Horsepower levels and speed determine the quality and performance of varied motorcycle types. Nevertheless, few people pay attention to it, believing that motorbikes of the same kind must exude the same power.
Here’s one lesser-known fact: engine types decide the power your motorbike can produce. A 50cc-engine bike certainly performs differently than a 1000cc!
So how much horsepower is 600cc or 250cc bikes, then? Is there any way to calculate these numbers? This article will address such questions for you.
Table of Contents
What Is The Average Motorcycle Horsepower?
Our expert teams have dived into many investigations to compare different motorbike HP ratings across all the currently available motorbike models. Overall, the range spans from 3 HP (50cc) to 220 HP (1000+cc).
Let’s cut to the chase and see the details!
The Full Motorcycle Horsepower Chart
|Motorbike Category||Displacement||Average Horsepower|
|Lightweight||50cc motorcycles||3 to 9|
|Lightweight||100cc motorcycles||7 to 12|
|Lightweight||125cc motorcycles||10 to 15|
|Lightweight||150cc motorcycles||15 to 25|
|Lightweight||250cc motorcycles||25 to 40|
|Lightweight||300cc bikes||30 to 40|
|Middleweight||400cc motorcycles||40 to 50|
|Middleweight||500cc motorcycles||45 to 60|
|Middleweight||600cc bikes||55 to 130|
|Middleweight||700 to 900cc bikes||60 to 150|
|Heavy||1000+cc motorcycles||80 to 220|
See more: What Is CC In A Motorcycle?
Factors That Might Influence the HP
Still, there is one thing you should remember clearly: a larger bike does not always equate to better/greater horsepower. The matter of engine power all boils down to how many engine strokes and cylinders your motorcycle uses.
Other factors such as fuel economy, drivetrain, weight, and transmission also play a critical part in deciding the horsepower rates. Know what to expect!
And though few people think of them, driving conditions, temperature, altitude, and weather are all aspects you should not skip, either. In short, the horsepower will vary significantly depending on different situations – something you can recognize shortly after spending enough time on the dirt bike.
How Much HP Do You Actually Need?
It depends on your purpose.
Strong performances are not always required in daily situations. For instance, riding on busy roads under speed limits means a 124cc bike of 12 HP is everything you need.
But we cannot deny that powerful motorcycles up to 50 HP make highway and suburban riding much more comfortable, giving you enough oomph for safe overtaking.
How to Calculate Your Motorbike Horsepower?
For Standard Motorbikes (And Even Cars)
Step 1. Figure Out The Torque Numbers.
Find the rider’s manual and skip to its index. Look at the “technical speculations” section to find the torque values.
Does your motorbike not arrive with any tutorial or manual? The Google search engine can be your best friend in these cases. For illustration, type in the vehicle make/model/year and “torque,” then hit “Search.” Relevant results should pop up on the first page!
Step 2. Determine The Engine Speed of Your Vehicle.
Like with torques, you can also locate such info in the manual/tutorial.
Again, if you do not have a manual – or the manual doesn’t contain this data – turn to Google search engines again. Enter the bike’s model/year/make and “engine speed.” The information you need should be somewhere in trustable online resources and websites.
Step 3. Multiply Torques With Engine Speeds and Divide The Result with 5252
Now use the following formula:
HP = (RPM x T) /5252
- RPM = engine speed
- T = torque
- 5252 = radian per second
First, multiply the engine speed by the torque. Let’s look at an example: suppose your Porsche Harley Davidson Revolution Max 1250 produces 94 ft-lbs of torque at 9500 RPM. Complying with the equation above, it should be 94 x 9500 = 893,000.
Next, divide what you have by 5252, revealing the motorbike’s horsepower. Turn back to the Porsche above; it’s 893,000 / 5252 = 170 HP. Hence, your Harley Davidson’s horsepower is 170 HP, which again backs up our data above (this beast boasts a 1250cc engine, and its HP falls between 80 and 220).
For Electric Motorbikes
Step 1. Determine The Variables
Find out the motor’s voltage (V), efficiency (Eff), and current (I). The motor’s voltage should get shown in volts, efficiency – percentage, and currents – amps. Most engines will have these measurement units printed/written directly on them.
Step 2. Apply The Formula
Use the following formula to determine the motor horsepower:
HP = (V x I x Eff): 746
In short, multiply the efficiency, current, and voltage before dividing the number by 746. Here’s a specific example:
Let’s say your electric motorbike has 230V motors that pull 4 amps with 82% efficiency. That means its horsepower is 1 HP.
Another note: convert efficiency to decimal before any calculation (ex: 82% = 0.82).
How to Improve Your Motorbike Horsepower?
Increase The Air Intake
Most air intake systems become strangled over time; hence, reducing their restrictions can boost your engine combustion to new levels – one of the most straightforward and economical methods for horsepower increase.
For instance, riders can install aftermarket mushroom heads, which increase air intake by 50% for maximum performance.
More airflow might lead to more fuel consumption. Thus, always strive to achieve a good balance and tune the fuel injection/carburetor frequently to sustain an appropriate air ratio.
Lastly, when modifying or upgrading air filters with extra accessories, never leave your filters exposed completely to them. The right upgrade kits are among the most critical steps to avoid those disasters; research the market well!
Upgrade The Exhaust System
Upgrading air filters often go together with exhaust modifications. Without these combinations, you will miss out on improved powers provided by quality bolt-on boosts.
Since most motorcycle manufacturers must meet emission criteria and keep costs low, their stock exhausts do not circulate air efficiently as we would expect. Here is where you can count on full-exhaust or slip-on systems for increased torque and extra horsepower!
Indeed, aftermarket exhausts are lighter and expel gasses better than manufacturers’ products, ensuring the engine has improved breathability and increased performance as a result.
And we haven’t even mentioned the visuals and aesthetics – not only do new exhausts look stylish, but they also produce better roaring sounds.
- Apply the right tire pressure. Always confirm that your tires are well-inflated and reach the recommended pressure level by the manufacturer. Both over- and under-inflated tires will make your bike a pain to handle. All these numbers are displayed in the manual, so scour carefully!
- Double-check the tire condition. Your tires should stay in impeccable condition at all times. Otherwise, tires with worn-out treads slow down the bike and even lead to accidents.
- Replace old cables and lubricate the control pivots. Are there any cables that have broken down? Please get rid of them immediately. Also, lubricate the controls.
- Lubricate/adjust motorbike chains. Never leave the chain rusty or dirty – unless you want the bike’s horsepower and handling to reduce significantly. If there are loose chains, adjust or replace them.
- Change the air filter and oil often. High-quality filters and oils seal the deal for any motorbike. Always use clean oil for a cooler, cleaner engine run.
Can Motorbikes Be As Powerful and Fast As Cars?
In general, cars are much faster when we consider their top speeds. Nevertheless, regarding acceleration rate, lightweight motorcycles outperform cars due to the exceptional weight-to-power ratio.
We trust that you have grasped the fundamental variations between motorcycles of different engine types.
Though sometimes, only a small amount of horsepower is needed, it wouldn’t hurt to learn smart tips to increase the bike’s performance at a startlingly quick speed. And we have delivered many tricks to do that, so keep them in mind!
Regarding the familiar car-motorbike comparison, the common consensus is that cars are faster. Nevertheless, motorbikes’ acceleration ratio is top-notch – all the more reason to purchase bikes with great horsepower.