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Kawasaki Square Four 2 Stroke Prototype

MotoGP™ Basics


is plenty of technical language to describe the engines which the racing prototypes on which the participate in the MotoGP™ World but most of it is fairly easy to if taken piece by piece and simply, even if the machinery is technologically advanced and complex in


2-… and 4-… 2-… engines were in the World Championship until the to the 990cc 4-… class in reflecting production trends, 2-… bikes being the choice from the 1960s to the 1990s.

If 2-… engines more powerful than with similar engine and similar rev counts, 4-strokes are more energy efficient and This is because 4-strokes a dedicated lubrication system, 2-… engines burn a of oil and gas.

As most manufacturers their production towards 4-… powered machines, the to a 4-… prototype formula seemed natural.

The key difference the two types of engine lies in the process: the four ‘strokes’ to the intake, compression, combustion and movements which occur two crankshaft rotations per working

The 2-… internal combustion differs from the 4-… in that it completes the same processes in only two strokes of the

Single cylinder, two cylinder, cylinder and six cylinder engines While technical rules the Moto3™ World Championship to cylinder engines and Moto2™ to the Engine, MotoGP™ bikes allowed from one to six cylinders or up until 2012 when a of 4 cylinders with a maximum bore measurement of 81 mm was introduced.

to the FIM rulebook, the number of cylinders what the minimum accepted of the bike will be, and ballast may be to achieve it. Due to unit cylinder and power-to-weight ratio, all the MotoGP™ opted to use four cylinder even before the regulation was

However, those engines in different forms, as some such as Ducati, Aprilia and currently opt for V4 architecture, while BMW and Kawasaki have developed four’ engines.

With the cylinders and pistons are aligned to each other, so that take on a ‘V-shape’ from an looking along the crankshaft This configuration decreases the height, length and weight of the in comparison with straight inline equivalents.

The choice of architecture has as much to do with philosophy and the manufacturer’s heritage as weight transfer and goals in of bike ‘rideability’.

Meanwhile, the terms 250cc(Moto3™), (Moto2™), 1000cc (MotoGP™) to describe the three current in the World Championship simply to the ‘engine displacement’ or ‘cubic of the respective machinery.


The biggest change in the class over the years has the switch from 4-… to engines and back to 4-… in reflecting the need for technical and innovation in the sport — in with the development of production

In the early days of the World the premier class was dominated by machinery from mostly manufacturers. The early 4-… were cumbersome, heavy, a lot of maintenance and were never the reliable of units.

Through the Japanese manufacturers such as and Yamaha started to make presence felt in the smaller classes with 2-… The lighter 2-… presented possibilities for tuning and was seen as the of the sport.

Although the 1970s and 1980s saw a period of technical that permitted even ‘built in the garage’ motorcycles to go Prix racing, it was the might of the engineering and initiative that soon provide the most racing tools.


As the Japanese slowly forged with 2-… technology, the would fade out in a matter of as the 500cc four-cylinder 2-… available on a production scale Japan.

With the 2-strokes more reliable and more the engines actually threw emphasis onto the rest of the and evolution began at a rapid through the 1980s. Tyres, aerodynamics and even chassis all saw a wealth of development.

In the early speeds had reached a peak in Light, agile, and extremely to ride, the 500cc bikes faster than ever to as an all-Japanese premier class to push the performances of the machines to the and new heights. By 1992 a breakthrough when Honda started to with a revised firing on their all-conquering NS500.


Dubbed ‘Big the revised crankshaft mechanism an emphasis more on acceleration outright top speed and Mick went on to dominate the class on the new Honda also produced a version of their four motorcycle which helped remain competitive against the bikes and for the first time emphasis leaned more corner speed than horse-power; a trait that to a certain degree in MotoGP™

By the late 1990s Doohan had back to the ‘harsher’ engine in his quest for more speed. the ‘Screamer’, this and the ‘Big version of the NS500 won World from 1994 to 1999.

In Suzuki enjoyed a last on the RGV 500 2-…; a motorcycle developed predecessors that had originally the class back in the late and early 80s.


With 2-… technology a plateau, improved 4-… marked the way forward. The MotoGP™ changed in 2002 in order to that there was continual evolution, and 990cc 4-strokes allowed to compete with the 2-strokes. The 4-strokes were competitive, and by 2003 no 2-strokes on the grid.

The following six seasons a massive acceleration in the technical with variable cylinder and quantities, telemetry, data and manually adjustable engine switches now standard.

MotoGP is now a evolved and scientific competition traction control and electronics an important role in the delivery of the and adjusting the balance of the motorcycle to the best use of the engine’s performance.

The category saw the engine size from 990cc to 800cc in with an aim to reduce speed. the speeds remained the same, did so through the size and dynamics of the placing more focus on the speed of the machinery, as opposed to the power of the 990s.

In line with cost policies, engine restrictions been enforced since A regulation stating that rider is allowed only 6 at their disposal for the whole commenced in 2010. Limiting the of engines means the manufacturers to produce more reliable which calls for reducing power output and revs, slowing down the overall in performance of the bikes.

A move to a formula in 2012 was accompanied further restrictions than in place during the 990cc The number of cylinders is limited to 4 and the cylinder bore (the of the cylinder) is 81mm for bikes a minimum weight of 160kg.


The former 125 and 250cc were hosts to 2-… being the original homes of the Firms such as Derbi, and Bultaco were 50cc, and 125cc competitors with in the 1960s, and 2-strokes littered the division.

Outside the premier 2-strokes permitted the most means of racing and being The 2-… prospered with tuning and set-up becoming a skill that saw a host of in the Grand Prix paddock their names through the 1970s, 80s and into the 90s.

Today, the general consensus is the limits of 2-… technology largely been reached in all and therefore 2012 was the dawn of a relevant new era, with … motorcycles filling all fields of the championship.

The Moto2™ replaced the 250cc category the start of 2010. The bikes are by a 600c 4-… spec engine that produces 140bhp, with a prototype free from limitations of and construction.

The 125cc category was with Moto3™ from These are single cylinder, engines produced by any manufacturer, a crankshaft speed limit of and a spec ECU.

Kawasaki Square Four 2 Stroke Prototype


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