Tag Archives: engine

Chinese Company Benda Debuts Two New V4 Engines

Chinese manufacturers have the unfortunate reputation of being synonymous with cheap rip-offs and unoriginal designs. However, over the last couple of years, a company called Benda has been coming up with some rather unique concepts. The most recent announcement includes two new V4 engines that will power upcoming models set to launch in 2022.

The first glimpse of Benda’s ingenuity came in late 2020, with the unveiling of a low-slung power cruiser dubbed the LF-01 concept. This year, the bike was launched as the LFC 700, retaining all the quirky lines and the 680cc inline-four engine from the concept. Along with it, another flat-tracker-inspired model called the LFS 700 made its debut, as well.


The firm has now showcased its two upcoming V4 engines at the CIMA Motor Show in China. The larger of these engines, dubbed the BD476, is a 1198cc, water-cooled, 16-valve, DOHC unit. Peak output figures are a claimed 152hp and 89lb-ft; this may not sound like much compared to what similarly sized European V4s – on the Ducati Panigale V4 or Aprilia RSV4 – are capable of. Still, it’s enough to make it the most potent Chinese-made motorcycle engine we’ve seen.  

Bennetts points out that the engine’s dimensions suggest that it’s aimed at a Yamaha V-Max style bike, and we think so, too. The bore and stroke figures of 76mm x 66mm are identical to those on the old V-Max 1200. The similarities end there, though, and this engine looks different and features a higher 11.5:1 compression ratio.


The second engine, called the BD453, shares its external appearance with the larger one but displaces 496cc. Bore and stroke figures are 53.5mm x 55.2mm – a rather interesting configuration that results in an engine that’s barely under-squared. Peak output figures on this smaller unit are 56hp at 10,000rpm and 33lb-ft of torque at 8,000rpm.

2022 Kawasaki Z900 SE`


Benda did not announce what kind of motorcycles these engines will be powering, but they did say that the bikes will be coming out in 2022. The company currently has its dealers present in Spain and Portugal, outside China, and they may choose to expand to more international markets before next year.


Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Is water power the future for motorbikes?

Yamaha is the first major manufacturer to give some credence to the theory that future motorcycles and other vehicles could be powered by water.

In 2016, the company commissioned industrial designer Maxime Lefebvre to provide a concept for a 2025 Yamaha motorcycle. That’s just five years away!

After three trial efforts, Yamaha has now officially released images of the prototype bike which looks like an original 1975 XT model but is powered by water.

They call it a closed-loop H2O engine powered by a water pump that continually cycles water.

However, Yamaha is short on technical details.

For example, they don’t say what powers the water pump. Maybe it’s a small electric motor.Yamaha water bike

Nor do they say what sort of power output it would deliver.

It all seems very mystical at the moment. Or is it?

Water and algae powerDutch wooden bike runs on algae oil combustion

Two Dutch designers have built a wooden bike that runs on algae oil and a South American has invented a bike that runs 500km on one litre of water.

The Dutch wooden motorcycle runs on algae oil grown by scientist Peter Mooij as bio fuel.

Designer Titsert Mans thought it appropriate to put it in a bike made of sustainable materials such as wood.

They have written a book, The Thick Algae, to explain their principles.

Sao Paulo inventor Ricardo Azevedo says his T Power H20 bike can even run on polluted water.

It uses a car battery and the water to generate electricity and separate hydrogen from the water molecules. This results in internal engine combustion which powers the bike.

However, don’t hold your breath waiting for some of these technologies to come to your bike.

Ricardo’s bike was revealed back in 2015 and no manufacturer has yet taken up the challenge of introducing it to a production bike.

But change is surely coming and the internal-combustion-engine motorcycle is not dead yet!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie 2-stroke engine attracts investor

An Australian-designed clean two-stroke motorcycle engine could soon become a reality after attracting the interest of a Melbourne-based investor group.

Sydney-Based inventor Basil van Rooyen says his Crankcase Independent Two-Stroke (CITS) engine meets tough emissions requirements as it eliminates total-loss lubrication.

Investor interest

“I have some investor interest which is at their lawyers now for an agreement, so fingers crossed,” says Basil, a former South African motorsport engineer.

“My guesstimate for agreements to be all checked, amended and signed by their lawyers then ours, is two to four weeks.

“However, with the world as it is there are more reasons than ever to be let down.

The investor group are in Melbourne and the new border closure will dash the present plans — once the contracts are signed — for one of them to drive up and collect all the bits for re-testing in Melbourne before Mk 2 V-twin is produced.”

Basil says he is confident the investor group will build the engine, although he would prefer a motorcycle or automotive company bought the company for a “pittance” with a royalty paid to CITS shareholders for each engine produced.

Two-stroke advantages

Basil says his CITS engine is more powerful, lighter, smaller, cheaper, more economical and with lower emissions than any four-stroke engine.

CITS uses direct injection, but has a by-pass valve that replaces the throttle and provides progressive cylinder deactivation ensuring minimised pumping losses.

It also uses a typical four-stroke’s oil sump and does not mix the oil with the fuel in the combustion chamber like normal two-stroke engines. CITS therefore eliminates total-loss lubrication of a typical two-stroke.

“CITS technology is applicable to any engine application from V-twins of 25 to 125kW up to V12s of over 1000kW for hospital generators etc,” he says.

2 stroke CITS engine fail investor
Aussie-designed two-stroke CITS engine

The prototype was built on an 800cc V-twin Suzuki Boulevard crankcase with adapted Rotax 800 E-TEC parallel twin-cylinder jackets and heads.

Basil says the CITS engine would be most suitable in motorcycles because it is compact, economical, lightweight, powerful and cheap to build.

Two-stroke future

Tough pollution laws have forced two-stroke motorcycles out of the market in recent years in favour of four-strokes.

However, two-stroke technology is not totally dead.

KTM has a raft of direct-injection two-strokers for enduro and motocross.

There are also several small manufacturers making exotic and expensive track-only two-stroke motorcycles such as Ronax and Suter.

Meanwhile, Honda has registered patents for direct-injection two-stroke engines and Kawasaki has applied for a patent for a two-stroke/electric hybrid leaning three-wheeler!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Kawasaki plan for two-stroke hybrid

Kawasaki has plans to develop a range-extender hybrid with a supercharged two-stroke, four-cylinder engine charging a battery that powers an electric motor driving the rear wheel.

It seems like a clever idea.

They call it a range-extender hybrid because the fossil-fuel engine doesn’t directly drive the vehicle.

It’s not an original idea, though. The cheap Chevrolet Volt and expensive Fisker Karma had similar arrangements.

Holden Volt hybrid powerChevrolet Volt

However the Volt has been discontinued and Fisker has gone broke, so it seems to suggest it was not a popular concept.

Supercharged two-stroke

Kawasaki has filed a patent in the Japanese Patent Office for a slightly different take on the range-extender hybrid with a supercharged two-stroke engine.

Two-stroke engines are very fuel efficient and powerful, but have largely been discontinued around the world because of their high emissions.

There remain only a few esoteric low-volume and expensive two-stroke motorcycles available and an Australian inventor believes there is a lot of scope left in two-strokes with his invention.

2 stroke CITS engine events fail flywheelAussie-designed two-stroke CITS engine

Kawasaki’s two-stroke cycle does not have the usual port-transfer system, but is similar to the highly efficient supercharged two-stroke diesels used on ships.

Instead of ports in the cylinder walls, it features poppet valves like a four-stroke, with double overhead camshafts. However, the cycle is two-stroke with forced injection and exhaust.

Kawasaki claims it burns cleaner because no unburnt duel escapes into the exhaust.

Given the fuel efficiency and the power such an arrangement could generate, you wouldn’t need a big engine to simply charge the battery.

It also suggests that range from the battery could be quite substantial.

And you wouldn’t need to sit around for hours charging the battery again.

When you run out of fuel, the battery would have enough charge left to get you to a servo where you could fill up wth fuel and get going again in minutes!

Another advantage would be for those stroker fans who love the sound of the high-pitched engines.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Boxer scale model in time for lockdown

If you are still restricted from riding due to the pandemic lockdown, you could spend a few hours putting together this BMW Boxer engine scale model with realistic working parts.

BMW’s famous Boxer engine is now available as a working 1:2 scale model of the engine from the 1973 BMW R 90 S.

The scale model costs about $A250 through Amazon and features 200 parts which lock together and do not need gluing. BMW claims it will take a bout three hours to put together.

Scale models

BMW R 90 S Flat twin Airhead boxer Engine scale ModelBMW R 90 S Flat twin Airhead boxer Engine scale Model

And when it’s all finished, all the internal mechanical parts — pistons, crankshaft, valves, pushrods and rockers — move realistically thanks to a small electric motor.

If Lego is more your scene, you can buy a BMW R 1200 GS ($A104), a Harley Fat Boy ($A159.99) or wait a little while for the Lego Panigale V4 R model.

Boxer engine history

The Boxer engine design was invented by German engineer Karl Benz in the 1890s. Yes, the man who helped establish BMW’s main competitor, Mercedes-Benz!

However, boxer engines weren’t used in motorcycles for a couple of decades and they were all placed with the cylinders in line.

BMW was the first to place the Boxer engine sideways in their R 32 motorcycle in 1923 with the heads sticking out the sides for more effective cooling.

It is called a Boxer engine because the pistons counterpunch like a boxer’s firsts.

The R 32 engine was designed by aircraft engineer Max Friz who used lightweight materials borrowed from aircraft manufacture, such as alloys in the pistons for the first time.

It also departed from other bikes of the time with no chain-drive between the engine and the gearbox and no chain or belt leading to the rear wheel. Instead, it had a sealed valve shaft which kept the bike and rider clean and was easier to maintain.

This model is based on the engine in the venerable R 90 S which was the inspiration for modern R nineT.

BMW R 90 S rounded fairingBMW R 90 S

It had a 49kW 898cc, four-stroke Boxer engine with large Dell’Orto carburettors and was capable of 200km/h.

The R 90 S was also the first series-produced motorcycle to come with a fairing fixed to the handlebars.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley unleashes 131 Screamin’ cubes

Harley-Davidson’s Screamin’ Eagles factory customs department has unleashed its biggest engine yet, the 131-cube (2147cc) crate motor.

The Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee Eight 131 Crate Engine features the same 114mm (4.5”) stroke as the 114 Milwaukee Eight, but has been bored out from 101mm (4”) to 109mm (4.31”).

Harley claims it makes 90kW (121hp) of power and 177Nm (131ft-lb) of torque when matched to the Screamin’ Eagle Street Cannon mufflers. It also requires an ECM calibration and Screamin’ Eagle Pro Street Tuner.

That’s a lot of grunt, but still not comparable to the Triumph Rocket 3 which last year went from 2.3 litres to 2.5 litres with 123kW (165hp) at 6000rpm, up 11% over the previous model, and 220Nm (163ft/lb) of peak torque at 4000rpm.

That makes the Trumpy the biggest torque monster of any production bike in the world.

2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC torque monster2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC

Price and availability

The 131-cube monster, as well as the recently introduced Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee-Eight 107″/ 114″ and 128″/131” Stage IV Kits, are not in the Aussie 2020 HD catalogue.

However, Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman Keith Waddell says they are “very excited to have these performance parts in ANZ and will provide an update when these parts are available for sale”.

We believe the parts are being homologated.

In the US, the price is $US6195 ($A9000) for the 131 oil-cooled version and $US6395 ($A9360) for the twin-cooled motor.

You could expect to pay around $A10,000 for the Screamin’ Eagle 131 crate motor, given a CVO 117 motor costs about $A7400.

Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Limited Road Glide Boom Box rain wet infotainment audio technoCVO Street Glide Limited wth 117 plant

Screamin’ Eagle 131

Harley’s Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee Eight 131 Crate Engine bolts straight into 2017 and later Touring models running an oil-cooled or twin-cooled Milwaukee Eight engine.

With a compression ratio of 10:7:1, you will have to be careful on downshifts not to lock the rear wheel.

You will also be paying more to fuel up with high-flow fuel injectors that guzzle fuel at a rate of 5.5-grams a second.

There are bigger accessory motors available for Harley’s and other big twins, but Harley-Davidson Product Manager James Crean says their engine’s raw grunt is matched by factory-made reliability and a 12-month or 24-month factory limited warranty.

It comes in black/chrome or black/gloss black with 131 Stage IV badging on the cylinder heads and timer cover.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle Engine Break-In Comparison

Your owner’s manual likely recommends a 600-, 1,000-, or even a 1,500-mile break-in process where you limit throttle angle and revs, and constantly vary engine speed so that all those new internal components can get to know each other. For a new-bike owner, it’s a slow, grueling march toward your first service. But do you need to bother with all those baby steps? There are riders who claim a gentle break-in is a waste of time and that you’re better off riding it like you stole it from the second you leave the lot. So, which is it?

Your new engine’s internals have microscopically rough surfaces that need to rub against their counterparts to bed-in, and that happens during the first miles of use. Once the components are polished smooth by wear, there’s less friction, better sealing, and you’re ensured good power, fuel economy, and reliability.

There are a lot of sliding and rotating parts within an engine, but what everyone gets riled up about when discussing engine break-in is the seal between the piston rings and cylinder walls. And rightfully so. Ring seal is the key condition that’s going to affect performance and longevity.

Our Test

We rebuilt two used Honda CB300F engines with new top-end parts and broke them in differently over the course of 1,000 miles.

We installed the first engine and followed the factory break-in procedure per the manual, which meant painstakingly limiting and varying throttle, and slowly ratcheting up the revs. We gave the second engine a few moments to warm up before subjecting it to plenty of hard acceleration and heavy use.

RELATED: Honda CRF250L Rally vs. Kawasaki Versys-X 300

The Results

There was hardly a discernible difference between the two engines once we tore them down. The compression and leakdown numbers were stellar and identical on both motors (235 psi and 4 percent, respectively), and all the measurements of the internal parts, including the piston diameter, cylinder diameter, piston-ring end gap, and valve clearances, were all within spec and in line with each other. The only real difference was that the ring end gap was a few ten-thousandths of an inch wider on the second engine.

The Conclusion

Was this a scientific and comprehensive test? Hardly. We had a sample size of two and only subjected the engine parts to the most fundamental mechanical analysis. But our test revealed that—for this particular engine—there doesn’t appear to be a night-and-day distinction between break-in methods.

That being said, taking it easy with a new bike is still a good idea. Even if your motor doesn’t technically need a stringent break-in, there are lots of good reasons to give yourself and your bike a day or two of gentle riding to shake things out. You need to scrub-in those new tires, bed-in the brakes, and get familiar with how your new bike turns, handles, shifts, and stops. But at least you’ll know that you aren’t causing any harm by opening up the throttle on the way home.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com