Kids. For every hard-working junior scholar in the world, there's probably four or five little hooligans who prefer to walk on the wild side. You know, the kids who race their Big Wheels down steep hills, poke bee hives, throw rocks at dogs or joy-ride their mom's car at 15.
The OEMs are grateful for these kinds of kids, as they are the prime demographic for the quartet of outrageously fast and capable machines assembled here.
Does anyone need a bike with an insane power-to-weight ratio that exceeds million-dollar cars? No! But is there a large group of adult-aged kids with a ravenous appetite for adrenaline? Hell, yeah!
And so we have a group of bikes in which the weakest of the bunch pumps out 154 horsepower at the rear wheel, all neatly packaged inside wheelbases tighter than 55.7 inches. They are essentially production racebikes, including only a smattering of street equipment to make them road legal.
More: 2008 Literbike Shootout: ZX-10R vs CBR1000RR vs GSX-R1000 vs YZF-R1