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TOPIC: Transverse four cylinder heritage

Transverse four cylinder heritage 25 Jan 2019 06:21 #797466

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Found an interesting article about the 1939 500cc Gilera with the Rondine four-cylinder engine. These bikes were raced and won TT races well into the 60's. They had double-over-head camshafts, forced-inducting supercharger and was water-cooled, producing 60 kW (80 hp) @9000 and had a top speed of 140 mph. Wow, that is similar specs to the the Z1-900 from 34 years later. Albeit, with a supercharger. But these were 500 cc, not 900 cc like the Z's. Blows my mind that they had all that technology even back in 1939, which is so common now. What is also amazing is this engine was designed in 1923.

www.cycleworld.com/2012/01/19/number-two...ne-the-five-greatest
Current project 76 KZ900 (This was a Vetter model)
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81 XJ550H SECA (Current Project)
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Last edit: by KZJOE900.

Transverse four cylinder heritage 25 Jan 2019 07:16 #797468

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Nice bike Joe
Hmmmmmmmmm
1939 Hmmm
All those specs and more in 1939
Rolls Merlin comes to mind
Someone just needs to decide to just use the technology of the time
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Transverse four cylinder heritage 25 Jan 2019 08:16 #797471

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Yes, the engine itself was developed in 1923. I think think in this case, according to the article, the innovation was using this engine in a side to side configuration in a motorcycle instead of longitudinally which had been done before. Gave better handling stability and avoided the inherent over heating of the back cylinders. I think what the Japanese contributed to the motorcycling world was a transverse in-line four that used technology that someone else had innovated (like the Gilera), but made it cheaper and reliable for the masses. The Gilera was a racing bike. As we all know, there were many other manufactures with four (Brough Superior Austin Four), six and eight cylinder engines produced. Not sure how practical a six or eight cylinder motorcycle wold have been for the time. But I would think a four cylinder should have seemed reasonable. I suspect the cost along with the lack of frame , brake and tire technology was probably a factor in four cylinders not gaining traction with the public until the Japanese bikes came out. The first double overhead cam four valve per cylinder engine was introduced by Peugeot in a Grand Prix car in 1912..And that is still not so common. Interesting article.
Current project 76 KZ900 (This was a Vetter model)
76 KZ900
81 XJ550H SECA (Current Project)
82 XJ550R SECA
Past:
86 FJ1200
74 Z1900
72 CB450
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Last edit: by KZJOE900.
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