What is a power band?

Often we hear people referring to the term “power band” as if it were an accessory that was installed in a bike and well frankly it drives me nuts, so I think it is time to set this straight.

The term refers to the RPM range that the motor makes its best power.  A motor with a wide power band is easy to ride, easy to use the power available (think four stroke power), and has smooth power delivery in a wide RPM range. A narrow power band feels more impressive but is very hard to use (think small two stroke); this is deceptive, the rider feels that because he is having trouble controlling it that there is a lot of power being made. The only time a narrow power band is not a liability is when you can hold the RPM in that rev range (think drag race) or an application like a snowmobile where the clutch system keeps the motor at the optimum RPM.

power band graphic.png

Above the red line on this graph is where you need to keep your RPM to be in the power. It is much easier to keep yourself in the power on the smoother engine. It is very difficult to stay in the power on the narrower or (peak-ier) power delivery.  Despite the seat of the pants feel of the narrow power band type, power delivery it will yield poorer lap times.  In any motor the more you try to wring out of it the narrower the power band becomes and the harder it gets to ride well.
Any way, I hope this can clear up a few confusions about the term and what it refers to.

If you have any technical questions that may make a good topic for this blog please email them to morgan@asrpowersports.com