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Rev Light

Power verses Weight

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Rev Light

Whilst we are all adding accessories to our bikes to make them 'better' for our own personal needs, is there anything we can do to improve our power or reduce the weight of bikes beyond the usual?

 

Power:

1.  The replacement exhaust can, apparently, improves power.  But I have yet to see any real evidence (i.e. a before and after bhp/torque graph).

2.  A replacement Air Filter from the like of K&N for example - Again only anecdotal rider experience.

3.  What else is there?  Can't fiddle with the chip or anything?

 

Weight:

1.  Obviously, this could and should start with the rider, if you have surrounded too many pies recently, then perhaps this is the first and cheapest place to start a weight reduction exercise.

2.  Another side effect of replacing the exhaust can is the usual weight loss, of a heavily built standard can.  

3.  I have seen also 'decat' pipe available.  Is this a worthwhile mod, losing a Cat could be w worthwhile weight loss, but to what effect on the general bikes performance.

4.  Anyone fitted a Lithium Ion battery yet?  I have one fitted to my 1982 BMW R100 and managed to save a whopping 16 lb.  Anyone familiar with airheads will know that they are fitted with a wet car style battery from standard.  An Lithium Ion battery will still save weight on this model bike although how much is another point...But they are quite expensive to start with.

 

Boxes racks and panniers?  Do you need them all the time?  Or just occasionally?  Are you carrying any unnecessary guff in your 'frunk'? 

 

Whereas I generally subscribe to the view that the Honda engineers do know what they are doing when they engineer a bike for the public's consumption, I also know that in the back ground there is a bean counter and perhaps a production engineer, who for whatever reason, is trying to water down the engineers efforts by fitting cheaper ([perhaps heavier) easier to manufacture components to get the bike built at a particular price point.  You have only to look at the corroded bolts and minor fixing brackets to know this is the case.

 

I am also a believer in the law of diminishing returns.  I would rather not spend lots of money on components made of exotic materials, when I could save more weight by having a hair cut or visiting the toilet before riding.

 

Cheers

 

Rev Light 

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Mike5100

I do wonder where the NC's rather lardy weight comes from.  Don't get me wrong - I think the engineers have done a wonderful job on their concept of low down weight centralisation and the bike handles like a dream, but when my NC750 X DCT weighs about the same as a BMW 1200GS, you have to wonder how.  The NC has one brake at the front, a tiny fuel tank, a spindly swingarm, a super thin chain, no paralever front suspension, no clutch lever or extra reservoir.  It's also got nicely delicate wheels.  In other words Honda seem to have taken the opportunity to pare down various things because the bike never has to deal with 120bhp, and yet the sum total is quite a heavy bike.

Mike

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ScaredyCat

Go on a diet. You're the heaviest single item on the bike.

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bazza

it's the old story - make a bike light and you end up with a fragile racer- no weather protection and skimp on things.

Didn't the 1955 Vincent 1000 have an output of 54 bhp, a weight of only 136kg -and do 150mph?

Personally I am not a fan (now) of bikes with a lot of power to haul along the heavy items we all seem to need- I think back to my F1200's which were almost automatic with high horsepower and lots of mid range.

So we have skimpy chain guards -so we fit huggers.

a silly length front "mudguard" -so we extend it

a short screen - so we fit a taller one

no crash bars -so these lumps go on

rad guard -obligatory some say -so on it goes

Then we complain that the bike weighs too much -and needs more power -which saps the fuel consumption!

 

I would hate to be a bike designer - trying to put in all that everyone wants -design by committee? the result -a Deauville which I am sure is a perfectly good bike but (they say) is rather dull!

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Rocker66

it's the old story - make a bike light and you end up with a fragile racer- no weather protection and skimp on things.

Didn't the 1955 Vincent 1000 have an output of 54 bhp, a weight of only 136kg -and do 150mph?

Personally I am not a fan (now) of bikes with a lot of power to haul along the heavy items we all seem to need- I think back to my F1200's which were almost automatic with high horsepower and lots of mid range.

So we have skimpy chain guards -so we fit huggers.

a silly length front "mudguard" -so we extend it

a short screen - so we fit a taller one

no crash bars -so these lumps go on

rad guard -obligatory some say -so on it goes

Then we complain that the bike weighs too much -and needs more power -which saps the fuel consumption!

 

I would hate to be a bike designer - trying to put in all that everyone wants -design by committee? the result -a Deauville which I am sure is a perfectly good bike but (they say) is rather dull!

With regards to your comments on the Deauville not all bikes are designed or bought for excitement. I along with many others bought a Deauville as a practical form of transport rather than a leisure item. Many people have a bile for leisure use and a car for practicality not having a car licence I had one bike for leisure and the Deauville for practicality a role that it filled superbly.You wouldn't buy a Ford Mondeo and complain that it boring because it didn't perform like a Porche so why disrespect a Deauville for not performing like a Blade?. I also used my Deauvilles some of my touring holidays another role which they filled really well

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stordz

A good question, luckily the NC carries its weight fairly low..... I was moving the bike the other day and wondering why the bike was so heavy compared to many larger machines that I've owned over the years....... perhaps I just need to work out more...... :ahappy:

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stordz

 

Personally I am not a fan (now) of bikes with a lot of power to haul along the heavy items we all seem to need- I think back to my F1200's which were almost automatic with high horsepower and lots of mid range.

 

 

By F1200 do mean the Yam FJ1200? if yes then that is a bike I wished that I had owned at least once....... :ahappy:

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Rev Light

I am only really looking for any really easy/cheap ideas to perhaps offset the weight I am already adding.  And I understand I have bought into the 'design concept' and am looking to fit a center stand...More weight.....Doh!  

 

Perhaps it is because the engine is based on a car design.  Flywheel, heavier built components therein.  Might be indicative of a machine capable of very high mileages down the line.

 

So there is not much to be done, really?

 

Just curious.

 

Cheers

 

Rev Light

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Rev Light

I did my first cross country commute this morning and a pleasantly quick ride was had, in light early morning traffic.  What few overtaking opportunities that arose, were dispatched with great efficiency.  However, when I go home tonight, it will be a slow ride in heavy traffic, with long queues and 'convoys', so we will see how things go.

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trisaki

Honda have done a fine job of making a bike that feels weighty enough on the road without getting blown about too much but still very manageable ,they have saved weight where they can by not adding GREASE !

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bazza

With regards to your comments on the Deauville not all bikes are designed or bought for excitement. I along with many others bought a Deauville as a practical form of transport rather than a leisure item. Many people have a bile for leisure use and a car for practicality not having a car licence I had one bike for leisure and the Deauville for practicality a role that it filled superbly.You wouldn't buy a Ford Mondeo and complain that it boring because it didn't perform like a Porche so why disrespect a Deauville for not performing like a Blade?. I also used my Deauvilles some of my touring holidays another role which they filled really well

hey I have no experience of the Deauville -and haven't "dissed it" - just quoted what others have said especially the mags.

I only knock things I have PERSONAL experience of - like having ridden 3 HDs and hated all of them.

But having had an Africa Twin - yes and took it to Africa, unlike others - I am sure that the mid size Honda's are ideal for what they are designed for..No-one can call the NC's exciting bikes - they a practical and yes they are heavy - but that's not necessarily a bad thing as the weight is low and they are lot easier to push around when pulling out of a parking spot etc.The usual moan with bikes weight is they use extra fuel-and that's not an issue with ours!

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bazza

By F1200 do mean the Yam FJ1200? if yes then that is a bike I wished that I had owned at least once....... :ahappy:

Yes I had 3 of them- the last a stripped down Streetfighter as I was fed up of the bulk.Its cost me my license for 14 days as I was "hairdryered" at 108 - luckily I had slowed from 135 as I approached that layby .It was in the days when you didn't have your "round things" cut off for speeding.

Since then they added a shaft -practical but heavy . A mate commutes on one -80 motorway miles a day- and its now done +40K miles. The engine will last forever but he has occasional problems with the electrics as water gets thrown up into the loom 

Uses twice the NCs fuel though!

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Rev Ken

it's the old story - make a bike light and you end up with a fragile racer- no weather protection and skimp on things.

Didn't the 1955 Vincent 1000 have an output of 54 bhp, a weight of only 136kg -and do 150mph?

Personally I am not a fan (now) of bikes with a lot of power to haul along the heavy items we all seem to need- I think back to my F1200's which were almost automatic with high horsepower and lots of mid range.

So we have skimpy chain guards -so we fit huggers.

a silly length front "mudguard" -so we extend it

a short screen - so we fit a taller one

no crash bars -so these lumps go on

rad guard -obligatory some say -so on it goes

Then we complain that the bike weighs too much -and needs more power -which saps the fuel consumption!

 

I would hate to be a bike designer - trying to put in all that everyone wants -design by committee? the result -a Deauville which I am sure is a perfectly good bike but (they say) is rather dull!

Yup the Vincent was engineered almost regardless of cost. The main frame was the engine with everything hung on to it. The top frame member was also the oil tank, and the rear suspension was hinged at the top of the engine and the dual seat supporting legs down to the rear suspension also incorporated the rear suspension adjustable friction dampers. Even the mudguard stays were stands for working on the bike. The top speed quoted in the brochures was 'according to gearing'......  :D  (The designed cruising speed for my Rapide - with slightly less bhp than the Black Shadow - was 100mph which I did regularly when commuting from Swindon to Dundee at weekends. When I was informed that my new wife had been rushed to hospital I can verify that I got an indicated 132mph crossing Salisbury Plain. Fortunately she was OK, but I was a blubbering wreck having pushed myself and the bike well beyond my comfort zone!)

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stordz

Yes I had 3 of them- the last a stripped down Streetfighter as I was fed up of the bulk.Its cost me my license for 14 days as I was "hairdryered" at 108 - luckily I had slowed from 135 as I approached that layby .It was in the days when you didn't have your "round things" cut off for speeding.

Since then they added a shaft -practical but heavy . A mate commutes on one -80 motorway miles a day- and its now done +40K miles. The engine will last forever but he has occasional problems with the electrics as water gets thrown up into the loom 

Uses twice the NCs fuel though!

Sounds like a great bike especially as you had 3.....I must admit that I do quite fancy a large air cooled bike for a change, the Suzuki Bandit 1200 looks it would fit the bill....... 

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bikingyogi

Like most others, I bought the NC750 for the whole package it offers and, after 8 months on the road, it has lived up to my expectations.    However, it would have better if it had been a few kilos lighter - not necessarily to accelerate faster but simply to manhandle when I am turning it around on my patio (don't ask) and putting it up on a paddock stand.   I used to be able to physically lift the back-end of my Versys 650 off the ground (it made it easy for me to turn it around in confined spaces :-) )

 

Yes, the bike is pared down in places and does indeed require extra parted to be bolted on but does anyone really know where the "extra" weight it ?   Is it simply down to the engine's evolution from a car engine ?

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Rev Light

At least there is no lead ingot bolted to the bottom of the engine, to keep it upright - like a keel, other we would have heard something by now, I am sure !

 

Steel frame, steel swing arm, lots of steel inside the engine and gearbox......One imagines.  Oil and water....better leave them in there.

 

How heavy is the lead acid battery?

 

Cheers

 

Rev Light

Edited by Rev Light

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embee

Wiki says the Black Shadow was "a relatively light 208kg", presumably dry, so 220+kg wet. A review of the R1200GS (2013 model) says 525lbs wet (238kg). The 700X blurb in the Service section sticky says 218kg kerb (presumed half wet, oil+water but no fuel, maybe?). Not a vast difference really.

 

On a naked bike 50BHP or thereabouts will get you around 110mph, perhaps 115 flat on the tank. You need nearer 80BHP to get a true 130mph (e.g. an SV650 with a genuine rear wheel 70BHP will usually do a true 125mph) and 125BHP for 150mph true speed. For a typical bike and rider, power requirement goes pretty much with the cube of the speed, above 60mph it's practically all aerodynamic drag. The laws of physics haven't changed much in the last 60 years.

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Rev Light

10kg is 22lb or there abouts - which just happens to be the difference between and X and a DCT X, but whichever bike you started with, the loss of 10kgs wouldn't be a bad thing (but is probably not achievable?).  Who has got the best part of 2 stone to lose.  Not me, I have lost it already - but I might be able to shift a few more lb.

 

Everything you say about speed and drag is correct, I am sure.  

 

The weight I am talking about is the one that affects acceleration, fuel economy and ease of handling whilst wheeling it around.  I need to keep my licence, so I anything 100mph is irrelevant in this day an age, in this country.

 

Adding some lightweight bits of plastic for huggers, fenda extenders, hand guards and screens, does not amount to much, really.  Although it does start to, when you add it all up when you start adding lumps of iron, like engine guards and center stands racks and boxes, etc.

 

Looks like there is nothing more to add to my initial question.

 

Probably make the suspension harsher anyway : )

 

Rev Light

Edited by Rev Light

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Mike5100

Yes Murray - and the DCT seems to add about 9 kilos which puts my 750X DCT within a smidgeon of the BMW, and when you sit on a BMW it feels a much bigger bike - like the Crosstourer or the Triumph Explorer ... whereas the NC feels a much smaller bike and you'd expect it to be around the same weight as say a Versys.  My bike is a whole person (62kilos) heavier than a Street Triple

 

And are you saying that you only need high power if you really want to occasionally do 150mph, or does the high power translate into rip snorting acceleration as a by-product?

Mike

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Guest RobF

I know what it says on paper but there's no way a NC Honda is anywhere near the weight of a 1200GS. On paper my 100GS machines weigh 207kg but I challenge anybody to come round here and move them about and still tell me they weigh the same as an NC. I'd take any manufacturers claim for weight with a pinch of salt. I think that Honda have been very honest with the NC in terms of published weight and power figures while everybody else is full of sh*t

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kharli

lying down on the tank like a moto gp rider makes the biggest speed difference for me ,and you can always pretend your on a 200hp ducati if your bikes red !

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embee

.....

And are you saying that you only need high power if you really want to occasionally do 150mph, or does the high power translate into rip snorting acceleration as a by-product?

Mike

Sorry, yes I hadn't really addressed your initial post, I was groping round the comparison figures. Sure, the simplest parameter to describe acceleration is power/weight ratio. That simple ratio predicts pretty closely the 0-60mph (or 0-100kph if you prefer) times for cars with "typical" performance. When you get to the extremes it depends so much on technique and traction etc that the numbers get a bit iffy, but who cares whether it'll do 0-60 in 3.5 or 3.7sec? Many bigger bikes are in the extreme bracket regarding acceleration, and need first class technique to get the absolute best accel times, but does that really matter in the real world? That's where the NC DCT "cheats" if you like, not enough power to need traction control etc,, no real rider technique required, just wind it on and wait (I love it).

 

A very modest NC with let's say 50BHP and bike+rider at 310kg still gives 160BHP/tonne, and that's pretty impressive by car standards (the Honda S2000 sports car was around 175BHP/tonne).

 

As for weight in the NC, I can only assume much of it is in the power unit. As said by others the wheels aren't particularly heavy (unlike the Deauville wheels!), the forks etc are typical too. The frame doesn't look particularly hefty and the plastics weigh next to nothing. The ABS module looks a bit of a lump. My SV650 is a lightweight at around 190kg or so, and it feels much more "toy" like in comparison but is very much more nimble and responsive than the Deauville or the NC for that matter, but it doesn't feel as robust. Once you start using more exotic materials the costs go up.

 

Reducing weight in cars is a systematic thing, just take every component and shave a couple of grammes here and there and it all adds up.

 

It'll be interesting to see where Honda go with the new generations of bikes, compromises of fuel economy, weight, power, cost etc. I look forward to it all.

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Dave H

By F1200 do mean the Yam FJ1200? if yes then that is a bike I wished that I had owned at least once....... :ahappy:

 

They're still about.  Get one and know what top gear roll on is all about.

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baben

I know what it says on paper but there's no way a NC Honda is anywhere near the weight of a 1200GS. On paper my 100GS machines weigh 207kg but I challenge anybody to come round here and move them about and still tell me they weigh the same as an NC. I'd take any manufacturers claim for weight with a pinch of salt. I think that Honda have been very honest with the NC in terms of published weight and power figures while everybody else is full of sh*t

I would agree with this. The only way to be sure how much your bike weighs is to put it on some scales - at a vehicle testing station perhaps. My NC feels about the same weight as my old BMWF800ST though according to the figures I believe it is 20kg or so heavier....

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Rev Light

So, in conclusion:

 

Performance Upgrades:  

 

1.  The dubious Air filter and after-market silencer/'decat pipe' combo.  Every manufacturer claims a performance increase, but how big and where in the rev-range.  And what are the sacrifices?  I.e. a hole/ flatspot in the power delivery?

 

Weight:  

 

After market pipe - both the silencer and 'decat' pipe - got to be lighter than the standard pipe/silencer.

Lithium Ion battery - going to be lighter (2.5 lb) than the lead acid standard (? lb)  item, but perhaps not the saving it might be on other bikes.

Rider - the cheapest and easiest tuning mod.  Bearing in mind that your riding kit might weigh half a stone.

Keeping a lid on what extras you fit to your bike.  Does it need to be fitted all the time?

 

Cheers

 

Rev Light

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