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2009 Literbike Shootout

31982 Views 73 Replies 62 Participants Last post by  TedEbear

It's been nearly 12 years since I began working as a full-time motojournalist, and I get wistful for those simpler days. Back then, the literbikes (CBR900RR, ZX-9R, GSX-R1100 and YZF1000) were separated by nearly 100 pounds of weight and huge power disparities, and ergonomics ranged from racetrack refugee to something we now call sport-tour-y. Even a neophyte motojourno could pick a clear winner.

But today, we're stuck in a world of finely honed and fully featured literbikes whose level of diversity is amazingly insignificant. They all haul ass around a racetrack, chassis geometry distinctions are measured in fractions, and peak horsepower differs only by about 5%. Unless you're a nationally ranked Superbike racer, each of these bikes is way better than you are, and saying one is significantly better than another is mere hair-splitting.

If a person could ride a bike blindfolded (maybe next shootout…), they'd be hard-pressed to discern which literbike they were on. Jumping from one model to another at the racetrack, it was astounding to be fully comfortable running quick laps immediately on another brand's bike, as they all have remarkably high performance envelopes yet are amazingly user-friendly for what are essentially road-bound missiles.

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GO HONDA!! Wish those guys had a UK spec Fireblade. That would really show em haha
GO HONDA!! Wish those guys had a UK spec Fireblade. That would really show em haha

Can anyone get the vids to work on that site? I have been trying to watch the vid review but it does nothing.
Can anyone get the vids to work on that site? I have been trying to watch the vid review but it does nothing.
Are you still having problems with that?

If you are, you can try viewing the videos on Youtube.

Here's the video for the shoot-out:

And here's the Youtube channel:
The video player on the website is way too small. I bet you the admins favorite bike is the CBR ;)
RoadRacing World just released their 1000CC Shootout results.

I won't spoil it for ya.

Suffice it to say the new Yamaha 09 R1 did not fare well. To HEAVY and not enough power. Yamaha finally out gimmicked themselves. What Ben Spies is racing is not why you buy off the showroom floor.

2009 Superbike Smackdown VI Street

Check on page 7 where it reads "So there you have it. Another year passes and the Honda CBR1000RR remains on top as the champ in the street portion of this year’s Superbike Smackdown VI. Although Ducati, Suzuki and Yamaha stepped up with updated machinery, which all of our testers thoroughly appreciated, they didn’t deliver motorcycles with the total package. They didn’t present a bike that excelled at the fundamental basics of an entertaining motorcycle ride: Power, control and ease-of-use. These are the basic attributes Honda has in spades. Sure it doesn’t look the coolest and doesn’t the coolest sound, but it just plain works - everywhere. And that’s why for the second consecutive year Honda’s CBR1000RR is the best street bike money can buy. "

2009 Honda CBR1000RR - Winner
MSRP: $12,999
Curb Weight: 447 lbs.
Horsepower: 149.64 @ 10,700 rpm
Torque: 76.62 lb-ft @ 9600 rpm
Quarter Mile: 9.68 @ 138.8 mph
60 to 100 mph Roll On (fourth gear): 4.17 seconds
Top Speed: 183 mph / 294 kmph
Average MPG: 33.1

2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 - 2nd Place
MSRP: $12,899
Curb Weight: 460 lbs.
Horsepower: 155.16 @ 11,700 rpm
Torque: 74.74 lb-ft @ 10,100 rpm
Quarter Mile: 10.01 @ 141.9 mph
60 to 100 mph Roll On (fourth gear): 4.64 seconds
Top Speed: 186 mph / 299 kmph

2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R - 3rd Place
MSRP: $11,799
Curb Weight: 459 lbs.
Horsepower: 155.85 @ 12,200 rpm
Torque: 72.72 lb-ft @ 9000 rpm
Quarter Mile: 10.05 @ 141.5 mph
60 to 100 mph Roll On (fourth gear): 4.61 seconds
Top Speed: 186 mph / 299 kmph
Average MPG: 31.89

2009 Ducati 1198 - 4th Place
MSRP: $16,495
Curb Weight: 447 lbs.
Horsepower: 150.36 @ 9700 rpm
Torque: 86.73 lb-ft @ 8100
Quarter Mile: 10.09 @ 139.9 mph
60 to 100 mph Roll On (fourth gear): 4.6 seconds
Top Speed: 178 mph / 286 kmph
Average MPG: 27.8

2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 - 5th Place
Curb Weight: 476 lbs.
Horsepower: 146.08 @ 11,800 rpm
Torque: 73.12 lb-ft @ 9000 rpm
Quarter Mile: 10.53 seconds @ 137.5 mph
60 to 100 mph Roll On (fourth gear): 4.81 seconds
Average MPG: 29.61
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The CBR is such a superior bike to anything out there right now, especially the R1. I went to a local bike dealership before buying my new blade and the sales guy wouldn't stop raving about the R1... so he let me take both bikes out for a test ride back to back. Let me tell you that the R1 (boring to ride) was horrible and everything about it felt cheap. After getting off that and jumping onto the CBR, I knew what I had to get... two days later I had my new CBR
We are slightly prejudice!

I know it is a well known love the bike and think it is the best when you own it, but, in truth even when I own something if I ride something that is clearly:cool: better I will admit it! I have to say that when it comes to rideability and seriously easy to handle at parking lot spead and on the open road, my 2008 CBR 1000rr is the best I been on. Now, at the Drag Race track I race a Turbocharged/Intercooled Vrod and love it. Some people see something once and hate it, some people follow the crowd and like to run with the winners. This liter bike is just sweet to ride and that is hard to argue with! :th_salute:
looked at a new R1 and it is a (FUP), fat ugly pig......:th_down:
The CBR is so great that it also won the 2009 shootout:

2009 Literbike Shootout
Honda CBR1000RR vs Kawi ZX-10R vs Suzuki GSX-R1000 vs Yamaha YZF-R1, with a side of Ducati 1198S

Excerpt from the above article:

The Finish Line

First Place
Honda CBR1000RR – 96%

We liked the CBR so much last year that we knew it was still going to be a contender. But we weren’t sure how it would stack up against its newly minted competition. We need not have worried, as the 1000RR is a stellar performer regardless of what a rider asks of it.

“This bike is just so perfect!” raved Speed Kelly. “It’s so easy to ride – fast or slow – and no other bike has such a complete package. It’s so good that I want one.”

I love my CBR? the ABS? you can't even tell it's there ...
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No surprises there. I coulda told you the Honda pizzowns all else :eek:wned:
in the UK MCN and Superbike magazine have the R1 ahead. The other magazines I have so far read put the CBR at the top.

I've ridden the 1198, the R1 and the Ninja and own the Blade.

Looking at the review above I agree whole heartedly with the summary on handling and braking. To me, with power being there and there abouts, this is the single most important criteria when choosing a litre bike. And not just handling for getting around a track quicker - handling, predicatability and confidence that has saved my ass a number of times on the road too.

The reviewer points out that trying to pick a winner is splitting hairs but having ridden 4 of the 5 bikes in the test I have to disagree. Going from the Blade to the other bikes on the street feels very different. It's the only bike that doesn't feel like a litre bike in size weight and handling ability. In fact, if the Blade didn't exist I would probably go for a Gixxer 750 before any of the others.
Ive owned all brands (currently gsxr 06 1k suzuki) of supersport 1k bikes but never a Honda...till now,I'm so impressed by this bike.
Its ridiculous how easy it is to ride.... insanely fast,almost effortless.

Good work Honda
HONDA'S RACING BIKES HISTORY will be (before and after ) 2008... everyone got the BLADE will be part of this LEGEND.
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