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Do you need a lot of horsepower to have fun?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by thecptn, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Bikes are getting more and more powerful, more and more Hp, but is any of it really necessary to actually have fun, think about it for a moment and ponder, I have ridden a nice variety of bikes over the last 2 years, from single cylinders to the mighty Hayabusa, but the most fun bike of all, was my old Yamaha SR185, the front forks wept oil and would bottom out just by staring at them, the rear shocks would have you bouncing up and down like some motorized old sofa unit, the paint faded, surface corrosion on various places, pitted old forks, drum "brakes" if you could call them "brakes", a clunky gutless motor that burned oil and seeped oil like a religious painting, a clutch that slipped like no tomorrow, the rear indicator that just hung on with tape and wire.

    And despite all this, it had to be the most fun bike I've ever owned and ridden! I would go on adventures every day with the thing, on and off road, rain hail or shine, and all in all, a 15 claimed hp, heaven knows how much of those horses remained.

    Now I ask you fellow Netriders, do you some what agree with this? ever had a bike, that lacked any zing, yet you had the most fun on?
  2. Whatever floats you boat mate.

    For me, bikes are a toy, and like my technology purchases, love the latest and greatest.
  3. calling roarin...
  4. you can have fun on a pw50, its all relative :)

    edit: one of my most joyous experiences was a hill climb on an ag200!
    so, i agree, HP is just a number which is by no means relative to fun.
  5. I've gone backwards in power and technology and I don't miss it one bit. I rarely hold anyone up on a ride and the grin is bigger than ever before.

    +1 Joel :)
  6. Riding any bike is fun, and my KLR 650 thumper was merely a stepping stone to something better.

    No doubt some may think that 53hp is still nothing compared to an R1, but in 140kg's, more than enough for me :cool:

    To me the problem with underpowered bikes is overtaking, yes I know its illegal to overtake on double lines, but I get too frustrated sitting behind a vehicle on a nice piece of road, so want to get around with a minimum of fuss - the KLR didn't do this IMHO, safely, plus its brakes and suspension were nothing like my Husky.
  7. Bikes can be underpowered and be less fun for the lack of horsepower, but you don't need 50hp off road or 160hp on-road in most circumstances, and certainly not at speeds less than 100km/hr.

    Anyway, I ride a ktm525 setup as a motard. It pushes out a little over 50hp, weighs 115kg and will powerslide a 160 slick in 4th gear. You can jump it, slide it, crash it, throw sparks off the pegs around every corner... and another 10 horsepower wouldn't likely make me any quicker around a small track. I'm upgrading to a new 450 next year in fact.
  8. Its all about being out there and having fun. I ride the bike i do because i like it, not because it has more power than ill ever need. I always regret selling my GPX750R, cause i reckon i used to have more fun on that buzzing around through the hills.. :shock:
  9. ive kept my 250 for that exact reason, since im closer to the bikes limits on the road than the thou will ever be. also the fact that i dont care as much if i crash it adds to the fun i think, since im not going into every corner with crashing in the back of my mind. :? i couldnt deal with crashing the thou, but the 250s been there done that and always came off better than i have.
  10. its all in the mind and your wrist. :)

    like previously stated..whatever floats ya boat.

    i had an XR600 and babied it. ..never opened it up fully. i didnt need to.
    when i needed the herbs, i just squeezed the throttle a bit more. power a plenty. i enjoyed that beast SO much. best bike i ever had.

    the fella that just purchased it from me, power slided out of my street then went thru each gear on the back wheel...
    that XR would not have known what hit it... :LOL:

    but my parting shot to the new owner was to 'keep it rubber side down'
  11. I've never owned a proper big bike, though I've frequently borrowed and ridden stretches (eg GOR) on a SS750 Duc and Triumph Sprint (140hp??). My prior bike had about 58hp (GT550), and my latest and no-doubt long-term bike - the SR500 - has about 34hp! Of course hp is not the key description for the way such an engine delivers power, but absolutely cptn. More fun to ride a slow bike fast, than vice versa, which goes for instance against the Sprint, if you want to keep your license. What's more fun than anything in *my* book is a low-revving chug chugging engine that pulls you, even at 1500-2500rpm, up through the speedo with a gentle, steady (and still swift) pulsating. Modern high hp bikes don't do that, they have nothing of that soul (-they have different virtues, which spark others' plugs, but not mine, by comparison).

    The most fun bike I've ever ridden? Royal Enfield! 500cc; about 27hp! There'll be one in my garage one day!

    My bike's having engine work and will be off the road for a little while; in teh meantime I'll be riding my old SR185, both for commuting and weekend country rides. Last time I was in this situation, I had a ball! No doubt will again!
  12. One of the most fun bikes I've ever ridden was an RS250 2 stroke, closely followed by the RGV250 2 stroke.

    Neither are exactly full of horsepower but the lack of weight and great handling and razor like response makes them both a ball of fun on the right track :)
  13. Having only ridden learner legal bikes I'd have to say yes of course you can have heaaps of fun with little power, assuming you're not on fast roads. Small bikes on fast roads is quite painful, and overtaking on fast roads is even more frustrating.

    I really like my bike and for 70% of my riding it CAN do everything. But I want long trips and to 2up properly, thus something bigger is 'needed'. Can't wait, 2 more months :)
  14. Not size

    It's not the size that matters, it's how you use it....
  15. I've had a ball on most things I have ridden. Thing is that most things I have ridden have not been new sports bikes!

    My little TTR250 has been a ripper and has done all sorts of riding. Still have it and all its 20HP. Some of the best fun had was riding the St Andrews - Kinglake - Healesville roads on it at night. My current main bike is far from the latest and greatest, but makes more than enough power to have fun with.

    I'm sure there are plenty of people who buy huge powerful weapons and spend most of their time in terror rather than having fun.

    As for what's best? What day is it again? :p
  16. I wouldnt deny you the experiences you've had bud, so I'd agree. I guess
    you could have fun on any set of 2 wheels.

  17. You definitely don't need horsepower to have fun, but a lack of torque (or ridiculously peaky torque curve) can certainly suck the fun out of riding.
  18. ...and of course the SR185, as with the 250, was sold with a name which explains thecptn's joy...

    ...Yamaha Exciter!
  19. Of course not, I know I'd still enjoy jumping back on the VTR250 and going for a blat.

    Of course, a little HP doesn't hurt :twisted: :twisted:.
  20. I spent 2 1/2 years on a ZZR 250 and had a ball on it every time I was on it. I could still break the speed limit and, being so light, they're great to flick around the twisties! :grin: