180 Horsepower Quickly Becoming the Norm | As Usual, More Than Enough Proves To Not Be Quite Enough | Last Page

180 Horsepower Quickly Becoming the Norm

By Jeff Karr, Photography by Warner Brothers

Las Vegas, NV, Aug. 8 —No doubt you’ve been gob-smacked by the price and horsepower escalation that has gradually overtaken the GT motorcycle world. Hell, we have. Our beloved, enshrined-in-amber CB750 kicked out the jambs with 65 horsepower, set our collective underwear aflame, and would eventually lead the august among us to proclaim it the motorcycle of the century. How easily we can be conned by the wail of a four-banger!

Today, we’re just not so easily amused. It takes maybe 18 horsepower to move a motorcycle down the highway at 65 mph. Fine. But isn’t it nice to have an extra 180 or so in hand, just in case? Just bring a briefcase full of money and you too can ride away on something that makes the Batcycle seem almost tepid by comparison. Though we’ll admit Anne Hathaway has some good angles.

No doubt, the promise of ever-swelling velocity is what has made America great, since the last personal-transportation donkey was parked in favor of a faster ride, then struck smartly in the head with a two-by-four and parted-out for a Bar-B-Q. (We’re excluding you Amish readers of course—your rides are awesome! Plus, we don’t want to lose the pages and pages of Amish donkey aftermarket performance upgrade ads that have kept the lights on around here during the recession. Giddy up, Jacob!)

Despite the occasional unspoken agreements among manufacturers to keep things “reasonable,” it turns out we’re still a species that really, really enjoys unreasonable. Inevitably, things just ratchet ever upward, and the result is a bounty of overpowered goodness. Except, of course, for V8-powered trikes and the like, which we just can’t explain without the benefit of a few shots of Stoli and a couple hits of octane booster.

By Jeff Karr
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