What is Torque in Bikes?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 06/09/2023

Do you like motorcycles but struggle to read the spec sheet of new bikes? Mechanical terms like BHP and torque confuse you? You are not alone. Normal people with no association or interest in mechanics generally do not understand such jargon. Therefore, for curious readers, we will explain the term torque in bikes in this blog article.

Some people also fail to understand the importance of having bike insurance, let alone investing in long-term two-wheeler insurance. You should get insurance for your bike, and preferably a comprehensive bike insurance policy which will also take care of repairing any damages to your vehicle in case of an unfortunate accident.

Now that we have established the importance of insurance for bikes, let’s understand what is torque in bikes and how it works.

To know how torque works in bikes, it is important to first know the meaning of torque in bikes. Let’s jump right into understanding what torque in bike means.

Meaning of Torque in Bikes

When you take a look at the specification sheet of a two-wheeler, you will likely come across the word torque. Most readers will skim past it, not bothering to know the torque meaning in a bike and how it affects the bike. However, it is more than a marketing buzzword and is actually an important factor in your bike. To know what torque in a bike means, we will have to delve into the physics of the matter.

Torque, in its simplest definition, means a rotational force. You cannot understand what is torque in bikes without understanding what force means. While it is easy to instinctively know what force is, one must also know how physics defines the term force. Force is defined as a push or a pull on an object that alters its velocity.

Linear Force

To illustrate with an example, imagine that a book is lying on the table. To make the book move from one side of the table to another, you push it aside. Essentially, what you are doing with this action is applying “force.” At the exact moment that you stop pushing the book, it stops moving because of its friction against the table. Therefore, the force is only applicable until you are pushing and the book is moving. In addition to this, to get the book to where you want it to be placed, you will have to push it in a particular direction. This means that force must always have direction. In other words, force is a vector. The standard unit (SI) for force is Newton (N). This is an explanation of what linear force is. Now, let’s understand what rotational force is.

Rotational Force

Imagine that a nut needs to be undone from the bolt that it is fixed to. To undo the nut, you cannot push or pull it in a straight line. Doing so will only waste your energy because the nut won’t budge. Simply put, linear force won’t work in undoing the nut. To undo it, you will have to rotate it for which you would require a spanner. You can hook one end of the spanner to the bolt and from the other end you would either push it down or pull it up. What you are doing with this action is applying rotational force. In this example, the spanner performs the function of a lever and translates the linear force that you apply into rotational force to undo the bolt. This is called torque.

You can measure torque by multiplying the linear force applied to the spanner (in Newtons) by the length (in metres) at which the force is being applied. The length here refers to the distance between the nut and the end of the spanner at which the force is being applied. And so, the SI unit for torque is Newton-metre (Nm).

Torque Meaning in Bike

Here is a simple explanation of how torque works in a bike: it is common knowledge that a vehicle moves when wheels rotate. This motion is induced in the wheels through the engine, which rotates the crankshaft. The crankshaft's job is to translate the pistons' linear motion into rotational motion. And this rotational force is called ‘torque’. This number is not constant and continues to increase with the rpm (revolution per minute) of the engine up to a certain extent. And so, when you take a look at the specification sheet of the bike, the torque that is mentioned there is the peak or maximum torque of your vehicle.

Force is the determining factor in changing velocity. In simple terms, this torque is what changes the speed of your two-wheeler – whether it is starting the bike from a standstill position or when it is already in motion. Generally, when the torque is higher, the velocity of your two-wheeler will change faster. In simpler terms, greater torque gives you better acceleration.

Torque and Power in Bikes

You will have often observed that torque and power in bikes are the two most discussed factors when someone is making a purchase decision regarding a new two-wheeler. Now that we have understood the role and functionality of the torque, let’s understand power.

In bike terms, power produced by any engine is the capacity of that engine to take the bike to its maximum speed. How much speed your bike will get depends on how much power the engine of your bike has. Therefore, power refers to the potential of an engine to achieve its top speed.

In relation to power, torque refers to the rate at which your bike pulls you. Here is a simple trick to remember the role of power and torque in your bike: where power is related to the “top speed” of your bike, torque is concerned with the “acceleration.” Torque is, therefore, responsible for the vehicle’s pickup.

The Importance of Insurance for Bike Enthusiasts

Bike enthusiasts are often captivated by the speed and the thrill afforded by bikes. However, just as bikes can be exciting to ride, they can be equally dangerous. Therefore, it is important to secure both the bike and the rider with comprehensive bike insurance.

Insurance for bikes acts as a reliable financial safety net if an unfortunate situation befalls the policyholder. To enhance safety, bike insurance by Tata AIG comes with a host of features, such as protection of your vehicle against theft or natural disasters, personal accident cover, third-party liability cover, and more to provide wholesome protection. You can look for the kind of coverage you want by looking for bike insurance online. In addition to easy comparison of policies, you can even get a discount on your premiums when you buy bike insurance online. However, for an informed investment decision, before you buy insurance for a bike, carefully analyse your insurance needs to get adequate insurance coverage.

To Wrap it Up

We hope this blog article helped you understand the basic characteristics of torque - how it is calculated and measured. Torque is denoted by the term Nm or Neuton-Metre. Just for information, power is denoted by the term HP (horsepower) or BHP (brake horsepower).

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