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As we ride along the road, a certain percentage of our engine’s power is used just to maintain our current speed, which I call Maintenance Power. Maintenance Power is made up of two components – Drag Power and Rolling Resistance.
Drag is by far the largest part of the Maintenance Power equation. Drag is caused by the displacement of air that the vehicle passes through, kind of like an artificial wind. Any motorcyclist is well acquainted with drag forces,...
Energy – Nothing happens without it. For this section, we'll be looking at Kinetic Energy, and how that energy relates to power requirements. Kinetic Energy is a measure of the moving energy of an object. When a motorbike changes speed, its total kinetic energy changes. The formula for this is:
To show how the energy changes, I'll go through a simple example. For our example, let's assume that we're trying to accelerate a 270kg motorbike (incl rider) from 50km/h to 100km/h
There is no topic more contentious on motor-vehicle forums than that of ‘power vs torque’, with both sides having very vocal adherents. There is also a great deal of misunderstanding about torque and its role in vehicle acceleration. Here's a sampling of various statements on torque:
‘The NC700 is a faster bike than the CB400, even though it has the same power, because it has twice the torque.'
‘It is a far more tractable ride, because of the engines torque characteristics. That makes it...