Horsepower & Weight - What's your bike like and is it enough?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ParrotheadJeff, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. I got a pretty good laugh at the open house that BMW Motorcycles of Las Vegas held yesterday. The guys from Dynojet brought their mobile dynomometer and were running any and all bikes on it for free. The sounds coming from that trailer were seriously sweet on quite a few occasions :wink:

    Oh, there were bikes like the Aprilia RSV4, Caponard, BMW K1600GTL, S1000RR... Well, you get the picture. Very nice and expensive bikes were being put on the machine for some real world numbers straight from the rear wheel.

    Now, before I go any further, I have to back up a minute. Back when I was first looking at bikes, I was considering a KLR, DR650, and G650GS, but I was worried that they might not have enough power. Dynojet was about to show me just how ignorant I really am :lol3 I've been riding my V-Star 650 on the street for almost a year now and I really have to say I've enjoyed every single minute of it :clap The only times it's ever seemed to be down on power has been on long uphill grades and when trying to fight a 60 MPH headwind. I've never thought it didn't have enough power for the freeway and it feels like it's got more than enough power around town.

    Well, since the dyno was there and it was free I figured why not? A few people said they expected to see mid 40's for the horsepower. The printer for the dyno computer was on the fritz so they said I could take pictures. Here's what happened (click the pics for full size):

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    The average horsepower for the three runs (I think they were in different gears) was 33.62 HP and the torque was 34.1 lb-ft.

    33 HP?! That's all there is in my 550+ pound bike and it takes my heavy butt everywhere :huh That G650GS has got to be a screaming rocket ship of terror in comparison :photog

    I just about laughed myself silly at how much I didn't know and how much I still don't know :rofl

    The bottom line is that I think it's enough, but I really wouldn't mind more performance if I'm telling the truth :deal I figure I'll continue with the rider weight reduction process (I'm down 70 pounds in the past year as it's difficult to snack while wearing a full face helmet and riding a motorcycle), but I'll probably open up the intake & exhaust along with re-jetting the carbs once I can afford to do that. Hey, if I can get up to 45 HP it'll be about a 36% gain in power :evil

    So what's your situation? How much horsepower do you have, how much does your bike weigh, and do you think it's enough? Also, even if it is "enough" do you still want more?

    Thanks in advance for your answers :beer
    #1
  2. TobyG

    TobyG be happy :)

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    50 HP / 165 kg / 0,303 HP per kilo
    BMW F650 GS w/Touratech Oryx Kit

    Seriously? Enough!

    For me it's like:
    Handling>Power

    Although I have to admit that a 125cc bike (at least 4stroke) would be too weak for me. But I am cool with everything 30 HP and up.
    #2
  3. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Why?

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    My bike has never been on a dyno, but I've seen the results on a bike equipped the same way (after market cans and air filter) and it was 125 HP. It weighs about 460 pounds IIRC. It's a Tuono. I also have the (1 tooth) smaller countershaft sprocket which adds no HP but makes it accelerate faster. It doesn't have the rush of power that an inline four has, but it's fast enough for me. :clap
    #3
  4. Thanks guys! I figure most people on here probably haven't had their bikes on a dyno, so I'm thinking educated guesses or factory HP figures should work fine :wink: Glad you both like your bikes :clap
    #4
  5. feathered

    feathered Been here awhile

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    A tiger 955. Specs say 104hp and 475 lb's dry. It's never been on a dyno, I'm sure the real numbers are lower.

    Especially since I came from a 650 thumper, I appreciate the seemingly endless pull. It's nice knowing I have that extra juice even loaded or with a pillion and on the highway. That said I've never truly 'needed' it to have fun or to be safe.

    I'd like to trade some power for less weight since I do a lot of city riding, but the bike fits me very well and I don't have trouble handling it so I doubt I'll trade soon. Better to just buy another bike, right? :D
    #5
  6. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    I crossed paths with a fellow with a big block Boss Hoss last summer... too bad nobody ran one of those on the dyno! :freaky
    #6
  7. I don't know if they'd have been able to get it in the trailer. The Boss Hoss website says dry weight is 1100 pounds and GVWR is 1675 pounds, but the ramp into the dyno said its max weight capacity is 1200 pounds :lol3

    I've actually seen a couple of those being ridden through Red Rock Canyon and while I wouldn't spend the money, I liked the sound of that engine with its exhaust note like a WWII fighter :wink:
    #7
  8. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

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    my slightly modded 06 fz1 has 140+ hp and it weighs under 500 lbs .
    Ive owed bikes that had even better power to weight ratios .and they do get your blood going if thats your cup of tea .
    My tiger800xc ,also under 500 lbs has about 90 hp at the wheel .Its just as much fun as the faster bikes ive owned.
    #8
  9. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    I think it has a lot to do with how you ride and what you expect: I ride an '88 K75. Think it has about 75 horsepower. What I know is that it is a lot slower than a lot of newer bikes off the line, but still no slouch 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. What I also know is that if you keep in in the power band 4500-6500 rpm, it's damn fun. It'll also cruise all day literally at 118 mph, not that I do that, but it loves revs. A good friend of mine went to a level one BMW school some years ago. The instructor arrived on a K bike that had a throttle control mounted on it. He greeted the class, turned his throttle wide open and set the throttle control. Took the class inside for a 20 minute orientation lecture (all the while his bike is bouncing off the rev limiter in the parking lot) Came back out and shut it down. I guess that makes a point.
    #9
  10. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

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    what was the point ?
    #10
  11. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    I have a 2003 DR650SE. It's rated at 367lb or so (curb). Most relatively-stock DR650SEs have run 33-37WHP on a dyno. I'm guessing that mine is towards the upper end of that, with a cut airbox, UNI filter, and jet kit. It seems to loft the front wheel and haul butt better than most other people are reporting with similar DRs anyway. It has enough power to get me into serious trouble, onroad or off. I haul a passenger and luggage at any legal speed without issue, and it'll pass quicker than most cars can.

    I wouldn't mind a bit more power, but it's not needed. A 50% increase isn't too hard to come by anyway...790cc big-bore, cam, big-valve head, GSX-R exhaust, flat-slide pumper carb...you're pretty close. Another improvement is how the power is delivered. Throttle response is much better than stock with a decent carb on it. A performance cam can make it pull at higher revs nicer too.


    I also have an '89 YX600 Yamaha Radian. It weighs a little over 400lb (curb). It's rated for 50-60WHP, and hitting 60MPH in under 4 seconds. It hauls a passenger and luggage at any legal speed and passes quicker than most cars can. It doesn't need any more power in it's primitive chassis.
    #11
  12. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    K75 has 56 hp at the wheel. 70 at the crank.

    http://www.eilenberger.net/K75S/dyno.htm
    #12
  13. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    Wikipedia says my Ninja 500 has 59 HP, and weighs 440 pounds. Around town it is certainly enough, I have never wanted more. Like you though I have wished for more on longer uphills, and when needing to pass people quickly.

    Actually, that thought started right after I bought my bike. I went riding with a couple of friends, one with a Hyabusa, the other on a Kawasaki ZX-14. We were on a road with a posted limit of 60 MPH behind a guy in an old farm truck doing about 45. When we got to a passing lane, those two I was with were absolutely GONE! I passed the guy in the truck with no problems, and let the other two go (my bike has a much lower top speed, and I didn't know what I was doing back then anyway, still don't really so I keep it sane on the highway). Caught up with them at the light about 3 miles ahead. They were both grinning ear to ear asking why it took so long! That was about 3 years ago, and I have yet to reach the limit of this old bike.

    The only real reason I want to change is for ergonomics, but I have a 25 minute commute, and it takes longer than that to get uncomfortable, so I just stay with what I have.
    #13
  14. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Ninja 250, 27 hp, 14 ft/lbs torque, 370 lbs. Fun bike, handles excellent... Could use a bit more power though.

    Suzuki SV650, 75ish HP, 45-50 ft/lbs torque, 440 lbs. The bike is faster than I need it to be.
    #14
  15. feathered

    feathered Been here awhile

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    That BMW riders are insane :rofl

    :hide
    #15
  16. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    OK "high dangler" and any one else: I might ask what the hell is your point? I don't care if my old bike has 50-75 hp. You obviously didn't read my post. "What your expectations are?" My bike does what I want...and quite well! If you have different needs/expectations, more power to you. Jeez! Where the hell are you people coming from?
    #16
  17. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    Sorry, guess I should have directed my tirade to "high dangler" and maybe a few others. So....whover it applies to, there you go!
    #17
  18. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    KLR, fully loaded with my fat ass, trunk and panniers I would have guessed the power in the upper 20's. Stripped it of bags last weekend for some work and rode it to the store, I'd guess a few more running nekid but it's probably real low 30's so what one thinks the horsepower is and what it is can be deceptive.

    As for whats enough, it depends on the use to me. 50 HP will do about anything I want running single and do pretty well two up, but when you get a 800 lb bike loaded down with 2 people and a weeks worth of luggage and 80 mph speed limits, 100 hp is real nice to have.
    #18
  19. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    My Speed Triple put 118 to the wheel at 4,400 feet MSL....Its not stock any longer though, and no its not an exhaust and a filter.

    The 675 is rated 130, put 112 to the wheel, but that was just after 500 miles I''m sure it has loosened up since.

    Are they over kill, yup, that is the point, the 675 is a psuedo-track bitch and the Speed Triple is running enough sprocket to lift the front wheel if you are sloppy with a 3rd gear shift.

    I'd forgotten what little bikes felt like until I stole my ex's 883 sportster and tried to drive it to work, there was a mountain range in the way and you had to drop down into 4th and rap it out to get over the pass. I hadn't thought about downshifting there unless there was traffic in front of me.
    #19
  20. FinlandThumper

    FinlandThumper Has Cake/Eats it Too Super Moderator

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    I have a 2002 Dakar. They say it's in the 40's for horsepower and weighs about 200kg dry. So by many standards it is low power to weight.

    For me, it goes solo up th road comfortably to around 75-80 mph. Gets a bit buzzy but I don't expect much else from a single at that speed. Since most back roads up here are posted at fifty due to poor sight lines and farm/logging traffic, i am not normally going that fast anyway and 60 mph is very sweet. So basically if it goes fast and comfortably enough to take me around northern Europe with no complaints, that's enough for me. I'll worry about power to weight ratio if I ever get a track bike.
    #20