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The Power Bike Advantage


Whip

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IMO.........I have come to the conclusion after hundreds of thousands of miles of riding both single and two up that torque monsters are much less tiring on the mind and body on long trips than less powerful high reving generally lighter motorcycles. Something about needing smaller throttle inputs is less taxing.

 

The new water motors and most of the K bikes fall into the category along with my 1290 ADV and even the Road Glide.

 

I think my 1150 GSA and 05 RT one up were fine, but two up loaded down were a bit tiring on long trips out west where 80mph (+) and overtaking was a big part of the ride.

 

 

Your thoughts are welcome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I completely agree.

 

I had a DL 1000 V Strom that seemed relaxed on the road. It had other issues and I then bought a new DL 650 V Strom. Great bike in many ways. Yes, it will hold a gps 80 mph on hills ( I installed electronic cruise control). But at a cost. In 6th gear and stock sprockets it was common for me to be turning well over 6000 rpm for tank after tank of fuel. My '04 RT had enough power, but seemed to vibrate a bit much when asking much over 4000 rpm for extended runs.

 

The new LC RT isn't really all that much more comfortable than the DL 650 V Strom as far as ergonomics. But it is far less tiring to ride on 800 mile days. I think if the bike feels unburdened, so does the rider!

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If I ever got up to 80, or rode 2 up, I'd have an opinion.

:)

 

Agreed that more power, esp when two up is better, by far when you aren't wringing the bike out.

 

My old horse trundles along at whatever speed needed w/out high revs necessary.

 

Smoooth and comfortable.

 

Either something like what you identify, or, old school airhead

works for me.

 

 

 

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Before I bought my present RT I had a Honda NC700,its a bike tuned for ecomomy but with a healthy dose of low down torque,also it was geared low as stock..So you could cruise at quite high speeds knowing all the while you where saving the planet.That made me feel rather good..Its just that my BM makes me feel a whole lot better!!for a whole load of other reasons...

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Yep. For big long trips, it stands to reason. Same goes for cars. A Lincoln is far preferable to a Fiat, as far as comfort goes (as well as some other factors). On the other hand I've had some pretty lousy trips in a Greyhound bus, so maybe there's a sweet spot before the decline. :rofl:

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My old Concours (inline 4) had plenty of zip for me. I guess I can think of examples that work well for all platforms, although I do find long freeway drones on a thumper to be somewhat fatiguing. My thought is that any adapted racing machine, regardless of the number of cylinders, will require more concentration to ride. I had a friend with an RC-51 that I wouldn't want to take on a long trip, even if I could adjust the ergonomics to a more friendly setup.

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I had a 1600 Nomad before the RT. It was a lead sled for sure, but it didn't have the get up and go the RT has. May be it didn't get pushed around as much in cross winds, but that's it. On the other hand my wife liked the Nomad better. Go figure.

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Are the torque-monsters less tiring? I'm not sure that more torque necessarily equates with less fatigue. Harleys (like diesel trucks) make a lot of torque - in many cases never get past the 5,252 RPMs where HP=TQ - so they are torquey motors.

 

IMO, it's the mid-range engines - with wide, smooth power-bands - that are a joy to ride under various loads and distances. This has been true for my BMWs, it was true on an older Yamaha FJ1100 that I really liked, and the power-bands are especially fat and forgiving on my current Moto Guzzis.

 

Since TQ is power, and HP is the speed at which that power is delivered, a mid-range motor will give a nice balance in everyday riding conditions. A "torque monster" such a low-revving Harley, can't deliver the power very quickly - and a high-revving, high-HP engine needs a lot of attention to be at the right spot to deliver the power.

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i ride a k1200rs. it has usable power from about 2000 rpms on up. prior to this, i had an r100rs, r1100rs and r11150rt. the twins were nice bikes, but the technique required to ride them fast involved a lot of shifting as they really were not happy below 2500 rpms or over 5500 rpms. although these bikes shifted progressively better, they were all still clunky and it was easy to miss shifts when the adrenelin was flowing. on the k, you simply select a gear based on the tightness of the turns and ride the torque wave. if you are in 3rd gear which is good for about 20 - 100, braking is often not required either.

so, in spite of the heavier weight than the rs twins and equal weight to the rt, i can ride this bike quicker with greater ease in spite of its longer wheel base.

btw, for me, the k is the best shifting bmw i have ridden yet, but at higher revs, you still have to be deliberate even with pre-loading.

i have thought of trading recently, but every time i ride it and feel that smooth power flow, i think, what could i get that is better? when i have that answer, i guess i will trade.

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My 2015 Road Glide is the least fatiguing MC I have ever ridden. I can ride from Salida to highway 9 in 4th gear (2 up) without even thinking about needing to shift gear for any reason. With less to think about I can relax more and therefore expend less energy.

 

The same is true of my 1290 Super ADV

 

 

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the twins were nice bikes, but the technique required to ride them fast involved a lot of shifting so, in spite of the heavier weight than the rs twins and equal weight to the rt, i can ride this bike quicker with greater ease in spite of its longer wheel base.

 

This speaks to me. Since I get to play in the twisties less than once per year (and then only for a few days), my rapid 4-3-2 downshifting technique going hot into a turn on the RT is not practiced enough to get it all done quickly and smoothly without an occasional wheel chirp. Hate that. Sure, a slipper clutch is designed to help, but that is really a riding aid for poor technique, and also not a feature of my RT.

 

Looking for a new steed. No longer going to do 12 hours up and back on the RT dodging lightning. I know I can ride all day on it, but no longer want to. Gonna find me a trailer queen, dammit. I ruled out the K bikes until I read this as I was not really excited about a longer wheelbase bike. Good info.

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IMO.........I have come to the conclusion after hundreds of thousands of miles of riding both single and two up that torque monsters are much less tiring on the mind and body on long trips than less powerful high reving generally lighter motorcycles. Something about needing smaller throttle inputs is less taxing.

 

 

 

 

My FJR was definitely less taxing... DrinkinCoffee.gif

 

orig.jpg

 

but not nearly as much fun... coolnana.gif

 

orig.jpg

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So logically my 1290 Superduke should be less tiring to ride long distance than my RT, after all it has 25 lbs/ft more torque and 50 more hp.

It isn't. Too much power (or as I see it just the right amount ha ha) wears you out.

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Moby is the least fatiguing bike I've owned.

 

For me the K16GT delivers the right combination of stability in all conditions, the all day smoothness of the motor and the ease of swift riding in mountain sweepers without the need to stir the gearbox.

 

Torque alone won't do it for me, but it sure does help. I'd say in the case of the GT it's the stability in all conditions and the absence of vibration that leaves me with energy reserves at the end of the day.

 

The big smooth 6 is fast becoming my favorite.

 

Now if the maintenance was just a little easier. :P

158452406.jpg

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...The big smooth 6 is fast becoming my favorite.

 

Now if the maintenance was just a little easier. :P

158452406.jpg

 

Slight hijack here. You live in Texas and have an OU flag hanging in your garage. Something's wrong with this picture.

 

Just sayin' :P

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I guess this is another example of "whatever works best for you".

I don't have anywhere near the breadth of experience of most here but I'll share a thought or two anytime.

FWIW, I ride solo and legal (except the occasional on-ramp).

 

I rode the Dragon's Tail a few months before I bought this bike. I rode one way on a V Twin Honda & back on a Goldwing 1800. The twin was super easy, ran it all in 2nd & 3rd. The Wing was more needy, I used every gear in the box. The HP ratings were close on the two but the GW just didn't have the torque when you twisted the grip, damn near wore out my ankle.

 

My first bike was an 750cc inline-4. Ran 70 hp, good torque for the size. Never had any problems pulling out from corners, passing usually had to drop a gear, though.

My RT has 110 hp, 85 lb-ft. I rarely need to drop down but still do out of habit.

 

When I was shopping for this bike, I test rode the K1200GT, as well. It had 153 hp, I think. Not sure on torque numbers. I sure couldn't tell any real difference between the two other than the K vibrated more, especially at idle.

 

So, I think, just like the ergonomics, hp & lb-ft are subject to personal preferences. I would prefer torque more than hp, within reason. I don't want to ride a powerless but hugely torque-laden HD cruiser unless I'm running slab across country. I doubt I would want to ride a single. Nor do I see a need for a 6 cylinder, 200 hp mill in a bike any more than I would a 600 hp block in a car. Unless you're racing it, why? Give me a decently powerful, proportionally torquey bike that I can ride without my elbows below my knees and I'll be good. As long as I can have my tunes, I'll be fine.

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Guest Kakugo

I've always ridden solo, and I don't weigh much and I always travel light.

 

I've taken long trips on pretty much everything bar 125's and in my experience for touring nothing beats something with a large engine, good even if not stellar performances, a great saddle and good weather protection. The RT's portrait, apart from OE seat/torture device! :rofl:

Honestly I'd take the RT over any other touring bike I've owned or test ridden, including the K1600GT. The only bike I've ridden that comes close is the FJR1300, but the RT will make short work of it if the going gets twisty. Not to mention the RT is much more long legged, a major bonus in Spain due to very sparse fuel station coverage. ;)

 

Were I to travel two up, the RT-LC would be the natural choice. I don't mind the K1600GTL, but I much prefer the RT seating position. Only other choice would be the rumored completely new Yamaha FJR with X-Plane engine.

 

 

 

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markgoodrich

What Limecreek said. Two up, nothing except a Goldwing has ever approached being as fatigue-free over a long day. the Wing, though, was more tiring, as it was always so hot, and the extra weight in heavy stop and go traffic also was tiring.

 

I was never really comfortable running the Wing at 90-100 all day two up, but on the GT it's easy.

 

The RT was also great, two up, and had the advantage of somewhat better handling, but there is no better long distance bike for me than the GT. Now, if Suzanne ever quits riding, I'll have a different opinion.

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