Sure.... we need all this gimmickry about strange, sake inspired engine configurations because we're clearly bored with motorcycling.
If you can't find something inspiring in the realm of todays bikes, with everything from 1 to 6 except 5, then you need to move on to something different, such as skydiving.
The new daytona 675 looks to be a much better example of thinking outside the box, using things we've seen, ie., 3 cylinders, sportbike riding position, edgy triumph styling to give us an absolutely unique choice on the supersport plate.
You guys worry about your 60 degree V-6's, I'll just try to pick the right bike from the incredibly strong crop out there these days.
I don't see any manufacturer adopting an exotic engine configuration unless that same engine could be the basis for application in an entire line of bikes, to wit Kawasaki's Vulcan 2000 series...and even that is your standard 60deg V. In fact I see the opposite trend evolving, more along the lines of a common engine platform as a way of keeping costs down...bike prices are already beyond the reach of many and I doubt the paying public would absorb the R&D costs of building a sound exotic engine.
Biodiesel would be rad. Could you imagine having your fries as doing your part for nature and national security. McDonald's could become totally neocon. Eat more fries and protect the American homeland.
Something different would be people trading in their hyper-sport bike that they can't even come close to riding or their ton-and-a-half monster cruiser for small fuel efficient standards and enduros and they ride most of the time instead of treating their bike like a toy.
Manufacturers then put R&D into utilitarian but fun bikes, so you get a 250lb, 450cc twin, with 70hp that gets 60+mpg and someone 5'10" can flat foot but handles like a supermoto. Has switchable heated grips and seat, accessory socket, optional hard luggage, CVT transmission with manual control, Buell like belt drive, non-linked ABS brakes, underbody exhaust, comfy all-day seat, and could be ridden in the rain for a year without any rusting.
Aka, take the Derbi 50cc supermoto, cram the Aprilia small twin in there, uses the latest and greatest materials for everything, have BMW gadgets and comfort and a Buell style exhaust and belt drive. Lastly have Lotus like engine efficiency.
Give me that and I would spend every penny I have to get it and would be happy to have the best commuter around.
As far as high-tech engines go it looks like the Japanese are betting on hybrid and hydrogen engines, good or bad. Personally if people bought normal bikes the manufacturers could spend their R&D money making them more efficient without having to switch fuel types. My 650CS gets 60mpg so I KNOW there could be a lot of improvement there without getting too fancy. But would people give up their wang extensions for something normal and utilitarian, I doubt it. They feel they need a liter class torture rack or 2300cc 700+lb two wheeled boat to be a man.
What we need is the MOTORCYCLISTS to be the ones who think outside the box. The motorcycle MANUFACTURERES aren't the problem, it's the motorcycle buying public. They all follow like sheep. High school & college age kids who have to buy the 600 or 1000 inline four sport bike or the mui macho cruisers both are completely predictable. If you want to break away from such a predictable pattern you have to buy in a much less predictable manner. Now we have squids who buy crotch rockets and tear around the streets displaying their lack of control of themselves like some badge of honor. Try showing the control you have in a corner at high speed and then rapidly jamming on the brakes as you maintain the exact same line thru the curve as you would have without braking. Go to a trials event and see what true control of a motorcycle is about. Buy a motorcycle with a decent rear seat so that when you get someone to put on the back she can enjoy riding with you. You won't have to stop a life of motorcycling before it begins because you and your girl and the motorcycle can't all spend the day together. Buy something comfortable fore and aft. Then learn how to ride two up almost as fast a you can solo. If you want an example of what people should be buying for their first street bike go the this website:
The overall theme in your ideas is interesting. The bike should adapt the rider, not so much the other way around -- "plugging in," rather than "piloting."
I understand much of the fun of riding is achieving the zen of melding the flawed man and cold machine into one, but that's weighed against friendliness to increase the margin of safety and comfort in the real world.
Take it to the extreme:
* Rotary motor with adaptive CVT
* Eschew gauges -- all HUD
* Fully adjustable ergos
* Engine based traction control and ABS
* Adaptive braking servos
* Adaptive suspension?
What would it take to make a bike more like your own two feet?
I couldn't agree with you more! Just the other day, I found myself wishing a manufacturer would produce a small V6 powered motorcycle. In fact, Moto Guzzi DID sell a small V* powered bike for a brief period & there is an Australian company that sells a beautiful small V8 bike - the Drysdale. Then there's the Brit who custom builds V8s and V12s from production Kawasaki engines - can't remember his name. Although I love the concept of a radial engine (a long time fantasy motor of mine), I don't think it could work in a motorcycle because you would end up having to mount the engine so high in the frame to accomodate the lower cylinders and still have enough ground clearance. At that point, the crankshaft would be high in the frame also necessitating some sort of powerflow transfer to bring it back down to rear wheel level. Hmmm, what if we laid it down flat???
The v6 has already been done. Laverda made and raced one in the 1970s. And as for radial or rotary engines, go to your encyclopedia of motorcycles and look up what a Megola was.
But more cylinders usually means smaller pistons, and that produces bland sensations. Besides, bikes are supposed to be simple and agile, which means singles and twins. But singles and twins don't make the power of equivalent-displacement fours, and so don't sell to a performance-obsessed market. Which kind of brings us back to where we started.
I like the rotary idea - doesn't matter if gas, diesel or bio-diesel. A small 1/2 litter twin rotor wankle making 80-100 hp would be cool - good fuel milage, decent power - and if you need more just start forcing the issue -small turbos spool quick. If you needed more fuel economy you could shut down an injector for one rotor at Hwy speeds. If you produce this I want a cut!
OMG, you just described my dream bike. I would literally sell my current bike and my junker car if necessary to buy one. I wouldn't care if it cost $15k, I would have to have it. Except I would also like a good 8" of ground clearance and 6" or so of suspension travel for exploring fire roads. But you're dead on about the power, weight, and CVT.
So many people hate on CVTs until they ride something with one (try a Silverwing or Burgman someday) in traffic.
Biodiesel would also be nice, but diesel = heavy.
1 - 20 of 82 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.