Both horsepower and torque serve as indicators of a motorcycle’s power, but each has unique properties worth learning about. Look at the horsepower to get a general idea of how powerful a bike is; the greater the number, the more power the bike will have. Consider torque if you plan to haul with your bike or want one with solid acceleration.
In this post, we’ll examine the distinction between horsepower and torque and how to use these numbers to identify the bike that best meets your requirements.
What Is Horsepower?
The maximum power a vehicle can produce is measured in horsepower. Theoretically, the higher the number, the more force will be applied to the wheels, increasing speed. This explains why some sports bikes have incredibly high horsepower ratings.
The horsepower (abbreviated “HP”) amount given is typically the most usable vehicle. However, the value may be computed at various engine revs, giving us brake horsepower. The 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat generates 717 brake horsepower at 6000 rpm from its supercharged V8.
However, several variables, such as the bike’s weight and torque, affect how much acceleration you experience. This implies that the vehicle with the most horsepower may not always be the fastest.
What Is Torque?
Turning force is what is measured by torque. It measures the force the engine will exert on your bike. This is a crucial factor, especially if you need hauling power. Torque is expressed in pounds-feet, so if you want a better idea of a vehicle’s capabilities, pay attention to this number.
Diesel engines often produce the most torque, which is why many trucks have a diesel option. This is so that a diesel engine, which uses long strokes to give pistons more leverage as they rotate and produce more force, can generate more power.
What Is More Important: Torque Or Horsepower?
It is deceptive to compare horsepower and torque in a hypothetical conflict. It’s not an either/or situation because torque is used to determine horsepower. Although there are certain exceptions, when comparing similar powertrains, an engine that produces more torque tends to provide more power (gas to gas, diesel to diesel, etc.).
Another thing you should know is that manufacturers typically achieve advertised peak power and torque statistics across a limited range of engine speeds. You must floor the accelerator and keep it depressed until the engine revs up and reaches the redline. This is usually above 6000 rpm. Maximum horsepower is located close to this speed. However, peak torque typically occurs between 2000 and 6000 rpm, meaning that you are more likely to encounter maximum torque in everyday driving than peak horsepower.
The outcome of horsepower vs torque depends on your driving style and environment. Horsepower is essential to win drag races or cross Germany quickly. The quoted horsepower figure only matters after several seconds of hard acceleration. Most of us don’t drive that way unless we’re at a racetrack or driving on a motorway.
Peak horsepower is far less relevant if you live in a city and can only drive at 30 mph. A vehicle with a lot of torque will feel more powerful than an engine geared to maximize power in stop-and-go traffic. If you desire a swift and agile vehicle in cities and suburbs, where most driving occurs, look for a bike with a significant torque peak at a lower RPM.