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Home Forums General Discussion Chit Chat How much horsepower do you really need?

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  • #35316

    Eddieb
    Keymaster
    • Location:
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV
    • Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Here’s a great blog post from the UK about how much of your motorcycle’s power you actually use.

    The writer refers to a test performed for a UK bike mag years before where they took a Suzuki GSX-R600, Yamaha XJR1300, Honda ST1100 Pan European and Harley V-Rod and fitted them with datalogging gear to measue how much throttle, HP etc was used on the same local route.

    The results were fascinating. The XJR1300 was the only bike to use more than 70bhp, peaking at 89bhp, but only for about ten seconds in the 48 minutes it took to complete the route. The Pan European had the highest average power-used figure at 43.8bhp and the GSX-R600, being ridden by a fast racer averaged just 29bhp and never got above 50bhp once.

    This was because on the road you use your throttle (and therefore power) to accelerate up to a certain speed and then back off, holding a steady throttle to maintain that speed. It needs a certain amount of power to achieve that speed, but once there, you only need a whiff of throttle to overcome the airflow and maintain momentum. Arrive at a corner and you need to slow down. Once through the corner, you accelerate up to speed again.
    The reason the heavy tourer used almost twice as much power as the sports bike is because at every corner on our very twisty route it had to slow down more (because it was heavy and handled much worse) and consequently, then had to accelerate harder to get back up to speed, which used more power.
    The good-handling sports bike had to slow down much less for the corners and so needed less power to accelerate back up to speed. So, in order to use our bikes most efficiently, Honda should be making 200bhp Pan Europeans and 60bhp Fireblades.

    Read the full article: https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial/news-and-views/blog/how-much-horsepower-does-my-bike-use

    #35341

    Muzz67
    Participant
    • Location:
    • Bike:
    • Rank: 800cc Rider

    Ha! The instant I saw the title, I jokingly thought ’29’!
    Thats all my bike had from new, and most of those have escaped over the years but how-ever many are left is still adequate…

    #35359

    Shane Keat
    Participant
    • Location:
    • Bike:
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    I had 27hp on my last bike and that wasn’t enough, i now have a LAMS DL650 and i feel like thats too much at 47hp lol

    #35362

    Gremlin
    Participant
    • Location:
    • Bike: 2010 BMW R1200GS Adventure
    • Rank: 1200cc Rider

    100-120HP is my magic number, but I don’t do the really technical stuff, and clock up a lot of road km. More than 120 and I’m liable to get into trouble that I didn’t intend on. Less and I get bored.

    It’s also how your HP is delivered. CB919 probably has the least, then the R1200GSA, then the 1090R, from smoothest to punchiest as well.

    #35367

    Eddieb
    Keymaster
    • Location:
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV
    • Rank: 1200cc Rider

    <cite> @Gremlin said:</cite>
    100-120HP is my magic number, but I don’t do the really technical stuff, and clock up a lot of road km. More than 120 and I’m liable to get into trouble that I didn’t intend on. Less and I get bored.

    It’s also how your HP is delivered. CB919 probably has the least, then the R1200GSA, then the 1090R, from smoothest to punchiest as well.

    In reality how often do you use all of that 100-120HP, what percentage of your riding is at full throttle? You’re probably only using maybe 2/3’s of it. A 100-120HP motorcycle gives you the midrange power you want but 99% of people would rarely use the full power available to them regularly.

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