I’ve often wondered how much horsepower you really need on a motorcycle, in fact I wrote a while ago on this topic and decided that you really don’t need much more than 100hp. Now I own a motorcycle with more than 100 for a few months I’ve decided that I was right.
The Hyperstrada has a claimed 113 horsepower, and weighs less than 500lbs. It’s properly fast, in fact it’s almost indecently fast. Now more than ever I agree with what I wrote and 100 horsepower is definitely enough.
I can’t really say if it’s the perfect amount, but I suspect that for riding on the street I don’t need more. Although it’s not really the horsepower but the 72 ft/lbs torque that makes the Hyperstrada so much fun. That much power makes it delightful and easy to accelerate and even more fun when compared to my friends R6 which has more horsepower but makes much less torque. This again reinforces why it’s nice to buy a bike that’s designed to be ridden where and like you’ll actually ride it. Street bikes don’t need to make tons of horsepower way up in the revs where it’s hard to get. Making something like 70% of max torque at 3000 rpm is much nicer.
Which brings us back to the original question. How much horsepower do you need on a motorcycle?
My thought on this is that you need just enough to make you happy. However keep in mind is that most likely what makes you happy is the torque. Which means a motorcycle designed for where you are going to ride it is most likely going to be best. Race Replicas are great for the track, but for the most fun on the street I prefer something designed for it.