Every vehicle has a power-to-weight ratio. Just like cars, motorcycles also have the power to weight ratio. So, the more the weight on a motorcycle the more horsepower it will need to move.

To go fast, we can either decrease the weight or increase the horsepower. The power to weight ratio is also used as a measure of the performance of the motorcycle as a whole.

What is a good power to weight ratio?

The power to weight ratio varies according to the uses of the motorcycle. A MotoGP racer will need a much higher power to weight ratio and will use a powerful engine along with carbon fiber for body parts to lighten the load.

The Engine will be much stronger than any common motorcycle. This Motorcycle is to be used to race and it is supposed to be light and powerful.

On the other hand, an ordinary scooter will not have as strong an engine and will not be able to accelerate as the sports bike does.

The power to weight ratio on the scooter will be much lower as the weight will be high and the parts will not be as light. It will not be as fuel-efficient as the sports bike.

However, this scooter does not require such a high acceleration and power, unlike the sports bike.

How do you calculate the power to weight ratio on a motorcycle?

In Newton’s law of motion, the lighter the object, the lesser the force required to make it change the direction of motion. It’s all in the equation F=ma, where F is force, m is mass and a is acceleration.

The power to weight ratio of a motorcycle can be found by dividing the power by the weight of the bike.

Let’s take a generic 1000cc bike that weighs 180kg and the engine produces 200hp. The power to weight ratio is 200hp/180 kg =1.11hp/kg.

When we decrease the weight by removing the exhaust system and exchanging it with a custom product or using a lighter seat, we get a higher power to weight ratio.

For example, the weight has been decreased to 165 kgs on the same 200hp bike. According to the calculations, 200hp/165kg =1.21hp/kg. 

This will make your bike easier to handle and easier to ride and in case of accidents, the bike will be much lighter. A lighter bike will also cause less damage to the surroundings in case of an accident.

You can also increase the power to weight ratio by simply using a more powerful engine, and not dropping any of the excessive weight. This will improve the acceleration and the deceleration of the bike.

By increasing the power, from 200 hp to 210hp, a 180kg bike will have a higher power to weight ratio. 210hp/180kg=1.16hp/kg.

Is higher power to weight ratio better?

A higher power-to-weight ratio is better if the goal is to make the bike go faster and accelerate quicker. The cheaper way to do this is by decreasing the weight of the bike and not just simply increasing the horsepower of the engine.

The more powerful engine will consume more fuel and power. On the other hand, by simply decreasing the weight, the same results can be achieved more cost-effectively. Losing weight will get you free horsepower.

The brakes will be able to easily slow down the bike; the heavier motorcycle will be difficult to handle and slow down. Even if the cost-effectiveness does not matter in the situation, the safety of the driver will have to be taken into account.


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