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Old 14th July 2015, 15:23   #31
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
. Too fast and they also ride on the edge and could make mistakes.
Doc,
My suggestion would be to ride the bike in the middle of its torque curve.
That ways you should be able to control the bike better, have optimum fuel consumption and if needed a sudden surge for overtaking.

Yes if you have to keep the bike constantly in its torque curve it depends a lot on the rider and his capabilities.
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Old 14th July 2015, 15:34   #32
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Doc,
My suggestion would be to ride the bike in the middle of its torque curve.
That ways you should be able to control the bike better, have optimum fuel consumption and if needed a sudden surge for overtaking.

Yes if you have to keep the bike constantly in its torque curve it depends a lot on the rider and his capabilities.
Thanks bro, though the part of my post you quoted was about the rider, and not the bike. Though the advice is pretty valid there too - keep him in the middle of his torque curve!
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Old 14th July 2015, 15:42   #33
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

Ideal cruise speed - Speed where you are neither bored; nor is your heart beating faster than normal. This can be your primary barometer

Other factors:

- You should be able to define your place in the traffic and not vice versa. If unable to do so - time to put in some more time and practice riding your motorbike; fine tuning the basic controls of a motorcycle (Throttle,clutch, brakes). Riding with a fast rider can be very helpful
- You are comfortable cruising at a higer speed than you currently are at; however the bike does not allow it - Time to upgrade


Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 14th July 2015 at 16:03.
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Old 14th July 2015, 22:29   #34
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

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Hi Dear Fellow BHPians,

I am starting this thread with high hopes of clarifying my doubt on Correct and ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle.

I am happy to let you all know that I recently bought a Pulsar 200 AS motorcycle. Below are the specs and performance:

Engine size: 200cc
Max power: 24 bhp @ 9500 RPM
Max torque: 18.3 Nm @ 8000 RPM
Top speed: 138.21 kmph ( motorcycle will show 150 kmph on the speedometer on a flat out ride as per overdrive magazine road test).

I want to know how to determine the ideal cruising speed of my motorcycle.

This should be the speed that I can do all day on a highway without stressing the engine.

I have heard several theories that :

1) keeping the bike at or near the max torque RPM is the best cruising RPM for all day cruising without stressing the engine.

2) Also riding at or below 80% of the top speed or redline RPM is the best cruising RPM.

May I gather some inputs from experienced riders out there who can shed some light on my query based on their experience?

Looking forward to your replies.


Best regards,

Sajeesh

Congrats on your new Bike Sajeesh. Pulsar 200 is one of good machines available today in terms of performance.

I owned a Pulsar 180 and 200 for close to two years and was getting a consistent 42-45 even with spirited driving in both the bikes. It served me well till the time I had it. I also sold both of them for a much better price because of their condition even after 3 years. I did the following. Hope this helps you as well.

Maintenance - Few tips:

1. You need Patience and Care for your bike to let the engine set in upto 2000Kms. Be ready for it. I dont believe in the concept of driving upto 750-1000 kms sedately and once past 1000 KMs push the engine to its limits. Its after all a machine, A new Machine, the engine needs to set in right for your to give good life and less maintenance issues. Though I have heard the showroom guys themselves saying post 1000 kms drive it any way you like. I have had fellow collegues and friends who faced more issues in their pulsar's than mine because they were in a hurry to complete the 750-1000 run and pushed their bikes. Not only their engines gave them lesser mileage on the lines of 25-30 but also had more wear and tear.

2. Thumb rule - Be gradual in your speed increase and dont stress the new engine. Maintain the engine RPM below 2K upto 500 Kms and varying the speeds like a gradual 30-40-50-60. No Instant bursts of acceleration to let the engine experience different RPMs gradually and also setting of the pistons during the run in period. Your AIM is the let the engine set properly and in a right way for it to serve you well for years.

2. Post 500 Kms upto 1500kms - I let the bike experience upto 3.5K RPMs being below 90kmph but this also was a gradual increase in speed and no rough or spirited driving of pushing the bike when its still new.

3. Post 1500kms, I drove the bike a little spiritedly without stressing the engine much and gaining speed was little faster than gradual but still linear. You can listen to the engine sound become smoother by now from the day 1 of driving.

4. Always maintain petrol quality from a good petrol bunk, either Half tank or full tank per your convenience and as far as possible dont lend your bike to others excepting the occasional spins requested by friends or family. Ensure that the engine is not stressed with a rough driving style. You can also keep track of the mileage. Being a sports bike if you are getting anything more than 40-41 its a good mileage for a 200cc with 24bhp. This is subjective to ones driving styles and changing of gears. if you are an anticipative rider you will be able to understand what I mean.

5. Follow the service schedules promptly. I suggest to change the engine oil post 500 or 1000km(I dont remember the interval though) as all the engine metals which have just setin would come out and the engine is treated well with the new oil.

6. Drive spiritedly at times but know how not to stress your engine. Occasional high speeds is fine but dont be stuck at the high speed for long, like driving continuously at 90 or so with Odo being less than 2000kms.

I don't believe in either of the theories suggested above, not mechanically atleast. Red line in the RPM is meant for a reason and not to be there for long as this is the max limit the engine can stress itself and not be in that RPM. Being below 4K RPM in a comfortable cruising speed is best for the right balance between Engine performance and mileage factors. Am not stressing on the mileage part as it is one of the things that determines the performance of the engine too considering the increase in fuel prices.

Cruising speed is a debatable and subjective topic. A 200 pulsar might be comfortable cruising at 90-100 kmph but also consider the stress factor of wind force and constant attention and focus on the traffic and road. You will get tired very soon riding at those speeds. For any bike on Indian roads hitting 3 digit speeds would be very dangerous unless you are Rossi on the race tracks. If you ask me, 70-90 is the best cruising speeds without having much stress and strain on yourself. Occasional visits to the top speeds as and when the road and traffic condition permits is also fine. But constant cruising of 110-120+ is definitely a stress on the engine. I guess you can max reach upto 130 in a Pulsar easily but its not recommended. All this applies only if you wish to have a good balance between Performance, mileage and maintenance of your bike.

My experience of owning Pulsar's (Pulsar 180 and Pulsar 200) say if the bike is maintained well and taken good care for upto 2000kms, it has got a good life in terms of maintenance costs and reliability with less wear and tear of parts. Treat it like one more family member and it should serve you well for years to come. Dont treat it well the first year, believe me you will have plans of selling it by the second year sold it before the third year with less Odo reading. A well maintained bike can command a good resale price as well when you sell it. Consider this main aspect.

Few Pointers:

1. A cruising speed is something where you are not stressed much and control your bike better incase of sudden emergencies.
2. You shouldn't have to stress yourself of overtaking and the bike is able to do it with ease.
3. Use the higher revs in RPM occasionally ONLY when needed and not all the time.
4. Understand your engine responses when it cannot take stress, you should understand your bike better as and when you ride more.

This is just my 2 cents on bike ownership of owning Pulsar's for close to 2 years.

Happy and safe Riding. Wear appropriate safety gears for your riding. Ensure you and your Pillion Always wear a Helmet

Last edited by Sunsh!nes : 14th July 2015 at 22:35. Reason: added few more points.
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Old 15th July 2015, 00:57   #35
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

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Originally Posted by Sunsh!nes View Post
2. Thumb rule - Be gradual in your speed increase and dont stress the new engine. Maintain the engine RPM below 2K upto 500 Kms and varying the speeds like a gradual 30-40-50-60.
Not a bike guy, But is it possible to achieve 60 km/h by maintaining rpm below 2K rpm in a pulsar?
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Old 15th July 2015, 01:54   #36
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

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Not a bike guy, But is it possible to achieve 60 km/h by maintaining rpm below 2K rpm in a pulsar?
Forget Pulsar, not even possible with some torqey ones like RE or CPR; or it should have multiple cylinder; like WagonR does 60 Kmph at 2K RPM only on 5th gear
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Old 15th July 2015, 06:37   #37
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

In my opinion, the ideal cruising speed for a motorcycle is where you *mostly* go with the flow of the traffic but there's no need for rapid acceleration or deceleration. On Indian highways, this is more to the tune of 80-90 km/h.

You can cruise on your outer city roads ( Outer Ring Road, in Bangalore for example ) at around 45-50, subject to traffic conditions. Almost anything else will require rapid speed changes.
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Old 15th July 2015, 15:13   #38
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

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Originally Posted by xander View Post
Not a bike guy, But is it possible to achieve 60 km/h by maintaining rpm below 2K rpm in a pulsar?
I dont recollect this part of it.. the key is to maintain the engine RPM at 2k or 2.5K in the first 500 kms. whatever speed you can manage to attain being at 2k RPM is fine. I guess its possible in the 4th or 5th gear with consistent maintaining of speed. Move through the gears gradually. Try and let me know.
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Old 15th July 2015, 20:50   #39
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

The ideal cruising speed would depend on various factors, especially the weather and the roads. Assuming the question is really for highway cruising on a normal not so windy day I personally feel 90-110kmph is an ideal cruising speed no matter which bike. It would be a bit too much to assume that all highways are more like expressways and the weather is always perfect. Hence, it is important that the cruising speed should take into consideration the comfort and reflexes of the biker and if the individual is able to navigate through cross-winds and brake well in advance during sudden appearance of cattle, vehicles or pedestrians on the highways.

With due respect to everyone, the numbers stated in some of the posts above of 2k rpm and 4k rpm (during the running-in period) are not really accurate, at least for the recent bikes, especially the 150cc-200cc category of bikes. I personally own a duke 200 and the idling is around 1.5k rpm and the first 1000 kms need to be within 7.5k rpm and I have touched 90kmph at around 7k rpm in 6th gear, post which I have not ventured as I've still not completed the 1k kms milestone. I don't think it is possible to achieve 60kmph speeds at around 3k especially in the single cylinder motorcyles (like the duke). My unicorn also does 60kmph around the 6k rpm mark, in the 5th gear, so it's difficult to limit the bikes in the running in period to between 2k to 4k rpms. IMHO one should follow what the manual states regarding the running in period, especially since most bikes today are limited by rpms more than the speed.
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Old 15th July 2015, 23:35   #40
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

I deal cruising speed is the speed at which the body, mind and the motorcycle's engine are all in sync and in harmony. A situation where none of these three needs to be pushed. It might sound a little too philosophical but that's what it is to me. On my old Bullet it is 40 kmph. On my Duke 390, it is 90 kmph. I wouldn't be surprised if it was different for different people on exactly the same machines.
As someone said, weather and windspeed etc are also important factors.
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Old 16th July 2015, 13:39   #41
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

Hi Sajeesh,

Now I will tell you a thumb rule to find out the 'Ideal Cruising Speed'. Your bike makes peak torque at 8000RPM. Now take the bike out on a open highway, shift into top gear and ride keeping the RPM meter hovering between 6000-7000 RPM. That's the ideal cruising speed of your machine. It will travel reasonably fast and you won't be making major compromise on fuel efficiency. How comes the human factor, that's the rider, means YOU. See if you are comfortable riding at the speed which the bike will travel between 6000 - 7000RPM. If you find it comfortable and feel you are in complete control then fine. And most probably you will be fine. Else you need to experiment with at lower RPM or higher RPMs.

I have done this with my Royal Enfield Thunderbird. The bike makes peak torque at 4000RPM. The sweet spot for me is around 3500RPM where the bike travels at approx 80kmph. Suits the bike and suits me as a rider. So go and find your own. No amount of advise will make you content.
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Old 16th July 2015, 14:45   #42
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

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Originally Posted by SAJEESH View Post
Dear octy9833,

Thanks for sharing your views. I have a question regarding running in period. As per running - in guideline below are the maximum speeds one should maintain on the NS/ AS till 1000 kms.

10 km/h - 1 st gear
18 km/h - 2nd gear
............................

I have been cautious enough not to take the bike beyond 49 km/h ( 6th gear) and the bike has just done 290 kms till date.

However , in a city like Bangalore, it is near to impossible to stick religiously to the above mentioned maximum speeds on each gear before an up-shift.
I also feel that changing gears as per the guideline provided is leading to lugging the engine and hence just ensuring that I do not cross 48 - 50 km/h.

Please advise if you too followed the above mentioned run-in guideline?

Warm regards,

Sajeesh
Hi Sajeesh,

Maintaining 48 - 50 in the NS in 6th gear is not an ideal situation to be in. I did not follow this method of run-in. I did not go above 3 digit speeds for the first 500 Kms, but kept the RPM range constanly varying. The idea was to expose the bike to varying loads under varying conditions, instead of one constant or near-constant type of load. Also, did the engine oil change @500, so as to get rid of any metal particles. You can allow the bike to go from 20-30, 30-40, 40-60, 60-70,70-90 etc in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th gears, and subsequently use the engine inertia to slow down. After 500 Kms, up the speeds and revs little by little,one step at a time. Avoid high RPM redlining and staying near the red line for longer durations till the engine has bedded in.

I did the above for my NS in 2013, and so far, it has run well @ 31000 Kms.

Regards
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Old 8th September 2015, 08:13   #43
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

Hi Sajeesh, like in most things - you can do it the maths or logical way, or the intuitive way.

Logic: For the AS200, as per specifications - Torque is generated (max)18.3Nm@8000rpm, and power is generated (max)23.5PS@9500rpm. That means you should ideally be around 60% - 70% of that RPM number to have a safe space for overtaking without stress. That means ~=5500 RPM.

Intuition: Drive with the "feel" of the bike, the road conditions, and the weather. Simple.

I'd say, like the others, that around 80 kmph is enough - the bike does a 130 (reported) so you definitely have enough space to overtake without a hassle, but at 80, you also are slow enough to allow quick evasive braking to come to a slower speed faster. Sure, you can go much faster on an empty highway. But use your sense, and you'll figure it.
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Old 16th September 2015, 23:33   #44
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Default Re: Ideal cruising speed on a motorcycle?

Hi All,

I completed my running in of 2000 kms this week and opened up the bike a little bit. I hit 101 km/h on the highway on two different days and have started to shift at 5-6 K RPM. Below are some of my observations:

At 6th gear:

5000 RPM - 70 kmph
5800 RPM - 80 kmph
6500 RPM - 92 kmph
7000 RPM - 100 kmph

I have not tried above 101 kmph.

Regards,

Sajeesh
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Old 6th November 2015, 08:25   #45
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Hi Sajeesh,

Going a bit OT here now that ideal cruising has been covered. Can you post a small review on the bike? Can't seem to find one on tbhp.
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