I read somebody’s theory a while ago about why we never hear from distant planets: About the time we learn to broadcast into space, we also learn to build nuclear weapons. So by the time we’d hear from Tralfamadore, 200,000 light years away, it’s already toast and so will we be.

But that’s Progress, and there’s no stopping it. How come we got along fine for most of the history of roadracing motorcycles, racing ones no bigger than 500cc – but now we need twice that displacement to be entertained? The archives are filled with happy black and white images of characters over the moon after winning the 175cc Italian Championship, etc. That’s Carlo Ubbiali in the lead photo, nine-time champ on 125s and 250s, who we’re told never had a serious crash in his 12-year career.

Giacomo Agostini and Mike Hailwood built their legends riding four-stroke machines no larger than 500cc for the most part, and they had some of their grandest battles on four-cylinder 250 four-strokes that probably didn’t make much more power than a current CB500F (though they did make a lot more racket). If anything, given better metallurgy and electronics and all that, you’d think we’d need half the displacement to have modern fun, not twice as much.

Eraldo Ferracci has gained a few pounds since then, but he was some sort of small-bore Italian champ before he came to America and took up drag racing.

Eraldo Ferracci has gained a few pounds since then, but he was some sort of small-bore Italian champ before he came to America and took up drag racing.

The slope began to slip when Yamaha and Suzuki came up with their 500cc two-strokes in the early ’70s, after two-strokes had already begun undermining the status quo in the smaller classes. Goodnight, MV Agusta and Ago. Good morning, Barry Sheene, Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer and the new world racing order. The rest of the world got some very cool (and now highly collectible) RZV and RGV race replicas out of the deal; the best we could do in the Land of the Free was the Yamaha RZ350. As Trump would tweet, “sad.”

By 2002, when it was time to phase four-strokes back in – “diesels” the cool racer kids called them – it seemed fair to let them have nearly twice the cc of the two-strokes: 990cc. And that also lined up nicely with all the national series, which by then had worked their way up from 750 Fours and 1000cc Twins, to 1000cc Fours and 1200cc Twins. Why not? We Boomers were at our peak testosterone production years, and sportbikes were all the rage. More horsepower!

The first real modern literbike must’ve been the ’98 Yamaha R1, which was rated at 150 horsepower by Yamaha, around 135 or so at the rear wheel. By then we’d already grown fond of writing stuff like, “the only time you’ll be able to use all that power is at a race track,” and now it was true. Finally we arrive at today, where there’s too much power to even really use at a race track, unless the track is maybe the Bonneville Salt Flats. Now bikes like the BMW S1000RR are almost unrideable by the average stiff, unless he’s careful to dial up the traction control before he gives the throttle a solid whack.

Drag cars go a lot faster now than this Hemi gasser I spied at a local car show last Sunday, but how many people care anymore? From the era when men were men and packed their own dang chutes...

Drag cars go a lot faster now than this Hemi gasser I spied at a local car show last Sunday, but how many people care anymore? From the era when men were men and packed their own dang chutes…

I’m as big a fan as the next guy when it comes to TC, especially off-road, but when you need it on pavement, well, wouldn’t it make just as much sense to build a bike with a bit, oh dare I even say it! Less horsepower? (Of course, GSX-R750s and R6s already exist for discriminating sporty riders, but they get way less OEM attention than the literbikes.) Don’t the computer programmers already have enough control over our lives? How far off are we from having to call customer service in India to adjust our rebound damping? Will we be able to bring a class action suit against Bosch if enough people highside their new GSX-R1000s?

Don’t even get me started about motocross bikes. I’m pretty sure Supercross is a fan favorite for the same reason going to the Colosseum was in ancient Rome. Yo, Euripides, let’s go watch those monster four-strokes throw Christians to the whoops section!

Too much horsepower really takes the fun out of it. Instead of Barry Sheene and James Hunt smoking tabs and partying with Twiggy and the Queen Mum, now everybody’s home-schooling, eating healthy and training constantly in a futile effort just to be able to hang on for a whole moto. I read where Hailwood and his pals would sometimes have a little taste of the bubbly before the race back in the day. Now that’s civilized. Wouldn’t everybody be happier with less horsepower and less physical training? A little more time to smell the roses? When I got here, we liked motorcycles because they were kind of the antithesis of athleticism.

Mike Hailwood didn’t need no stinkin’ team shirts or constant Monster energy sippy cups.

It’s not just a cliche, it really is fun to ride a slower bike fast. I always liked Ducati’s mini-Superbikes better on the street, like the 748, 749 and now the 959, for the simple fact that their shorter gearing means you get to wind them up a lot more often and enjoy that sound: On the full-size 1299 Panigale, any time the tachometer moves past about 8000 rpm, you’re felony speeding. The fact that the 959 is now the small Panigale tells us all we need to know. That first 851 was fast! The 888 was a monster!

But birds gotta fly, fish have to swim, engineers have to engine. There’s no turning back from progress. Luckily, natural selection is an ongoing process too. Last time I heard, sales of those top-of-the-line superbikes aren’t near as hot as they once were, as Boomers move into all kinds of other segments including adventure bikes and nakeds. The big nakeds really are where it’s at lately for most of us at MO. Things like Aprilia Tuonos and KTM Super Dukes offer all the performance you could ever use – even if some of them only make a measly 125-135 horsepower – along with comfort and civility.

Still, the thing that was revolutionary about a lot of milestone motorcycles was their lack of weight. It was true of the original GSX-R, the CBR900RR Honda, the original R1, and lack of mass was the reason the Norton Manx, a big Single, was still able to beat much more powerful multi-cylinder motorcycles long after it shouldn’t have been able to. I wonder if, instead of a new VFR1000RR, what the world really needs now is a 375-pound VFR750RR? Not that Honda is interested in building either one; they’re smart that way.

We’re in the grip of a powerful addiction, people, a horsepower one! The ever-larger doses they’ve been feeding us have turned us into drooling zombies, and we’re about to hit rock bottom. I guess my point here is, if you’re on the fence about any motorcycle, worried that your potential choice might be underpowered if it’s not packing more than 100 horses, stop worrying. I seem to have the most mototainment on bikes that make about 50 or 60 (same as a 500cc Norton Manx); things like Yamaha FZ-07s and Triumph Street Twins are tons of fun. The MV Agusta Three that Agostini rode to seven 500cc championships made 78 horses at 12,000 rpm.

Now if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll rewind the Argentine MotoGP and watch Marquez and Lorenzo throw it in the weeds again. I can’t get enough! Go Rossi, 38 years young! He learned to ride before traction control, you know.

  • JMDGT

    I was lucky enough to visit the Ace Cafe in London last year. The day I went was Italian bike day. As I wandered through the crowd a few friendly locals took time to talk to me as I waded through the crowd taking pictures. Two of the older guys(about my age) mentioned that they had sold off their larger machines and replaced them with smaller bikes that they liked. One chose a V7 and the other a T100. They both said that it was more fun to ride the smaller bikes even though they weren’t as powerful. I haven’t had a sportbike in years but I remember well how light nimble and easy to stop it was. I am drawn to the new middleweight nakeds. The old grizzled riders at the Ace are downsizing. I think I will too.

  • Starmag

    You’re right of course. I can hear the shouts of “Luddite!” from brochure racers even now.

  • TC

    A couple of decades ago, my future wife and I went on a 4,000 mile family reunion trip on my 82 BMW R100, which I recall was rated at about 68hp. We traveled through all the western states and crossed over the Continental Divide a half dozen times. It had an adequate amount of power to get us wherever we were heading, without complaint. I’m currently riding a 2005 BMW R1200ST, which makes a little over 100hp. That seems to be the sweet spot for me. I don’t think it’s the peak horsepower most of us are looking for, it’s getting into the meat of the torque curve without revving the engine up to 14,000 rpm. Consider that some of the new muscle cars are putting out over 700 hp now. Does that obviate the need for a Viagra prescription, or what?

    • Gruf Rude

      I’m still touring on my ’84 R100RS and find that it is perfectly capable of hauling the wife and I anywhere we want to go, comfortably, with truly superior weather protection. That said, my KLR650 (42 HP?) got me and my camping gear to Alaska and back for the most memorable ride of my life – and I never held up traffic, so big HP is not necessary for big adventure.

  • Old MOron

    Preach to me, Reverend. Amen!

    • Max Wellian

      He’s even better than a preacher…he’s right!
      I was at a dealer a couple days ago and listened to the salesman yabber at the kid trying to decide whether he should go with the 190hp Duc or 195hp BMW or some such nonsense. The salesman was doing his best to keep the kid’s fantasy in overdrive.
      Problem is, engines outperform the rest of the package. That’s my guess why TC gained such quick development and acceptance. Seen so many vids of kids whacking the throttle out of a corner only to bin it a few seconds later.
      So now the mfg’s have the kids spending their student loan money on too much engine AND electronics only to have it kill the power to the level of the much more affordable standard bike they should have bought.
      If it wasn’t for the dumb and dreamy, getting rich would be so much more difficult.

      • Born to Ride

        This has been my observation with the current liter bike wars brought on by the S1000rr. For several years it seemed like the liter bike class would be capped at 150 hp just like the 600 class tapped out just over 100hp. Then came TC and now everyone’s bike makes 200hp or near it. I remember reading the first comparisons of the liter bike class when Honda was #1 and the bmw just came out. The 180rwhp of the BMW won it nearly every comparison test, but the pro-level riders still went faster on the Honda. You can only put so much power to the ground, but spec sheets sell bikes. That’s why when Honda took the approach of making their new CBR the lightest and best handling liter bike as opposed to the most powerful, I felt like they had the right philosophy. All the power in the world is useless when the computer takes most of it away so that you can ride the damn thing. We need a resurgence of 750 and 800cc sport bikes, 120hp, 55-60ft-lbs, and low 400s in weight. I find myself wanting something torquier than a 600, lighter and more manageable than a 1000. I guess the new Street Triple RS is somewhere in my future.

      • Ian Parkes

        Great first line!

      • Ian Parkes

        Great first line!

  • Buzz

    I’m a close friend of Ron Capps JB. He drives 330 mph and still packs his own chutes.

  • Buzz

    Former MO contributer Martin used to race his CBR954 but said he kept scaring the crap out of himself. So, he switched to an FZR400 and said he was having much more fun.

    • Johnny Blue

      I own a 954RR. It’s my only bike at the moment, but I’m considering getting a small bike for commuting. My commute is mainly on 50km/h roads with lots of stops. It’s ruining the engine in the Blade. On the rare occasions when I get to ride it on the highway, it’s arm stretching. Great bike, but compared to the S1000RR which I used to own, the Blade feels a bit heavier, although the mass is about the same.

  • halfkidding

    Moto GP is stuck with far too powerful, tire shredding liter bikes because otherwise super bikes would be faster. It’s kind of a mess really.

  • Mad4TheCrest

    My biking has progressed through a series of increasingly more powerful bikes. It made sense to me until I got my 1198cc Ducati superbike. That was the first time I thought there was such a thing as ‘too much power’. Now THAT bike is down as much as 35 bhp to the latest, greatest. No wonder electronic aids (and all their complexity) are needed.

  • Old MOron

    “On the full-size 1299 Panigale, any time the tachometer moves past about 8000 rpm, you’re felony speeding.”

    Actually, I don’t mind speeding, uh but felony speeding is not in my repertoire. The real problem with these speed bikes is that if you want to whack the throttle open and hold it there, you have to make a detailed plan first.

    You have to survey the horizon, and all points between you and the horizon. You have to execute a complex calculus inside your head and account for multiple parameters, like current speed, road surface, seen vehicles, unseen vehicles, cross streets, visibility, your current insurance payment, etc., etc. Only after carefully confirming both your sight lines and your calculus, only then can you whack the throttle open and hold it there – for a second or two.

    If you survive, and if your shorts are still clean, then you can redo the whole process before opening the throttle again. Sheesh!

    • Larry Kahn

      Back in the early Japanese superbike daze (CBX, XS1100,Z-1 etc) one magazine writer wrote something like “when you open the throttle there becomes here quickly.” Always liked that line.

      • Gruf Rude

        Was it back in 1964 when one of the cycle mags tested the Harley XLCH and said, “It’s fast enough to put hair on your chest. If you’ve already got the hair, it’ll part it down the middle.”

        • Born to Ride

          That one is lifted from a Bob Hope comedy western that I can’t be bothered to google right now.

          • Gruf Rude

            I wonder if Bob got it from Cycle World?

  • roma258

    I’m a modern man who didn’t come up with 500cc GP racing and sport bikes that made less than 100 bhp. Having said that, I find myself going back and forth between big power and something a bit more manageable. My favorite bike of all time was a V2 Aprilia Tuono, but after I binned it on the track, I decided to try the Honda Hawk GT, a cult classic known for just enough motor and a great chassis. Well, I kind of hated it. Asthmatic motor stuffed into a nice frame, matched by crappy components. Anyway, after a few more swings back and forth I think I might have found a bike that hits the sweet spot for me- Honda VF500.

    Even though its a 30 year old sportbike, the motor, chassis and components are beautifully match. Revving out that V4 motor to get the most out of the 55-60 bhp it’s putting out, while railing through a turn on those skinny tires is as thrilling as riding any modern sportbike, while doing it at speeds that may not send you to jail in certain states. Only issue is that the brakes scare the crap out of me. Just not up to the task compared to the modern braking components I’m used to. Hopefully some fresh pads and steel braided lines will get me a little closer to where they need to be.

  • Larry Kahn

    After a run of over 100hp bikes I concluded that you will only be one of three things-if you ride them as intended, gonna be dead or arrested, if you can ride them as intended but don’t for above reasons you’ll be frustrated, if you can’t ride them as above you’re a poser. My three main rides now are all under 85hp and I’m quite content.
    But everyone should have some stupid-fast bike once. After you’re 30 or so…

    • Sayyed Bashir

      That is why I will never buy a KTM 1290 Super Duke R (177 hp and 187 mph). I am in enough trouble with the bikes I have.

  • Born to Ride

    I can honestly say that I’ve never felt that the 85rwhp that my big air cooled Ducs put down was insufficient or boring. In fairness, they are 992cc and 1087cc, and therefore don’t make a case for the small displacement argument. However, many guys would look at the spec sheet and summarily dismiss them as being boring and slow. When it comes to horses, I’ll stick with quality over quantity. Who wants to feed and store horses they don’t even ride?

  • Douglas

    In your opening, regarding distant planets, I’ve always thought the surest sign that there IS intelligent life out there is that they HAVEN’T contacted us…

    When looking at this horsepower race, both bikes & cars, it’s gotta stop somewhere, no? Several scoots can do 250-300kph off the showroom floor, and any squid with the requisite $ can get one. Maybe he (or she) just passed the MSF course on a Rebel 250 or somesuch, got their endorsement and is ready to “tear up the streets”. The 1st time they grab an inadvertent fistful of throttle on, say, a big Ninja, ,VMax, Hayabusa, etc, a stick pin couldn’t be inserted into their sphincter, they’ll freeze and whatever they’re headed toward, they’ll hit. A good salesman, after a little chitchat with his potential customer and subtly finding out his experience, will try to steer the newbie to a 600 or thereabouts, but if they’re insistent, they’ll probably ride out of the dealership and the motoring public best be alert.

    Same goes for cars…..Dodge has just released something called a Demon with 840hp. Don’t know the price (well over $50k I’d imagine), but someone will get one and hafta “see what she’ll do” (hold my beer and watch this!). And, many have heard about the bonehead who put his almost new $1M Veyron thru a guardrail and into the drink off the PCH. Lotsa talent out there…..

    Drags and NASCAR…..hardly relevant anymore. Has technology ruined everything?

  • Rod

    A lot of sense here. In the last 25odd years ive had everything from RC45’s and Repsol Blades to a TM530 supermoto. Im not the worlds fastest rider, far from it, and finding much more fun on lighter (less powerful) bikes. You spend more time using a greater % of whats available. I think thats where the fun is. You do 120mph on a Blade it says ‘is that it sucker use the rest’. Your flat out on the red line on my 690KTM. Im finding that more fun, and besides it suits the roads we got here.

    • hipsabad

      if you don’t mind me asking, which model 690 and what year? i’m sorely tempted by the latest Duke.

      damn, i wish they made a SM with that new engine…!

      • Rod

        Hipsabad (great handle) I have a SMC690R, 2016. Its the supermoto and I like the supermoto style. Its good for about 120mph max but really benefitted from a can. Existing exhaust can is a little restrictive. The roads here (Ireland) are bumpy n twisty so its really suitable for them. I do miss some grunt after my Hypermotard Ducati. If they make with the 790 twin engine it will be ideal unless it puts on a lot of weight.

        • hipsabad

          i hear ya Rod, I had a buddy w the Hypermotard. And yes, the 790 has me shivering in anticipation–don’t fuck it up KTM! I’d choose the SMC690R w its longer suspenders in a flash over the Duke but it’s currently not available in Canada 🙁 You’re possibly in the UK, a biking cornucopia compared to hapless NA

          • Rod

            Talking of longer suspenders. I had the Hypermotard SP. Very tall. I mean seriously way too tall. I got her lowered but only an Italian would make somthing so unsuitable! And your right im in UK but Northern Ireland to be precise home to the NW200, Ulster Grand Prix etc etc and the Dunlop clan.

  • hipsabad

    “How come we got along fine for most of the history of roadracing motorcycles, racing ones no bigger than 500cc – but now we need twice that displacement to be entertained?” ftw!

    • hipsabad

      but also: “If anything, given better metallurgy and electronics and all that, you’d think we’d need half the displacement to have modern fun, not twice as much.”

      • Gruf Rude

        I’ve been watching Moto3 (250cc singles with better metallurgy and electronics) and it is PLENTY entertaining.

  • hipsabad
    • Kevin Duke

      Me too!

      • hipsabad

        i even bought one. Kevin, you need to hit up KTM for a commission

        • Kevin Duke

          Helping fellow riders find a bike that suits them well is reward enough! 🙂

  • brianjedwards

    It’s not like you have to rip the throttle every time you ride. I recently got a V-Strom DL1000 and I can keep up with pretty much anything under 100 mph because of the torque out of corners. But there are times where 95 HP or so and 125 mph just aren’t enough when everyone else is on a liter bike. 200 mph is absurd, so I think there’s a sweet spot around 130 rear wheel horse power coupled with lot of low-end pull that’s ideal for the street. Maybe John Burns is still riding his 68 Bonneville and is happy, but the latest crop of upright street bikes (FZ-10, S1000XR, etc.) are absolutely on point and a total blast without being too insane for those of us who like to ride with passion on the street.

    • BDan75

      Well said.

    • Born to Ride

      Ducati’s M1200 or Triumph’s speed triple sound like they are right on the nose with what you’re after. Personally, I fantasize that Suzuki would release a new naked SV1000 that put down 120hp on the Dyno and had a reimagined oval tube aluminum frame, single side swing arm, and round headlight with classic lines. Also with a cable throttle, switchable ABS and TC. Of course, that bike would sell like garbage, but I’d buy one.

      • brianjedwards

        Yep, agreed, both the Duc and the Triumph would be a blast. A naked updated SV1000 would be a fun bike too.

    • Douglas

      Shoot, I think they oughta just do away with these stifling speed limits. No one should be held back…..not getting the daily adreneline rush can cause anxiety and mental tension sometimes. Those who have the passion should be allowed to ride (or drive) as they wish, the public be damned (to borrow a phrase), right? If it causes a wreck or scares someone, hey, that’s just collateral damage…..that pent-up Rossi or Lorenzo inside the really hot riders has to be released, after all….

      • brianjedwards

        It doesn’t really matter to me if they have speed limits posted or not if they aren’t enforced. Don’t see a lot of LEOs where I ride. If we had to stick to the speed limits, there would be no point in riding anything above a Honda Grom. Get real dude, why don’t you stick to your walker and cane.

        • Douglas

          Well, of course it doesn’t matter….to you. It’s whatever you can get by with, no? But, like I said, just abolish those limits, then you and others of like persuasion could go 200kph all the time, or whenever it suited you, and not break the law. Goin’ real fast on public roads really impresses some folk, ’cause it takes lotsa talent and smarts to twist the throttle to the stop, n’cest pas?

          They say wisdom comes with age….maybe some day you’ll get there.

          Now I don’t doubt for a second you’ll have lotsa supporters here, and I’ll get many verbal darts and raspberries thrown my way, but that’s okay….

          By the way, Groms are fun….they won’t impress anyone, but they’re fun.

          • brianjedwards

            I used to live in Germany and spent plenty of time on the Autobahn…speed limits are in fact unnecessary. Speed limits and the occasional ticket amount to a user fee, and since I haven’t gotten a ticket in a while (knock on wood), much, much cheaper than track days. BTW, it does take skill to go fast in the twisties, which is where we ride fast. Getting to the twisties, though, we’re always close to the speed limit.

    • roma258

      How many times in your life are you trying to roll on acceleration at 125 mph? I mean at the track, sure….but who wants to ride a V-Strom at the track anyway?

      • brianjedwards

        I’d say once or twice a ride when the road opens up.

  • Brad Colburn

    More power better!!!

  • Joe Bar

    I sold my Speed Triple because of this. It was just too easy to get into trouble.

    Anyone got a Duke 390 for sale?

    Although, I did just buy a 500EXC for the dirt.

  • Larry Kahn

    Looking at a dyno chart of a BMW S1000RR it makes @185hp @13,300rpm. It makes @100hp @7000rpm. Would be interesting to data-log an average street ride and see just what percentage of time you’d be above 7000rpm in the top three/four gears. Tiny amount I’d guess.

    • hipsabad

      British magazine Bike did that very thing about ten years ago with, iirc, a GSXR1000. After installing a recording device on the throttle, their best riders were humbled/surprised by how little they ever went above 1/4 throttle in street riding(!)

      i’ve owned R1s and Fireblades amongst many others but in the most fun twisty bits where i live those bikes–which could do 160kph in first gear(![again])–those top gears were purely for discussion, if not useless. And if the road got bumpy a supermoto or even, say a VStrom, would slay a Ducati 1098. Ask me how i know… 😉

      • Larry Kahn

        As it happens my main go-to bike is a nakedized 650 V-Strom and yes it does work well…

        • hipsabad

          i’ve got one of those, too, ha!

  • John Langdell

    FJR and a KLR in my garage, I’ve got the spectrum covered. FJR headed for Yosemite in late May, KLR going to Inuvik, D2D and home through Alaska and BC in June and July

    • Gabriel Owens

      Fjr and cb1000r here. Had many klr’s. But I’m awaiting reviews of the Versys 300 before my next purchase. Might give it a try. What’s the most miles you’ve done on the fjr in a single day? Heli bars and a Sargeant seat and I can stay on mine all day long. Just an extremely comfortable motorcycle. Do 800 mile days often.

    • Ian Parkes

      VFR800, KLX400 and Vespa PX200 in my garage. Vespa is brilliant around town and with a shield-mounted mirror replacing the stalk variety, it lane splits like Moses at the Red Sea. VFR is plenty fast enough on our twisty roads and I’ve done a few 10-hour days on the Sargeant seat easily. You can go all day and not see a cop but if you do they are on the straights, so I save the exciting speeds for the bendy bits,usually anyway. The Honda is around 100 hp but I can use all of it. Occasionally I think of changing it but if I have more of one thing – more horsepower isn’t on the list – I’ll be trading away something else. And it’s built to last.

  • Slartibartfast

    Wonderful article. Thanks for writing it. It makes perfect sense.

  • John B.

    Two weeks ago, the doctor asked me to lose 15 pounds. He said I would be just as satisfied and more healthy consuming fewer calories. Last week, my wife said we should move to a smaller house. She said we don’t need so much room now that the kids are gone, and back in the 1950s the average home was 1,700 square feet and people were just fine. Now Burns tells me I have too much HP, and I would be happier and healthier with less. Let me guess! Next week, someone will tell me I don’t need an AR-15 for home protection. Well, if I’m living in a matchbox, on a diet, and riding a 125cc motorcycle, I shouldn’t be near any firearm! I’ll lose the weight, but that’s as far as I’ll go!!!

    • Douglas

      Do you really have an AR for a “house gun”? Hopefully your closest neighbors are at least a quarter mile away…..

      • John B.

        I don’t have an AR-15 for a “house gun,” but did you see this recent story about a guy who did? http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/oklahoma-man-uses-ar-15-kill-three-teen-home-intruders-n739541

      • Born to Ride

        Chamber it in 9mm or .45acp. Then buy subsonic hollow points. Problem(mostly) solved.

        • Douglas

          Short-tube scattergun (12 or 20ga) pump, loaded w/magnum turkey load (#2 shot). Chamber empty, 3-4 in magazine. Slide racked, round chambered (sound is unmistakable), miscreant(s) will trip over themselves getting out of there (what you want), or should they be a card short & want to engage, you send a load their way (about 8″ spread at 20-25 ft) with devastating effect without worry of overpenetration. Problem solved.

          Now, John B, drop the 7kg and we can go on to the other items.

          • John B.

            Working on it. Not fun!

          • Douglas

            I know…..

      • dave

        AR15 is fine for a house gun. The puny .22 projectile will go through a few layers of sheet rock but it won’t travel far from the home. The bullet simply don’t have the mass and it will break up quickly after hitting a couple layers of sheetrock

        • Douglas

          Who told you that? You need to do a little studyin’ on the topic…only if frangible ammo is used will it break up in sheetrock, 55-60gr hp’s at 32-3400fps will penetrate siding, even after expansion (unless hitting a wooden stud) and that wt ball ammo will rip thru both easily. If a window is hit first, the round can keep going for an easy 250-300m, which is why I said 400m for the nearest neighbor….better safe than sorry.

          I’ve been loading my own for over 40 yrs, straight-wall & bottleneck, .22 up to .45, and have done a lot of my own testing of velocities with a chronograph and penetration in a variety of medium. I belong to a large gun club and we have ranges up to 500m so I’ve been able to do considerable downrange testing of many gun/ammo combos. Trust me, you don’t want a cf rifle for home defense if you live in an urban area, and especially in an apt/condo. Scatterguns are much better, and more intimidating.

          But the best scenario is scaring the weewee out the intruder and him getting gone ASAP…

          • dave

            Well, a .223 breaks apart and is rendered harmless in only 2 feet of water. Obviously it poses a risk to people on the other side of Sheetrock, but the notion that it will go through half a dozen sets of Sheetrock, and an exterior wall and still pose a significant threat a quarter mile away… unlikely.

            Both my wife and I have a 12ga pump next to our sides of the bed, that’s our go to weapons…

          • Steve

            You need to move dude if you need that much protection

          • dave

            Why? Does it hurt to be prepared?

            It’s peace of mind…

          • Steve

            If it gives you peace of mind then go for it

          • dave

            It’s like having a fire extinguisher or insurance. You have it, hope you never need to use it, but you know that if you did, you will be glad that you had it…

  • Gee S

    When it gets right down to it, I want a motorcycle that feels like it needs me — you know, the rider — and feels like its going fast.

    It doesn’t actually need to be going really fast, it just needs to feel like it is.

    Some designers really understand that its about the feel — at one time I had a 3.7L V6 company Ford in the driveway while my wife drove a 3.5 L 350Z. Every trip in the Z made you feel like Tazio Freaking Nuvolari — tires chirping, drifting in corners, working the wheel back and forth. The Ford was a snooze — any character had been polished clean. The Ford was also measurably faster. Want to guess which one got driven more?

    For use on a public road, a nice torquey twin of up to about 900 ccs or so makes its power down low enough in the rev band to go as fast as you can sanely go and allows one to occasionally use and enjoy Large Throttle Openings. Beyond that, put the power too high and/or too high up the rev band, and it might as well be a fish with a bicycle.

    https://rollingphysicsproblem.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/angry-bees/

    The 790 Twin motor that KTM is putting the finishing touches on looks like street rider’s nirvana.

  • Vrooom

    Engineers have to engine…. that’s a classic John.

  • William Murar

    One of the greatest things I ever did in life was fall in love with midranged bikes. My largest bike to date is my Triumph Street Triple R. It has all of the umph I’ll ever need. Don’t get me wrong the bigger displacement bikes are fun and beautiful to look at, but give me something I can feel and become one with when I ride. Yeah sure there are some disadvantages​ with a smaller ride, but I have always found a way around them.