Roadracing World did a good arcticle on the Tuolaris a few months back.
This bike points to interesting questions.
Stokers *can* still be viable; why kill them by having them race 995cc four strokes? Honda had the 'radical ignition' Dakar bike. Bimota tried to make two strokes viable as prodution bikes with direct injection; and then we have Orbital direct injection motors.
How about a fair MotoGP with 995cc four strokes *and* two strokes. I am all for the Desomodieci and Valentino's V-5, but the two strokes need a fair place in racing regulations.
the tire manufacturers would freak if they had to make a tire for a 995cc 5 cylinder 2stroke! the term "throttle control" would take on new meaning. Mugello - among others - would see it's first 400km/h bike. you might see the first "head start" ever given in a grand prix race. The RC211V's get a 10 second head start, all others get 15 seconds.
in the meantime i have to suffer listening to everyone ooh and ahh over this RC211V "brute" beating up on all the 4 and 3 cylinder bikes, some half its size
The Tul-aris according to the RW article is a 750cc two stroke. It uses a Polaris snowmobile motor. Light, no valves desmo or pneumatic, twice the power cycles for less weight. It does make a case for a two stroke motor's viability.
It's actually a 700cc parallel twin with a bigbore kit taking it to 780cc. The trouble with sled motors is their vibration, which the Tul-aris crew went to great lengths to subdue. Aside from GP bikes, sled motors are probably the most developed 2-strokes on the market, and have some pretty wild performance numbers.
Now that most of the R&D is done, he could sell it to Buell, Cannondale, or ATK and have it semi mass produced, for a reasonable price, like Honda's RS 250. I would be one of the first in line to buy/race one, check in hand.
Why not Polaris buying into this deal. They've got a doo doo load of money AND and motorcycle brand name (Victory). According to what I've heard they're focusing on cruisers because that's where the money is BUT I don't think Harley was really focusing on building a production sportbike until Erik von Buell went to putting those piece of crap motors into his innovative (though not necesarily better working) chassis designs.
As far as I could understand from an article I read about the rocket scientist who designed this Tu-laris, the most interesting thing about the bike is not it's watercraft motor but the leap forward the bike takes in the handling dept. Rob Tuluie, the aforementioned rocket scientist, used to work for Polaris (I think) so maybe there's a love story waiting to happen. Who knows? Maybe there is some excitement coming from American motorcycle manufacturers in the distant future. Certainly if Polaris/Victory got into the sportbike market by building a bike that was competitive through superior chassis design HD/Buell would have to join the fray.
Polaris campaigns the bike, sells a few to racers, hires Tuluie and his design team to build a viable road version (read: four stroke, with a Harley-beating motor that they can shoe-horn into a big cruiser chassis), and gets Harley/Buell racing, too.
i knew you'd say it - Four stroke. Tuluie's bike is a success because of the lightness and compactness of the polaris 2 stroke engine. you'd have to put in a 250cc 4stroke twin to get that engine size. but with about 1/5 the power, it would be a total failure. face it - it's 2stroke or nothing. i think he should work on a direct-injection system for the polaris engine.
There are options for 2 stroke motors that are to be street legal.
Orbital has a direct injection air shrouded motor that has been considered by auto manufacturers. Honda developed a Paris Dakar bike that used a 'radical ignition system', it used a kernel of constantly ignited mixture to provide clean combustion. Bimota did try and fail with direct ignition; the bike malfunctions were related to incorrect porting, the concept was, is viable.
Current racing regulations and emission laws are phasing out two strokes. The above mentioned developments are not seen as viable options by the manufactures. Aprilia did consider Orbital's motors for its scooters.
In view of the Tul-aris success it might be nice to see, at least in motorcycle racing, two strokes having a better chanche than racing against bikes of twice the displacement as in Moto-GP.
There was a great article about the Tul-aris in Cycle World a year or two ago with some really excellent pictures. Dr. Rob did indeed work for Polaris for a while and saw the potential of two stroke snowmobile engines. Then he worked for a company that builds the testing rigs that many Formula 1 race teams use for testing their suspensions. That is how he got the suspension and chassis dialed in. Ski-Doo has a new semi-direct injection snowmobile engine for next season that injects the fuel right into the transfer ports, after the piston has passed the exhaust ports. Has all the advantages of a two stroke, while significantly cleaning up the emissions. This could be the way to go to get two strokes cleaned up and eco friendly. A lot cheaper and easier than direct injection into the combustion chamber.
This thing already wins. If Polaris decided to build 'em for the street and use the Victory name, it would be a huge improvement over the lame Harley knock-offs they build now. I might even go in a Victory dealership...
In responce to the fuel injection that Ski Doo is releasing next year it is a very proven system that came out a few years back on the Sea Doos. Sea Doo has also had direct injection for a few years with few problems but if any one has ever had the chance to be around one of these direct injected motors one of the first things that you notice is the unreal throttle responce. For those of you that haven't had the opportunity, take the most touchy fuel injected bike and double that throttle sensitivity.
Re: you had to go ruin a good thread with the F word
Polaris has two Direct Injection two stroke motors (a 777 and a 1200) they sell in watercrafts. Some of you may be aware of the fact that Polaris can't sell it's carbureted watercraft in California but their DI versions meet California emmissions standards. This is the same for Kawasaki watercraft as well. On the other hand Yamaha decided to put an R1 motor in a watercraft they call the FX140 (for 140 hp). There is certainly more than one way to skin a cat and I know for a fact that Polaris has the dough to make this deal work in either two or four stroke version. The question is will they see racing/sportbikes as a venture that will eventually yield good profits.
My personal opinion is that if Victory can build a competitive bike (Tu-laris is the guy is he not?) and buy a competitive rider it would do wonders for their name recognition. I've been selling Victorys since their inception in 1998 and I still meet long time cruiser riders who don't know a Victory from a Vulcan.
Although HD superbike racing was a bust HD was already well known. A Buell superbike team would have made more sense from a marketing standpoint. Buell and Victory being competitive versus the world in AMA and World Superbike racing (don't laugh it could happen) would seem to me something akin to being in the space race. Whether it yields immediate profits or not it would certainly create a lot of good ole American pride. And that would be a good thing for all of us motorcycle folks.
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