With car engines getting better and better with the use of lightweight alloys in the engine and the body, is a motorcycle still faster than a car?
A sports motorcycle accelerates faster than a car or supercar. They are also faster around corners, but for a longer distance (over a mile), cars can beat a motorcycle.
Are motorcycles or cars faster?
In general, motorcycles still have the edge over cars, but real life is not about racing in a straight line down an airstrip. Many factors make a motorcycle fast.
A big engine sports bike will be faster from the start than most combustion engine sports cars, even the likes of the mighty Mclaren, Lamborghini and Porsche, to mention a few of the high-speed road cars available today.
Motorcycles are fast in corners, and cars will come off the road where a motorcycle can power through tight bends.
Be under no illusion there are some monster horsepower cars on the road with 500 bhp plus that will give you a run for your money on a straight road.
So, we have to compare apples with apples and talk about factory cars without modifications and remapping.
A BMW S1000 motorcycle from the factory without modification has a top speed of 200 mph and accelerates to 100 mph in sub 6 seconds.
Ducati 199 Panagali accelerates to 100 mph in a tad over 5 seconds.
Can a car beat a motorcycle?
It’s a rare day when a car can beat a motorcycle on acceleration. Certain factors for both modes of transport come into play: the weather and road conditions, drivers’ ability, and both vehicles’ weight.
The problems cars have are weight distribution and the dynamics of force. The car driver is not in control as much as the motorcycle rider.
A car accelerating pushes most of its weight to the rear tyres, which are great for traction, but the motorcycle rider can shift his weight front and rear by just moving his body which makes all the difference.
When cornering, the forces of a car want to pull the vehicle off the road due to its weight, much like the motorcycle. But the motorcycle rider can lean in and take advantage of g forces and gyroscopic effects to power the motorcycle through a corner.
The motorcycle will out-accelerate and manoeuvre a car easily in the real world. Even in a straight line, the power output from a motorcycle is tremendous, and even a supercar will struggle to keep up.
Can motorcycles accelerate faster than cars?
If the car has not been modified and not remapped, a stock motorcycle will accelerate faster than a car. Even if the car is remapped and has the enormous horsepower, the motorcycle will accelerate faster.