knew who the author was.

    • Justin McClintock

      I’ve got a DT175 at home (in addition to a couple other bikes). Maybe I should tell Wes he’s just compensating because everything he rides is bigger than that.

      • Pablo Perez

        175cc? That’s okay I guess, if you don’t really know how to ride (just how to stay upright while moving). I’ve been 80 mph before, it was alright but I think it would scare a neophyte like you shitless (and really, why would you want to go that fast?). Bottom line, you’re a hopeless poser tool if you need anything more than a Honda Grom. Personally, I find my skills really shine on 50cc pocket bikes… and I guarantee I’d run circles around a squid like you on your fat, lazy, overpowered DT175.

  • karlInSanDiego

    Ironic that Wes wrote this but rides an Aprilia Literbike, right? Did you sell it? I must admit, I was impressed with price and ergos when I sat on one at Laguna Seca this year. There’s a case (S1000RR is the other) where they should make a smaller 600 version. I ride a Daytona 675, and just yesterday I was wondering if I’ll ever ride a literbike. Then I rememberd I have already when I tested the S1000RR. It was smooth like butter at everything it did. I’d pay a premium for a 400cc version of that bike, but it excessive power and speed would be lost on me.
    Also, 675 triples do a good job of filling that gap by giving it that extra top gear torque that keeps you from having to drop two (close ratio) gears to pull away quickly at 70.

    • bammerburn

      The Aprilia has 150-160 hp, along with a street-focused powerband, so that’s a different kind of bike from what this article is focusing on here.

      • karlInSanDiego

        Wrong! 180hp. Now with every bell and whistle. Watch youtube review at launch and it was all carefully described as a beast. Granted, it has a 140hp Road Mode…etc, but the point is still very much that it was the closest thing to SBK for the street, while it was taking the championship. It is exactly the kind of bike being described here.

        • ChrisMag100 .

          I own a RSV4. It’s ~156hp at the wheel, similar to anything else in the class except the S1000RR or an uncorked ZX10. I agree the power delivery is friendly for the street, provided you keep the RPM between 3000 and 7000 in town, or at least below 9k for back-roads. The downside to it for street duty is that the suspension and chassis is comparatively stiff… it’s a plus for riding the bike near the limit but doesn’t make for a friendly ride on bumpy city streets.

          I do commute on it, but I’d be the first to say it’s not the ideal bike for it.

          This article is pretty much BS from my perspective. I’ll be the first person to say bike-bore sport bikes aren’t a good platform for novice or impulsive riders, but after 20 years of riding, it’s a fantastic machine to keep me learning.

          Police are drawn to big bikes? I’d argue the opposite – a 600 at 10,000+ RPM trying to get up to speed vs a 1000cc machine short shifted at 3000 due to the huge torque… the 600 will draw far more attention. Most modern 600′s make no bottom end power (D675 is an exception), and need to be spooled to make them go.

          The average track day-focused (read: not race rubber) tire is better in the wet/cold than the touring tires of a few years ago, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with running PR3/Roadsmarts on a big HP bike, provided you understand the feedback the tire is giving.

          I’ve put 8700 miles on my 2010 (no traction control) prior to trading for the 11′ with the APRC package. Both were fantastic on the track or the road, wet or dry. RBW modes make the power manageable in a range of conditions. Compared to my 89′ GSXR1100 with 40-50 less HP, the RSV4 is far more manageable. The best part is, changing the power characteristic is a 15 minute update from the dealer when a new map is released, rather than hours of fine-tuning cam timing or carburation.

          • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

            …your opinion, insamuch as you actually own a literbike and your opinion of it runs contrary to the opinions of the author and his many supporters here, is of no value here, sir.

            Please delete it and remove yourself from this forum.
            Go find a dirty literbike forum that will accept you.

  • Rob

    If a modern literbike doesn’t suit your requirements for how challenging/engaging a bike must be, then why not do what I did and get a literbike from the ages where men were men and frames had hinges in the middle?

  • HoundOfDoom

    There are a couple areas where I disagree. First, as a larger rider (6’5″), a larger chassis is more comfortable. Second thing is, the rider controls the bike, not the other way around, so if you can’t handle it, and get yourself killed, well, welcome to Darwin.

    One more thing, I see more riders stunting on the street riding 600s than litrebikes. And their rides are usually torn to crap from going through their owners learning process. But the points on theft and rider laziness are well taken.

  • Rich Wentz

    Good article. 600s now make the same power as liter bikes 10-12 years ago and are more agile. However I wouldn’t ever want to not own a liter bike with crazy hp but at this point I don’t feel disciplined enough for one. I’d be cracking that bitch regularly cheating death.. Lol
    Many 600s are just as fast as a liter bike up to about 90. I tested a Speed Triple when I thought of trading in my Street Triple R and noticed though it was MUCH MuCH more torquier than my Street it was also just as fast till about 100 . It was also a pig to the Street. In the end I kept the Street.

  • robersonphoto

    I’ve had both and right now ride a Honda Blackbird liter bike. Lots of good and valid points here I’d not considered. But I live in Oregon and we have a lot of open country here and it is very lightly patrolled. I like to go fast, I freely admit it, and the Bird gets it done for me. Comfortable, reliable, huge toque, good handling after some simple upgrades, and easy to ride in town. Maybe the last of the useable big bikes, I don’t know. But I sure love riding it. Next bike, maybe a 750. I’m just way too big for a 600.

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      Mmmm.. Double X Bird. Such a lovely bike.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Nice sport tourer, we’re talking about literbikes here though.

    • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

      Wes was designated the arbiter of what is and what is not a literbike by the DOT.

  • jefflev

    Wes has no idea what he is talking about. I mean, he told me to buy a Daytona over the BMW100RR. So I took his advice. What did i get? Nothing! I mean, except that i’m faster through the snake, and the crest, and anything else that requires you to turn! Sure, its more fun, has cheaper insurance, and cheaper maintenance. But, whenever i drag race down Wilshire, which, of course, is the only real test of motorcycle skill, the RR wins every time.

  • David Alfred Morris

    Wes, excellent article. I actually went to a ZX-14 because I found the ZX-10 too scary. The 14 was a comfortable, fast and faithful (and surprisingly docile) mount that took me on wonderful trips – I guess the analogy would be 928 versus 911 Turbo (back in the day). Keep up the great work!

  • Zach

    It’s interesting that the author says that his ten year old bike made impressive power (about what today’s 600s make), but that the new literbikes have incredible output by comparison. Then he wants to make the argument that that a literbike with 80-90 more horsepower is only 5% quicker. This is fairly unconvincing.

  • Naccache

    The only good point was Numbers 10, the rest are just subjective bullshit. Scary with a litre? No.

  • Pete Bull

    I know this girl who goes faster around the track on her KTM 690, than the bold guys on their liter bikes. Not on the straights of course, but everywhere else. Every rider meeting the instructors strongly advice liter bike riders to pay attention to the mirrors and let the faster 600 riders through. If you have no skills, you abundance of horse powers will only make go fast in a straight line.

  • Meraj Shah

    Then again, here are some reasons to buy a 1000cc (or 1300cc or 1400cc) superbike:

    1. Riding one makes you feel more “alive” than you’ve ever felt doing anything else.

    2. It’s indescribable fun to drop down one gear and accelerate like a truant sidewinder missile!

    3. A 200-horsepower reverses aging and testicular atrophy.

    4. Porsche drivers eat your dust every time they drag race you at stoplights.

    5. Why the fuck not?

  • rico

    Do you ride a literbike? Why? : People who ask the question, won’t understand the answer…

  • Piglet2010

    I see the problem as displacement inflation – because it sells to the ignorant.

    What is needed is a reset, with supersports being reduced to 400cc and superbikes to 750cc (for I-4 engines).

  • Aaron

    This whole article is how I feel about the Z1000, CB1000RR, FZ1. I DON’T WANT A LITER BIKE! Give me the same styling in a 600. Yamaha gets a pass for the FZ6, FZ9/8,

  • Justin McClintock

    I agree with most of this article. That said, I have an issue with #2. Torque is your friend. You don’t always WANT to have to row the gearbox like a kayaker trying paddle up Niagra falls.

    Of course, there’s a solution, a happy medium in all this. Bikes like…MINE. SV1000S. As much power as a 600, as much torque as a literbike. “Only” a 180 section rear tire. Lower cost of ownership and ergos not designed to kill you. Yeah, it’s not as fast as a 600 or a literbike on the track, but it’ll go as fast as anybody’s going to want to in the real world. All day long.

    Honestly, I have a big Bandit or something if I did have my SV. Torque is your friend. Then again, so is having a motard as a second bike!

    • Pablo Perez

      I always liked the SV bikes, I used to run a S4R myself (similar performance envelope). I’m guessing there’s plenty of folks here that are capable of having a lot of fun on a liter bike. Reading the article, you’d think he was talking about a Boss Hoss or something equally ridiculous. I feel like his stance is analogous to saying “why would you want a supercar when you could have an FR-S?” It’s such a ridiculous question that I’m not going to answer it. And yes, there are different bikes for different occasions… man cannot live on CB500s alone.

    • Joe

      Agreed. I love my SV1000S. It sounds amazing, rides like a dream. And it’s nice not having to shift 12 times between 0-60mph. And torque is definitely your friend. It’s what moves you away from that asshole that cuts into your lane without signaling.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Your SV is a practical all-rounder, not a literbike. Suzuki’s literbike is the GSX-R1000.

      • Justin McClintock

        Right…like I said, a happy medium. Neither a 600, nor a liter-bike (in the traditional sense anyway).

      • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

        yep you can even take your SV off-road like an ADV bike

  • nick2ny

    If you ride like this, why would you want anything else? For tootling around though, yeah, 1000 cc bikes are frustrating. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jApCAEq3LTU

    I found one about 3 months ago with 3800 miles on it. I bought it. Took it on my first track day a little bit ago. Loved it.

    It’s not always fun to ride it in the city. A supermoto would be more fun. I’ll get one next. But right now, I still get tremendously excited about turning the key and going on a speed-blurred ride through New York.

    Part of the reason I have the R1 (in addition to a Honda Cub and old 900SS), is because I like having something exquisite and military-grade in the garage.

    Oh, and warp-drive. It’s fantastically, heroically strong.

    I also like owning iconic things. Volvo 240s. Original Minis. Piper Cubs. Yamaha R1s. Hard to go wrong with them, but the kind of fun they’re having in that Fast Bikes video doesn’t really seem possible anymore. May get a KTM SMC, Hypermotard, or RS250 next.

  • Bernhard

    @wessiler:disqus , what is your opinion on streetfighter literbikes? I ride a Honda CB1000R. I think it is a great bike, easy to flick around and plenty of low-middle end torque, and it usually gets excellent reviews. It is often “criticized” for being boring and not brutal enough. Imo. 120-130 hp is more than enough to go fast as sh*t, and i have never had problems keeping pace with 600 or 1000 “superbikes” in the twisties.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      A “literbike” is a fully-faired race replica, such as a GSX-R1000 or R1, not a detuned naked bike.

      • Bernhard

        Ok, i get it.. :)

      • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

        Piglet has one up on you. At least when he means race-replica, he SAYS race-replica.

        You’re just going to ignore the fact that a whole lot of bikes have 1000cc engines that don’t have “full fairings” and aren’t “race-replicas”.
        and proceed to make a lot of other sweeping erroneous generalizations from there

        that have half of the US motorcycling community ridiculing you on your own website

  • El Isbani

    Haha, I’ll hold off, but watching videos of people having a blast riding Tuonos and RSV4s will only counteract this message.

  • Jonathan Berndt

    i cant wait for the article “Why you need a literbike”

  • Gonfern

    You touched on it a bit, but I think it deserves its own Number 12. Insurance is absolutely insane on liter class race bikes.

  • Rattashi

    As a 600RR rider, I couldn’t agree more with the article. I’ll never buy a 1000, on this planet we don’t have roads which can support the full power of that bikes. And riding something at half power is just something I cannot relate to riding a sport bike.

    • taba

      Try San Antonio to El Paso on I-10, Ratt.

      But any Interstate Highway, really.

      • Rattashi

        And a 600 doing 270+km/h isn’t good enough for the job? I see your point, but that would be valid only on german autobahns. And even there, it is in my opinion horribly dangerous. I prefer riding on local twisties and actually giving it the beans often. I think I would die a little inside if I had a 1000 with no place to open the throttle fully for more than a split second. But each to his own.

        • taba

          Are you familiar with (rural) Interstate Highways, Ratt?

          At Interstate Highway speeds, I’d expect the 1000 to be better composed and less fatiguing than a 600 *because* it is at half power.

          • Piglet2010

            The only enjoyable things you can do on a race replica on rural interstates will get you a reckless driving conviction. Even a KLR650 or a H-D Road King would be better choices, and a proper touring, sport-touring, or AT bikes much better choices.

            • taba

              *At* the speed limit, I’d guess the 1000 would be more enjoyable than a 600 or 250 (allowing you to be lazy). while giving up less enjoyment than your alternatives when you reach your twisty destination.

              • taba

                I do remember Wes making the 20122 CBR600RR “our pick of the entire Honda range for sport touring” though, so dunno.

    • enzomedici

      A 600RR is also way too powerful, You should get a 250 or 300 as the same arguments against the liter bike can also be applied to the 600. You don’t need to do 175mph on a 600.

  • Harve Mil

    We’re only allowed to have one bike and it better be under 1000cc? Yeah, no and no.

    Riding an 1199 or an 899 in the wet at Imola isn’t really all that different. The 899 is Actually heavier than the 1199.

    This guy is neither 20, nor was incapacitated by a coast to coast trip on an 1199.

    Buy what you love, is there ever even a debate?


    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Dennis did short days over many months, with lots of breaks. Yes, he rode a Panigale coast to coast. No, he didn’t do it all at once.

      • Harve Mil

        To review what you said:

        “You’re not 20 anymore and you’re likely much taller than 5’2”.” and “That means you can actually ride it, but doing so for more than 20 minutes will still leave you with back spasms and numb hands.”

        He was nowhere near 20, much taller than 5’2″ and he did not do the trip in 20 minute increments. Many of those days were very long hours in the saddle. The point was not to get there as fast as possible. The point was to stay on the road, exploring, for months which did on something that according to your words should even be impossible on such a bike. As such, there is a ridiculous level of hyperbole going on in this article, Wes. I don’t think Dennis would qualify himself as a particularly exceptional hardcore rider with a body of iron to make the impossible, possible.

        Bottom line: Dennis’s advice about getting the bike you fall in love with and ride the wheels off it makes a lot more sense than 11 reasons to doubt your love of the bike you fall in love with if it happens to be a literbike.

  • DucMan

    I’m late to riding. I learned to ride at age 38. I’m 46 now. My first bike was a 1997 Ducati Monster 750. I learned to ride on that bike. I then bought a 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650. Love that bike. I decided that I wanted to own a literbike before I got too old to enjoy one. I decided that I wanted to buy one that I would actually want to own for a long time and not buy the latest model that would simply be obsolete in three years. I bought a 2004 Honda RC51. I love this machine. But, she is strictly a weekend toy. I think of my RC51 like having a Formula One car in the garage. She only comes out when I’m 100% focused on riding, and the roads are dry and the sky is clear. She scares me. I have more fun on the Monster with her 60hp. And Miatas rule. Cheers.

  • Eric

    I started on a Ninja 250, got me an R6 and now I have an R1. I loved them all when I rode them. But I love my R1 the most for the looks, the sound and the sheer power that I know I will never fully utilize. I’m 6’2 and it is more comfy than either of my other 2 bikes. My insurance is $10/ month higher than my much older and much more sensible car, $20 and $30 respectively. It’s feels a lot more planted and the power transfer is much more smooth. I LOVE my R1! I loved my R6. I still have pics of it as screensavers on my phone. I think the R6 is the prettiest bike there is, and I know that it was more sensible, (as sportbikes go) but there is no more thrilling feeling than cracking the throttle and watching the world turn into a blur at 140 or better and not feeling the front end getting light. If I had the cash and the space I would have a 250, preferably the new Yamaha and an R6. But until that happens I will cling lovingly to my R1 everyday I am able to throw my leg over her.

  • TechGuy5489

    The real reason to avoid liter bikes is that they’re harder to ride well. The learning curve is higher and a lot of people won’t commit to refining their craft. I own a liter bike because I find them to be more challenging. They’ve forced me to learn things I didn’t have to deal with on smaller bikes. Maybe some people find that to be overwhelming and limiting but I don’t.

    Half the negatives here are in relation to money. That’s a personal problem and not the bike’s problem. Ergonomics? How many serious riders don’t address that as one of if not the very first things changed on their bike? Cops? Save the illegal stuff for the track.

  • enzomedici

    I don’t have a liter bike, but most of these arguments are lame. Why? Because you don’t need a 600 that can do 175 mph either. Any argument that works against the liter bike also works against the 600. Why aren’t you riding a 250 or 300? Oh, because you don’t want one of those little bikes that are much cheaper, look just as good and handle better. You want the big bad 600. Well, some people feel the same way about 600s that you do about 250s. It isn’t about need. It is about want. Life is too short, ride what you want.

    • Stuki

      In the US, literbikes and 600s both have similar quality components and tech (HP4 aside). My buddy’s 636 has a slipper clutch, abs, tc, “separate function” forks and whatever. So, the only difference beteen that and the ZX10 (and other literbikes), is size and power. And, as you hinted at, even the 600 has too much power.
      Currently available 250s (in the US) have none of that. If they did, I bet someone of mu limited go-fast skills would be as fast on one, as on a 600 on many roads. But as of current, whatever confidence arises fro the lighter weigh and more manageable power, is more than negated by having the bike bob around in turns, forks that bottom out on the brakes, and tires that feel like you are riding in the wet even on a warm day in SoCal. Hence, 600s are still it, if you want to go as fast as you can, for the biggest group of motorcyclists. If 85hp 400s, or even 60hp 250s, specced like a literbike or 600 were around, those would be even better. But they’re not. So, if going fast is a priority, you are stuck on an overpowered, overweight 600.

      • Piglet2010

        KTM RC390, where art thou?

        Planning on a RaceTech Gold Valve cartridge emulator and possible shock upgrade on my Ninjette. Any suggestion on tires, as the nearly 4-year old Pirelli Diablo Scooter tires are scary bad in the wet?

  • Joe

    This article should be titled ” Ride a 500cc honda in your Roadcrafter Suit or Suck”.

    • Stuki

      In a Roadcrafter, anything more aggressive than a CBR500R will crunch your knees and (even with the forward turned arms and back extension) have you yodeling like a choir boy if you have an average or above torso length for your size……

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        That’s not true. Get the suit sized and modified correctly and it’s comfortable in even the most extreme sport riding positions. I have no trouble dragging knee in mine.

        • Piglet2010

          If you cannot raise your arms above your head, your Roadcrafter does not fit properly. $75 to add gussets to mine did wonders for riding comfort and flexibility on the bike.

  • Versys Jake

    I dunno… I commuted on a Kawasaki Versys 650 for two years and while it had plenty of power it just wasn’t exciting. I upgraded to an FZ1 (1st Gen) a month ago and absolutely love it. There is something about cracking open a liter bike that every rider should experience. That reminds me… I need to change my Disqus name.

    • karlInSanDiego

      That’s also the difference between a mildly tuned vertical twin vs. a hyper tuned inline 4 you’re feeling. I bet you’d have felt a lot of that change going to a FZ6.

      • Versys Jake

        Yeah thats a good point. I went with the FZ1 because of reliability. I had a coworker that had 80k+ miles on it. Typically higher displacement motors last longer due to the fact they aren’t revving as high. Fz1′s are great bikes I would highly recommend… especially for tall guys looking for a sportbike (I’m 6’4″)

  • mrniceguy715

    Every week its a litre bike sucks article or an advert for one of the 2 companies that you guys actually write positive reviews for.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      And which two companies are those?

      • John

        I’m going to guess Honda and KTM.

      • Piglet2010

        Hodaka and Bultaco.

        • John

          I’d like 3 Bultacos and a Hodaka with ice….

  • Richard Findlay

    Coming from a guy that owns both the comment “literbikes still aren’t built for average-sized men” neither are 600′s (I am 6’2″). I prefer to ride my liter bike as a daily and when pushing it even with TC, ABS, Wheelie control or any electronic aid for that matter, trust me you learn lots. The R6 is great for the track because its cheap, period, it will never make you smile like the big dogs will, and do, everytime you throw your leg over it. Point is you do NEED literbikes for the pure experience of riding the best the industry has to offer in the way of technological advancements.

  • MDP632

    I really enjoy reading Ride Apart. However, this is the second article that I has made the case for people to ride and own smaller displacement sport bikes. To my knowledge doesn’t @wessiler:disqus ride an Aprilla RSV 4? If so, do you regret this decision and or want to sell if for a 600cc Sport Bike?

    I look at this at this way , ride what you can afford and enjoy. It seems that the Ride Apart community isn’t 18 yr old Squids looking to purchase a new GSX-R 1000 as their first bike. However, there are some valid points to larger liter bike ownership than a smaller one. I just went through a bunch of this points before selling my CBR 600RR for a 1199 Panigale. The Honda is probably the best all around sport bike for the street money can buy. At least in my opinion but, The Ducati has a lust and character factor that most bikes don’t have. I’ve always wanted one and finally purchased it. I’ve had some buyers remorse of course with big purchase but, I’m really enjoying the Ducati.

    I look at like this way why should someone want and or need a Lamborghini Aventador? After all, the smaller and cheaper Galllardo has a V-10 with over 500 hp. . You can’t possible need a V-12 with 700hp. But, people buy them yes very few but, the point is there is something about that car that pulled them toward it over it’s smaller and probably more livable little brother.

    There is no right or wrong way to approach the large bike issue. Buy what you what you enjoy and truly want.

    • HatersWillHate

      You’re hitting two nails with one post.
      First, there is the subconscious desire; next the rational decision.
      Motorcycle purchases are rarely made the other way around, I would guess. Not having sampled the community (including those who chose not to buy bikes at all) but just going on my own intuition.

      The thing is that the irrational mind often rationalizes irrational decisions, so that it doesn’t feel so irrational.
      But as always, it can say that it’s doing something irrational “just for the fun of it”. The true psychopath uses this rational often.
      and another thing, a tendency that I’ve noticed about Easterners is this need to lecture people on right and wrong, good and bad…and then go out and do exactly what they preach against. Hypocrisy stains them like red paint. But always they have their “rationale”, their “process” by which it is ok for them to do it but not for others. Elitism, you see, does have its uses. Wes can say that he did something stupid and learned and now wants to save others from the same pain, OR he can say that he did something smart and avoided a lot of trouble, and likewise. Either way it works for him to have exactly that which he says that others shouldn’t even want. Keeping in mind of course that a “naked” sportbike isn’t a “literbike” in his opinion. We had that battle over the FZ1 and apparently I forgot that he has a Tuono. Or is it a full-on RSV4? I get my RideApart videos mixed up.

      Anyway the Youth of America are very familiar with the whole “do as I say, not as I do” thing.

      Just remember: always there’s a reason why it’s ok for them but not ok for you.
      Thousands of years of social-stratification can’t be undone overnight.

  • Scott Graham

    I feel like a 600 guy wrote this trying to make himself feel better about not buying a 1000.

  • Scott Otte

    We’ll all see this article again if RideApart does a most controversial articles of the year feature again… People really love they’re liter bikes.

  • John


  • Rosenfeld8

    I’d say that if you are an unexperienced rider you’ll probably prfer a litter bike over a 600. You won’t be able to tell the difference in handling but certainly will feel the extra power and torque, and eventually open the throttle and have a blast, even if just in a stright line.

    • Mugget

      That reminds me of a friend who actually prefers bigger bikes over 600s, for exactly that reason that they have a more linear and predictable power curve. Turn the throttle on a 600 and it doesn’t do anything until about 5-6k rpm when it feels like a turbo just spooled up. Bikes like the RS250 are even worse!

      • Piglet2010

        Why are you letting the engine speed drop so low in the first place? You need to take a Star class so JP43 can teach you about rpm management.

        • Mugget

          It has nothing to do with engine speed. It has to do with a linear and predictable power curve.

          • Piglet2010

            You must have never ridden a super-sport while keeping the engine rpm up (granted, hard to do off the track, unless you only use 1st gear most of the time), nor do you know how to interpret a dyno curve.

            • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

              …not sure what knowing how to interpret a dyno curve has to do with the fact that a lot of 600s don’t have much of a midrange and even less of a bottom-end…

          • FridaysAreFunDays

            (watch it, if you confuse him too much his head will explode, showering pink goo all over your clothes)

            • Mugget

              Hahaha, we can only hope!

        • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

          “Why are you letting the engine speed drop so low in the first place?”

          because full-throttle starts aren’t good for the clutch

    • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

      …I’m pretty sure that even an inexperienced rider would immediately notice the difference in handling between a 600 and a literbike.

      but thanks for playing.

  • John

    Fuel mileage???

  • Dale A. Brown

    To emulate something Sean Connery once said, “Everybody wants to #$% the Prom Queen.”

    They may not be the most practical, or cost effective in the long run, but no one cares because you’re #$% the Prom Queen!

    Litrebikes are the halo bikes, best tech, best brakes, best everything and most desired. You don’t buy a Porsche 911 because it is the best bang for the buck you buy a Porsche 911 because it is a Porsche 911 and represents everything that is at the cutting edge of technology that that company can produce.

    1. Why Literbikes are different.
    See my comment above on the 911.
    2. Literbikes make you a lazy rider.
    BS, you have to concentrate just as much as a 600 or 750/800 series bike on the road and track, just in a different way.
    3. Literbikes get stolen.
    If someone is stealing a bike, they aren’t passing it by because it isn’t a 1000. People steal bikes based more on opportunity than the engine size.
    4. The razor’s edge is not the safest place to be.
    No one rides the “razor’s edge” of any bike, on the street, and on the track 99% of riders cannot get there on any 600, 750/800 or 1000.
    5. Literbikes are no faster than a 600.
    BS 1/4 mile, lap times… all favour, albeit not significantly, the 1000s. Besides it ain’t all about speed.
    6. Literbikes make you a target for LE.
    Riding a sportbike makes you a target for LE. Period. Show stats that prove otherwise and take into consideration that 600s outsell 1000s. I’m sure per 1000 bikes sold in either category that LE treat both with equal avarice and disdain, if they are riding like idiots.
    7. Literbikes cost more to operate.
    Never knew a 600 spec tire, chain, tune up… to cost significantly more or less than a 1000 spec tire…
    8. Literbikes are uncomfortable.
    Buy a Goldwing…bitch
    9. Literbikes compromise handling for power.
    LOL. Yeah maybe back in the days when buying a Bimota made sense but times have changed since the spindle framed Z900 and CB750…
    10. Literbikes don’t teach you anything.
    Respect. Litre bike lessons are all about Respect. Besides, bikes don’t “teach” you anything. They are tools, not teachers.
    11. Riding a literbike isn’t rewarding.
    Yeah, neither is riding the Prom Queen. ;)

  • John

    Next Month: 11 Reasons why you DO want a literbike.

    Personally, I don’t care, I just want the bike that works, whether it’s 500cc or 1500cc. What I see is that bikes aren’t designed around the target buyer’s size. Big people, big bikes, smaller people, smaller bikes. A ZRX has great ergos for a smaller person. A Kawasaki Versys does not. Not to mention the liter bikes in question here are just BS race clones which serve no real purpose except masturbatory delusions of graneur outside of a race track. There are plenty of liter bikes that just scream “buy me” and shouldn’t be missed just because of the child-like fascination/anti-fascination with 1000cc crotch rockets.

  • thatdoode

    ont really see some of these reasons as reasons you shouldn’t own one. Some of them are just bashing on what sounds like hate for squids on litrebikes. Coming from a 2007 R6 to a 2014 R1 I enjoy the change. The bike feels more comfortable to me and I actually reach the ground with my feet a little better than I did on the R6. I like that I have power everywhere so I can accelerate out of a pinch in the lower rpms. Just hopping on the bike puts a big cheesy smile on face! I’m a motorcycle enthusiasts and I like all bikes. My next bike is a grom in combo with the R1. You should of commented on how they’re less fuel efficent or how insurance is pricier. Any time on two wheels is good time :)

  • uberbox

    I think you could apply about half of these reasons to a 600cc super-sport. THE most uncomfortable bike I’ve ever ridden is a Triumph Dayton 675.

    • Piglet2010

      If I never ride a race-replica on the street again, I will not be missing anything.

      • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

        So i guess that you won’t be riding any 250 or 300 Ninjas on the street for a while.

        At least until you forget that you’ve said this.

  • anrkizm95

    lame article by someone who cant ride a fast bike fast.i own a buell and zx both are fun to ride fast,the buell just requires less room to ride fast.

  • Lord Triumph

    I gave up my two Fireblades a few years back and got tired of dragging knees on my Street R and Speed R because I was the only one who could do it out of all my riding buddies. The chicks aren’t interested in leather clad knee dragging sports bike riders anyway, so who was I trying to impress? I’ve since grown up and opted for a Tiger 800XC, which was so much more versatile and still fun. And now a KTM 1190 ADV. I could never go back to the crunched up knee, aching wrists, sore backside, poor visibility, crap luggage of a sportsbike. And I’m not that old!

  • grahluk

    I’m with the commenter who suggested a fictional BMW S400RR as the perfect weapon for most of the reasons people buy sportbikes. The different bike and displacement categories are all different tools for different jobs with some degree of overlap. A modern 1000cc superbike is more and more a tool for a job that doesn’t exist outside of certain racing classes. All performance bikes have a sweet spot where the geometry, suspension, and gearing have the motor and chassis working within their optimal window of operating range. A modern 1000 never gets there on the road. Maybe for the briefest of intervals on open highways at felony level speeds where were you to answer for them you’d go straight to jail and will likely be doing real time. A modern 1000 is an evolved tool for an environment and users that have not evolved much since their 750cc fore bearers that had about as much power as a modern 600. They’re kinda like taking a Barrett .50 rifle to an indoor pistol range. You’ll make a big noise and do major damage to the backstop but you’re not really exploiting much of the tool’s capabilities. Same with a modern liter bike on the street. All the same I’m all for people enjoying sporting machines (and firearms) in whatever way that float their boat. Liter bikes like super cars can be cruised around well under their capabilities and the response of massive torque can be used for other pleasures.

  • IRS4

    UJM litre bikes like my first gen FZ1 are big enough for my 6 foot frame, and have the torque reserves to make two-up less of a hassle. Granted, most days 1/4 throttle is plenty to get into all kinds of trouble. But there is no joy to be had with your knees in your chin and wobbling around with a passenger on a typical 600. BTW, I get about 7500 miles out of my sport-touring compound rear tires.

  • Piglet2010

    ” I can now ride any type of motorcycle, in any conditions.”

    Meet me at the OHV park after it rains – bring your R1 and I will bring my TW200. Or we can go on a gravel road ride after it snows.


    • Mugget

      You may as well invite him to race to the moon aboard 50cc scooters.

      He said any conditions, not any location. Don’t be stupid.

      • Piglet2010

        Road surface is a condition – or are you riding hover-bikes?

        • Mugget

          Oh, so you are still talking about an actual road and not some flooded local-access farmers trail?

          • Piglet2010

            Where I live in the US, we have public roads that are no more than (occasionally) graded dirt. Easy on a dual-sport with knobbies, and nearly impossible on street tread tires when wet.

            • Mugget

              Hah. I’ve ridden my Gixxer for about 4 hours down a badly maintained fire trail. In the rain.

              Call me conqueror of the impossible.

              But there is still a difference between a road and a “road”.

  • Monte Lutz

    900 cc used to be a superbike….now the twins need to go to 1200…that’s not a liter in case the author missed that fact.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      And wouldn’t that have been a horribly embarrassing mistake to make. Thing is, if you read the article, you’ll see stuff like that in it!

      • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

        …what if it’s 990cc or 1050cc? Does that still count?

    • HardLookAtReality

      …yep, now 900cc is “middleweight” according to motorcycle-usa :)

      • Piglet2010

        Middleweight for a cruiser or touring bike, since they go up to 2.3L these days, and many twins are more than 1.5L in displacement. I doubt MotoUSA considers 900cc middleweight for a race replica (paging Adam Waheed).

        • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

          damm it’s getting harder and harder for you to squeeze the motorcycle market into these little categories that you so wish that it would fit neatly into, isn’t it.

          • Piglet2010

            Still kicking strawmen, I see.

        • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

          “I doubt MotoUSA considers 900cc middleweight for a race replica (paging Adam Waheed).”

          If I prove you wrong on this, as I have proven you wrong on so many of your comments, will you stop posting like you’re some kind of know-it-all expert on topics that you know absolutely nothing about?

          Hm. That would require that you have some ethics, and humility, and modesty, so probably not.
          But let’s see what happens anyway.


          “MIDDLEWEIGHTS > 600cc

          These are the full fairing sport motorcycles that fall outside of the
          traditional segment. They include Ducati’s V-Twin-powered 848 EVO
          ($14,995), Triumph’s Daytona 675R ($13,499) and the MV Agusta F3
          ($13,999)— the latter pair powered by 675cc Inline Triples. Then we have
          Kawasaki’s 636cc-powered Ninja ZX-6R ($11,699), and the machine that
          started it all nearly 30 years ago: Suzuki’s GSX-R750 ($12,199).

          Ducati’s 848 EVO is still the platform the Italian brand campaigns in
          the middleweight class. Although it’s been a few years since it last got
          a re-fresh, it has the distinction of offering the largest engine in
          the category. In spite of its obvious horsepower advantage and early
          adoption of traction control it hasn’t been enough to propel the
          Bologna-built bike to the top spot, but it has come close. Will this be
          the year of the Ducati?”

  • John

    It’s a little early in 2014 to be writing the dumbest article of the year.

    • Mugget

      Yes! Looks like this year is going to be a real doozy…

  • Scott

    I disagree, I “wanted” a liter bike because of what I wanted to do with it. I have a ’98 Honda Blackbird, 1137cc’s of comfortable brute power and great looks. I don’t think I’ve seen any 600′s that will tour all day, 2 up with luggage and not kill your body. With a few mods a big bike like mine will hang with the best of them. As far as the LEO’S go, don’t ride like a tool, simple. Cheers and ride safe.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Well, you’re touring all day, 2 up with luggage because you ride a sport tourer, not a literbike. Honda’s literbike is the CBR1000RR.

      • Scott

        So you’re saying that my XX, the ‘Busa or the ZX14 can’t be included in this discussion because they’re not exactly 1 liter? As far as I’m concerned, any bike 1 liter or over are in the same class…I’ve personally seen riders on XX’s absolutely smoke 600′s on some back country super twisty roads. They may have more cc’s than this discussion is based off of but I don’t think you can count them out. It’s all personal preference in my book and these “reasons” don’t apply to everybody. Cheers.

        • Piglet2010

          This motorcycle has 1 liter engine displacement, but to consider it in the same class as a super-bike race replica is beyond ridiculous.


          • HardLookAtReality

            hmm…maybe it’s not “beyond ridiculous”…
            I guess it depends on why you consider it a “superbike race-replica”
            (especially since we’re talking about literbikes)

            • Piglet2010

              “I guess it depends on why you consider it a “superbike race-replica”"

              Do you not understand written English, or are you just trolling?

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Correct. As Sport Tourers, the design ofthose bikes you mention prioritized comfort and practicality at the expense of outright speed and handling. Which is why all three are slower than literbikes, which prioritize only outright performance and showroom appeal.

          • HardLookAtReality

            Wes you’re missing the big 800lb point which is that the mere fact that they are sportbikes doesn’t mean that they are ONLY good for outright peformance. Not to mention that bikes that aren’t “sportbikes” ALSO have performance maximums that aren’t all that far from Superbikes and supersports.

          • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

            “So you’re saying that my XX, the ‘Busa or the ZX14 can’t be included in this discussion because they’re not exactly 1 liter?”

            ‘Which is why all three are slower than literbikes,”

            (rolls eyes and scrolls downwards)

      • Piglet2010

        The article might have been better titled “11 Reasons Why You Don’t Want A Super-Bike Race Replica”.

        As for riding pillion on a race-replica, fine if you have a 24-inch inseam, otherwise the pegs are too high.

        • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

          that might even make sense if people didn’t race stock bikes

      • HardLookAtReality

        now you’re just being silly

  • michaelse

    This article reinforces my decision to get a CBR600RR instead of a literbike. Now perhaps you can write an article entitled “11 Reasons You Don’t Want a Supersport” so I can potentially save even more money.

    • HardLookAtReality

      piglet has already written a book along those lines just ask him
      (essentially you can take “literbike” here and replace it with “supersport”)

  • Mugget

    What has been happening around here lately? An article like this would never have been published on HFL, and it came straight from Wes no less. What the – I just don’t understand what’s going on?? So I went ahead and wrote the list as it should have been:

    1. Nothing Is Like A Literbike
    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. But it rocks absolutely, too.

    ‘Nuff said.

    2. Literbikes Can Be Ridden In Many Different Ways
    Not everyone wants to have to change gears every 10 seconds while riding on the street, and literbikes don’t have to be ridden that way. Even if you’re riding on the track, sure you don’t have to try terribly hard. But some people like to try and maximise their time at 100% throttle. That’s where the fun is.

    3. Literbikes Get Stolen, But Keeping Yours Safe Is Easy
    “How To Keep Your Motorcycle From Getting Stolen”. Seems familiar, I’m sure I read an article with that title somewhere. Hmmm…

    4. The Razor’s Edge – Venture As Close As You Dare
    Sports tyres with minimal sipes? Rubber compound has much more to do with wet weather performance than how many grooves are cut in the tyre. Once the minimum about has been reached, any extra sipes really don’t do anything. And tyre manufacturers have admitted that the shape, pattern and placement of the sipes have nothing to do with anything except visual appearance and marketing.

    “On anything but a track or dry, warm mountain road, you’ll need to turn down the throttle response and outright power output”. That describes just about every single motorcycle, not just literbikes. And I thought that most people manage to do this with their right wrist?

    5. Literbikes Are Speed Machines That Blow 600′s Into The Weeds
    In the real world, corners get closer much faster on a 1000 than on a 600. At any given track you can fairly easily carry more speed at the end of a straight on a 1000 compared to a 600. If that’s not faster, I don’t know what is?

    It’s also worth mentioning that if someone can ride motorbikes fast, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can ride a 1000 fast. You need to learn how to ride a 1000, which is not to be confused with learning to ride a motorcycle.

    So why bother? See point #1.

    6. Literbikes Don’t Make You A Target
    No one type of bike makes you a target. Riding like an idiot makes you a target.

    “Is there anything worse than being that guy at a track day on the fastest bike there, getting passed by some 16-year old on a 250?” Is there anything worse than being that guy on a 250 who gets passed by a literbike mid-corner? Around the outside? Just go to CSS and learn how to ride, don’t blame it on the bike.

    7. Literbikes Cost Money To Run
    Speed costs money, son. How fast do you want to go?

    8. Literbikes Are Made To Go Fast
    The “sport” in sportbikes is no joke. There’s a reason they’re not called “comfortbikes”.

    9. Literbikes Are Not As Easy To Ride As Smaller Bikes

    Does the fact that something is difficult make it unenjoyable or mean that it is an unworthy pursuit?

    It only makes sense that smaller bikes would be easier to ride, something would be wrong it if were otherwise. This is why smaller bikes are better suited to new riders. Literbikes don’t compromise anything, they are the way they are because they couldn’t be built any other way. (Is it really a compromise if there was never another option?)

    10. Literbikes Do Teach You Something
    … But not until you’re ready to learn it. Modern literbikes like the S1000RR can be very easy to ride because of their selectable power maps and electronic aids. Riders needn’t be intimidated by them, and combined with good training new riders can learn vital skills and become competent, safe and fast riders.

    11. Riding A Literbike Is Very Rewarding
    Not everyone is happy to ride a 600 forever. You can become accustomed to the power and eventually it just doesn’t feel as exciting as it once did. If you’re improving your skills along the way there will likely come a time when you want to step up to a 1000 to experience that thrill of riding a powerful machine once again. When you execute a manoeuvre just as you wanted on one of the fastest 2-wheeled machines available, the feeling is very rewarding. Eventually the faster speed and greater power will become the “normal” again (especially if you ride on the track and keep improving your skills as you should) – that’s why you trade your K6 Gixxer for a Panigale. Thank goodness manufacturers keep building faster bikes!!

    In summary: you will (eventually) want to ride a literbike.

    • Pablo Perez

      Well put.

  • ThinkingInImages

    Wes, thanks for writing an article that was sure to stir up a lot of controversy. There’s too many “why you WANT a litrebike” articles out there. They’re great machines – if you have the place and need to have one. I’d like to have a Moto Guzzi Norge in my garage. It’s on my exotic list and that’s my idea of a “litrebike” I can use.

    Not long ago there were a few articles about some fools getting caught blasting down the highway at a tick under 200 mph. The comments ranged from “cool!” to fool!” I know that stretch of road – it’s long, straight, dull – and heavily patrolled. It’s a “shooting fish in a barrel” zone. It’s doesn’t take a lot of skill to go fast in a straight line (excluding drag racing). Going fast on a mountain road or track is a whole other matter. That’s skill.

    The same article can be rewritten as “why you don’t want a SUV”.

    • HardLookAtReality

      “They’re great machines – if you have the place and need to have one.”
      why thank you for your condescending acknowledgement!

  • Pablo Pascoll

    No matter where I took my GSXR600 I always had problems with the cops! I was forced to sell it and bought a Duc 749. Now the cops either give me a thumbs up or laugh at me when I’m broken down on the side of the road O.o

  • Jay Don

    The writer claims:”A 600 will hit 170 mph and get there 95 percent as quickly”. This guy is nuts, clearly he don’t know what he is talking about. The acceleration between a 600 and 1000 is night and day.

    • John

      Sport 600s have virtually no torque. It’s annoying.

      • Piglet2010

        They have plenty of torque at the rear wheel, which is what counts.

        What is annoying is that you are at the speed limit on 2-lane rural highways at the torque peak in 1st gear, and at the speed limit on rural freeways at power peak in 1st gear, which makes a super-sport no fun to ride at legal speeds.

        • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong


        • Mugget

          Regardless of what torque they do have, it’s still annoying!

          FYI – 600s have virtually no torque compared to a 1000. Fact!

          • Piglet2010

            Fact: a super-sport will typically have about 50% of the torque of a super-bike.

            • Mugget

              So you’re saying that 50% or more can’t be classified as “virtually no torque”?

              How about you give away 50% of your income and see how long you can go without saying that you have “virtually no income”. Hahaha

              • Piglet2010

                Virtually no torque is a Honda Ruckus moped, not a super-sport.

                Basic physics from Sir Isaac: F=MA. Torque, not power is a force. Therefore, we can approximate torque at the rear wheel from acceleration. Low 11 second range quarter-mile times are not achieved with “virtually no torque”.

                What matters to the rider is torque at the rear wheel, not the crank. Due to the high maximum engine speeds, a super-sport can use a much lower gearing, which is why a super-sport will run about 3 seconds faster in the quarter-mile than a H-D Big Twin, even through the H-D makes over twice the torque (force) at the crank.

                • Mugget

                  Have you ever ridden a literbike?

                  Have you ever ridden a 600?!

                  You clearly have zero concept of the actual differences between riding a 600 and a 1000. You’re talking about theories and spec sheets – the rest of us are talking from personal experience. No one besides you is interested in comparing specs and shuffling papers around. Until you have actually ridden those bikes (and actually have the skills to ride them to a half-decent level) you can’t talk about this subject with any authority.

                • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

                  I’ve never had a problem finding torque on a supersport. Sure, you gotta shift a little, but that’s sort of the point of riding a motorcycle, no?

                • Mugget

                  You of all people should be well aware of the differences between a 600 and a 1000. No one said anything about 600s having zero torque or not being able to use it. The point is that some of us don’t want to play boy-racer and be made to shift gears every 5 seconds or have the engine screaming at 5-digit RPMs when we’re riding on the street.

                  I wouldn’t say that changing gears is sort of the point of riding a motorcycle. If that’s the case then what is the point of an electric bike?

                • Wes Silly

                  ” Sure, you gotta shift a little, but that’s sort of the point of riding a motorcycle, no?”

                  “sure, you have to stop more often, but that’s the point of riding a motorcycle, no?”

                  “sure you have to get off it and stretch your legs and arms, but that’s the point of riding a motorcycle, no”?

                  does the stupidity ever end with you

                • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

                  …if shifting is the point of riding a motorcycle, then you must love riding 250s

                • Piglet2010

                  And are you anything but an Internet blowhard making ridiculous statements? But then, people who lack a basic understanding of physics and engineering mechanics so often do.

                • Mugget

                  Hare you ever ridden a 600 or 1000cc sportsbike?

                • Piglet2010

                  I used to own a F4i and did not find it lacking in torque – but then again rpm management is the thing I do best when riding (or so I have been told by JP43).

                • Wes Silly

                  It’s funny how he can only see comparing them to a HD twin when it comes to the quarter-mile, not to a literbike.

                  it’s just funny how some people are a glass half-full person when it’s someone elses’ glass and a glass half-empty person when it’s their glass. The main problem is that he is wrong, either in favor of 600s or against literbikes and HD twins. Not to mention about the Panigale.

                • Sochiro Honda

                  “Virtually no torque is a Honda Ruckus moped, not a super-sport.”

                  Even if it were true that a supersport had 60% of the torque of a literbike (and there are good reasons to believe this, and good reasons not to) you’re still talking about a bike that weighs a good 425 lbs, adding a 200lb rider that’s 625lbs. Since THE BEST literbikes are in the 65-80lb-ft range over the powerband, we’ll say 75lb-ft of torque, so that 60% of that is easy: about 45ft-lbs of torque.


                  literbike at perhaps 475lbs with a 200lb rider is 675lbs/75lb-ft of torque is ABOVE a 1:10 ratio (of torque to weight)

                  supersport at perhaps 425lbs with a 200lb rider is 625lbs/45ft-lbs of torque is BELOW a 1:10 ratio (of torque to weight)

                  specifically 1:14 for the supersport and 1:9 for the literbike.

                  You can figure out how much better the literbike is ratio-wise, from all the above…shouldn’t be hard ;)
                  Now even though the literbike is geared slightly longer (so that it hits maybe 185mph at 12k rpm vs 160mph at 14k rpm)
                  That doesn’t matter through the heart of the powerband in first gear. The bike is geared longer, but going much faster also, at the same RPM. With longer gearing you can maintain the same acceleration over a wider speed-range without shifting, this is simply mechanical advantage in reverse.

                  This is why many 600s are “peppy” once they get into their powerband, but they take forever to get into their powreband and then run through the powerband and crap-out at redline much more quickly than literbikes. And that is why literbike riders hate many 600s, they are fine at moderate speeds around town but on the open road you have to beat on them like red-headed stepchildren to get the performance that you get easily in first and 2nd gear on a literbike. The opposite holds true for some literbikes as well: some literbikes take a long time to get into their powerband off-idle because they are geared so long, and they are going way too fast by the time they reach redline, so the powerband is not fully usable except on the open road. There is an advantage for a supersport in a redline that peaks out at only say 75mph in first gear vs 95mph, and there is an advantage in a literbike in a torque-curve that doesn’t require the rider to shift all the way down to first for decent acceleration. Each bike is best-suited for different riding styles in different riding environment. But some literbikes are a better compromise for the street than they are for the track (not to mention which track you’re talking about), and the same for some 600s. The problem is, yet again, trying to make blanket statements that just don’t hold true. And there are a lot of blanket statements being made about both 600s and literbikes here on this site that simply are not true at all. Or at least are only partly-true.

                • Piglet2010

                  I thought you were dead – but nym-shifting has given you new life it seems.

                  Oh, by the way, TLDR.

                • Sochiro Honda

                  death is only a state of mind

    • HardLookAtReality

      while few if any 600s will hit 170 most literbikes are maybe a half-second quicker in the quarter than the corresponding 600

      MAYBE a second

      given a 10sec literbike (whih would be class-leading performance)

      that’s a difference of between 5% and 10%
      Hardly “night and day”

    • Sochiro Honda

      I don’t think that it’s a matter of not knowing what he’s talking about.

      I think there’s just a large quality-gap between his knowledge and his opinions about what he knows.

  • Jay Don

    I suggest the writer test drive some 2014 models. Make sure to test ride the Kawasaki ZX10R and BMW1000. Those bike are way more advanced than any other 1000s. When is the last time you actually rode sportbikes the 1990′s? Yes, they are uncomfortable but I can ride at least two hours before I need a break. The literbikes are more advanced now versus 5-10 years ago. The 2011-2014 Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R is very easy to ride, it has standard traction control, wheelie control, three modes of power which the rider can select and optional anti-lock brakes. This bike out lapped all other Japanese sportbikes by over 1 full second in a 2012 bike shootout. The BMW 1000 is the best that Europe has to offer in terms of technical advancements.

    And Literbike tires are just over $200 per set which lasts about 5,000 – 6,000 miles. Track tires cost more and don’t last as long but if you riding on the track you can afford them, just like you can afford the higher insurance. I owned two 600cc bikes before switching to 1000cc. The 600 is a good package, better fuel mileage and will probably get you into less trouble. Anyone interested in a 1000 should do your research but this article is bogus. Some things are true but this article should not make a difference when deciding if you are ready to upgrade to a literbike.

    • HardLookAtReality

      the article is inane and a guy who would write an article like this isn’t going to learn better by riding the new crop of bikes.

  • D19

    As an avid trackday rider who has been to various track and racing schools and on various size/power bikes, I would have to disagree with the several of these points in this article, and agree with a few of them. I think that Trackdaymag.com really spells this conversation out well here: http://www.trackdaymag.com/editorial/513-why-1k.html.
    I would argue that smaller displacement, higher revving sportbikes tend to be more demanding to ride at speed on track, but that does not mean that they “teach”
    you more than a motorcycle with more weight and torque. Maybe a larger displacement motorcycle that requires less shifting allows the rider to concentrate on his/her BP, brake markers, and turn-in? Granted, it is easy to be a screamer-parker on a big literbike, allowing a riding to compensate for his/her lack of corner speed, but that does not mean that the literbike is not “rewarding” and “not teaching you anything.” I would also argue that points 7 and 8 apply equally to any modern sportbike. All of that said, I’m moving from a heavyweight Italian twin to an SV650 for the trackbike/racebike because of the expense of tires, number of race classes, and realizing how much I value lightweight and simplicity in a trackbike. Plus I already have a literbike for torquey fun on the street. “More power” is not (always) the answer, as others have mentioned. I think that the answer is: Ride what you want and learn to ride it well.

  • John

    So much for bullcrap reason #3 –

    “By make and model, the NICB stats shows the top most-stolen bikes were these:

    Honda CBR600

    Yamaha YZFR6

    Suzuki GSXR600

    Harley Davidson FLH Series

    Kawasaki ZX600″

    • Piglet2010

      I would like to see those normalized to sales figures; otherwise it says nothing about the probability of a certain model being stolen.

      • John

        Well, most motorcycle thieves are going to look for a bike easily put into a truck. So a 600 is more likely to be stolen because it’s lighter. But also can be easily parted out.

        • Piglet2010

          H-D FLH’s are anything but easy to pick up at 900+ pounds, but then a lot of them are sold to the cult* followers.

          As an aside, I would be very hesitant to buy any used parts, since I do not want to support organized theft of motorcycles.

          * Willie G. Davidson’s expression.

          • HardLookAtReality

            …right, because all used parts offered for sale are stolen…

            seriously your idiocy knows no bounds does it

            • Piglet2010

              So genius, how do you tell legitimate from stolen parts on a Internet ad? Are you omniscient?

              • FridaysAreFunDays

                depends on the ad, the part, the part’s condition, the seller, the conditions of the sale, the place and time they want to meet, how much they’re asking for it, etc.

                course it could still be stolen but there are ways to reduce the probability of that
                assuming that you know anything about probability

        • HardLookAtReality

          a 600 supersport is perhaps 15% lighter than the corresponding literbike, the main issue is that they are more likely to be wrecked and require replacement parts.

        • FridaysAreFunDays

          stop making sense please, that is not allowed here

      • Chris Reedy

        1000′s are currently outselling 600′s so there’s that…

      • HardLookAtReality

        it says that it’s probable that they will be stolen.

        • Piglet2010

          We see statistics are not your strong point.

          • FridaysAreFunDays

            this is an issue of probability, not statistics

            • Piglet2010

              Probability is a subset of statistics.

              If Honda sells 1,000,000 Super Cubs in a year and 1,000 are stolen, the probability of theft of your Super Cub is low (0.1%).

              If Leonhardt sells 10 Gunbus 410s in a year, and one is stolen, the probability of theft of your Gunbus 410 is 100 times as high (10%), even though 1,000 times more Super Cubs were stolen.

              • FridaysAreFunDays

                …exactly how do you figure that?
                What is the logical process that leads you to conclude that probability is a subset of statistics?

                You seem to have real issues with logic, dude. If I tell you that the top 5 bikes stolen by number are A-Z, that immediately means that it is probable that those bikes will be stolen by make, if ANY are. It doesn’t mean that a specific bike of that model is the most LIKELY to be stolen. It doesn’t even mean that bikes of that model are the most likely to be stolen. it means that if you take all the bikes that are reported stolen, these are the top 5 bikes in terms of percentage of stolen bikes.

                Seriously all this sheds some real light on the way that your mind works.
                But then brass-tacks have a way of doing that.

                • Piglet2010

                  Are you that stupid, or just putting on an act?

                • FridaysAreFunDays

                  …still waiting…

                • Piglet2010

                  Try a dictionary and encyclopedia – you should figure it out eventually.

                • FridaysAreFunDays

                  …ah, relying on someone else, anyone else, to actually support you after you’ve walked out on a logical limb.
                  I get it.

                • Piglet2010

                  So you think words mean whatever you want them too, and everyone else should go along?

                • Sochiro Honda

                  Do you really think it’s good argumentative technique to answer a question with a question, or is that just the image that you want to project by doing it?

  • Jeff Walker

    I ride a 2013 zx14R and I don’t think it is at all uncomfortable. Yes you can power it up in 3rd if you want but that’s only if I’m feeling young that day. I to have been popped by the Iowa air patrol and ground cop just laughed when I finally brought the four horsemen to a stop and said you probably could have got away. Have me a warning

    • Piglet2010

      The ZX-14R is a sport-touring bike, and not a race replica, which explains the greater comfort. Enter both the ZX-10R and ZX-14R here to compare riding positions: http://cycle-ergo.com/

      P.S. Where in Iowa was the “bear in the air”?

      • Jeff Walker

        I was on i80 near Underwood Iowa, the state patrol uses the airplane witch tops out at 140 lol. omaha ne has two helicopters

      • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

        if you are going to label bikes at least use meaningful labels
        when just about every sportbike sold has a race class that races it stock, this means little

  • Sébastien

    I think the author clearly has a one-sided and misleading view about literbikes.
    I personnaly own 2 sportbikes: A 2009 Kawasaki ZX6R I use only for the track, and a 2011 BMW S1000R I use for both street and track.

    Let’s take some of his statements:

    Clearly, the author hasn’t done a lot of trackdays. While it is true
    that on the straights HP is a big advantage for literbikes, a literbike
    rider can easily be outcompeted on a technical track by a 600cc bike
    rider that has better cornering skills.

    3) I would like to see
    some stats to prove that argument. Why would sport literbikes be more
    targeted by robbers than their 600 counterparts, or even more expensive
    cruisers or tourers ?

    4) Yes, literbikes have more torque and are
    more touchy due to this. It’s a matter of control, and in a sense, they
    are not intended for beginners. But even then, with a good judgement
    and some experience, there is no reason to be paranoid. Even cornering
    hard on the road with my S1000RR, on Michelin Power Pures, I was never
    able to activate TC.

    5) Literbikes Aren’t Any Faster Than A 600? Kind of a contradiction to your point 2.
    for technical comparison, according to the 2012-13 MCN performance
    index (http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/technical/2013JanPerfIndx.pdf):
    CBR600RR (2009): top speed 158.3 mph, quarter-mile: 10.89 sec @ 125.53 mph
    CBR1000RR (2008): top speed 178 mph, quarter-mile: 9.94 sec @ 143.12 mph
    that doesn’t sound like a big difference on paper, anyone who’s ridden a
    600 and a 1000 back to back knows there is simply no comparison.

    Sportbikes and noisy bikes in general might make you a target for law
    enforcers, but I don’t see why 1000 sportbikes would be any more
    tagerted than 600′s.

    7) Yes, literbikes may cost more in
    maintenance and insurances. However, for tires, it again depends on the
    use of your literbike. Will you use it for the track ? In that case,
    yes, you’ll go through your softer rubber much quicker on a literbike
    than on a 600. But for the road ? If you have durable touring tires, and
    since you won’t ride as hard on the street as compared to the track,
    the difference between a 600 and 1000 becomes much more subtle.

    Again, you should stop targetting literbikes, but rather refer to
    sportbikes at large, as they are indeed generally less comfortable than
    let’s say touring bikes, due to the aggressive riding position, hard
    seats, and poor wind protection.
    But to say that literbikes are worse
    than 600′s here is just a void statement. I am 6’1”, and my S1000RR is
    much more comfortable than my ZX6R.

    10) While it is true that
    literbikes aren’t meant for beginners, they can teach you the most
    important thing about riding a motorcycle: throttle control.
    started on a 600, took riding lessons, crashed a couple of times like
    most people, and grew in experience. When I got my 1000, I knew much
    better how to control myself and be gentle with the throttle. The
    potential consequences of getting too hard on the gas out of a corner
    with a 1000 teaches you to ponder your moves.

    11) Then again, you
    seem to think that your views should apply to everybody at large. Just
    have a talk with Sport Rider magazine editors, other journalists, and
    experience trackday riders, and they might tell you otherwise.

    • Piglet2010

      “Why would sport literbikes be more targeted by robbers than their 600 counterparts, or even more expensive cruisers or tourers ?”

      Touring and cruiser riders do not crash as often as squids, and when they do they are less likely to buy used parts off the Internet to fix their bikes.

      • Sébastien

        Sorry, but your argument has nothing to do with bike robbery.

        • Piglet2010

          The demand for used parts has nothing to do with stealing bikes to part out?

          • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

            parts is parts
            any part can be sold, any bike can be stolen and parted-out

            The bigger issue is more likely that the thieves have more experience stealing and parting-out certain bikes
            But in any case it only takes a few thieves to steal a lot of bikes

            and your argument then becomes that people shouldn’t buy a given bike because it’s highly-desirable both whole and for parts

            that’s a self-regulating situation…no need to cast aspersions on an entire genre of motorcycles as a result…any popular vehicle would have that problem..

            • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

              Literbikes are oft stolen due to the high value of and high demand for their parts. A set of forks on a Harley probably goes for $45 and there’s no market for them. A set of used forks for an R1 goes for $900 and anyone who’s ever crashed one needs a set, stat.

              • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

                “Literbikes are oft stolen due to the high value of and high demand for
                their parts.”

                That’s all you really needed to say here. .
                Now, that’s entirely true and certainly it is one reason that these bikes are stolen.
                The rest of what you said is just speculation.

                Another reason is that people are just thieves, and they will steal anything they can get their hands on.
                The bike doesn’t have to be all that expensive, the parts don’t have to be worth all that much.
                It’s still a motorcycle and as you well know, some people will happily ride around on stolen bikes, with no tags.

                So certainly between the two you have people stealing the bikes because they are worth a lot of money and parting them because the parts are largely anonymous and will fetch good money on eBay or Amazon. But that’s true regardless of the retail price of new parts or of the bike itself. This is a chicken/egg argument depending on whether you talk about numbers of bikes stolen or percentage of bikes stolen. If most of the bike stolen comprise most of the bikes owned, then it’s irrelevant what model they are or how much they cost. What matters is that they are popular, and a market onto themselves. If almost everyone is riding literbikes then certainly one would expect that most of the bikes stolen are literbikes and most of the parts stolen and sold are for literbikes. That’s completely different from saying “oh there are 20 bikes 10 are 600s and 10 are literbikes. Watch, all the literbikes will get stolen and all the 600s left alone and THAT is why you shouldn’t by a literbike”.



                When the parts for a 600 are just as expensive, and 600s are lighter and thus easier to steal.
                Plus they are more attractive to noobs, the kind of people willing to drop $14k on a 600, and the kind who are not likely to secure them well.

                In any case you wouldn’t tell people not to buy gold because of the James brothers, would you?
                That is a Classic Form of Stupidity: leaping from one conclusion to another with at best a tenuous logical connection between the two.
                In this case:
                a) there are plenty of other bikes besides literbikes that are attractive to thieves

                b) there is no direct correlation between owning a literbike and having it stolen that is any stronger than between any other displacement of motorcycle and having it stolen. As long as you can pick the things off the ground and put them in a truck with just two people, they’re going to get stolen.

                c) if there is a correlation, it’s between price, portability and the risk of having it stolen. But that is mitigated by protecting your investment. If your investment is adequately protected and you ride in a low-risk area, then you don’t have much if anything to worry about in terms of your bike getting stolen. And that holds for all bikes.

              • FridaysAreFunDays

                …no one is saying that literbikes aren’t stolen in large numbers.
                But the “drivers” that you mention apply even more to 600s than to literbikes.

                And in general any popular machine will be stolen in large numbers simply because there are more of them to steal and the demand for them is higher.

            • Piglet2010

              Having fun beating on strawmen?

              Did you not learn about supply and demand in Econ 101?

  • Carlo Bertozzi

    You’ll only be “that guy at the track” if you refuse to learn. I was faster than many of my friends when we did our first track day but there were half a dozen that were quicker than me. I learnt pretty quick that guys despised people who were hard on the throttle ina straight line and then parked it on the corners. It’s easy to be fast in a straight line with a superbike so I concentrated on corner speed and now I’m the fastest in our group and it’s because I carry better corner speed, not because I’m fastest on the straight, although that’s my next goal along with later/harder breaking. I am lucky enough to have a 1199S and an HP4, and I love the fact that I’m riding two of the greatest superbikes on the planet, and that they are very challenging. Take your litre bike to the track and learn to ride it properly, its a revelation. Even after 20 years of road riding I realised I didn’t know how to ride!

    • HardLookAtReality

      “It’s easy to be fast in a straight line with a superbike”

      I’ll remind you of that after your pelvis-reconstruction surgery is complete

      • Carlo Bertozzi

        Your pelvis is at risk on 1000cc or 600cc regardless, as two of our coaches riding 600s can testify, having crashed at 200kph+ on the straight a few weeks ago. 600cc doesn’t mean you go any slower on the track. IMHO in a group of friends of similar skill levels the guy with the liter bike will generally find it easier to go faster on the straight for a variety of reasons related to capacity. I accept an article like this is designed to provoke discussion but projecting harm onto other riders with comments like that is unnecessary.

        • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

          yes it does mean that you go slower on the track when you physically cannot ride a 600 as fast as a literbike

        • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

          “I accept an article like this is designed to provoke discussion but
          projecting harm onto other riders with comments like that is

          the only one projecting harm on other riders with their comments are you and Piglet and your ilk
          with your stupid comments making people smack their heads in frustration

          • Carlo Bertozzi

            You clearly haven’t learnt how to ride a bike at the track.

            • FridaysAreFunDays

              you clearly have CJD

            • Sochiro Honda

              clearly there’s more to riding a motorcycle in a straight line than riding one on a track, dumb-ass
              and what sort of advanced-degree do I need to ride a bike at the track?!?

              does your stupidity know no limits?

            • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

              you clearly have not learnt how to accurately surmise a person’s riding background from his comments

  • Robert Horn
    • sospeedy

      Very different perspective of litre bikes in that article….!

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        It’s satire…yeesh.

    • Piglet2010

      From the comments:

      “So long as you don’t actually pick up an S1000RR as your first bike…” – Wes Siler

      • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

        but…but…you just said that an S1000RR is perfectly safe, if you turn all the rider-aids on…
        and it’s a light bike, short wheelbase, comfortable riding-position for a sportbike…should be easy for a beginner to learn on…

        seriously do you want to have your cake or do you want to eat it?

    • Pablo Perez

      Yeah, I think both article’s headlines are click bait. That said, a better sense of editorial consistency wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  • HardLookAtReality

    what girly-man wrote this BS-laden article

    “1) Why Literbikes Are Different
    Literbikes, superbikes, 1,200cc V-twins — whatever you want to call them — are about one thing: horsepower.”

    False. Period. And for chrissakes make up your mind are you going to talk about literbikes or 1200s or what.

    I guess “any bike with an engine bigger than your beloved Ninja 300″?

    “2) Literbikes Make You A Lazy Rider
    …. Where’s the fun in that?”

    Trust me, there’s a LOT of fun in it. And it’s a lot more fun than riding off the edge of your tires or blowing an engine or both.

    If being a lazy rider is bad then please sign me up for more laziness. If I want a workout, I’ll run or ride a bicycle instead.

    This is one of the best reasons to buy a literbike, really.

    “3) Literbikes Get Stolen”

    Yep they sure do. Just about every bike worth anything gets stolen.

    But, do all literbikes get stolen? No. Do only literbikes get stolen? No.

    If y ou live in a place where there are a lot of bike-thefts, is it likely that your bike will get stolen?

    Of course. And that’s true regardless of what bike it is. That’s true even if it’s a moped or a bicycle.

    “4) The Razor’s Edge Is Not The Safest Place To Be”

    See “reason” #2

    “5) Literbikes Aren’t Any Faster Than A 600″

    Likewise see “reason” #2

    “6) Literbikes Make You A Target”
    True for just about any sport-bike or sportscar

    “7) Literbikes Cost Too Much To Run”

    Sure, if you can afford a $15k sportbike not to menton a $30k sportbike, it’s too expensive to maintain also LOL

    Whatever you say bud

    “8) Literbikes Are Hideously Uncomfortable”


    “99) Literbikes Compromise Handling For Power”

    That’s complete bullshit …so the handling isn’t R6 quick but who needs it to be, seriously, who isn’t a Daytona 200 or AMA pro Supersport racer

    “10) Literbikes Don’t Teach You Anything”

    That’s total unmitigated bullshit…hell in one breath you say that they have too much power to handle in the next you say you don’t learn anything riding one? MAKE UP YOUR MIND

    “11) Riding A Literbike Isn’t Rewarding”

    Hey if you feel that way then don’t ride one.

    But why the need to try to tell everyone else how they are going to feel if THEY ride one?

    In my opinion it’s plain and simple. A literbike is both faster and easier to ride fast than a 600 except in the case of a road that is nothing more than low-speed corners end to end. So, 99.9% of the time, whatever enjoyment you get out of riding 600s you get even more enjoyment for less effort when riding a literbike. The only time I think that a 600 makes more sense than a literbike is either when you CANNOT ride the bike faster than say 50mph or so due to road-restrictions, or you simply can’t afford to pay the insurance on one. But personally I prefer 1200s because I think that literbikes are still not fast enough in the low to midrange and the handliing is faster than I need for street-riding.

    • Piglet2010

      “…than your beloved Ninja 300.”

      Uh, Wes Siler gave the Ninja 300 a rather lukewarm review: http://rideapart.com/2013/10/2014-kawasaki-ninja-300-abs-se-review/

      Please pay attention.

      • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

        I was speaking to you literbike-haters in general

        • Piglet2010

          No, by context you were referring to the author of the article (i.e. Wes Siler).

          • FridaysAreFunDays

            …I am sure that the author of any post truly appreciates you reading it and telling them who they were speaking of when referring to someone in their reply. Undoubtedly you know better than they do.

    • disqus_ky9zk991ab

      “11 Reasons To Stop Reading Fell For Heather”

  • Shar Pei

    My FZ1 is the most comfortable bike I’ve ever ridden. I get about 37 mpg, can easily ride 750 miles in a day, and can still suck the paint off the side of a Porsche if I felt the need.

    The extra horsepower is particularly useful evading careless drivers gabbing on cellphones and slurping down Charbucks Lardasschinos.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      The FZ1 is a nice budget all-rounder. Yamaha’s literbike is the R1.

      • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

        They’re both literbikes, In fact the FZ1 has the old block and crank off the original R1.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Right, it’s got a big (detuned) motor, but a simple frame and budget suspension. It’s made for commuting and light touring, not lapping racetracks and winning superbike shootouts.

          • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

            I don’t see how any of that means that it’s not a literbike.

            • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

              You’re starting to get a little annoying. Could you please start contributing stuff that’s a little more level headed, polite and well, just interesting? Otherwise we might have to reconsider our publisher/commenter relationship status. What’s particularly annoying is your know-it-all attitude, despite it being patently obvious to everyone that you simply don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Ever.

              Now, understand that I’ve never actually ridden any bike, because they’re dangerous and all that, but despite sharing similar engine architecture, the FZ1 is definitely not an R1 and definitely NOT a literbike, as described in this article. That has nothing to do with my overarching agenda to categorize all motorcycles in a manner which befuddles the simpleminded and everything to do with realities like the Fz1 making substantially less power, coming with a much more conservative chassis and oh, I don’t know, being specifically designed to perform as a commuter/light tourer, not an out-and-out performance machine. Simply apples and oranges I’m afraid.

              If that makes me racist, so be it. I apologize that the world is full of harsh truths, many of which you have yet to learn.

              • TheTruthHurtsAndThenYouDie

                Dude, your bitterness will not change the fact that the FZ1 is a literbike.

                Nor will it change the fact that the Ninja 300 is a “sportbike” despite the fact that you don’t like the OEM tires.

                Nor will it change the fact that such categorizations are entirely ad-hoc.

                Now if you need to ban everyone from commenting on your articles who thinks they are foolish, that’s fine with me.
                I’ll happily be the first, or even just the first today.

                Consider this my last contribution to your site as a commenter, and my best wishes for your personal growth as a publisher.

              • Wes Stupid

                “You’re starting to get a little annoying. Could you please start
                contributing stuff that’s a little more level headed, polite and well,
                just interesting?”

                An FZ1 isn’t a literbike because it isn’t cammy, doesn’t have a trick ultralight (and ultraexpensive) wraparound twin-beam aluminum frame and clipons and adjustable rearsets?!? Despite the fact that the FZ1 engine makes more HP than the CBR1000RR engine?!? [well, almost. The FZ1 peaks at 130hp, the CBR1000RR at 153hp but close enough to make the point. Probably due to a lower compression-ratio, more conservative ignition-timing and more-restrictive intake and exhaust, somewhat-easily rectified]

                If it doesn’t have clipons then it’s a sport-tourer, not a literbike?!?

                Dude if the mark is “who is annoying” you crossed that line long long time ago.

                Half of the posts that you get on this site are from people who are annoyed at the stupid statements made here in abundance.
                When like every other statement that you make is idiotic.

                Now do me a gigantic favor and stop being a PITA and banning my Disqus accounts.

                Unless you want to get humiliated again. By me, specifically, using another name and posting from another machine if necessary.

                As opposed to “just by 98% of the comments here made by everyone else but me”.

                Your comments are elitist, wrong, irrational, often just plain stupid, and only serve to stir-up negative emotions.

                Now that you’ve been successful at that for a while now, your answer is to ban people who point that out.

                Why don’t you just stop writing? Solves the problem straight away.
                You’re not going to be able to ban people who point out the simple fact that your opinions are stupid.

                Or are you too stupid to realize that?

                Just think of how long it is going to take before you even see this.

                Isn’t it hard to be an effective writer, mod and forum-poster all at once?

                Try just doing one well for a start.

          • Piglet2010

            Yamaha UK considers the FZ1 to be a sport-tourer, not an all-out sport-bike.


  • Michael Thomas

    Anyone who’s ridden a liter & 600 should be able to testify to the big difference between them. There’s likely a big difference between what a pro rider & journalists will say about this. A pro would not claim a 600 & liter bike are so similar & wouldn’t have many of the gripes that journalists do. Being terrified, managing power, as opposed to actually pushing the limits of the machine are some of those gripes. A pro’s lap times on a liter vs a 600 will be seconds apart. A journalist who can’t manage much faster times on a more capable machine is himself simply incapable. these points are mostly inaccurate opinion.

  • Robert Horn

    Well, some people think S1000RRs are good for selling cameras: http://cinema.nikonusa.com/#JoyRide

  • Levi John Scheibel

    Sounds to me like the author of this came to many of his conclusions based off his own, personal, short comings… I rode a CBR600RR for years before I purchased a CBR1000RR and I’ve really not come across any of these issues. Maybe the author needs to spend less time writing and more time riding???

  • Fzilla

    I find myself alternating between big bikes and small bikes. 650 Maxim to 1200 Bandit to 600 Radian (for $600!) to current FZ1…
    On a small bike I pine for instant addictive acceleration. On a big bike I wish I could pin the throttle more often.

  • Mark Harris

    As someone who personally started on a new cbr1k I have plenty of personal experience on the subject. From what my phone shows he skipped 1-6 and sorry but 7-11 make this guy sound like he doesn’t really know much about riding. Guess ill make an effort to point out why I think so. #7 For starters most people on literbikes run 190 50 or 55 depending on how they like their bike to turn in to a corner as the 55s are taller with a sharper slope on the cone shape. Although its true a 1k will usually wear the rear tire out a bit quicker than a smaller cc bike its because of more torque and aggressive throttle hand and can be moderated to make the tire last longer if your easier on the throttle. Really though unless you go with some extremely soft compound tires you’ll get closer to 3-4 thousand miles from a pilot power, bto16, s20, ect style back tire which is pretty much the same as a 600 on same tire, and anyone who rides knows you’ll get usually 6-8 thousand from front tires. I’ve personally found that unless your in a fast group at a track that you can run michelin pilot road 2 or 3 which has enough grip on the sides to put a knee down on the street and the ability to get 7-9 thousand on a back and 15-20 thousand from a front depending on your riding style. Usually I always go with light weight steel sprockets, and the strongest chain D.I.D has to offer but mine lasts for generally 15-20 thousand miles. Insurance is extremely cheap when compared to a car and only slightly higher than a 600cc bike. 1000s also get better gas mileage than 600s because of lower rpm at speeds. #8 liter bikes are no more uncomfortable than a 600 sport bike as the ergonomics are designed in the same way. While some bikes have lower clipons and higher seats *like ducatti* than other companies most of the time its riding error that causes hurting back amd numb hands. Grip with your knees and support yourself with your legs keeping your hands light on the bars rather than supporting yourself with your arms and back over weighting your wrists and tightening your grip on the bars. No more hurting back or numb hands. Rather this guy seems to know it or not rather 600 or 1000 todays sport bikes are designed for the track that’s why seats are thin to keep down weight *which can easily be fixed with a gel insert for the seat*. Pegs are higher and further back for ground clearance when doing aggressive cornering *which can be swapped for adjustable ones to let the rider put them where he/she sees fit*. Windshields cover adequately for average riding *and can easily be swapped for a double bubble or tall screen for added protection depending on rider* clipons are no lower than 600s and are simply that way for better handling purposes *can also be changed with simple bar risers*. #9 The handling characteristics of a 1000 makes it no less turnable than a 600. The swingarm is slightly longer but its because the bike has more power and needs a little extra length to help keep the front end down under acceleration. The front end angle and suspension setting makes for the bikes willingness to turn and stability. I’ve ridden both quite a bit and although the 600 with slightly less weight and sharper tire angle are a little quicker to lean into a corner it will not feel as smooth or planted as the 1000 which will take a curve at the same speed while feeling more stable with a smoother turn in. Another difference is corner exit. Although on a 600 you can be quicker to get the throttle fully turned and start twisting a little sooner is because of the power difference. The 1000 you have to be more careful with the throttle feeling out your traction. It still comes down to rubber on road and power. The 1000 while being easier on the throttle will be making just as much if not more power than the twist happy 600. So you’ll be easier on the throttle but still out accelerating the 600. I’ve not had experience with the new ducattis mentioned but my thoughts is that the double sided swingarm had a lot to do with the 899 being a sweeter ride than the 1199. #10 Saying that you can’t learn on a 1000 is total crap. That’s like saying you can’t learn in a Ferrari because its more powerful than Nissan. As someone who literally did learn on a literbike Im here to tell you that although you have to have more patients and respect for what your riding you can learn just as much if not more on a 1000. Instead of hitting the road and fully twisting the grip letting the engine do all it can because you can you learn nothing. When riding a literbike you have to learn throttle control which when you start actually riding and turning at high speed is extremely important. Other then that the bikes are the same for learning on. As for #11 lmfao!!! If having the ability to accelerate faster, hit higher top speeds, get better gas mileage, and still do everything a 600 does with more stability isn’t what you’d consider rewarding then you shouldn’t ride a sport anything.

    Sorry for the lenght of my rant but when I see pure ignorance being spread I feel the need to spread a little truth.

    P.s. All sport bikes are designed for average size people. Average size being 5’8″-6’2″ish and 165-200lb ish depending on manufacturer.

    • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

      ” Instead of hitting the road and fully twisting the grip letting the engine do all it can because you can you learn nothing.”

      hey, some people see that as an actual benefit when you can ride a Ninja 300 on gravel and never have to worry about wheelspin.

    • Piglet2010

      Is your editor on vacation?

    • DrKnowItAll

      Complex arguments, and posts, merely go right over the head of most readers here.
      You have to keep it short and simple to even connect with them, and they respond well to short and simple posts, which is the problem.
      Because they can’t differentiate between:
      short, simple and stupid,
      short, simple and wrong,
      short, simple and taking at best a partial look at the topic under discussion,
      short, simple and factually correct but logically wrong,
      and last but not least:
      short, simple and both factually and logically correct.
      To them these are all the same.
      That’s why you read things on this site like “torque is force”.
      Because this is the perfect environment for such nonsense.

      You can’t possibly counter the foolishness being spread here, either in its lack of quality or in its abundant quantity.
      And certainly this is not the only place even just on the Internet where such foolishness persists, not to mention in real life.

  • Robert Kiensler

    They didn’t have cool bikes like RC51′s or BMW 1000RRs when I was growing up. The coolest thing back then were CB 350′s and KZ1000. Stop complaining and learn how to control your wrist.

  • IAmAConservativeICannotBeWrong

    “Litrebikes are the halo bikes, best tech, best brakes, best everything and most desired.”

    …so what, you’re not supposed to want one because it’s the best.

    You’re supposed to want one because you can use most of its performance in most street-riding scenarios ;)

  • Piglet2010

    A. A super-bike is a race replica (or race bike) that fits into the 1,000cc/4-cylinder, 1,125cc/3-cylinder, or 1,200cc 2-cylinder displacement limit category.
    B. A race replica is a bike intending for track use that has the minimum done to make it street legal.

    Such is the common use in English language motorcycle circles.

    • FridaysAreFunDays

      …so any 1200cc V-twin kitted-out for the track is a “superbike race-replica”.

      • Piglet2010

        Pretty much so (sticking to bikes as the come from the manufacturer).

        • FridaysAreFunDays

          So an HD configured by the factory and raced would be a “literbike”.

          But only if the owner didn’t take anything off it! :)

          Wow so it’s not a superbike race-replica if it isn’t BONE STOCK too wow

          • Piglet2010

            Stop being deliberately stupid.

            • FridaysAreFunDays

              Piglet you just don’t get it, do you.

              “Intelligence” is one thing.

              “Logic” is something entirely different.

              Logic is a simple, ordered thought-process from factual premise to logical conclusion according to certain rules (of logic).
              Intelligence is the rate at which one follows this process, among other intellectual processes such as “brilliance”.

              But “logic” is basically “deduction” or “induction” or “abduction” or any of a number of ordered, structured logical flows according to strict rules. Like a roadmap. “Intelligence” is coming up with the roadmap in the first place.

              You attempt to be “intelligent” by short-circuiting the process of deductive logic.

              You merely end-up quickly leaping to illogical conclusions.
              Indeed you leap from one illogical conclusion to another.
              Because this comes quickly and easily to you, and because you lack any real sense of deductive logic,
              therefore you are happy to call yourself both “intelligent” and “logical”.

              Just note how much of your “logic” comes from you redefining the world in which you live to suit the product of your “intelligence”.
              Not from sticking to the facts, accepting them as they are, not trying to twist them into something they are not, and working from facts to conclusion in a rigorous logical manner.

              • Piglet2010


  • HardLookAtReality

    Read again. I never said such a thing. I was talking specifically about the contradictions between points 2 and 5.”

    One thing you learn on this site and you need to learn it real quick is not to argue with irrational idiots who either cannot or do not bother to actually read and understand what you say, who only want to bloviate about their favorite subjects like crazy people outside of airports.

    To the point in question. No, a literbike can’t handle as fast as a 600…unless it has a comparable chassis.
    If you compare the weights of some production literbikes and 600s (and I’m talking bone-stock) you’ll see that some pairs are quite close in weight.
    But so what if they are 100lbs apart?
    The bottom-line is how quick does it need to handle? This is the question that so many supersport-fans avoid as often as possible.
    On the other hand…how useable is the extra power and longer gearing of a stock literbike vs a stock 600 or 300?

    Again, the same.

    The big problem here is that you have two camps with one side making sense and the other side…not making sense.
    That 2nd side is at best splitting hairs and trying to focus the argument on a limited sphere of riding in which they may actually be right.

    But even if you want to talk about track-only there are local and global truths to deal with.
    If you’re mixing street and track, or just talking about street-only, that’s a whole different subject.
    You are not going to convince someone who has plenty of experience riding a variety of bikes that their preference is bad.
    It just ain’t gonna happen. So you can understand their view of the pros and cons, but their pros and cons are PERSONAL.

    Enough of this nonsense already. Buy and ride what you want, enjoy it if you can.
    If that’s not enough for you then you have a real problem.

    If you own a 600 and you feel the need to get on the Internet and rag on literbikes then you’ve got real issues, PERIOD.
    And the same way the other way around.
    Put on your damm helmets, strap on your choice of gear, get on your bike and go ride and be happy!

    • Piglet2010

      “…who only want to bloviate about their favorite subjects like crazy people outside of airports”

      Who has crazy people outside of airports as his/her favorite subject?

      • DrKnowItAll

        Anyone who researches the paranoid-delusional mindset.
        Think about it: a guy who hops on a motorcycle, buys a 600 then buys a Busa, and then says that he’s afraid of going really fast on a powerful bike. Then he sells his 600 and buys a Ninja 250 because it’s weak and slow. But keeps the Busa. Then talks about how fast he goes on his weak-ass bike, how much better of a rider he is now that he sold his 600 and how everyone else should ride slow, weak bikes like he does. Because they’re really fun and safe. Because as we all know, slow, weak bikes are really fun and safe to ride on the street and to race to the limit on a track. But not a 600, and definitely not a Busa.

        Just think about the multiple psychoses evident in such a philosophy.

  • FridaysAreFunDays

    “What is annoying is that you are at the speed limit on 2-lane rural
    highways at the torque peak in 1st gear, and at the speed limit on rural
    freeways at power peak in 1st gear, which makes a super-sport no fun to
    ride at legal speeds.”

    …that’s sad on two levels.
    First it says that you can’t have fun riding a bike if you have to ride the speed limit.

    Second it says that you apparently can’t conceive of riding the bike somewhere other than at either the power or torque peak or in first gear!

    Fact of the matter is that 600s are plenty fast enough to get you in trouble with the law and to get you killed on the street and for those two reasons people have ha hard time thinking of why more power is a good idea. The reason is obvious to those who aren’t “power-blind”, i.e. unable to see fun as anything other than “getting into trouble with the law or risking death”.

    In fact that’s so poignant of a statement that I will leave it alone right there.
    If you can’t understand the Pythagorean theorem, you’ll never understand Gauss’s law.

    And perhaps, in that case, you *should* be relegated to moped levels of power.
    After all even 15hp is enough power to get you into trouble with the law and to put your life at risk while riding.

    If the standards by which you live are so simplistic then perhaps you should live a very-simple life!

    • Piglet2010

      You have proven you either have no ability to understand the written English language, or you like creating strawmen just to be insulting.

      I am not going to waste my time rebutting these false contentions of what I mean point by point.

      • FridaysAreFunDays

        yes it would be a waste of time
        due to the futility of it

  • Piglet2010

    You fail to realize that “rear wheel torque” as normally presented is normalized to engine rpm, not the raw value. Therefore, your argument is fundamentally incorrect.

    • FridaysAreFunDays

      Rear-wheel torque as normally presented has nothing to do with gearing-ratio.

      Figure out how a wheel-dyno works and get back to me.

      • Piglet2010

        You really are clueless.

        Hint, the graphs take the measured torque at the rear wheel, multiply that by the inverse of the gear ratio to get torque at the crank minus drive-train friction losses (which is what is typically plotted), and then use that torque and engine rpm to derive rear wheel horsepower.

        Second hint: a bike with a dyno chart showing 40 lb-ft at the rear wheel and a 2.5:1 reduction ratio will actually have 100 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, while a bike with 80 lb-ft at the rear wheel on the dyno chart and a 1:1 drive ratio will have 80 lb-ft at the rear wheel. This is why (besides lower weight, of course) a 600cc super-sport will accelerate faster than a 1,700cc cruiser (remember, A=F/M, and torque is a force), since with a maximum engine speed approximately 3 times as high, the super-sport can run a lot lower gearing than the cruiser.

        • FridaysAreFunDays

          Piglet you’re a lucky man today.
          Someone is deleting my posts, I can’t imagine who.

          So luckily for you, when you post stupid crap talking about crank torque after you started to talk about rear-wheel torque, it’s going to have to sit up here so everyone else can see it without my pointing that out.

          Good luck with that.

          • Piglet2010

            Too long to read, since I know it is nonsense.

            • BigBadDawg

              The truth is often confusing to those who lack the intelligence to comprehend it, especially with issues of any real complexity.

              Much easier for them to spout whatever nonsense they feel comfortable thinking of.

            • Sochiro Honda

              I think there’s a place for you high in the Catholic Church hierarchy
              just below “altar boy”

            • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

              and therefore we must use pictures.
              simple ones, and not too many

        • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

          You were wrong when you first wrote that a month ago, and you’re still wrong now.

          Plain and simply, torque is not power. Power was, is and always will be the rate at which work is done. Work is force multiplied by the distance over which the force acts. Torque is force multiplied by the distance through which the force acts. Power is work divided by the time over which the work is done. Power, in HP, is torque in ft-lbs multiplied by RPM/5250. So, clearly, power is proportional to torque times engine RPM. Power is most definitely not torque, and likewise torque is most definitely not power.

          In any case power at the crank is power measured at the rear-wheel + power lost to slippage during measurement plus power lost in the drivetrain. However you don’t need to know power at the crank to calculate rear-wheel HP, just multiply the torque measured by the dyno by the measured engine RPM and you have it directly.

          Torque only accelerates a bike when you consider the force applied to the pavement as a result of operating through lever-arms, like the transmission, front/rear drive ratio and the wheel radius. of course gearing affects acceleration but so does weight and traction, and torque is produced by the engine and the torque characteristics of the engine also come into play. The ONLY reason the gearing matters during acceleration is that you change the engine RPM vs speed ratio and that changes torque vs speed. If the engine isn’t making any real power, then it won’t really accelerate the bike. Beyond that the measured torque changes with gearing because manufacturers sometimes change the engine tuning as a function of the gear selected, especially gearing and RPM. Just as rev-limiters are a function of RPM, likewise the spark-advance changes with gearing and RPM.

          it is just not as simple as you want to make it out, and in general you are just plain wrong.

          Yet still this post of yours is an excellent example of how a simple straightforward phenomenon can float just above your head.

          You can see it but not quite understand it, but that doesn’t stop you from talking about it as if you are an expert.

          As so often happens.

          “This is why (besides lower weight, of course) a 600cc super-sport will accelerate faster than a 1,700cc cruiser (remember, A=F/M, and torque is a force), since with a maximum engine speed approximately 3 times as high, the super-sport can run a lot lower gearing than the cruiser.”

          Sorry Piglet but there are many reasons why this happens. Mainly because the drivetrain of a 600cc supersport is designed for acceleration, not to provide an abundance of torque at low RPM like a cruiser that is normally ridden at a constant speed, to help it to maintain that speed easily. You see the end-results but don’t understand how it works.

      • Piglet2010

        Are you really stupid enough to think that gearing makes no difference in rear wheel torque (relative to torque at the crank)?

  • npco543

    Several of the points are only true under the assumption the rider intends to ride at or near the full potential of the bike:

    2) Literbikes Make You A Lazy Rider
    4) The Razor’s Edge Is Not The Safest Place To Be
    5) Literbikes Aren’t Any Faster Than A 600
    9) Literbikes Compromise Handling For Power
    10) Literbikes Don’t Teach You Anything
    11) Riding A Literbike Isn’t Rewarding

    First, let’s be honest in that the vast majority of sportbike owners will never take their bikes to a track, so we’re really talking about riding on the street here. It should be noted that it’s the height of irresponsibility to ride ANY bike at or near it’s potential on public roads. 600cc bikes, even 250′s can easily exceed most every speed limit (maybe not on freeways in the case of 250′s, but certainly on the fun curvy roads).

    Second, 600′s and, yes, even 250′s are plenty fast enough to get seriously injured or killed on. It’s dangerous to imply by omission that bikes smaller than liters carry no risk. All bikes, carry risk, and especially when it comes to 600′s vs. 1000′s, the actual difference is probably negligible – insanely fast, or even more insanely fast. Even the slower of the two is many times what’s necessary to get someone in trouble.

    Lastly, many of the points make very specific assumptions of the rider’s intentions, motivations and goals. They might be valid in cases where they happen to be true, but undermine the validity of the overall argument in cases where they’re not.

    I ride a liter bike, on the street. Since I’m not out to endanger everyone else on the road by treating the public streets as my personal racetrack, the issues of laziness and the razor’s edge are irrelevant – I don’t want to be banging through the gears like a lunatic all the times or riding on the razor’s edge, because I’m not racing. Liter bikes don’t teach anything? My 60,000+ miles in conditions ranging from snow to 100 degree heat and everything in between would suggest otherwise. I might not be the fastest guy on the street, but I’m proficient and safe. Not rewarding? Just who are you to judge? I’ve traveled the aforementioned 60,000+ miles all over a good portion of the country, and I’ve found those travels immensely rewarding.

    There are reasons, both practical and safety-wise not to operate vehicles beyond one’s abilities. Focus on them, and do it in a way not based on presumption and condescension. Doing otherwise simply turns people, who might be convinced against a literbike, off.

    • FridaysAreFunDays

      …I’m pretty sure that just about everyone who has ridden a motorcycle has done so in an unsafe manner, even an unwise manner, at some point in time.
      Probably more than once.

      Don’t blame it on the bike.

    • Piglet2010

      Owning a sportbike and never taking it to the track is a stupid waste.

      I ride my Honda Elite 110 WOT much of the time without being irresponsible – 50 mph whoo hooo!

      So if you are not going to the track and not using anything near full power and cornering grip on the street, why not get something more comfortable, practical, and less expensive – because that is not as cool as a super-bike?

      I can think of a whole slew of motorcycles I would rather ride than a race-replica at one-quarter throttle and always short-shifting.

      • npco543

        “So if you are not going to the track and not using anything near full power and cornering grip on the street, why not get something more comfortable, practical, and less expensive – because that is not as cool as a super-bike?”

        You’re falling into the exact same presumptuous I was talking about. Exactly who are you to judge what I should or shouldn’t ride based on the type of riding I may, or may not, do? Would you care for me to pass judgement on your choice of car, the house you live in, the shoes you wear? Every Camaro, Mustang, 300Z, etc. on the road can eat up the corners and tear down the straights, should they *only* be owned by people who drive like that on public roads or take them to the track?

        I don’t ride on the track because it I don’t have the time, resources and, honestly, it doesn’t interest me. I’d rather jump out of an airplane for kicks. And although I’m fully capable of, and have done so in the past, I don’t use near the full cornering grip on the street anymore because I now have a family to consider. Comfort? I had a cruiser for several years, and found my sportbike to be far more comfortable. I’ve done several 1,500 to 2,000 mile weekends and, as I said, have put more than 60,000 miles in total on it. If I didn’t find it comfortable, I’d have sold it and bought something that was.

        I like a sporty bike. I like being able to pick my spot entering a highway and go. I like *the option* to be lazy and not shift up and down like a lunatic. I like the long wheelbase and stability at any speed. I’ll be turning 40 this year, and although I’m getting up there, I’m not ready to buy a set of golf clubs and wait to die.

        As I said, there’s any number of reasons to not buy a liter bike. Maybe 1 or 2 of the author’s were objective and valid, the rest were a mix of contradiction, arrogance and presumptuousness.

        • Piglet2010

          Yes, those cars are silly too – I keep an older Honda Civic around for the times I need a car (mostly work related).

          A cruiser? Yes, those are uncomfortable and silly too, and just like race-replica sport-bikes bought more for image than anything else.

          You are fooling yourself if you think a sport-bike is the sensible choice.

          • BigBadDawg

            ” Exactly who are you to judge what I should or shouldn’t ride based on the type of riding I may, or may not, do?”

            You never answered the question.
            Perhaps there is no sensible answer so instinctively you avoid it.

            • Piglet2010

              If I do something irrational because I feel like it, I admit it is irrational and not try to justify it as rational, e.g. for my money I could have had an objectively better bike than my Bonnie, but I like the Bonnie for purely subjective reasons.

              • BigBadDawg

                This is even worse than I thought.
                You apparently think that it is entirely rational to decide for other people what they should or should not be riding.

              • DrKnowItAll

                What about when you do something irrational because you’re simply irrational…even when you try to rationalize something it’s still irrational?
                Can you even recognize your irrationality, not to mention admit it?

            • Mugget

              Don’t take it personally – it seems like our friend Piglet just likes to create and attempt to “win” little internet victories for himself. Which involves completely ignoring any questions that are directly asked. I half suspect that the motivation is to spew forth a sheer mass of comments in the hopes that people will agree or play along so that personal views and beliefs will be reinforced. What can you do?

              • DrKnowItAll

                The mark of a true passive-aggressive is that they silently, passively sit and take whatever is dished out on them until they are no longer under direct observation, and then their aggressive side comes out. Crouching Bunny, Hidden Dragon.

              • HatersWillHate

                Not much you can do. The world is full of idiots and they win just by being stupid enough for long enough.
                You get enough idiots together in one place and suddenly they all become right by mutual agreement.
                That is what the pack mentality is all about.

              • TheTruthIsOutThere

                dude he’s not the only person here with that problem. You see all the deleted messages…

        • DrKnowItAll

          …there are always good reasons to not do something.

          That doesn’t mean that there are no good reasons to do it.
          And vice-versa.

          See, it’s the half thought-out argument that gets me.

          You might as well just open your mouth and babble, you make just as much sense.
          Building arguments on statements that are only true on rare occasion or in highly-limited conditions or even just in an insignificant manner, is just not a good way to go through life. But so many people DO go through life like this.

          But you have to accept that in a world of 6 Billion people, just about every possible position on every possible issue is held by someone out there. And if you’re going to try to reason with most of those people, you’re in a world of trouble. A lot of people out there are completely off their rocker. And even more, just somewhat-so.It’s a fairly good bet that out of all the random people you meet on the street, a good 75 percent of them are incapable of functioning on their own in society.You’re talking about a world run for the benefit of the borderline-insane.

      • BigBadDawg

        “Owning a sportbike and never taking it to the track is a stupid waste.”

        Only if your definition of “efficiency” is riding a 2-wheeled machine with a power-weight ratio of 3lbs/hp around and around at high speed in convoluted circles until you wreck badly enough or go broke enough to finally come to your senses and stop doing it.

        • Piglet2010

          Better yet, if you are not track riding, get something other than a race-replica – e.g. Ducati Multistrada instead of Panigale.

          • CaptainQueeg

            “Better yet, if you are not track riding, get something other than a race-replica – e.g. Ducati Multistrada instead of Panigale.”

            …which brings me to this comment.

            But since it is simply the epitome of so many negative human characteristics, I would have to pour my heart and soul into this forum to make a complete response. And you just aren’t worth that, Piglet, despite your hubris. I’ll just suggest that you take your opinion and go entertain yourself with it in a dark corner of an abandoned building.

            • Piglet2010

              My nym-shifting stalker is back.

              • HatersWillHate

                DumPiggy, technically a stalker is not someone that you reply to. It’s someone you don’t want to correspond with…no interaction is desired.

                So when you reply to me that says that you don’t feel that I’m stalking you.

                So…again you’re just whining without making any sense. But that is par for the course with you.

                Stop responding to my messages and then you might have a leg to stand on.

      • CaptainQueeg

        “Owning a sportbike and never taking it to the track is a stupid waste.”

        Giving birth to you and not teaching you how to think logically was a stupid waste but here you are.

        What is “a stupid waste” is to buy a bike and dump it. Anything that causes you to dump it is, therefore, “a stupid waste”.
        It’s just a question of how stupid and how much was wasted.

        The more that you take your bike to the track the more likely you are to dump it and therefore the more that you are being stupid.
        You must take your bike to the track quite often.

        • Piglet2010

          Why does someone with a brand new Disqus account pop up every other day or so and post lots of negative comments on relatively old posts of mine? The Internet stalker bit does not impress anyone.

  • Literdude

    Half of these also apply to motorcycles in general, to anyone coming from the car world. Motorcycles have outrageously better power-to-weight than cars. Motorcycles get stolen. The edge is not the safest place to be. Motorcycles aren’t any faster than a Yugo, on streets with speed limits. Motorcycles make you a target. Motorcycles cost too much to run. Motorcycles compromise handling (in the rain, snow, etc.) for power.

    Do you ride a motorcycle for practicality? I can’t think of any way in which a motorcycle is more practical than the smallest, cheapest vehicle from any major car company today. Maybe people ride motorcycles because they just like riding motorcycles!

    And personally, my liter (admittedly not as hunched-over as the ones listed here) is the most comfortable bike I’ve ever sat on. I have not figured out what people are doing on a motorcycle that makes them have “back spasms and numb hands” after 20 minutes.

    • CaptainQueeg

      ” Motorcycles aren’t any faster than a Yugo, on streets with speed limits”

      funny how I routinely see bikes blowing-by Yugos despite that opinion.

  • Shaohen Yong

    There’s always the “rain mode” or “street mode” that you can change the bike into.

  • Professor Oak

    Having learned by putting 7k miles on a CBR 250R, I can tell you that smaller bikes are more fun! Pushing the bike to it’s limit is rewarding, and with a 250 you can do that at sane speeds. By the time I was done with that thing, I was riding flat out WOT more often than not, which is something you’ll hardly ever do on a literbike. I put nearly the same amount of miles on my GSX-R600 before I got rid of it, and I never once thought “I need more power.”

    • Sochiro Honda

      ” Pushing the bike to it’s limit is rewarding”

      …so you prefer to use pencils, even your fingers, rather than a computer?
      Still waiting for your first letter to RideApart to get posted here

    • Mugget

      Have you ever ridden a literbike?


      I’m glad you enjoy riding your 250, but unless you’ve ridden a 1000 you have no basis for comparison.

      I agree that there’s a certain type of fun in using a smaller engine to more of it’s capacity, but once you try a literbike (and actually learn how to ride it) there’s nothing else that can provide the same type of enjoyment. You don’t have to ride it flat out, that’s pretty much the whole point for most people (although if you’re on a track, trying to maximise time a 100% throttle is a different type of fun altogether). For about the first 3 weeks I had my GSX-R1000 I was smiling like a loon everywhere I went, and I wasn’t even going over 6,000 RPM.

      • DrKnowItAll

        “I’m glad you enjoy riding your 250, but unless you’ve ridden a 1000 you have no basis for comparison.”

        …”enjoyed” man. He “enjoyed” riding his CBR250.
        Give the guy a break, everything he said is probably true, even that “smaller bikes are more fun!” part.
        At least for him, and that’s all that matters, right?

        …isn’t part of being an expert not caring what anyone else thinks about a subject, just your own opinion?

      • Professor Oak

        I have ridden a liter bike, but I never owned one, so I don’t have extensive experience — probably not to the point to where I could make an honest comparison. With my GSX-R600 I was able to outride guys on literbikes through technical back roads because I simply had more confidence over my ability to manage the power that I did have, and I was able to push harder than them. I could care less about top speed, horsepower or bragging rights. I’ve done my fair share of riding above 150 mph, but I ride supersports bikes for their superior handling and braking, not for the speed.

        • CaptainQueeg

          …either that or you were

          a) a better rider than they were
          b) willing to ride faster than they were
          c) all of the above

          I’m guessing that any of the three above answers are far more likely then you had the power to read their minds.

          Also in passing I must not that while you don’t think that you have enough experience on both types of bikes to compare them, you certainly think that you knew the other riders well enough to compare how you all felt about riding them. Now if that’s true, I’m guessing that there are some relevant facts that you are leaving out of your conclusion.

          Just a few.

      • TheTruthIsOutThere

        You can’t post data on this site that shows that, because the writers and mods here don’t believe it themselves.

        Regardless of actual test data that demonstrates what you say to be true.

        I put up some real-world data based on tests of 2011 600s and literbikes and it was instantly deleted by the mods.

        It showed that an average amateur is much faster on a literbike than on a 600 even on a tight track, even giving the 600s a tire advantage (the 600s were tested with Dunlop racing slicks, the literbikes with Power Pures). Even without rider-aids, as the Gixxer, Honda and Yamaha tested (the R1 didn’t have TC in 2011, I’m not sure the 10R had it then either) did not have them. On the other hand an expert rider is slightly faster on a 600 in the same conditions. We’re talking a tenth or two faster per lap in the hands of a Daytona 200 winning rider, even on a tight technical track. But for a trackday junkie who can only aspire to a pro license, the literbike is plain and simply faster roughly half a second per lap faster, even with that same tire disadvantage.

        The 600s, in general, had some minor advantages, a tenth of a G in braking and a slight advantage in flick-rate, but the literbikes actually cornered harder and accelerated MUCH harder out of turns. Top speed 10mph advantage even again on a short tight technical track. They even had a lean-angle advantage over their 600cc brethren, in some cases.

        It’s just amazing that you put up actual data on this site and it instantly gets deleted.
        I wouldn’t care whether it supports my argument or refutes it, it’s HARD DATA. You have to respect hard data.
        But not here, not with these guys.

        Anything that interferes with the Prevailing Wisdom as determined by the All-Knowing writers and mods here, “boom” goodbye

        • Mugget

          I saw your comment with the data, strange that it was deleted. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but you’re right, seems fishy with all the other comments being deleted as well.

          Do any RideApart staff/mods care to comment I wonder?

          • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

            Disqus holds comments that are very long, have a bunch of links, or meet other parameters in a moderation queue. So, you may see them “disappear” after leaving them. We try to get to those quickly, but understand that it’s not a 24/7 thing, we have to make the content too. We remove very few comments, but have had problems in recent weeks with a persistent troll. His various IP addresses will keep being blacklisted until he’s no longer a problem. I’m not sure what the comment in question was (there’s no placemarker for a deleted one above), but if it was of any value, we wouldn’t have deleted it. It could have been gobbled up in the system, been caught up while removing said troll’s “contributions” or he could have just been an accident.

            • FearOfFailure

              I’ve got an article that I’d like to sell to your site, it’s called “11 ways that Wes Siler is a persistent anti-literbike troll”. Think the owners would be interested?

              …by the way, how long did it take you to sell yoiur RSV4 after that low-speed wreck at night “apexing” a 90deg turn at 35mph and sliding out on broken automotive window-glass that you said that you had no hope of seeing? Maybe instead of writing all these articles about how people shoudl not buy or ride literbikes and how they should wear so much protective-gear? You just need to buy yourself a good paif of glasses and actually wear them when you ride. Along with a testosterone AND an IQ-supplement. Physician, heal theyself. Seriously maybe your big problem is that you’re much better at writing long stupid “hater” articles than you are at riding motorcycles.

              you can delete my messages
              maybe you’d better step up the pace before people read and reply to them…your actions speak louder than your words

          • FearOfFailure

            And there you go. At best classic “pot calling the kettle black”.A site that posts articles that are virtually free of any 1st-party objective test-data engaging, again at best, in what Wiki calls “concern trolling”. If the more that you criticize Wes and his supporters (because clearly by now this has reached a personal stage.well onny objecive or rational discussion) the more that you legitimatize his claims of “trolling”. But what about all of his articles hating on literbiks and people who don’t ride ATTGAT? You really think that such people want to hear his crap?

            This site is nothing more than his trolling platform. When he had his 11th wreck on his personal literbike while riding at low speed in his old neighborhood, he came up with this as a way to deal with the pain and humiliation of his FAILURE as a motorcycle rider. To harass people who regularly succeed where he regularly fails. Now this site is a Mecca for like-minded losers. And he works hard to keep it pure. A token level of disagreement is allowed but nothing substantial. No hard data that challenges the official religion. Drink the Kool-Aid or get banned.

          • FearOfFailure

            …so where were we…oh yes, we were discussing the technical reasons why we love literbikes and don’t see 600s as either an adequate substitute or a superior training-ground, at least, you and I were, before we were so rudely interfered (by the forum mod). Backed up by hard-data. So let me repost that data…

          • FearOfFailure

            remember: “if it had any value, we wouldn’t have deleted it”.
            Remember those words.

            • FearOfFailure

              Certainly Adam Waheed is no Daytona 200 winner, not even close. Even on a tight, technical track even giving the 600s a tire advantage (race slicks vs street tires) Waheed was 1s faster on a 1200cc Panigale, 2 sec faster on a CBR1000RR, over 2 sec faster on a 10R, 2.5sec faster on a Gixxer 1000 and only on the R1 was he actually slower than one the corresponding 600 supersport. Again this is 2011 data so the Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha had no rider aids at all.

              Now that’s hard data.
              Let’s see how long it stays up.

          • FearOfFailure

            let’s try one more.
            remember: “if it had any value, we wouldn’t have deleted it”.
            Remember those words.

            • FearOfFailure

              what you’re looking at above is the onboard telemetry at various sections aroudn the same track (Chuckwalla) witht he same riders. Let’s just take a look at the worst-case for superbikes vs supersports, knowing that already the 600s are runnig on Dunlop slicks vs Michelin Power Pures for the literbikes. We saw below/earlier that the only literbike to lose to a 600 with Waheed riding was the R1. So let’s look at the R1 vs R6 in detail. The bike weights are attached tot his. You can see that the R1 is the heaviest of the literbikes. You can take my word on this, the R6 has MIGHTy quick steering while the R1 is much more stable and sedate-handling. Not bad, but not a 600 by any means. Plus the neweer ones have issues witth he powerband below 3500rpm coupled with long, tight gearing. But still. The R1 beats the R6 at points A & B, exist out of turn 10 and top speed at the end of the short Chuckwalla “straight”, and varies from slightly slower to somewhat slower over the rest of the track. It still only loses by 3/4 of a second out of 2 minutes.

              Performance-wise, on a tight track, the bikes are viirtually the same.
              In fact you can make the case that in some ways the handling “limit” of the literbikes is even higher than for the 600s especially for a rider of moderate skil-level. I won’t say more than that. The data speaks for itself. And again: these are stock literbikes on street tires. Anything more is completely subjective.

  • Chris McAlevy

    Great post. And thank god I live 20 minutes from some glorious twisties.

  • Sochiro Honda

    Ok, my personal 11 reasons why I don’t want a literbike.
    I want a car, or a ZX-14R, instead. Or maybe a small 2-seater aircraft, preferably moderate-bypass turbojet.
    Or I want to use the money for a home-business (but I’d want a literbike after that).
    A vacation in Europe? Oh but then I’d want a bike to ride, no good.
    Hm, anything with travel likewise unless the weather was just totally inappropriate (and then we’d have to change the location).

    Let me think of some more reasons, I’ll get back to you.
    “11 reasons why I don’t want a literbike”, wow, that’s pretty tough. Not sure that I can do it.

  • Wes Silly

    This article is an excellent example of the theory that a lie repeated often enough becomes true enough for government-work.
    It really has little more significance other than it will help to separate the foolish from the wise.

  • Wes Silly

    actually he was right in both counts
    you just lack the intellect to either understand or appreciate it

    • Piglet2010

      New account with a user name that parodies Wes Siler – wonder how long before this nym-shift gets deleted?

  • Piglet2010

    The super-bikes are only about 10% faster in the quarter-mile than the super-sports…

  • g.

    oh yes, the 1199 is terribly uncomfortable. try the HP4.

  • MyOtherBikeIsAnR1

    …prepare to enter the Motorcycle Twilight Zone, where claims and counter-claims will be made at high speed, all expected to be taken for granted with zero supporting-evidence whatsoever.

  • HatersWillHate

    Well I guess that this will be deleted within the next 24 hrs as “haters will hate” but for now let’s attempt to inject some objective data into this discussion.

    Amazingly back in 2011 the intrepid journalists at motorcycle-usa.com did actually test 600s and literbikes
    from a wide range of mfgs on the same track with the same riders, within the same timeframe. They did not publish all the same data for each
    bike (the 600 test showed a little more data) and they did not quite use the same tires (the 600s got Dunlop racing slicks, the literbikes only
    got Micheline Power Pures).

    Anyone want to take bets on what the tests showed?

    Ok I know you’re holding your breath in suspense so let me just post some summary data.

    If you want to see the test results and writeups just go to their site and
    search on their 2011 supersport and superbike shootouts.

    Let the BS begin.

  • BobbiJane

    I’ve been wanting a Ducati but figured the 899 was as brutal as the 1199. Is there hope for me after all? :)

  • Dave Peisley

    I have to agree with Cory most police wouldn’t know what the difference is until they look it up. And its not often that I agree with the law. I got caught speeding on my Rg500 on my Ls and they asked why I stopped I said there is no way you would forget this bike and they said your probably right then they let me off without even looking the bike up think they thought it was a 250 perfect example.

  • fujak

    what an absolute load of bull this article is…..a freaking joke!!!!!

    i fear the author is simply an old jaded grouch who rides a harley or some other tourer…or some kid who can’t afford a big bike yet…. pathetic

  • Honda

    So reason #1 is … the introduction?

    Some of these reasons are awfully specific to your kind of riding. For #6, a good tire only needs replacing every 2000 miles if you buy race tires — a set of Pilot Roads will last a lot longer, and is much more generally useful on the road, especially when it’s wet out. 2000 miles is “once a month” only if you ride 10 hours a week — that’s a lot of racing to do every weekend. I don’t know any motorcycle offhand that requires a suspension rebuild during a valve adjustment, or new chains and sprockets every other tire change (4000 miles?). Maybe if you race it hard, but then, a 600 raced hard will have similarly high maintenance needs.

    Insurance isn’t even that bad, unless you’re in Canada, or a teenager with a history of speeding and crashing a lot. Here in the states, I’m insuring a literbike for just under double what I was insuring my first 250, with the same level of coverage. If you’re riding 2000 miles a month, insurance is not your major concern — you’re spending 5 times that much on gasoline alone!

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  • The_Truth666

    What an absolutely poorly written article. Honestly!

    2. Don’t have to try terribly hard? Litre bikes are more challenging to ride around a circuit and down the 1/4 mile. Down the 1/4 mile that front end is more prone to lifting up and you need a good clutch hand as well as throttle control to get the most out of the bike. The difference between a pro rider and some average joe could be as much as 2 seconds in just a 1/4 mile straight away!……..Not as challenging around a circuit? Are you kidding me. The bike isn’t as easy to throw around as a 600. It accelerates faster which means your braking points need to be perfect. Coming out of a corner if you are not smooth all the increase in tq could cause the rear tire to slip and have you high side. Unreal!!!

    5. Litre bikes aren’t really any faster than a 600 HAHA! A 600 will not hit 170mph easily and not 95% as quick. Are you kidding me! Most 600′s would be lucky to pass a TRUE GPS 155mph. Clearly you are going off the speedometer. The difference in acceleration between a 115whp 600 and 175-190whp litre bike that pretty much weighs the same is unreal. You don’t know what you are talking about…………….Lap times are only similar on “SHORT” tracks. Any of the fast tracks well net a few seconds difference every lap. Look at the superbike series across the world. I mean at a recent race the 600′s were getting lapped after 12 laps!!!!!

    • SmgZx10r

      So true….I think the guys on glue!

  • The_Truth666

    How can someone that rides write such a ridiculous article. You sound like someone that has never even been on a lire bike before, not someone that actually rides “and drags knee in the rain”!

    Terrible uncomfortable? LOL! Litre bikes are just as comfortable as 600′s if not more! Have you only been on a Ducati or something? Are you going to tell me that the big engine zx14r and Hayabusa are not as comfortable too LOL! Where do you get these ridiculous claims from!

  • Anton Zaitsev

    just cool

  • david gray

    I’m old (55) so my opinion probably won’t count :-) but after 40 years of riding all year round… rain and snow (which I don’t advise, even if like me you cannot afford a car as well). I’ve ridden a variety of motorcycles and anyone who asks me I tell them “buy a 600…. the best was the cbr600f last made in 2004″. They commute, they can tour and at a track can scratch with the best…. lower insurance, lower running costs and easier to handle. So although I agree with the article, why do I ride a 2012 gsxr 1000. Simple, that is the bike that I want…. power with a leaning towards road instead of track, adjustable footpegs, respect from other riders and (even at my age) attention from the ladies :-) oh almost forgot to mention 3rd gear wheelies up to 130mph

  • 4getdave

    The reason a liter bike IS a good idea is just the fact that it goes with less effort. You DON’T have to shift as much, you DON’T have to try as hard, and you can go as fast as you like. Also, the bigger engine lasts longer, is more reliable since you aren’t revving the piss out of all the time, and overall the experience is better. Just keep in in a garage, use it for recreation, not commuting, and everything is cool…

  • P Ricardo Mondragon

    I prefer nothing less than a liter bike. My first bike was a 1991 zx6 after about 4 months I was wishing I had purchaded a bigger bike. Then in 1992 the cbr 900 rr was available. I immediately traded in my zx 6 toward purchase of the 900rr. I never regretted doing that for one second. I still have the 900rr to this day. In 2009 I purchased a 2009 R1and it became my favorite of the two. I love the power delivery of the cross plane engine and if I want to dial the power delivery down I can do it with the flick of a switch. But I prefer full power most of the time. Then I always wanted a v twin and was going to get a penigali when they came out but didn’t want to wait 5 months as they were imediatly backordered so I got a diavel and I love it. Although I still like my R1. The diavel is now my favorite bike, it handles good enough to have plenty fun on back roads, its comfortable and the acceleration will put a grin on your face. Although the current generation of 600cc sport bikes are lighter and have more power than my 1991 zx6 had. I would never buy a 600 again.They just dont have the torque and acceleration that I like. I have been riding since 1991. I love my liter bikes.

  • Dalton gsxr

    That writer’s ex-gf must have ran off with a dude on a literbike, what a idiot

  • c-lo

    This is clearly an article from someone who rides a a 600 or below. There are huge differences between the classes. “Today’s bikes are closing in on 200 bhp at the crank.” This comment makes no sense. If there was no difference, why are their different classes in racing? This is also clearly and article from someone who did not do any research.

  • ron

    You are an idiot to say a 600 is anywhere near as fast as a 1000 that’s just retarded I have always ran a liter bike and my buddies have 600s I put the behind me from start to finish. Your list just make you look butt hurt about getting beat by liter bikes your whole life and not being a good enough rider to control one

  • Johnny Nightrider

    I had 2 bikes that I never got stopped by the police or had any accidents or hassles or problems.My 1986 Suzuki GSXR 750 blue and white with a yoshimura pipe.A tinted windscreen and blue and silver tipped flames painted on the tank.Got stolen 1 year after bought it.The one day I didn’t use my Kryptonite lock at work.The other bike was my 2009 Yamaha FZ6 with a tall tinted puig racing screen.My favorite motorcycle thus far.Goes to Las Vegas,the canyons,the beach,the city,and its a great bike.Only one small thing.On a hot 100 plus day in city traffic runs warm though stays under the danger level.I heard the FZ1 has the same small problem on hot days in city traffic.I test drove a FZ09 on a hot day and it ran cool and smooth.The FZ07 is probably the same way.I don’t know about the FZ8.It would be cool to own a FZ6,FZ6R,FZ07,FZ8,FZ09,and a FZ1.Six Yamahas to have and keep nice.In reality I would want to have a FZ07 and a FZ09.Would be very nice to have a garage with different bikes you like to ride and work on.Like Jay Leno.