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Horse power is a product of torque X revs. Thus HP = Torque X revs. For a given engine if we want high HP (as in racing engines) we need to have the torque at higher revs. Unfortunately when we do that the torque is generally at a lower value. With the torque at higher revs we produce an excellent race engine but it is less tractable at lower revs. ie at normal road speeds. Just picked up my CBR500RA and rode it home (40 Kms or 25 Mls)I would say that it (with its relatively low HP for a 500cc) is an excellent road bike.
 

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It's not a high horsepower machine. It's got good low and power and torque - good for city riding.

Other high displacement bikes are all high end power. You have to rev the engine past 12k to get it really going. Not practical for city riding unless you want to kill yourself or piss everyone off.
 
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