My old Puch 49cc moped produced 1.5HP. The higher-output Puchs could make as much as 2.5. My Yamaha C3 could kick out about 3.5HP. But these were relatively low-revving engines. There's a long history of racing 50cc motorcycle engines that can kick out a lot more power at 10,000+ RPM.
Back in 1962, Honda introduced the RC110, a 50cc race bike that produced an impressive 7hp at 13,500 RPM. If this wasn't impressive enough, there was an even more powerful model, designed specifically for the Isle of Man TT that had a 12 speed gearbox, could rev to 16,000RPM (!), and reportedly was capable of over 100MPH.
These classic motorcycles are pretty rare today, but luckily for us, back in 2004 Honda released a replica called the Dream 50R that is a good recreation of the 60s race bike. It's pretty much a ready-to-race bike circa 1962. Of course, anyone racing in the 50cc class these days would probably buy a Honda NSR50, a faster, more modern two-stroke bike with fairings, cast wheels, and other improvements.
So why buy the Dream 50R? It's not street legal, and you can't run it off road. I think most of these bikes are destined for someone's garage or living room, where they'll sit on display for the enjoyment of their owners. Of course, if I had one I'd be sorely tempted to take it out for a run.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Posted by michael edelman at 7:47 PM