Developments In Motor Bike Engines

The bike motor is started by means of an electric spark. This in turn ignites the gas air mixture in the chamber and sets the pistons into motion. This spark is generated by a dynamo. Earlier bikes were all kick start. The bike was started by pumping a lever down wards with the leg. But latest motorcycles have incorporated the self start option. In such bikes the pistons are fired by a starter motor.

Older Bikes

The older motorcycles had their current supplied by a magneto. Now however the latest bikes are replaced by Capacitor Discharge Ignition. CDI systems provide higher ignition

current for starting making the bike easier to start. Kawasaki was the first to adapt this for motorcycles.

Diesel Engine

Another variant of the bike motor is the diesel engine. Unlike in cars the diesel engine is not adapted for large scale motorcycle use. This is because the diesel engine has a lower efficiency and is also heavier than a corresponding petrol engine. Diesel engines are prone to greater vibration and are generally unsuitable for two wheelers. However a limited variety of diesel powered bikes are in the market.

Multi Cylinders

Bikes with large displacement usually have multi-cylinders. Such motorcycles may have 2, 4 or even 6 cylinders. There are many types of multi-cylinder options available in the market. Cylinders of the bike motors may be positioned in vertical or twin cylinder configuration. They may also be positioned in line. Another development is the Wankel engine made by Felix Wankel (1902 - 1988). Wankel engines generate greater power for the motorcycle. Bike motors can go up to six cylinders. Six cylinders are fitted on the heaviest bikes and include bikes like the Honda CBX and the Kawasaki KZ1300.

Liquid Cooled engines

Liquid-cooled motorcycles engines are a further development. Such motorcycles


engines have a radiator like in a car. The radiator follows the principle of heat dissipation and keeps the engine cool by circulating water or a liquid coolant. Liquid cooled engines can however be fitted only on the larger bikes and are unsuitable for lower displacement bikes. Liquid cooled bikes for a specific displacement generate greater power than air cooled bike engines. They also last longer than an air cooled engine. Air-cooled bikes are however much cheaper to buy and maintain with simpler construction.

However, 4 stroke engines have captured the commercial market. Four stroke engine bikes give a smoother ride on the road and also generate greater power over broader spectrum of speed. But despite this two stroke engines are in great demand in the developing countries, as cost is a big factor there. In the United States and Western Europe the two stroke bike is now an oddity and motorcycle manufacturers mostly market four stroke bike variants.

Electric Engines

Another variant of the motorcycle engine is the electric engine. These engines are still in the development stage and are presently only used to power small scooters and mopeds. These electric motors mostly operate on lead acid batteries. However a negative point against these batteries is that they take more than 4 hours to recharge. They also have limitations of speed and performance and unsuitable for heavier bikes. However some concept bikes using a lithium battery have been tested but they are far from commercial production stage due to the prohibitive cost involved.

 



Article Written By Madan G Singh

An early retired Gp Capt from Air Force who is an Executive Director in the Corporate world. Loves to write fiction and articles. Published over 60 short stories and his novel" Romance of the Frontier" is published from Notion Books.His second novel is on way for publication. The author also has close to 10,000 articles on the b net with millions of views

Last updated on 22-07-2016 36 0

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