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Does slow commuting damage sports bikes?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Jomac, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. Hello netriders,
    I hope you can help me with a current chronic discussion (argument really) that is occuring in my home. I have been looking to upgrade the bike having nearly done my year of penance on the 250.

    I was thinking along the lines of a 600hornet or bandit cbr etc. He ( a Bonnie fan to the end) says if I don't ride them to their max it will cause damage to their engine disigned for high performance and that I should therefore buy a Bonnie that is designed for low km torque usage (hope I have that right) for the daily city commuting that I do.

    So I say, why do we buy cars that can go way over that speed that we legally drive them at and it doesn't damage them, he retorts that they are made to cope with driving them slower.

    Now my questions are.... does that make any sense? Please help me understand why I need to ride a sports/tourer bike at 200km/hr+ or risk damaging it or is it a .....um.... a ...... well you can fill that in.

    Look forward to hearing any opinions.

  2. Bikes like the Hornet Bandit actually have the engine de-tuned specifically for daily commuting, and the higher performance brakes/handling means they're a lot safer too.
    So really there is no argument - buy the bike YOU want and enjoy :).
  3. It's only damaging if you're loading the engine up, which occurs when you're too low in the rev-range for the motor to pull cleanly.

    Most of the sports bikes have no real problem tootling around at town speeds. On my bike I use 3rd for 50kph zones, 4th for 60, 5th for 70/80, and 6th for 100kph, but that's more for ease of acceleration when needed. The bike can actually ride around just fine at 50kph in 6th and it won't hurt the engine.

    What you may find with sports bikes is that with their fairing, they are designed/meant to have cool air flowing over them at speed, and sustained speeds below 80kph tends to make the bikes hot and unfcomfortable in warm/hot weather. That really about the worst of it.

    In other words, don't worry about it. If the engine starts to load up, just click down a gear.
  4. Thank you,

    It is a good thing that I was thinking along the lines of a naked from what you said Flux.

    Are the spec sheets on bikes speed how they come out standard? Would you need to specifically ask for a bike to be detuned?

    BTW Don't you people sleep?
  5. so you are being told that lower forces and slower speeds cause more damage, faster...

    I'm thinking words here, but i'll be polite...

    Physics dictates that he is wrong.

    (Just like the age old fallacy that warm water freezes quicker...) =P~

    (Btw, how many points does he have left? :LOL:)
  6. It is true that boiling hot water will actually form a icy shell faster when stuck in a freezer than cool water. Of course, as a whole, the hot cube of water won't get colder any faster, but the surface will freeze more quickly.
  7. Yeah well, he had an awful experience on a bike a few decades back and doesn't take risks anymore. His mate decapitated and he nearly didn't make it after a collison with that same truck.
    Has full points and 30 years of experience. Hard for me to argue with any validity.
  8. +1
  9. OMG ITS TRUE! i just went to the freezer and put a mug of hot water in, within 1 minute there was ice on the top with steam coming of it!
  10. Yea, yea. :roll:

    University Of California Dept. Of Physics explanation:


    It is a topic of hot debate, otherwise known as the Mpemba effect in modern times. It's been observed for thousands of years, but there's no clear explanation as to why it happens.
  11. Well, I stand corrected on the Mpemba effect, but maintain the same about the engine effect. (notwithstanding chemical reactions over time) [thankyou for clearing that one up for me. Never witnessed it myself]
  12. Tell him you have taken his advice to the extreme and will now be buying a Scooter.
  13. no a skateboard...

    Buy the bike you want. The speed at which you ride it isn't going to hurt it, if you use the right gear. Doing 20kph in 5th isn't going to be good for it, nor is starting of in 3rd.

    If you want to go slow in all gears. Buy a tractor. Although there is one or two of those that can do 100kph.
  14. Hey Jomac, u will find the Hornet to be a good commuter with the ability to do the touring/sports thing. In my personal experience and what I see coming through my workshop, using big performance bikes as a daily commute, tends to knock them around, harder on all consumables, ie: chain/sprockets, brake pads etc, they can go off tune quicker than one used on the open road, this is probaly more prevalent on Carbies than EFI and would tend to be attributable to wear. As for High Performance, today's engines are happy to run around in traffic, stop start etc, on hot day's or very heavy traffic the fan(s) will be working overtime, from about 20kmh up the engine will start to come back to normal operating temp' pretty quickly, providing u have free air flow, ie: not stuck behind a bus etc.
    Buy the bike u want and enjoy.

    Tex & Bundy
  15. I've had fun in the past playing with water and water-cooling, including water-cooling computers. Built myself a thermo-electric water-chiller out of some custom parts I had fabricated up. Can bring 500ml of liquid at room temperature down to the freezing point in about 10 minutes, but that's only because the unit I build wasn't really "trying" hard. If I were serious about it, I reckon I could freeze 500ml of water within 3 or 4 minutes with some easy modifications to my custom chiller unit.

    Anyway, another of the experiments I was running with my liquid chiller was to flow the liquid through the system into an esky and measured the temperature. While the water was flowing the water could be measured to "supercool", as in get down to around -2.8C and still be liquid. The chiller unit obviously overwhelmed the liquid's ability to stay liquid and froze up the liquid in the chiller causing the flow to stop. What happened next was fascinating. Once the flow stopped circulating the liquid in the esky, all the water in the esky instantly went from liquid to solid sheets of ice (not flat on top, but angled all through the esky - the entire lot) and the temperature almost instantly (matter of 1-2 secs) shot back up to -0.1C.

    Yeah, might be high-school physics, but it was fun to actually watch it take place and measure what was going on, especially the super-cooling effect, the sudden temperature rise once the super-cooling effect broke down, and the instant icing of the entire mass.
  16. We-hey, wildly offtopic, we are. :) But that's okay.

    Yeah - changing phases from liquid to solid (or solid to liquid, liquid to gas) takes a massive amount of energy. So much so that it all "hangs around" at the transition temperature until all of it has changed phase. <3

    Without this effect, rice-cookers wouldn't work, and I wouldn't have phase-change cooling vests for heatwave motorcycling 'n summer costuming!

    Anyhow. Regarding the 'detuned' naked sportsbikes, they come like that from factory, as listed on their spec sheets. It usually involves different intake, exhaust, camshafts and revised fuel/ignition mapping, to move the peak torque and peak power lower down in the rev range. You lose a bit of top-end power usually, but the bike becomes more powerful at low/mid rpm.
  17. :shock:
    FFS we don't need more scooters on our roads :p
  18. Buy the 600 Hornet. You'll quickly find reasons to take it to the twisties, and you won't have to worry about whether or not you're damaging it commuting (you're not, incidentally :wink:).
  19. Slow commuting in heavy traffic is harder on any bike (or other vehicle come to that) than open road riding. It's not because it's not working hard, but more to do with the thousands of control movements that wear components, combined with the extremely corrosive environment that heavy traffic creates. Clutches take a beating in stop start traffic and cooling fans might run more and so wear more quickly. Air cooled bikes will run hotter, but this isn't a problem provided oil changes are not neglected.

    None of these points are unique to sports bikes. They apply equally to everything from 50 cc Chinese scooters, up to Gold Wings and Rock-It-Frees.

    Environmental factors aside, you won't hurt any modern sports bike by using it as a commuter (although I might draw the line at a dry-clutch Ducati :grin: ). Doesn't do any harm to go for an open road blast now and again though :grin: .
  20. Thanks for the explanations - it would be a sad day when I would be spending too much time under 20km, I will memorise "all come detuned, all slow traffic wears bikes, air cooled prob only if slow, Hornet not one to wear out like large bikes, etc ...now feel armed and ready to go back into battle. Just wait for time for stealth attack ...

    A lot of you people should stay clear of marriage guidance counselling, if I followed your advice (skateboards, scooters and tractors and especially just doing what I want) I would be going through a divorce! :grin:

    Going to have to try out that ice thingy - thought you were joking. Perhaps you should suggest a new forum header under "nerds", I'd be in it.