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Cars are much more aerodynamic, but I question how a 300cc motor can run a Goldwing size and weight motorcycle whether direct, or by charging the battery then powering it by an electric motor.
A 300cc motor will give you 30-40 HP. Do you think you need more than 30-40 HP to keep your Goldwing moving at 65-70 MPH, even with bad aerodynamics?

Nope.

Here's the TQ/HP curves for a Goldwing at WOT:

White Rectangle Slope Plot Line


As you can see, at 2500 RPM (~75 MPH) you're getting a maximum of 50 HP. At WOT. At partial WOT, you're probably getting 20-30 HP. Meaning that little, highly optimized engine that runs most efficiency at it's peak HP curve, can provide DIRECTLY all the power you need to maintain speed.

Extra power from the engine is "banked" in the battery. When you need that burst of power for passing, it comes from the battery, and when that's done, the engine is once again giving you all you need - and topping off the battery as well.

It's why hybrids give such great fuel economy - the rely upon the non-always-WOT operation of a vehicle, and target the ICE for above-average needs, and bank the excess power into a battery for high-output times.
 

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Ideal for city and maybe level roads. I sure wouldn't enjoy lugging a 30hp Wing up long hills and mountains. And motorcycles don't generate anywhere near the regenerative energy as cars or trucks going down hills.

I have thought hybrid semi trucks doing what you describe because unlike motorcycles they are much more aerodynamic requiring relatively little power to maintain speed on level. Their problem is overcoming mass climbing grades. OTOH they create a LOT of braking energy going down hill. Consider trucks with their engine brakes running and their brakes smoking to hold them back on grades that we on our Goldwing are having to actually add throttle.
The obstacle for utilizing hybrid technology on large trucks is the weight it would add. Yes a smaller diesel engine and transmission save a little weight but electric motors and battery packs add a good bit more. Given maximum GVW on Interstate highways is 80,000# and an empty semi weighs around 35,000#, it can carry 45,000# of freight. If my hybrid example weighs an additional 9,000# it can only transport 36,000#

Oops way off topic, sorry. Back to Goldwing motors. :)
 

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A 300cc motor will give you 30-40 HP. Do you think you need more than 30-40 HP to keep your Goldwing moving at 65-70 MPH, even with bad aerodynamics?

Nope.

Here's the TQ/HP curves for a Goldwing at WOT:

View attachment 413089

As you can see, at 2500 RPM (~75 MPH) you're getting a maximum of 50 HP. At WOT. At partial WOT, you're probably getting 20-30 HP. Meaning that little, highly optimized engine that runs most efficiency at it's peak HP curve, can provide DIRECTLY all the power you need to maintain speed.

Extra power from the engine is "banked" in the battery. When you need that burst of power for passing, it comes from the battery, and when that's done, the engine is once again giving you all you need - and topping off the battery as well.

It's why hybrids give such great fuel economy - the rely upon the non-always-WOT operation of a vehicle, and target the ICE for above-average needs, and bank the excess power into a battery for high-output times.
My Honda CR-V hybrid, which more than doubles the MPG of my previous CR-V (35 vs 17), has a CVT that keeps the engine RPMs within a narrower, more efficient band than did the previous automatic. I don't notice any difference in driving characteristics other than different sounds (much like the DCT makes different sounds), very brisk acceleration, and smoother, more linear power delivery. (And not having to stop as often for gas.) This car is ridiculously good, and I suspect a hybrid Goldwing would be a brilliant tourer.
 

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The issue is exceptionally low power density of batteries compared to gas. A gallon of gas, after all ICE losses, has about 12-15 kW of "energy" in it. That's a VERY big battery size. Consider a Tesla Model 3 LR has about a 300 mile range, and most similarly-sized cars provide that with 10-12 gallons of gas. The battery pack of the Model 3 is about 400 pounds and 5 cubic feet. An equivalent amount of gas is about 60 pounds and 1.5 cubic feet.
There are many other considerations, of course. Besides the apparent environmental benefits, when a vehicle is all EV, it doesn't carry gasoline, or have a 400 pound engine, or a massive automatic transmission. Some of the weight problems of heavy battery packs is offset by the elimination of gasoline related hardware.

There are many operational benefits to EV. No short trip worries, for instance. Quiet, stink-free running. Major power from a properly designed EV drive train. Lack of routine maintenance such as oil changes, valve adjustments, filter replacements, etc.
 

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There are many other considerations, of course. Besides the apparent environmental benefits, when a vehicle is all EV, it doesn't carry gasoline, or have a 400 pound engine, or a massive automatic transmission. Some of the weight problems of heavy battery packs is offset by the elimination of gasoline related hardware.

There are many operational benefits to EV. No short trip worries, for instance. Quiet, stink-free running. Major power from a properly designed EV drive train. Lack of routine maintenance such as oil changes, valve adjustments, filter replacements, etc.
Ultimately, to transcend niche status, a product must satisfy the needs of general buyers. EVs are getting there incrementally, and I have no doubt they will get all the way there in the end.
 

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We have natural gas, petroleum, coal for the present. CO2 is not a problem, the west spending trillions of dollars every year trying to get rid of it is.
It's turned political so I'll bow out of this thread.
 

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We have natural gas, petroleum, coal for the present. CO2 is not a problem, the west spending trillions of dollars every year trying to get rid of it is.
It's turned political so I'll bow out of this thread.
Well, it's "turned political" now.
 

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There are many other considerations, of course. Besides the apparent environmental benefits, when a vehicle is all EV, it doesn't carry gasoline, or have a 400 pound engine, or a massive automatic transmission. Some of the weight problems of heavy battery packs is offset by the elimination of gasoline related hardware.

There are many operational benefits to EV. No short trip worries, for instance. Quiet, stink-free running. Major power from a properly designed EV drive train. Lack of routine maintenance such as oil changes, valve adjustments, filter replacements, etc.
Yep, lots to like! But that heavy weight (a typical EV is 800-1000 pounds heavier than an equivalent ICE) and range limitation (even a long-range EV pales in comparison to modern ICE ranges) and SLOW refill/recharge (an extremely fast charge would be 45-50 minutes, about 6-10 times longer than a complete fill-up for gas) means they're not really suited for some roles.

With a local/around-town cruiser, it could work. For a long-range tourer? I think a little hybrid would be just the ticket!
 
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There are many other considerations, of course. Besides the apparent environmental benefits, when a vehicle is all EV, it doesn't carry gasoline, or have a 400 pound engine, or a massive automatic transmission. Some of the weight problems of heavy battery packs is offset by the elimination of gasoline related hardware.

There are many operational benefits to EV. No short trip worries, for instance. Quiet, stink-free running. Major power from a properly designed EV drive train. Lack of routine maintenance such as oil changes, valve adjustments, filter replacements, etc.
If only that were true 🤔

You can look it up for yourself but in every case, the EV version of a conventional vehicle is actually heavier by more than just the weight of the battery. In other words, removing the heavy internal combustion engine, transmission, fuel tank, and fuel is more than offset by the electric motor(s) and associated hardware. Then you can add the battery on top. Unfortunate but true (at the present).

Suggest you watch our Aussie motoring expert John Cadogan here...
Skip ahead to 8:00mins to get past the ads and his Tesla Semi truck discussion to focus on existing EV's.

Edit: Oops, I see @ShanghaiDan already pointed that out.
 

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I know this is going to seem like a trolling question - I don't intend it to be. I truly seeking to understand the design decisions Honda has made and "why" vs. other manus.

What has me confused power output both in terms of torque and hp. Again, I'm not dumping on the design - it's most likely the very best engine in any motorcycle ever. But, having said that - it's underperforming relative to peers. So, when I give this list of comparisons - I'm sort of trying to learn if getting to the competitor's output would cause a sacrifice somewhere else - other than the obvious MPG.

I am also ignorant as to whether the 125/125 hp/torque ratings are at the wheel or the crank. I'm assuming crank - but, as I mentioned, I'm ignorant.

OK - so, the obvious competitor is the BMW K bike

This bike is rated at 160hp 132 torque. This appears to come in at a slightly higher RPM vs. Honda - but, not miserably off. Assuming the measuring method is similar, 35 hp is huge. Almost 30% higher than Honda. Now, I've been on both of these bikes....and, I like the GW - hands down. I'm just wondering why they can't get closer within the existing engine design.

If you compare the other BMW that "sort of" works - you can look at the R (or GS) model.

These bikes are only 1250cc displacement and put out 136hp and 105 ft/lbs of torque. I know they are only 2 cylinders, but I would assume more revs are "easier" to design with more cylinders. While the torque number is lower overall - the torque per displacement is better on this BMW.

Anyway - none of this is changing my mind on loving the GW. Perhaps the rider community really prefers MPG to power and folks believe there is "enough".

I know I don't use all the power all the time in my bike....so, much of this is a marketing exercise. Perhaps GW riders are just sophisticated enough to disregard the spec sheet.
Like a number of other bike manufacturers, the GW hp & torque numbers are at the crank. I have a Stage 3, HD Road Glide that has ~140 hp and ~145 ft lbs of torque at the rear wheel, and I have the 2021 GW Tour DCT. With my riding style (which is aggressive at times), the GW is fast enough. I live in the DC area with a bunch of heavy traffic and I love the GW for long rides (multi-state trips). Unless you are racing your bike against other riders, I wouldn't make a purchase decision based on HP/Torque alone. There are a bunch of other considerations (cost of ownership, comfort, reliability and so on). If you want to know the real hp/torque numbers of any motorcycle, Google for dyno results for that particular bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #159 ·
Apologies, the question below did inspire some thought (italicized text is yours from post #80)

There are lots of 2-cylinder motorcycle engines that produce more horsepower and torque per litre/cubic inch than Harley: (I’m guessing without researching the numbers) Moto Guzzi, Triumph, BMW, Honda, Ducati, and Aprilia. What’s your explanation why Harley twins “underperform“ compared to its competition?

I do have the same irritation with HD - but, I suppose I understand it a bit better: Here's why:

The Honda 1.8l 6 cylinder platform seems to easily lend itself to better specs. (Remember, my original point - (which may have been poorly articulated) was that Honda and GW seem to eschew the marketing formula most often used....that of bettering your competition on paper. My hypothesis was that it would be relatively easy to add to the spec sheet without really sacrificing much.

I still believe it's possible to do this "relatively easily" without sacrificing anything other than MPG. I know that's a debatable topic, but - most important are the answers coming this audience. Most of you GW buyers value: MPG, reliability, and longevity all ahead of power. IF Honda is listening to their customers, then they are doing a good job focusing on those buyer values.

As it relates to Harley, the platform - which is very, very "old" does not lend itself to material improvements within EPA guidelines. Also, their model (HD + dealer network) is really architected around customization of "everything". I bought the HD and spent "a lot" on customization....It was sort of bucket list item....but, I will not do it again. I will never buy another HD touring bike.

HD is a disappointment when it comes to innovation, but - they haven't really had a competitor until Indian re-launched. So, I sort of understand why they don't push forward....they already capture 50% of the overall sales AND their buyers lack options (or did). So, while I don't RESPECT their way of operating, I suppose I understand it.

Back to Honda and GW....the reason I asked the question initially - was to seek to understand why they would pull some relatively easy levers to capture more market share.

Having ridden the Kbike - I would "bet" that some Kbike buyers made that choice based on power/performance. The gap on paper is significant. Now, the Kbike doesn't handle anywhere near as well as the GW....it's super top-heavy. As a potential GW customer, I'm forced to trade power specs for something else.... I assume Honda would prefer to sell more GWs....why force their potential customers to make that trade-off?

The thread has been and education for me in GW buyer values. As a "for instance" - I would have never guessed that staying with 87 octane gas was a buyer value. Similarly, I wouldn't have thought getting 300k miles out of bike was as important as it seems to be. While I love the idea of longevity, 300k miles on a motorcycle usually takes so many years, people upgrade for reasons other than failing powertrain.

If I think about what Honda has done for the GW - it's not that they have avoiding R&D. The DCT is revolutionary. The engineering around weight savings, lowering CG and the tele-lever front suspension is amazing.

I regret not buying a GW - but, I also know I would have regretted not having the Harley. I did the Harley first - I'm sure the GW is coming soon....particularly as I begin my life's bucket list planning of riding all the U.S. National Parks.....that requires comfort, reliability, longevity, etc.

I appreciate the effort and community here - thanks for taking the time to read/respond.
 

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I never grasped the need among the Harley devotees for up-sizing and hot-rodding their motors. Viewing them, over the course of some 50 riding years, from the saddles of mostly Japanese motorcycles, all of which remained bone stock and reliable, those riders seemed weird to me. I often thought that if I ever bought a Harley I would keep it completely stock, just as I’d always done with my Japanese bikes, and see what happened.

So in 2015 I bought a new FLHTCU. Kept it stock, to the eye-rolling of the other HOG members. Yes, it was on the “slow” side compared to anything else carrying 1700cc of displacement. But it was plenty powerful enough. And it was blessedly reliable. A terrific motorcycle for daily transportation near and far.

After nearly 50k miles on it I traded for a 2018 FLTRU. A new motor, Milwaukee 8 (as if a 4 valve head was done kind of newfangled thing in 2018 ha ha). I kept it bone stock and rode nearly 50k miles on it, all trouble free and extremely enjoyable. Even the stock saddles on my two Harleys were fine for long rides. When I say “stock” I mean right down to the nubs.

But then, when I look at a bike I see transportation. First. Some others see a platform for stylizing. That’s Ok, but sure seems like a waste of some mighty fine motorcycle.
 
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