What Are Liter Bikes? And Should You Get One? Here’s The Scoop.

If you’ve been a fan of bikes from an early age, you’ve probably wanted a liter bike at some point in your life. It’s a sports bike everyone wants sooner or later.

Teenagers tend to go for 250cc engine motorcycles, but after a while, they want more. Most people who love sports bike usually go up to 1000cc engines, otherwise known as liter bikes. 

Buying it for a teenager might not be the best idea because it might be too powerful for someone with only a year of experience.

Still, continue reading to find out what liter bike is and whether or not you should buy one.

What Is a Liter Bike?

This is a motorcycle with a 1000cc engine. 1000cc is the same as 1000 milliliters which are equivalent of 0.1 liters, and that’s how they got the name ‘liter bike.’

They’re derived from racing and are all about crazy speed. In essence, they’re made for the track but can easily be used on the street as well.

These bikes are quite fast due to their engine size. They match any sports car as well thanks to the great engine displacement of 1000cc. Though you can use them in the street, think about whether or not you’d have where to put the speed to use.

Probably one of the most popular examples is the Yamaha YZF R-1. Though it’s not 1000cc, it’s at 998cc of displacement and is considered a liter bike as well. It has a 4-stroke 4-cylinder DOHC engine with a displacement of 998cc.

Much like the R-1, other similar bikes are beasts in their own rights. They range in specifications, but the engine displacement remains at high.

How Fast Are They?

Liter bikes are the fastest vehicles you’ll come across on the road. The Yamaha R-1, BMW S 1000 RR, and Suzuki GSX-R are among the fastest machines that will cross any car or motorcycle.

They do it with ease thanks to their extremely powerful engines with high RPM, lightweight bodies and power-to-weight ratio.

Think of it logically; these are used for professional racing so they must be fast enough for the purpose. However, that speed might not mean a lot to you if you don’t have a clear road to enjoy it on. You can use it for commuting, but if you stick to the town, you might never experience its high-speed abilities.

They’re fast, but there’s more to it. Due to such power and speed, these aren’t so simple to control. More so, riding it in the rain is difficult and scary.

image of black Yamaha YZ R25

Cons of This Type of Motorcycle

These are super-fun bikes that attract attention with their performance and looks wherever you go. However, there are a few cons to owning such a motorcycle although it’s all subjective to how you feel about speed tickets and maintenance costs.

First and foremost, liter bikes get stolen all the time even in broad daylight and from a locked garage. To lock it, you’d have to carry a heavy chain and a disk lock every time you’re going for a ride.

Plus, locking it is tricky since you’d have to find a heavy and immovable object to secure it to every time you park somewhere.

As we briefly mentioned, you’ll need a wide and a straight road in order to fully experience what it offers. Surely, it can go up to 200 mph or even more, but that’s not worth much in the city. Just ask yourself when’s the last time you went above 100 mph with your bike.

You should also consider the running cost of owning such a vehicle. It’s equipped with high-performance tires that usually cost from $250 to $300 per set. Plus, you’d have to replace them once every 2,000 miles.

Chains and sprockets also require replacing each time you replace the tires. Don’t forget the insurance premiums since they’re usually quite expensive for these bikes as well. These motorcycles are costly to buy, but many people often forget they’re equally as expensive to maintain.

One thing you maybe didn’t know is that liter bikes are uncomfortable. They have thin seats, high pegs, and small screens, which means they aren’t so well-suited for people above 5 feet.

After about thirty minutes, you’d get numb hands, back spasms, and lower back pain. It might not sound like much if you’re young, but the older you get, the more difficult it will be to enjoy the ride.

Plus, going across the country with this motorcycle will get you there faster, but you’ll probably have to make more frequent stops.

Last but not least is the fact that the police will always be at your neck. Think about it; you’re riding a flashy and noise bike that can go as fast as 200 mph.

It’s only normal that the police will have their cameras pointed at you when they see you. Needless to say that getting a speed ticket on this bike is the easiest thing ever.

And They’re Stolen A Lot

image of white liter bike parkingAs we said, these speedy machines are the fastest beasts on the road. On top of that, they’re noisy, feature flashy colors and look quite attractive at all times. As such, they are often targets for thieves and opportunists.

Locking such a motorcycle isn’t always easy since suitable locks are quite heavy and tricky to carry around. If you leave it parked and unlocked for hours, you shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t find it where you left it.

You might not find it where you parked it even if you were away for only a few minutes. These are expensive and popular vehicles, so thieves often wait and follow owners until they grab the opportunity to snatch the bike.

Sometimes, liter bikes get stolen from locked garages and luxury apartments. Anything is possible so make sure to secure it the best way you can.

Why They are Hard to Control

Most people think they’re easy to control since they’re considered lightweight. However, they have too much power and speed which often compromise handling.

Bigger bikes require longer wheelbase and conservative steering geometry. The complete construction is designed to improve stability, but as a result, it’s slower to turn and more challenging to control on the road.

Plus, riding at 100-200 mph means less time to react and control the bike appropriately. This is precisely why it’s recommended you don’t ride it in the rain. The slippery road could be dangerous at such high speeds.

If you’re going that fast, simple spot of engine oil on the road could cause you to lose control over the vehicle. Though these are hard to avoid on the road, it’s something you should be aware of.

Keep in mind that you probably won’t struggle with control when riding full-speed only. It’s a bike meant for speedy rides, so it acts even weirder when it’s going slow. It’s large, bulky and keeps you in a somewhat uncomfortable position which all contributes to how well you can react and control the vehicle.

When It’s Helpful to Have One

These motorcycles are designed for high-speed performance on tracks and open roads. There’s no other type of a vehicle that could match the speed and performance of a liter bike.

Though they could work against you in some situations, these are ideal for track racing. If you’re a racer, you need a beast like this to achieve the best results. Taking such a motorcycle on a racing track is a whole another experience for most people.

When in the hands of a skilled and experienced rider, it’s a true star of the track. On top of that, it can help you further improve your skills if you use it responsibly and on an adequate track.

Special Note to Beginners

These aren’t for everyone, but we do love and appreciate them for what they are. However, they most definitely aren’t a good option for beginners with little to no experience. If you’re buying your first bike, you should try something else.

Acceleration takes only a second and a small flex of your wrist. They’re insanely fast and as such, a bad idea for beginners especially if you’re looking for your first bike.

The truth is that you probably won’t have the time to enjoy your new bike because you’ll be too focused on controlling it. It takes skill to control these motorcycles even if you’re not riding fast.

If you’re a newbie, you should consider getting something that’s easier to control and has less power. This allows you to master your skills without the insane risk of crashing into other vehicles or pedestrians.

If you don’t have the experience, you probably won’t get much of it with a liter bike. It’s a vehicle made for serious enthusiasts that have control and speed as their second nature already. Plus, you’ll probably find it even more uncomfortable than it already is.

Beginners who opted for a liter bike as their first motorcycle almost always ended up hating the experience. Give yourself some time and enjoy riding other bikes before you opt for this speedy machine.

More Reading: Women’s Motorcycle Riding Beginners Guide


Not every rider wants a liter bike, but they’re all equally as impressed with them. These fast beasts are flashy and attractive, so prepare to turn heads whenever you ride through the city.

Still, it’s crucial you understand the cons and dangers of riding such a motorcycle. It’s fast and tricky to control which can be even more dangerous if you’re riding through traffic.

Don’t let this turn you away from buying the motorcycle, but make sure to be a responsible rider. Don’t go full-speed in the city and don’t forget to wear all the protective gear.

Additional Resources:

The team at Road Racerz aims to be a source of knowledge for all riders, whether they are beginners, intermediate, or have been riding for 20+ years. We want everyone to enjoy safer rides and have access to rider-specific content to get the most out of every mile.

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