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Old Jul 30th 2014, 02:39 AM   #1
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More Power or Less Weight?

I had a good discussion with another member of this board at WDW and am curious to see what everyone's thoughts are on Power vs. Weight.

Don't get me wrong. I do want more power and always will. But 200hp makes me begin to think--if I had a choice between more power or less weight, what would I choose?

So would you rather:

1) See bikes stay at the 400lb mark while HP figures escalate
Or
2) See the 200hp mark stay stable and see a weight-war being waged?


And if you were to have a dedicated track bike, would you rather have:

1) an 899
Or
2) a 450cc bike with 60 horsepower (think 899 motor with one cylinder) that weighs 310lbs wet?
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Old Jul 30th 2014, 02:55 AM   #2
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Yeah I guess that's the thought behind the superLeggera and the likes. I mean 250bhp is awesome, but even in the hands of the gods, like in GP the amount of surgeries to combat arm pump and other alements of the body make you think....when is enough, enough!
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Old Jul 30th 2014, 03:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
I had a good discussion with another member of this board at WDW and am curious to see what everyone's thoughts are on Power vs. Weight.

Don't get me wrong. I do want more power and always will. But 200hp makes me begin to think--if I had a choice between more power or less weight, what would I choose?

So would you rather:

1) See bikes stay at the 400lb mark while HP figures escalate
Or
2) See the 200hp mark stay stable and see a weight-war being waged?


And if you were to have a dedicated track bike, would you rather have:

1) an 899
Or
2) a 450cc bike with 60 horsepower (think 899 motor with one cylinder) that weighs 310lbs wet?
Part 6: Speed and Horsepower

I read this section on speed vs horsepower from a very interesting article a long while back and it seems to apply here.

If you consider that it takes substantially more and more HP to increase top end speeds at the superbike level, it seems that minimal gains in HP is not likely to improve your time and enhance enjoyment rather than by making the bike more nimble on the track.
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Old Jul 30th 2014, 03:39 AM   #4
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I think the lesser weight is a better bet, most logical option.
I like the thought of carrying more corner speed, due to less weight. Only so much power that can be put to the ground.. How much faster are the laptimes of the 1199 run vs the less powerful 899? Just my 2 cents.
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Old Jul 30th 2014, 03:50 AM   #5
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I am working both angles, more power and less weight.
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Old Jul 30th 2014, 03:52 AM   #6
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You know I would love someone to have an 899 setup like Jarelj and then acquire the data on how it handles compare to the 1199. I wonder if the suspension link is really necessary like on the 1199 cause the swing arm is shorter, and the rake is greater.

How much the swing arm moves under load, ETC. I think the 899 is probably the best all around bike...maybe the 675R as well, but I need to hear it from guys cup racing it....is all the linkage upgrade worth it?

Also I would like to see how light you could get an 899. maybe close to a SL?

Just thoughts.
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Old Jul 30th 2014, 04:06 AM   #7
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I Ride: V4S and Ninja 400. Dichotomy.
I've been through it a few times on several different track bikes. I've built engines to pump up the horsepower and I've stripped off weight to make them lighter. There's not a clear answer to the question, it totally depends on which bike, and which track you're riding on. There's a point of diminishing returns with power gains, and at some point more power actually becomes a negative. In general, that point is where you can no longer use full throttle for any significant portion of the lap. Lighter weight really has no point of diminishing returns, the lighter the better, in every situation. For gains in lap times though, you have to drop quite a bit of weight for it to make a significant difference. Here's an example: If you took an SV650 running on a mid-sized track and could either add 15 HP or drop 15 lbs. of weight, take the 15 HP hands-down. On an 899, no so much, I'd take the light weight, unless I was going to be riding at Road America or Miller more often, then I might want the power.

Regarding the 450cc micro track bike, I'd LOVE to have that! We have guys at our track days who run 450 singles that weigh in the 230-250 lb. range and those are some of the most fun bikes ever on the track. I have a Ninja 300 that I've stripped a bunch of weight off of, and we're in the process of finishing up the engine now, which will be my fun little bike. But that weighs more like 300 lbs. with 40 HP.

P.S. - My 899 is lighter than a stock Superleggera at this point, BUT if you stripped an SL down to the bare bones it might still be a few lbs. lighter. It would be close. Mine is 358 lbs. without fuel, and a stock SL is 366 lbs. A stock 899 is 415 lbs. for reference.
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Old Jul 30th 2014, 04:49 AM   #8
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More power makes you faster on the straights.












Less weight makes you faster everywhere.
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Old Jul 30th 2014, 04:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
2) See the 200hp mark stay stable and see a weight-war being waged?

I pick # 2... Without a doubt. Now that I have my SL, it's so freaking different to ride vs my 1199 S. It doesn't need more power, it's so easy to turn in now and flick around, the weight saving is more than enough.
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Old Jul 30th 2014, 04:55 AM   #10
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99% riding the 899 can't come near it's limits.....that number is even higher for the 1199's......
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