Saturday, June 14, 2014

The trioka of achieving higher speed: power, wind and weight

The phase of speed beyond a certain normal speed range and sometimes what your machine gives you in terms of a super acceleration in a certain range is exhilarating, surprising,  awesome and a little scared. The acceleration beyond 75 km/hr upto 95 km/hr or so without full throttle is amazing. Beyond that, going full throttle is usually a necessity on the peripheral roads of cities as they are never enough to slowly increase speed towards and beyond 100 km/hr.
There are 3 main forces at play at speeds above 95km/hr: wind/wind speed and its direction, weight (of the bike and the riders on it) and the power of the engine (juice to go each and every extra kmph).

Stillness of air is usually the best scenario for achieving high speeds as wind from an angle or blowing at your body makes it difficult to maintain balance of the bike. A higher weight of/on the bike is definitely a good counterbalance to overcome wind along with not wearing a jacket (they are usually not body-hugging and are not aerodynamic and wind can enter from the hands and bloats the jacket further offering air resistance and allowing the wind to play havoc to the balance the rider is trying to achieve). A higher body or bike weight negatively affects the speed capacity as the bike now has to lug out the extra weight and will deter the achievement of higher speeds. The other way to put it is that the power/weight ratio of the bike is reduced.
Based on this analogy, there is usually an equilibrium top speed that can be achieved and maintained under each circumstance defined by the variables wind speed and direction, power and weight of the bike and riders combined.

It is upto each rider to realise the 3 forces at play and not to overreach speed and endanger lives.
Cheers to safe and speedy riding!
P.S: Just achieved a new high speed of 112km/hr with a pillion rider on my Apache 180 ABS :)
Could have achieved a little more but restricted myself :)