Wanna be the fastest and worst rider for your next group adventure? Then, you must know what a liter bike is.
Actually, the key feature of a liter bike is hidden in its name. It is a motorcycle that has an engine with a liter of displacement. The engine capacity of these bikes is 1,000 cc that is equivalent to 1,000 milliliters.
In simple words, the maximum fuel capacity of such motorbikes is about 1.0 liters. They are made for racing as they are capable of reaching amazingly high speeds. Many riders call them to track weapons that can be used on the road to win every single competition.
You may have heard of the famous YZF R-1 model by Yamaha. If you do some basic research on it, you will see that the engine displacement of that bike isn’t 1,000 cc. In fact, the displacement of YZF R-1 is near 998 ccs. Yet, it is one of the most popular liter bikes.
Basically, this powerful bike has a giant 4-stroke 4-cylinder DOHC engine. And, when this package comes together, it makes this bike a true beast in the world of motorbikes. A scary proposition for any rider. So, now you know what a liter bike is.
Are Liter Bikes the Fastest?
As these motorcycles are race-oriented, one thing people expect from them is ludicrous speed. In reality, except for Veyron by Buggati or the latest Chiron, they are as fast as light. To name a few, the Yamaha R1, Suzuki GSX-R, and S 1000 RR by BMW are equipped with the fastest engines.
Honestly speaking, when these machines are on the road, they can beat cars, bikes, or any other type of vehicle that comes to your mind. This is only possible because of the strong engine of the liter bikes.
These engines are extremely powerful that can touch a high RPM. Surprisingly, you get the stratospheric speed with a very lightweight exterior. Moreover, this power-to-weight ratio results in a super speedy sports bike.
Sometimes, this combination can be a dangerous proposition for people. Besides that, power is not useful if you don’t have complete control over it. Like any other bike, you must have a bit of experience with heavy bikes before going out on a voyage. Today, literbikes are among the motorcycles that are highly in demand.
However, we don’t advise our readers to invest in any big motorcycles if they are new at racing. Because to roll at high speed, you must know to maneuver it comfortably is the main reason. At a speed of 100mph, you can lift the front tire of these bikes from a prod of the throttle. Thus, it is not safe for those who are inexperienced. Still, if you want to own one, practice your control first on the street.
Apart from that, Liter bikes have racing tires as well. Due to that, the grip of the tires on a dry track is pretty great. Having said that, you can’t rely on the grip when you’re traversing on a rainy day. Similarly, it is possible to slip in the middle of the highway if the road is slippery. At the same time, riding a literbike in the rain can be an exciting experience that can change your life.
The Evolution Of a Liter bike
Let’s move forward by discussing the initial days of literbikes. The history of these bikes takes us to the era when the American 90-degree V-twin was invented. For the first time, a 1,000 cc was seen in 1908. Then, the iconic Vincent Black Shadow and Brough Superior’s SS100 had a displacement of 998 ccs.
You must be thinking about what inspired the makers to design a literbike. Engines were always available in all shapes and sizes. And, it is not difficult to place a liter’s worth of displacement into a motorcycle. Usually, the multi-cylinder designs are suitable for these types of engines. Moreover, 1,000 is a figure that sounds attractive. For marketing, it is a good feature.
Even though they had an integral part in the history of motorbikes, Brough Superiors and Vincents were not actual literbikes. Years after these bikes were made, the manufacturers began extracting more power from displacement. Eventually, they gave them this name.
Displacement didn’t affect a motorbike’s performance in a negative way. However, the engines needed to have more efficiency. With time, motorcycle engines started to get better in every aspect. Obviously, for handling a greater power, the bikes needed to upgrade the brakes, bodies, suspensions, and comfort level for extended rides. Consequently, the fast high powered motorcycles were expected to have high spec parts.
In the 1980s, the manufacturers started to pay more attention to the performance of these motorcycles. They realized that these hogs needed aerodynamic support to perform brilliantly. And, finally, Suzuki’s first literbike was launched in the market. The GS1000S was every racer’s fantasy.
After a decade, fast production bikes continued to have the similar bodywork or fairings that we see today. Motorbikes such as Yamaha FZR-1000 and the Kawasaki ZX-10 were lightweight, speedy, and were a nice addition to this category. Also, naked versions of these became famous. They offered the same performance with a durable and comfortable seating position. Even in recent times, such large naked bikes with a sporty touch are considered as literbikes.
World Superbike (WSBK) and MotoGP changed some rules in the 2000s. Because of that, once again, liter-class race bikes became the talk of the town. Since then, the literbikes are successful as highly functional fast motorcycles, and they are leading the industries with excellent sales.
In this article, we have tried to answer the most frequently asked question by beginner motorbike riders that what is a liter bike. From the history to their current status in the market, you know the details. Whether you must buy it or not, we will leave the decision to you. We will just say that there are many things that you do for the first time in life. So, go with your gut if you are really interested in them.