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"11 Reasons Why you Don't want a Literbike"

3750 Views 40 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  trackdayhero
Interesting article... Some of it doesn't quite ring true, while other points are things I'd suspected all along. Mind you, I've never owned a literbike!

11 Reasons Why You Don?t Want A Literbike | RideApart

Curious to hear what others think.
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#1 reason for me is that power is the least important factor on the track.
Some of that is indeed a stretch but overall I would say it is pretty accurate.

I have been riding motorcycles for 29 years and I still don't feel the need for a liter sport bike. My daily driver is a sport-tourer at 955cc and I will say that for 2 up riding with luggage, the extra power is nice to have. To put that in perspective, that 955 puts out less power than my current ZX6R however.

I have been toying with the idea of getting one for the track mostly because I am finally at a point in my career where I feel that I could safely handle one. It would be more about the experience of lofting the front wheel while drifting the rear coming out of a turn but as fun as that would be, it is hard to use it to justify such a large purchase.

Finally, as far as how it makes for lazy riders, I would tend to agree. I spent most of last year racing against guys on 1000cc bikes with my "little" 636 and beating the pants off of them.

"It is far better to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow"
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I disagree that it will try to kill you every chance it gets. Just because it CAN do what it does, doesn't mean you have to let it.

And having a liter bike doesn't make you a target.. Having any aggressive styled bike makes you a target.

The reason why I stay away from them, is because I don't need that extra horsepower, insurance cost, price premium, or temptation.

IMO you are just as likely to crash a liter bike as a 600. Unless of course you irresponsible and constantly going wot just because you can.
Its like a 30-30 vs 30-06. Both are lethal and get the job done. One just has the potential to hit harder.

My 2c
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1. No they dont NEED all that tech to go fast, WE, the idiots who cannot use them correctly, needs that wheelie control and so on. And this is for sportbikes. My 1200cc GS has less horsepower then the zx6, it just has a lot more torque.

2.No it isnt enough to twist the wrist a bit and then you will win. When i had my slowgoing trackday i rode together with a guy having a zx10. He passed me in the exit of the last corner, being 4 seconds in front of me when he got to the first. After the 4:th corner, i was at his rear wheel again - and i didnt rev higher then 6k rpm that day. exiting the 3rd to last corner, i passed him, and then again, in the exit of the last one, he passed me on the exit, and so we went on. He hated me that day.

3. EXPENSIVE liter bikes get stolen. The new ones, the multistrada, the gs, the panigale. Why? Because when they sell a expensive bike, they get more money than if they sell a cb650 from -92. The 600 sportbikes get stolen for joyrides instead.

4. "you need super tires to get traction for all those 180 hp! And those super tires will make you crash!" Yeah, you do. If you use them all. Information from onboard computery stuff on the isle of man says the average IOM TT rider uses full throttle at about 20% of the course (i dont remember the exact number, but i belive it was somewhere between 15 and 20%) when using a 1000cc bike, when using the 600cc, same figure was about 80-90%. if THEY cant use it more then that, how the heck could you and i do it? You dont need slicks to handle a 1000cc sportbike. Even less if they have tc and so on. A pair of Pilot Road will be good and they are good in rain too.
TBH, last year i rode with a guy on a zx10r using pilot roads, in the alps. in 2-10 degrees C. He didnt ride it on "tip toes" and had a great time.

5. Quite a lot of guys ride over 120 mph with their sportbikes. Main reason the 1000cc owners give for having a 1000cc is that they dont HAVE to use the gearlever all the time, they can miss a gear here or there, they dont get really slowed down anyway, if i were to do the same mistakes as a 1000cc rider - he would leave me far behind.
If you want a sportbike and you want it to be really fast - a liter bike is the way to go. The 600 might be enough, but for those who want the worst - a liter bike is all there is.

6. All sportbikes are a target of the police. Period.

7. The tires cost more, yes. But again, the tires for my 600 cost more then for my 400, and they cost more then the ones for the gs. Its a part of the package. Tire wear are in your control - full throttle on track tires or easy on the throttle on touring tires, its your choise.

8. They are often more comfortable then the 600麓s since they are bigger.

9. This is a bit right. The example is silly though. ok, 11mm wider wheelbase, but the larger tire? Ever heard about tire profile?

10 Fuck it. i dont have the time to do this anymore. That site is bullshit.
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I'm really proud of my "less than liter" bike, so I should write an article of why no one should ever own one. FTW! :whocares:
"11 Reasons Why you Don't want a Literbike"

I'm really proud of my "less than liter" bike, so I should write an article of why no one should ever own one. FTW! :whocares:

I bet the writer has a 998cc ducati...
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I've only got 400 miles on my new liter bike so far so I can't say too much. But what I can say is those 400 miles were a hell of a lot of fun. :) I'll know soon enough if I'm faster or slower on it on the track here in about a month and I plan on racing it this year instead of the 600. From what I have ridden so far I'm thinking it could be a fun year. Also, the guy says 600s can go 170 and get there 95% as fast as a literbike. Well, I have two 600s and neither one of those can get anywhere near 170. I'm talking about "real" speed here, not "indicated" speed. I got one of them up to 154 on the GPS one time but that was on a ridiculously long straight back road in the middle of nowhere. It took forever to get there and that was down hill with a tail wind. That's also with a full exhaust and full Bazzaz. My new ZX10R gets there in no time with no effort, and can do it going uphill with a headwind. :)
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Article is total horse shit. It's written by someone trying to be "provocative". There are just the smallest slivers of truth in his statements and then they are blown all out of proportion. Just more Internet nonsense.

I'd be willing to bet he hasn't owned a liter bike personally. He has "tried" them at press launches. But obviously his too frightened of them to actually buy one and ride it.

I've had them in the past and they are a whole hell of a lot of fun. I don't currently have one and I think my ZX6R is a whole hell of a lot of fun too. However, the thought of buying one of the new R1's has crossed my mind lately. And if Honda would ever actually sell that RC based V-4 street bike that isn't $70k I'd be all over that one for sure.
For the every day rider or commuter who doesn't hit the track a liter bike is a waste of money. I think most guys buy liter bikes because they are thinking it makes them look cooler. I see more guys with chicken strips on their liter bikes than I do on 600's. You cant ride a liter bike like you stole it on the street. You cant get the traction with the amount of power they put down. The liter bikes are SOOOOO unforgiving too. I rode by buddies TLR1000 and that thing will power wheelie at any speed up to 100mph if you're not careful. You had to let the tires really warm up before getting on it because they would just spin between shifts until they got sticky. After one 4 hour ride I knew that I would never own anything bigger than my 636. It's all the bike I need.
For the every day rider or commuter who doesn't hit the track a liter bike is a waste of money. I think most guys buy liter bikes because they are thinking it makes them look cooler. I see more guys with chicken strips on their liter bikes than I do on 600's. You cant ride a liter bike like you stole it on the street. You cant get the traction with the amount of power they put down. The liter bikes are SOOOOO unforgiving too. I rode by buddies TLR1000 and that thing will power wheelie at any speed up to 100mph if you're not careful. You had to let the tires really warm up before getting on it because they would just spin between shifts until they got sticky. After one 4 hour ride I knew that I would never own anything bigger than my 636. It's all the bike I need.
So. You compare a 636 with a tl1000. You are aware that you could just as well compare a lamborghini countach with a gallardo? They are both supercars, they are both lamborghini, but thats about all they have incommon.
My first bike was a -01 R1. That was the first thing with 2 wheels and an engine that i rode, except for that one try with my firends dirtbike that lasted for 25 minutes.

First of all, chicken strips are not a evidence of speed.
Second: Of course the tl1000 will powerwheelie, the duke 1290 will do the same. Thats what most people use them for. The tl1000 is not a supersport.
Third: It will not powerwheelie by itself. You know that thing on the right handlebar that you can twist. You can kinda control the throttle from there, it isnt on/off.
Fourth: Unforgiving? Did you crash?
Fifth: You really had to warm up the tires you said. What tire was it? What make, model, profile? And what air preassure? How was the suspension set up?
Sixth: Only for track riders you say. So. If you are a lazy commuter. Would you like to go to third gear and stay there all the way to work, or would you like to have to fiddle with the gearbox all the time? Id say the first, and that is what you get from higher displacement bikes.
Seventh: You say you cant get the traction because of the power. Do you think that depends on the bikes engine or rider+suspension+throttle control+tires+air preassure in tires?

Read a bit about the tl1000 and you will understand where im coming from.
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I know where you are coming from to a point. The VTWIN produces a ton more torque than most other liter bikes. He was running Metzler tires on it when I rode it. If you grabbed just a little throttle like to merge onto a highway onramp it would spin the tire unless you had been riding for a while. TLR not a superbike??? The only reason the TLR was built was to compete with the Ducati. You might need to be the one who reads about the TLR.
The other two guys that bought liter bikes when I bought my first bike both went down within the first year of riding. One buy bought a cbr , the other an R1. Both guys started on 600's and had been riding for a few years. They both wrecked coming out of corners with too much throttle and the rear tires let loose on them. They had been riding that canyon for years with their 600's and had no problems. So like I said the liter bikes are unforgiving.
I disagree 100% that the chicken strips dont indicate speed. It is a definite indication of speed in corners. If you have a flat spot in the middle of your tire and chicken strips you obviously dont get on it in the canyons or corners. It takes no skill to grab a handfull of throttle and go in a straight line.
My experience with not all but most guys on liter bikes is the liter bike is a waste of money for them. They can't ride a 600 to its full potential so anything bigger is a waste of money. Put even a semi pro rider on a 636 and he would run circles around probably 90% of the liter bike riders all day long. Again this is my opinion and personal experience. Maybe some guys have different experiences than I have.
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I vote for riding whatever makes you happy. I race a 600 and a 1000. The 1000 by far gives the biggest grins. There is nothing out there that compare to feeling of opening up a 1000 out of a turn. Taking the care to roll in on at just the right speed, it feels like you're more involved. I actually enjoy that feeling of terror as the front wheel lifts off and the rear spins up though, so maybe I'm just a bit :crazy I keep saying I don't like it to myself, but then every time I go to sign up for the next race, I'm all "Hell yeah 'A' Superbike!!!!"

For the street, I can see the appeal of a 1000 more. I actually prefer a larger engine bike on the street. Cruising around at low rpms with all the torque is more pleasant to me than wringing out a smaller bike. But I can see the appeal of revving a bike up too, I had a ton of fun on a Aprilia rs50 for a year, going full throttle through 6 gears, all to end up at the speed limit in my neighborhood.

Seriously though, do what makes you happy. If you're wanting to be the fastest kid on the circuit, picking a displacement is already done for you by the licensing organization. Otherwise, have fun out there :nana:
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:popcorn:

Am I the only one finding this amusing......liter bike arguments on a 600 forum? :laugh
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Lots of strong opinions here :).

I don't know that the author was trying to be provocative or raise everyone's ire, but I can see how that's inevitable.

Here's a follow up question: The author poses a point I don't apply specifically to engine displacement, but generally to all hobbies. Whether it's motorcycling, photography, a kayaking, sinking a ton of dough into the best equipment isn't going to make you a better operator. In fact, the cost barrier associated with "needing" the better stuff is too often a deterrent to new hobbyists, and the ones who are unlucky enough to spend all the money and see no improvement because their skills haven't kept pace end up disappointed and sometimes bitterly selling their stuff under cost. With motorcycles, sometimes you end up selling parts.

Now, this article kind of seems like it's written for the newer rider. I agree that it has some factual discrepancies, but besides that in general it doesn't feel like it's meant for the informed practitioner: more the new to semi-new rider.

It seems to me that for that person, the advice of the article is, at least in spirit, spot on. Thoughts?
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Ride what makes you happy , be safe and keep and them right side up everyone!!!!!!
Just for the record, the TL1000R was a miserable failure as a sport bike. It was under powered compared to the I4 bikes of the day and the rear suspension was god awful. In all probability you spun the tire because the tire was garbage, was over inflated, the suspension was set up poorly (it was poor even when set up correctly). If you thought it was to powerful you should be thankful you didn't ride one of the GSXR1000's from that era. I'd put the TL1000R at MAYBE 135hp at the wheel. The GSXR was 160'ish HP.

I had a CBR929RR I bought new in 2001 and I had no issues with it being overly powerful or frightening to ride. It was a great bike. Lots of fun to ride. And it wouldn't spin the tire unless you wanted it to. You would have to be really ham fisted with the throttle to get the tire to spin up.
:popcorn:

Am I the only one finding this amusing......liter bike arguments on a 600 forum? :laugh
Well, it's not that surprising. There are tons of people here who either have 1k bikes as a second bike, or are considering getting one. Personally I'd love to have an S1000RR (I think).
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Well, it's not that surprising. There are tons of people here who either have 1k bikes as a second bike, or are considering getting one. Personally I'd love to have an S1000RR (I think).
And I would love to have a new gen zx10r :sigh:

Actually.....screw liter bikes....I want a Zx14r! :yumyum:
Some of those same arguments can be made about your run-of-the-mill 600cc bikes as well. Comfort? Try the 2012 6R for comfort!
And I'll be damned if your average cop is able to tell a literbike from a 600cc bike. They'll target supersport bikes with equal vengeance. If it looks racy, schlop a huge ticket on it.

And, what about the engine characteristics and power delivery (hint: torque)? I'd wager that a literbike may be somewhat friendlier for the street than a 600, the latter without much meat at the lower revband.
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