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Understanding Torque and BHP in Two-Wheelers
Dec 2, 2023

Understanding Torque and BHP in Two-Wheelers

Buying a bike means spending a considerable amount of money. When you set out to buy a bike, there are many parameters you probably keep in mind. Along with the bike, there are other essential components involved as well, such as opting for the right two wheeler insurance coverage. Two important parameters that many people look for when evaluating a bike are its torque and BHP. If you are new to bikes (or vehicles in general), you may find yourself intimidated by these words and may even confuse the two. However, fret not, torque and BHP are easily explainable (and distinguishable) terms. Whether you are a beginner or an avid biker looking to update your info, here is a brief overview of torque and BHP in bikes.

What is Torque?

In simple terms, torque refers to the unit of force applied when twisting/ rotating an axis. If you are applying force to turn a lever on an axis, then it can be said that you are applying torque. For instance, let’s take the example of tightening a nut to a bolt. You will probably use a wrench for the same. To tighten the nut, you will hold the wrench at its end and apply pressure from there to get better stability. In other words, you are applying torque to complete a task. Similarly, even riding a bicycle requires the cyclist to produce torque. Since bike parts have rotational motion, understanding torque in two-wheelers is important.

The Role of Torque in Two-Wheelers 

When someone talks about a bike’s torque, they are referring to the bike’s engine’s capacity to twist. The torque of a particular bike determines its driving force. Essentially, it means that the bike can carry heavy loads while maintaining a decent speed.
  1. The torque starts at the engine of the bike, then moves towards the gears, travelling all the way down to the shaft and then ending at the tyre. Here, it transforms into the force that pushes the bike forward on the road. Thus, the engine, gears, and the tyre, all influence the torque in the movement of the bike.
  2. Bikes meant to carry heavier loads will have more torque as compared to bikes built for speed.
  3. Cruiser bikes, for instance, can carry more weight than sports bikes. That’s why they are preferred for long-distance travels requiring luggage. Hence, you will observe that such cruiser bikes have a higher torque. This will also mean that they are not as fast as bikes with less torque and more speed.
To understand this better, let’s look at the other component in question, BHP, or brake horsepower.

What is BHP?

Also called brake horsepower or simply horsepower, BHP refers to the power unit of the motor in a machine. To put it scientifically, power is the amount of energy transferred per unit of volume. A bike has potential energy stored in it, which is then transformed into kinetic energy. It is this kinetic energy that propels the bike forward and encourages the wheel’s rotational movements. Different types of power units are used to calculate power. BHP is one of the most used power units and is equivalent to 746 watts.

The Role of BHP in Two-Wheelers

A high BHP in your bike means that you can accelerate more and carry your bike at a higher speed.
  1. BHP in bikes can also be understood as the rate at which the torque generated in the engine is carried over to the wheels. The faster it is carried over, the more will be the acceleration and the speed.
  2. However, the power of a bike depends on many other factors as well, such as the resistance it encounters while on the roads. For instance, if the tyre is facing higher or lower friction than required on the surface of the road, it may affect the power output of the bike.
  3. The wind, too, can affect the power output. Hence, bike manufacturers focusing on high-speed bikes tend to make aerodynamic models to ensure consistently fast speeds.

Conclusion

The torque and BHP of a bike both play an important role in its functioning. Depending on what your usage requirements are, you can decide on what you want - a high-BHP bike or a high-torque bike. Regardless of what you choose, remember to insure your bike with a solid motor insurance policy. As per prevailing motor vehicle laws, it is legally necessary to have minimum third-party liability coverage. However, you can also opt for enhanced protection by opting for comprehensive two-wheeler insurance coverage, which allows protection against damages to your bike and also offers add-ons. A good bike insurance plan can ensure that your bike and your finances are in top condition when an unfortunate situation arises.*   * Standard T&C apply. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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