How accurate are manufacturer's HP claims? - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2006, 6:34 pm Thread Starter
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How accurate are manufacturer's HP claims?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2006, 2:59 am
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Well, it's the same old story. You read power and (lack of) weight figures, mainly in the Japanese depliants, and get all excited. Then comes the real thing, and by some sort of magic, during the sea crossing, some ponies became pounds.

I don't really know about US, but here in Europe we do have pretty different homologation procedures and standards from Japan. It's not really cheating, but in the country of the rising sun power is measured without end cans and lots of other things, and weight doesn't include most of the parts that may be different from one country to the other. BMWs, Ducatis, Aprilias and such usually are much closer to the manufacturers' claimed specs.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2006, 5:35 am
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I was often misled by power spec comparisons, until years ago I played with engine tuning in cages and learned the lesson that engine power (or whatever name you give it) is no good unless it gets to the driven wheel and is translates to top speed for the weight of the vehicle and passengers against wind loads. So a stock tranny and a tuned motor still goes as fast at the same redline - it just gets there quicker. Except the tranni load becomes over design limits and the weakest part (often the clutch and splines) breaks quicker. Once you exceed a certain minimum power output, top speed and acceleration can be achieved by more gear ratios and higher redlines. This is what most Japanese motorcycles and race vehicles are about - ensuring a continuous peak output narrow power band and lots of shift changing to keep it there.

But that's not a serious road vehicle where speeds, inclines and twisties are changing so much. I would now put torque far higher up my list than Horsepower, provided I've still got enough left at the top for the sort of speeds I want to ride at, I'm lazy and don't like shifting a lot just to keep a motor in its narrow power band. That's what's different on a K, compared to other bikes and why electronic cruise works so well. I don't know how cruise would work on a 20K redline machine - unless its transmission was auto.

How many of you are hitting 155mph frequently on your K's? Are you disappointed with how long it takes to get from 70 to 100, with a pillion and don't want to shift down - then more 'power' is for you. I find the present balance of torque and power pretty awesome and am amazed how quick it moves without downshifting. But, it's definitely not a track bike and needs to be lighter. Some of you are already busting your trannies and clutches, so look closely at these components on higher output or tuned bikes. It's more likely (ab)using the torque in low gears that is responsible.

The French managed with 'Deux Chevaux' and we've got 135 plus!

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