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[POLL] Most reliable engine configuration

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by jd, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Single Cylinder

  2. V-twin

    0 vote(s)
  3. Parallel Twin

    0 vote(s)
  4. Triple

    0 vote(s)
  5. Parallel 4

    0 vote(s)
  6. Other 4 cylinder (V, flat, square etc.)

    0 vote(s)
  7. Parallel 6

    0 vote(s)
  8. Other 6 cylinder

    0 vote(s)
  9. Other (ie Rotary, V5, whatever)

    0 vote(s)
  1. Thought it was about time for another technical poll/discussion. Now the argument over which config offers the most power has been done before - just wondering what peoples experiences or perceptions are when it comes to reliability. Specifically how long will the engine run before it needs a major rebuild - assuming a similar capacity and/or state of tune (no comparing a four-cylinder 250 with a 1800cc cruiser engine for example).

  2. so BMW just jets the "other" category right?
  3. For a large 4 cylinder, it's a silly question - K series BMWs.
    K100, K1100 or K1200 :wink:

    these generally will run to well over 300,000. I have never heard of engine failure on one. Drive shaft therough lack of proper lubrication and (rarely) a gear box failure but never an engine. Discount Motorcycle Wreckers at Coburg who specialise in BMWs cannot remember if they've ever had one in with a failed engine - crash damaged yes but no mechanical failure.

    As for Horizontal Twins - BMW win that one as well :LOL:
  4. Knew I'd leave something out - meh a flat-twin's bascially the same thing as a v-twin anyway :p.
  5. BMW Twin.. agree with tony.

    I know some of Dad's mate have made several trip around OZ on theirs and no issues to speak of
  6. Actually given the fact that the original K series are so bullet proof I really had to vote for a parallel four :LOL:

    BMW Flat Twin would have to be a close second though - and I resent being lumped in with Harleys, VTRs SVs and those Italian things :LOL: :LOL:

    Anyway, it doesn't really show much - how do you compare the big V twins - Honda VTR Ducati or MotoGuzzi - for reliability and which example do you take as being representative? It's not the engine configuration that makes for reliability but the build quality and design of the specific engine.

    I would have said maintenance as well but there's supposedly a K series running in the eastern US that has gone over 100,000 miles without any :roll:

  7. Guzzi..... know a guy who had one of them.... spent more time in our garage that him riding it....
  8. I wasn't really thinking in terms of specific examples - more a theoretical perspective ie if you were going to design a bike to cover the most distance possible which engine config would you choose (assume build quality is identical). Number of cylinders affects the number of moving parts and the load on many of them, there's also going to be differences between having one or two cylinder heads etc. - just wondering where the ideal balance lies.
  9. I would vote for flat twins if there was a category. One owner, 600,000 miles (967,000 kilometers) without a rebuild, just oil and rings, 1 valve, and 1 bearing. Almost a million k's on one engine, and it could probably have done more, but the owner passed away.

  10. ROFLOL.... 13 votes and NOTHING for a Triumph Triple!
  11. It's not really the right question JD.

    Reliability is a direct result of capacity, vehicle mass, manufacturing quality and state of tune (i.e. how hard does it have to rev).

    Configuration only plays a small part and that basically is the more moving parts, statistically you are more likely to have a failure. This of course has to be wieghed agains the likelyhood of a part failure stopping the engine.

    so maybe 2 independant cylinders is the most reliable if everything else is equal.
  12. I note that all currently manufactured fully certified aircraft piston engines are horizontally opposed 4's and 6's. These are probably the most reliable piston engines in the world, they have to be, for obvious reasons.
  13. Yeah but with an overhead cam engine there's more moving parts with 2 independant cylinders than with a parallel twin - so surely it'd be less reliable.
  14. Every rider Ive ever met on the road with Vtwin,s like older Guzzi,s or opposable piston flat Beemers,where talking boyz with a few k,s and many years under their belts,all swear by Beemers and Guzzi,s.

    I seem to recall an engineer saying to me years ago that the most reliable engine configuaration available was the V6 or 6,cant remember which,but when you think bout it,you have an opposing piston force,balancing on every stroke,therefore minimising wear. Same goes for a 4 cylinder opposing I suppose?,as mention by incitatus,my cars a Subaru and they run them donks out of the old subarus,in some light aeronautical applications.
  15. There are less moving parts in a rotary engine than all others, but trust me that don't make em reliable street engines :p

    On a racetrack though they last heaps longer...
  16. Actually mate you have that backwards. The Subaru EA81 (the grandaddy of the WRX motor), was based on one originally designed as an aircraft engine and then modified for car use when Subaru pulled out of the aviation business.
  17. This poll is null and void till you put flat twins up there.
    I can't believe bmw's are in the "other category"
  18. I second that!! At the moment V-twins are scoring highest. You know, V-Twins, like those paragons of reliability Harley Davidson and Ducati.. :shock:
  19. Only if you can explain why a parallel twin is more reliable than a v-twin :p. Of course if one of the mods wants to alter the poll I'm fine with that (can't edit it myself).
  20. Hmmm. V twins the most reliable? Please don't make me laugh. Specially if we are talking power for a given displacement. If thats the case then the general rule is more cylinders = more power for the same displacement. More cylinders allow higher redlines due to lower maximum piston speed giving more horsepower. (shorter stroke due to being divided up between more cylinders)