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YouTube Video Raises Question: Have We Reached the Practical Limits of Sport Bike Acceleration?


This question has been bouncing around in my head for a while, but isn’t there a theoretical limit for how fast a sport bike (with a “normal” wheelbase – dedicated drag bikes feature extended swingarms) can accelerate? Even with traction control and wheelie control, now that sport bikes have reached 200+ horsepower, can they really accelerate any quicker as horsepower levels continue to rise? Consider acceleration up to 120 mph (certainly more horsepower can aid acceleration at higher speeds).

The video below highlights the issue, where you can see a new Kawasaki H2 (with supercharger) drag racing a Kawasaki ZX-10R. Both bikes can lift the front wheel at relatively high speeds, and until the Kawasaki H2 removes its stock muffler, the bikes appear roughly equal in terms of acceleration.

Give us your thoughts below.


  1. ponpoko says:

    I made a simulation of 0-400 m acceleration program and compared the motorbikes with 160, 200 & 240 PS.
    The result was quite interesting and confirmed what the said “acceleration up to 120 mph”.
    Please visit the u.r.l. below.

  2. TURBOMAN says:

    Ive seen turbo charged CBR900RRs in 1995 faster than that H2

  3. arrow says:

    That ZX-10 is heavily modified as far as I know. Probably costs a lot less than the H2 even after that but that’s not the subject here. H2 is bone stock.

    H2 is LIMITED to 200 HP. It needs some adjustment by the rider before it can show a clean pair of heels to other liter bikes. There is this vlogger in Youtube called 650ib, who owns a BMW S1000H4 and a Kawasaki H2. He was beaten by a 2015 S1000RR a few weeks back in a roll-on (whose rider is 85 pounds lighter). In his latest video, he soundly beats the RR, after which he states he didn’t do anything to the bike but just learned how to ride it. He recommends switching off the engine braking management system for example.

    I reckon H2 is a few hundred dollars away from delivering 230-240 HP. The owners all claim that it’s heavily limited electronically. Tuners like Guhl Motors shall remove this limitations. For those who want to go crazier, some companies will probably start manufacturing and selling H2R cams, thinner head gaskets relatively cheaply.Certainly for a lot less than the price difference between H2 and H2R.

    Even if one chooses to keep it stock, the H2 is a wonderful motorcycle. I saw it up close and the level of workmanship, and materials were clearly above the rest of the bikes in the show. It’s a bike to cherish even it it isn’t the fastest thing out there out of the box…

  4. rapier says:

    The “practical” limit was reached a long time ago acceleration wise. The absolute limit is a different question and the answer is that it isn’t very far away without extended swing arms and other mods making them purpose built drag bikes and thus something different than “sports bikes”.

    In a related question has the practial limit of HP been reached? Yes. The H2R would get crushed by a Moto GP bike in a race and it has 100 more HP.

  5. azi says:

    Here’s my physics 101 thought experiment.

    A motorcycle going in a straight line is just a big lever, with the fulcrum in the rear axle. Finding the balance between a burnout (wasted force from traction loss) and flipping Biaggi-style (insufficient opposing force from bike weight and length) is the trick.

    For a set force (torque) you can:
    – increase traction (enlarge contact patch with fatter or taller tyre, or make rubber stickier)
    – increase opposing force (increase weight, or shift the weight further forward)

    Moving the weight too far forward will decrease traction. There will be an optimal distance from the fulcrum/axle for a given force/torque where the weight will balance the traction.

    However: there is also inertia. More force is required to achieve the same acceleration of a less massive object accelerating at the same rate. But(!) less weight will reduce the friction coefficient of the tyre-bitumen interface (traction).

    So many variables to consider!

    • azi says:

      With further consideration I think the answer to higher acceleration for a set wheelbase is lighter overall weight. Ultimately it’s easier to accelerate an ant than an elephant.

      • xLaYN says:

        “(insufficient opposing force from bike weight and length) is the trick”
        wouldn’t decrease the bike weight be the equivalent of decreasing the length of the bike decreasing opposing forces and increasing the wheelie rate?
        we may need to do something like a dynamic configuration motorcycle shifting weight and changing bike length, maybe with time, advanced electronics and robotics this may come true

        • azi says:

          This is where my knowledge and brainpower runs out, and where the input of an engineer or applied physicist would be valuable. At the most basic level, acceleration can always be increased if you look at Newton’s Second Law (F=ma). You can either increase the force or decrease the mass. F=ma is pretty straightforward if your motorcycle is powered by a rocket.

          Where things get beyond my ken is consideration of theoretical concepts such as angular momentum, angular acceleration and friction coefficient in a wheel-powered motorcycle. I think what Dirck is effectively saying is that “the horizontal vector F cannot be increased using conventional wheels and tyres, as the maximum value of F is limited by changes in angular acceleration and frictional loss”. I’m happy to stand corrected and be enlightened by wiser souls!

          • azi says:


            In order to prevent wheelie, drive torque (from the engine) must be equal or less than gravitational torque (from the weight & length of the bike) at the rear axle.

            Given that the ‘a’ (acceleration) component in gravitational torque is fixed, the only way to increase gravitational torque is to increase the mass or length of the bike. Therefore the only way to stop a wheelie in an extremely powerful motorcycle is to make it longer or heavier. ‘Wheelie control’ is just a way to keep drive torque at or below gravitational torque defined by the bike’s weight and length.

            Increasing weight to increase gravitational torque will impact on the horizontal F=ma equation. You could make the bike longer instead of heavier, but then it’s no longer a streetbike at a certain point.

            Time to stop before I end up writing a dissertation.

          • Dirck Edge says:

            “the horizontal vector F cannot be increased using conventional wheels and tyres, as the maximum value of F is limited by changes in angular acceleration and frictional loss” …you took the words right out of my mouth! 😉

          • xLaYN says:

            I vote for brakes and swing arm pivot and direction pipe that allows more play the faster you ride, this would make the bike more dangerous and therefore increase the amount of Factor T(estosterone) associated with it.
            Code project: jelly chassis
            Status: Running
            Last Report: first atemp where changing the sticky tires on the duke 1290 for toasted exedras, disable electronics and oil the brake pads
            Results: scared pilots as shut, already claimed by media as Factor T sport over martial arts with razor blades on your legs.

  6. ballistic billy says:

    Organ donors apply here!

  7. NRHRetro says:

    I recently read several “first ride” articles about the H-2, and I am having some trouble with the video we just watched.

    One test rider said he was reaching speeds of 175-180mph at the end of a straight on the track they were testing on, he was not topped out. This was on a bone-stock H-2. He also said that where the H-2 “shines” is low-end and midrange power and torque. Other terms I read in that article and others were, “wicked”, “fastest bike by far”, “nothing slams you back into the seat like the H-2”. One tester said that at high rpm the H-2 felt like other 1000cc supersports, but the low end and midrange power are far above anything in the class. The supercharged engine gives full power “almost instantly”, “unmatched acceleration”, etc., etc. One well respected rider did not like the H-2 on the track, said it is “not a track bike”, however, he loved riding it, and said it was an experience like no other.

    In the video above, the H-2 seems to be topping out at 175mph? That does not match up well with the pretty much unanimous statements made by riders from just about every publication that had a rider on it. One of them suggested the bike would easily surpass 186mph if the limiter were disabled.

    Rickey Gadsten said in his video that he had to “learn how to ride the H-2”, granted, his was not stock. But it still suggests that the H-2 requires a skilled rider manage the capabilities of the bike. I do not think that the rider in the video is getting anywhere near the most from the bike. I wouldn’t put much stock in the results of this video.

    • MGNorge says:

      In my thinking rider expertise shows most at launch and balancing the fine line between traction and maximum acceleration. Once a bike is hooked up then it’s more a matter of engine power and aerodynamics that take over. In this video at some point down course I would have expected to see the H2 show its stuff compared to the ZX10. But if the H2’s emphasis on power resides at the low and mid-range of the rev scale then indeed, rider finesse at launch may be even more important. But based on the video above I came away not very impressed with the blown H2..relative to its hype. Will watch for more comparisons though.

  8. Mark R says:

    I was expecting much more from the H2.
    Clearly we are not there yet.
    Keep on with development boys and girls!

  9. Chris says:

    No we haven’t seen the limits of acceleration because we are not seeing anything all that new or different. 200 hp vs nearly 200 hp… The supercharger and quick shifter help the H2 overcome its 80 lb weight disadvantage compared to the 10R.

  10. Michael H says:

    The practical limits of acceleration will be determined by plaintiff’s attorneys at some future date after a motorcycle dealer sells an overpowered motorcycle to an underskilled rider who promptly self destructs.

    After the megadollar settlement and related fines and expenses, motorcycle manufacturers will self-impose limits on power, or weight:power ratios or some such, with the sole purpose of limiting performance as a means to limit future liabilities.

    • Chris says:

      They’ve been saying this for the 30+ years I’ve been interested in motorcycles. And yet motorcycles have continued to get quicker, faster, more powerful….

  11. Grover says:

    The limits will be reached when our ego tires of trying to impress one another on “bike night”. I’ve never met a rider yet that uses all the power that a 180 hp sportbike produces. Perhaps you fare better in your dreams or in the afterlife after trying to use all the power available.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The limits will be reached when our ego tires of trying to impress one another on “bike night”.”

      translation, the limit will not be seen in our lifetimes or our children’s lifetimes.

  12. Sam says:

    What’s up with the scooter in the background looking bigger that the Kaw? This new Kawasaki looks to be as big as a lttle bite-size CBR250, made for midget’s. No offense meant to Midget’s.

    Comment out of the owner’s manual for a Yamaha YDS2, 250 cc streetbike that I bought in 1966. It was a 1962.

    “This bike almost to powerful for human kind.” The Japanese sure had a way with words in those days!

    • Curly says:

      “This bike almost to powerful for human kind.” The Japanese sure had a way with words in those days!”

      My 1966 YDS3 had another 2hp on your YDS2 and that bike would rip your arms off when it came on the pipe at 4,500! At least it felt that way to my 16 year old arms that had just stepped up from a Yamaha Rotary Jet 80.

  13. Trpldog says:

    For sure, the natural desire to have very fastest and the very latest is something that keeps things mechanically and electronically evolving. No getting around that. But, it sure is nice to be completely satisfied with what you currently have.
    …and I completely am – for the moment – ha ha. Curses on you Craigslist.

  14. dino says:

    I’m sure bikes will keep getting quicker. Just depends on which kind of quickness you want.

    Two wheel drive would just make it heavier. that’s a bad thing.. wheelies mean ALL the power is going through the one drive wheel, so the only way to go faster is weight distribution to the front to keep it down, while trying to keep the weight down overall.

    For faster acceleration when you are already rolling, just add more power/torque! That extra power would require the rest of the bike to be beefed up to handle it, and heavier makes it slower from a standstill.

    Strictly for fast acceleration off the line, you would have to look to the dedicated Pro Drag racers… LONG wheelbase, wheelie bars, and a fat slick to transfer as much power as possible. Makes for a horrible streetbike, however.

    So the real question is, how much of these attributes can be applied to a streetbike, before it becomes a bad streetbike?

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “So the real question is”

      Q: how much of these attributes can be applied to a streetbike, before it becomes a bad streetbike?

      A: apparently none from the BAT PODS seen wobbling around here.

  15. Frank says:

    Only way I can see quicker 0 to 60 or higher speeds at this point in our technology is through electronics and a new final drive system…push a button that lowers the front end and raises the rear end, which we already have, while simultaneously initiating some new form of two wheel drive system. Not being a student of the inherent positive or negative forces two wheel drive bikes might experience, I’ll leave it to the more informed among us to comment.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      The semiactive suspension BMW uses, does provide some meaningful firming up of the rear during hard acceleration. A full on transformer bike, with auto extending swingarm etc. would probably be too heavy and complex. Even for the Bavarians.

  16. tc2wheek says:

    Straight line acceleration… BORING!!

  17. Gary says:

    I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve read a motojournalist’s musing: “How on Earth can bikes (or cars) ever get any faster than this and still be rideable? Surely we’ve reached the upper limit.”

    History proved them wrong, and bikes (and cars) will assuredly get faster.

  18. Neil says:

    It doesn’t matter. It’s about saying it CAN. It’s about saying it HAS a supercharger. It’s the bling. Street cred. People will buy it just to have it at the Donut shop.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      If you take an H2 to a donut shop, be prepared to have it confiscated as a “display of speed” even sitting still.

  19. Tom Baxter says:

    The first time I did a track day about 5 years ago on my 1098s, I realized how much of the intended design of that motorcycle can only be enjoyed above 80 mph. Acceleration from 80 to 120 and above is a key part of the track day experience. I appreciate the historic interest and marketing power of 0-60 and quarter mile, but I suggest that many riders will learn much from trying their bikes at a track. The 0-60 is only relevant leaving the pits…fun, but brief. Bikes like the ZX10 truly show their all round goodness at a road track, more so than a drag strip. And Yamaha has poured millions into their new liter bikes, as has Ducati with the Panigale. Take em to the track. (No speeding tiks is another plus).

  20. stinkywheels says:

    Sorry I’m a fair weather, fair talent rider. I’m still hoping to do my first trackday. I have more fun riding my old Monster than my 1125CR. I just got to ride a Hyper and 1200 Multi S back to back. Guess which one I like best. No TC,ABS,E suspension, 95 hp, 380 lbs vs 150hp & 500lbs. I’m gonna look for one & put bags and bigger tank on the Hyper. But, I live right between the Black Hills and Bighorns, both mostly 50hp roads.

  21. Dave says:

    You will have reached the limits when governments decide to make them for motorcycles and insurance companies refuse to insure them.

  22. Gutterslob says:

    For acceleration off the line, I reckon two-wheel drive might give a couple more tenths. All you have to do is see a 911 Turbo S or GTR Nismo get off the line. Aside from track refugees like the Ariel Atom or uber expensive hybrid hypercars like the 918 Spyder or McLaren P1, nothing can touch them over the first 1/8th of a mile. Beyond that initial bit, I suspect we’ll need to see big gains in tyre compound technology.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Since it is wheelies, not traction, currently limiting motorcycles, I don’t think two-wheel drive would accomplish anything.

  23. dingerjunkie says:

    The question, and the video, bring to mind a Saturday Night Live “news skit” regarding the “All Drugs Olympics.” In the skit a dead-lift competitor attempts to lift some ridiculous amount and completely pulls both arms out of their sockets and off his body.

    If a motorcycle is to handle like a motorcycle, we’ve reached the limit. Time the take the edge-of-envelope tech and scale down for really useful, fun motorcycles.

    More performance in environments where people will actually ride…you know, next to the cager who is texting and eating a bagel, or the auto-drive Google car…is a waste. The bikes become so overwhelmingly competent that they don’t feel exciting at speeds within one’s skill set.

    Give me “half an H2,” please. Half the engine, half the width, half the tire mass, all the tech, less weight due to fewer, smaller bits. Don’t go cheap when you scale down.

    This was the formula Kawasaki followed with the EX500…sell half of a 1000 Ninja, with comparable tech for the day…and they had a winner of a bike with a 20-year market life.

    Do that again, please, but with today’s tech.

  24. titu says:

    The H2 had a bear for a rider… 🙂

    • chris says:

      Yeah, at first glance the shear size of the rider made the H2 look like a 300.

  25. iliketoeat says:

    Motorcycle acceleration is limited by wheelies, not by engine power. Giving a bike more power and expecting it too accelerate faster is like giving a bike stronger brakes and expecting it to brake better. Beyond a certain point, the bike will just stoppie.

    More power at lower RPM is useful. Increasing peak power (at high RPM) is useless, especially on bikes that will be ridden on the street.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “More power at lower RPM is useful. Increasing peak power (at high RPM) is useless, especially on bikes that will be ridden on the street.”

      Motorcycles are pretty useless compared to cars. But I still prefer useless.

      • iliketoeat says:

        No, motorcycles are useful in different ways compared to cars, but they’re still useful. Peak power at high RPM is USELESS in the purest sense of the word – you literally cannot use it.

        Suppose you have a bike with 200 HP at 13,000 RPM. This means you have to have the throttle wide open at 13,000 RPM to use that power. If you do this in lower gears, you’ll wheelie. If you do this in higher gears, you’ll be going 150+ mph, which isn’t possible on public roads (unless you’re suicidal or insane).

        So when do you get to use that impressive 200 HP number? When showing off your bike to people you barely know on a bike night? On top of this, bikes that have crazy peak power number have very little power at lower RPM. Like I said, peak power (which is what most people seem to focus on) is literally useless on a street bike.

        • Tim says:

          Tell that to the Yamaha MotoGP riders who struggle to match the acceleration of the Hondas. Granted, those are the best riders in the world, and they are better equipped to deal with added power than the average motorcyclist, but there is obviously a use for more power. Maybe not on the street but, certainly, on the track (and I do note you added the qualifier “street bike” at the very end.

          I believe in terms of road going technology, it may be a good time for manufacturers to concentrate more on size, fuel and weight savings, without losing HP in the process. That’s the direction I’d like to see things start to evolve.

          • iliketoeat says:

            Track vs. street. Those are totally different situations. We’re talking about motocycles primarily used on the street.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          “Peak power at high RPM is USELESS in the purest sense of the word – you literally cannot use it.”

          That is where we disagree. Many people seem to think that a bike like this is useless at lower rpms, but that just isn’t true. Even some of the the higher-strung liter bikes make pretty stout power at very usable engine speeds – more power than lots of bikes will make in fact. 40% of the peak power figure is still a lot of power. True, MOST of the power is going to be at higher rpms, but you certainly don’t need to go 150 mph to access it as you suggest.

          And keep in mind the intended use of these bikes… they are street bikes, but they are designed for track work regardless of where the owners use them the majority of the time. Nobody criticizes a KTM 350 EXC for having knobby tires or a high strung engine because its intent is clear.

          To quote you, these bikes “are useful in different ways”. I mean for cryin’ out loud… We just watched a video that shows where these particular owners are using that 200 peak hp.

          • iliketoeat says:

            That’s just the thing, we did NOT watch a video that shows where these particular owners are using that 200 peak hp – not below 150 mph or so. They couldn’t use the full power in lower gears because the bikes kept lifting the front wheel, so they had to back off until they were in higher gears. If you take the bike to a track (or an abandoned air strip), then yeah, you can use all the power, but not on the street.

            As for the other point – bikes that make a lot of peak power are by necessity tuned to work efficiently at high RPMs, which means that they work very poorly at lower RPMs. Just look at the dyno chart for any high-peak-power superbike. Those charts often don’t even show anything below 4K RPM.

            And you DO need to go 150 mph to access the 200 HP peak power, because that’s roughly how fast you’ll be going at 13,000 RPM in 3rd or 4th gear. You can’t open the throttle fully at 13,000 RPM in 1st or 2nd gear because you’ll wheelie.

            I’d rather have a bike that makes 100 HP at 5,000 RPM and 130 HP at 13,000 RPM, than a bike that makes 40 HP at 5,000 RPM and 200 HP at 13,000 RPM.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “I’d rather have a bike that makes 100 HP at 5,000 RPM and 130 HP at 13,000 RPM, than a bike that makes 40 HP at 5,000 RPM and 200 HP at 13,000 RPM.”

            And that is cool. A lot of people would not.

          • Stuki Moi says:

            “I’d rather have a bike that makes 100 HP at 5,000 RPM and 130 HP at 13,000 RPM, than a bike that makes 40 HP at 5,000 RPM and 200 HP at 13,000 RPM.”

            100 @ 5000 would most likely require a much larger and heavier engine/bike, which is why many “settle” for the latter.

            For liter engines we’re pretty much in agreement. But for an exciting sporty ride, high rpm in and of themselves are a big part of the experience. Idling around on a Superduker worrying about speed traps isn’t all that, either, as far as excitement on the street goes. Which is yet another reason why the high points of sporty street bikes remain the 636 and the Street Triple. You get to enjoy the higher revs sometime, both because absolute power is more limited, and because the lack of absolute torque prevents the bikes from being so ridiculously overgeared.

  26. Sean says:

    They asked about the mods on the H2 but what about the ZX10?? Not stock right?

    • Fair question! Look at the photo at the top of the article. The 10 looks lower in the front, surely at least a strap and who knows what else. It’s easy to start seeing things if you look – the H2 rider appears larger, too, and not just because he’s closer in the picture. 😉 It matters, and it doesn’t – both of these bikes, with these riders, are shockingly close in acceleration despite different ways of getting there. Interesting!

  27. Provologna says:

    My friend in ’79 had a finely-tuned by Sandy Kosman ’78 Suzuki GS1000 with Mr. Turbo kit, which Sandy said made “over 150hp” and I’m sure it did. It’s hard to believe that thirty-six years later production bikes just barely out-accelerate that antique. (The fuel tank might have been the only stock part, and even that had a fuel pump for the 40mm carb.)

  28. Dixit says:

    I still want to see more power, acceleration, and top speed from bikes anybody can buy.
    It’s not practical, it’s just fun. With the advance of electronics, more people can safely achieve levels of acceleration and speed that were reserved to pros a few years ago. In terms of top speed and aerodynamics, bikes are still in the stone age when compared to cars. We want more H2R, we don’t really them

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “It’s not practical, it’s just fun.”

      see, dixit get’s it.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      “In terms of top speed and aerodynamics, bikes are still in the stone age”

      And getting worse as the riding population ages to the point where dirt bike upright postures and wingspan like bar widths are at the limits of what their stiff backs and atrophying muscles can handle. Despite a nearly six foot wheelbase, weighing about as much as a small car, and benefiting from highly advanced CAD and wind tunnel testing, the K1600 is literally a step back WRT high speed aero stability in windy areas compared to the spindly forked, narrow-hard tired ST1100 I once owned (and stupidly enough sold). And so was the ST1300 when that came out to replace it.

  29. HondaBest says:

    Contact patch is a big part of the answer. Because of the curved profile used so a bike can lean there is a big problem getting a much larger contact patch and that will limit the amount of power than can be applied.
    If the H2 had 600 HP could it run a quarter more quickly with some sort of legal road tire?
    If you had a purpose built drag frame and unlimited slick width it might do a lot better.
    Two wheel drive might help over the quarter though 2 wheel electric drive might be the best solution as it appears that the days of the recip IC engine are almost over.

  30. Rocky V says:

    It looked like the Zx 10 held it’s own —

    • MGNorge says:

      That’s the very first thing I saw. If the ZX10 was basically stock then the H2 just lost some bonus points in my view. I would have expected the H2 to reel in the ZX10 or pull away from it as they had full traction further down the track but any differences seemed slight. Then too, I didn’t notice any real issues with either one getting traction, it wasn’t as if either just went up in tire smoke.The fact that the H2 gained speed with a muffler change speaks that more traction was available and waiting.

  31. Sam says:

    No, the practical limit hasn’t been reached. We always strive for more and it will come as it has since the beginning of 2 wheel transportation. Just remember back to the first time you rode a really fast bike and how your perceptions were changed. Fast forward to now and all of a sudden, that paradigm shift of a fast bike wasn’t even fast at all.

    Practical is utilitarian as in a little 50cc scooter to ride in the city and get 125 mpg, with some storage and no possibility of getting a speeding ticket:)

    I’m a computer tech and IT Pro and have been in computers since forever, when a mainframe was 10ft x 5ft x 6ft tall and in those many years of change, my Flash drive is much more high-tech and practical and much more powerful. Change is inevitable.

    Practical seems like a word your great-great grandfather would use.

    • xLaYN says:

      Practical seems like a word your great-great grandfather would use.
      “my Flash drive is much more high-tech and practical”
      I knew time machines have already been built!!

  32. xLaYN says:

    short answer as Dave, LoneAmigo and Jeremy said below: yes; the tamming electronics are the proof.
    We need to start scaling back the tech to smaller and smoother: imagine your CBR400RR, 80HP on a 380lbs wet motorcycle, you’ll use all your gears; way better than the ZX12R slipping the rear tire on first gear and 2nd gear already not usable on anything but a open road (do not talk about 6th) (SV650 it’s the proof)
    and now to collect some hate: the standar h2 it’s useless, the standard ZX10 is already faster as seen on video above (would the S1000RR smoke out the standar h2??).
    now, about the beauty of a bike with a super charger and all that love to detail on the H2? that’s another story.

  33. Kevin says:

    As many here have already said, the quest for more acceleration and top speed has long reached pointlessness. About 90 percent of medium to large displacement bikes have more than enough acceleration and top speed for the way 90 percent of riders ride 90 percent of the time.

  34. takehikes says:

    Most of the bikes have way more talent than the rider already. Personally torque gets me going more than anything….roll on at 40 to about 80 is where I want power.

    • xLaYN says:

      what if the “standard” 6 gears gearbox approach it’s the problem?

      • xLaYN says:

        and another if? what if engine configuration it’s the problem, I do understand the increase of revs in a smaller machine for the sake of increasing the power to size and weight ratio, but the way of increasing torque at the expense of RPM comes with long stroke and less cylinders…. and valves… a.k.a Harley Davidson, Buell was right!!!!! ~~

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “torque gets me going”


      i’ll have the bumper stickers ready to ship by the end of the week @20 a pop. I ask that you please participate in “wealth transfer” with reckless abandon c/o my paypal address, thank you.

  35. Chris says:

    Not sure why anyone would expect this race to be any different. I expected it to be close with the H2 eking out a win. Both bikes make about the same peak hp. The H2 is about 80 lbs heavier. The H2 probably gets a bit of help off the line due to the supercharger and standard launch control. The 10R is probably launching at about 7k, maybe 8k.

    Get back to me when there is a video of the H2R vs. a 10R.

  36. Curly says:

    Well that was fun. What do we do now?

  37. pojo says:

    not sure. look at cars with the dsg transmission and the automated race start shaving considerable time; so if that tech crosses over it might mean quicker bikes

  38. Bart says:

    One of my fav quotes from the Book of Bart:

    “Every limit presupposes something beyond it.” Vladmir Nabokov

    This applies to accelerating motorcycles too.

    There is nothing “practical” about pushing the limits. Ya’ do it because you can.

  39. LoneAmigo says:

    Any normal motorcycle rider of normal motorcycles knows that the practical limit was reached long ago. The debate is no longer about seconds or even 10th of a second, but ever smaller fractions. Same with speed through the trap. Sure, there are “superhuman” riders, and there are evermore radical bikes, but what the normal rider can expect is now so powerful that the normal thinking rider gest electronic control for traction, both accelerating and decelerating, and whatever else becomes available. We all know the bikes are way more capable than any of us are. This is not really a new or strange thing. Our”jet” pilots, i.e. military pilots and their ilk have been facing this environment since the F-4 in Vietnam, and we on two wheels since about 20 years after that. In a way we have reached the killer stage of “who cares?” What we all care about now is how to stay safer in our riding environment — airbag suits, better headgear, tires that never slip, knowing what’s beyond our field of vision, staying dry, warm, and so on. Over 100,000 reverse trikes sold. So we can be not in a car and yet much safer than on the old conventional two-wheels for the average normal rider.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my bike. And there will alway be people who want the experience to be as primitive as possible. And I would like performance from 60 to 120 mph to improve as much as 0 to 60 has. But the question was have we reached the practical limit, and the answer is “indubitably”.

    {Now about tho impractical limits… :D}

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “there will always be people who want the experience to be as primitive as possible.”

      pfft, luddites.

  40. Bocker says:

    Realistically, I’m not interested in anything that makes much more than about 120hp, other than from an engineering curiosity standpoint. The H2 is impressive, but top speed and mind-numbing acceleration is far less thrilling for my riding style than high speed cornering capabilities. Give me low weight and high quality suspension over horsepower any day. You can only put so much power to the ground, and you can only use so much power while keeping the front wheel down. The ability to use the power comes down to designing a machine that works well with the rider, rather than one which just seeks to make big grunt and give bragging rights at bike nights.

  41. Jeremy in TX says:

    I think we have been at that limit from a dead start for quite some time now. I am much more interested in what the bike will do when I open the butterflies while going 50 mph.

    • Trpldog says:

      Jeremy, I agree. I will trade precise handling and mid-range torque for light-speed any day. The radar guns live on the straights. Nothing like grabbing a handfull of throttle in the apex and leaving those 16,000 rpm yamasukis wondering what happened.

  42. Garry says:

    Why are they not racing a ZX 14???????

  43. theguy says:

    Electric bikes appear to be the next acceleration frontier, probably partially due to torque off idle, and partially due to lack of shifting:

    • Dave says:

      Another opportunity of electric may be more exact control of power output.

      The short answer to this article is yes, the practical limit has been reached. Without radically redistributing the weight on a motorcycle, there is a limit to how hard it can accelerate on a given wheelbase.

    • xLaYN says:

      I’m not sure about that video… seems to exploit the clutch-high rev situation at the beggining of any race plus the odd lenght of the track

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