Bikeland's 2007 Literbike Dyno Shootout

Got a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket and ready to step up to the 2007 Liter Bike plate? Bikeland cranks out the numbers on the Area P Dyno with Kerry Bryant at the controls.

This year's list of contenders grows to include Ducati's 1098. A drastic cut in MSRP puts the all new Italian masterpiece within putting range of the Big 4, and now worthy of inclusion in our shootout - an Italian literbike finally in reach of the pocketbooks of mere mortals.

As the priciest of the bunch, the 1098 comes equipped with kit you'll definitely not find standard on a Japanese bike, including Marchesini wheels and Brembo binders. Great as drooling material or even as something that would look nice parked in your living room, the biggest stumbling block anyone has with this sold-out model is getting their hands on one.

Included in our test - Yamaha's R1, Ducati's 1098, Suzuki's GSX-R1000, Kawasaki's ZX-10R and Honda's CBR1000RR.

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Fresh off the pump, we pulled Bryant aside to grab some candid thoughts about these '07 machines.

Here's what he had to say...

"The most obvious 'improvements' for the 1000 class in 2007 are the Yamaha R1, of course the Ducati 1098.

The Yamaha has significantly improved in peak power output, averaging 7 - 8 more at peak than previous '04-06 models. The huge dip in their mid-range power band has been improved, though not completely addressed on the '07 model. An oxygen sensor bung has also been added for 2007.

The Ducati is by far the biggest surprise for '07. It is now 'competitive' in the power department. With the addition of a properly designed aftermarket exhaust system and remap of the fuel curve, it should easily be competitive with any 1000 class bike available. By Ducati standards, it is also reasonably affordable in initial purchase price. Making this bike even more desirable is the fact that maintenance intervals are extended far beyond previous open class Ducs.

The Suzuki maintains the same basic power band as previous. Changes to the exhaust have added 16 pounds to the bike's weight. The exhaust now seems to be a love it or hate it item to be debated. There is a tremendous improvement in power, especially in the mid-range, to be had by converting to a single aftermarket Slip-On. An oxygen sensor bung has also been added for '07 models.

The Kawasaki is basically unchanged from a power output standpoint for '07.

The Honda remains essentially the same since '04. The new '08 Honda is said to have a fresh sheet and should jump up from the bottom of the class of four-cylinder power output. Though it still remains one of the best overall packages."

Crunching the numbers...

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Where does this leave you, the consumer? The least expensive of the bunch and also making the most ponies is the 2007 Kawasaki ZX-10R, also second in line in the torque department.

Winner torque-wise is the 1098. Checking out the torque curve confirms that the luscious Duc pulls like a freight train all the way from the basement to the top floor. Let's face it... Horsepower is great for bragging rights at your local Starbucks, but everyone knows that torque equals fun, and the 1098 delivers in this department.

Where to spend your money? Well, factor in brand loyalty, color, weight, build quality, your credit score and a million other bits of data and the choice is yours. Tale of the tape says that if you can lay your hands on a 1098 and you've got a rich Uncle, you'll be left with a permanent smile on your face - if not - Team Green's the way to go!


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