Some people will tell you that 200bhp is too much power for anyone to have in a motorcycle. And whilst it is a whopping... When is 200bhp too much?

Some people will tell you that 200bhp is too much power for anyone to have in a motorcycle. And whilst it is a whopping amount of power, I don’t necessarily agree that it’s too much. Everybody knows that the throttle works both ways, and if you’re capable of operating said throttle, you ought to be able to deal with any amount of power. But no matter what I think, there are still folk that’ll argue 200bhp is too much. So I decided to have a think about it, to see if I could think of a few occasions when 200bhp is indeed, too much. This is what I came up with…

When it’s snowing

I’ve only once had course to ride a superbike in the snow, and I didn’t enjoy it. If it’s snowing, I will admit that 200bhp is probably a little bit on the powerful side. With the lack of grip associated with snow and ice, a slightly eager twist of the noise tube could very easily see you sat on your arse.

Whether there’s snow on the ground or not though, riding a superbike through the bleak midwinter is rarely an enjoyable experience. So you could argue that it’s not the 200bhp that’s the problem, it’s the fact that you have only got two wheels. And the fact that you’re outside. So on reflection, I’ll admit that a superbike mightn’t be appropriate in a blizzard, but I don’t think we can apportion the entire blame on the abundance of power.

When you’ve never ridden a bike before

If you’re brand new to motorcycling, jumping on a 200bhp weapon is probably not a sensible thing to do. I don’t know anyone that would recommend it. That said, I also don’t know anyone who has ever done it, so it might actually be alright. We’ve already established that the throttle works both ways, so if you’re really careful, you might not high-side the thing straight away.

I would definitely recommend learning the art of throttle control on a less powerful bike though, before stepping up to the big leagues. I certainly wouldn’t want a novice rider taking my 200bhp bike out for a joyride. So for that reason, I think I have to say that 200bhp is too much when you’ve never ridden a bike before. One all.

When you have a severe visual impairment.

If you’re clinically blind, the last thing you want to waste your money on is a 200bhp motorcycle. Not only would it be highly illegal for you to ride it, it’d be downright dangerous. If you can’t see where you’re going, you’d be putting yourself, your bike and everyone around you, at risk.

But the same could be said of a car, or a motorcycle with any amount of power. So whilst 200bhp would be too much for a blind person, so would 20bhp. So again, let’s not reprimand 200bhp bikes for not being ‘inclusive’ enough when it comes to the visually impaired, when it’s clearly a problem that befouls the entire motor industry.

When it’s in your 600cc bike

If you think you’ve got a 200bhp 600cc Supersport bike, you either know a really good engine builder, you’re very gullible, or you’re full of shit. My money would be on the latter. In fact you’d be doing well to get 150bhp out of your WSBK spec race bike, never mind 200bhp. And even if you did get 150bhp, you probably wouldn’t have it for long before you had to rebuild it, or it went bang.

But, if your 600 is a Suter MMX 500 (actually a 567cc, two-stroke), it’s a different kettle of fish. Because you probably could get 200bhp out of one of them if you really tried; after all they’re marketed as having 195bhp out the box. So in conclusion, 200bhp from a 600 is absolutely fine, as long as it’s the right 600.

Never?

Well we cant really say 200bhp is never too much after establishing that if you’ve never ridden a bike before, it’s perhaps a bit excessive. But, I think we have also established, that that’s the only time it is too much.

So if you are thinking of buying a superbike, but are concerned that it might have a bit too much power, don’t worry about it. Remember, the throttle works both ways.

Boothy

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Paul Byrne
Paul Byrne
24 days ago

Thanks for that excellent advice Boothy. Being an absolute novice rider, I was about to ride my superbike to the South Pole blindfold. I’ll think again.