Car Vs. Bike $5,000 Challenge: Are Two Wheels Faster Than Four? Let’s Race!

You may be surprised which one actually takes the title here

It’s the age-old question about which enthusiasts will always argue. Car vs. bike: Which one is faster? That’s something we’re going to tackle in today’s video. Not only do we have a car vs. bike stage on the IMI Motorsports track, but we’re also seeing how both vehicles fare in a proper drag race.

Here’s the rub — both of these track-ready machines are around $5,000. On the car side, we have Tommy’s 2010 Mini Cooper S with the John Cooper Works upgrade installed. This Mini is an agile, fun little hatchback with around 200 horsepower from its 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. It also has a six-speed manual transmission, so it’s one of the purest examples of a hot hatch you can get for the money, apart from the Golf GTI.

The two-wheeled challenger

In the bike corner, we have our man Alex’s KTM RC 390. It’s MSRP lands right around $5,549, so it’s still in the realm of possibility if you want some affordable fun. The RC 390’s 373cc engine manages 43 horsepower and 26 lb-ft of torque, and comes mated to a six-speed transmission. As Alex explains, it’s a fairly straightforward, single-cylinder four-stroke engine that you’d also find in the KTM 390 Duke.

So what about the actual race? Mind you, apart from ex-Stig Paul Gerrard none of us on the TFL team are professional racing drivers. Even so, you’d expect the four-wheeled Mini to be faster on a small road course, right? As it turns out, Tommy managed a 1:12.85 in the Mini Cooper S. Alex, on the other hand, put up a time nearly three seconds faster, at 1:09.97.

In the best drag race portion of this car vs. bike challenge, Alex was also victorious on his KTM over the Mini. Despite Tommy nailing his reaction time, the car still put down a 16.781 time in the quarter mile. The bike, on the other hand, wins the challenge with a 15.435 quarter mile time.

Does that settle the car vs. bike argument? Honestly, it likely won’t, but at least this gives you an idea of what sort of performance you can get for around $5,000. And if you’re feeling flush, you can even have both without seriously hurting your wallet. Everybody wins!

We’ll have another great drag race coming up soon (as teased in the video above), so stay tuned for more updates.