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Reliability/milage comparison - Inline 4's, parallel twins, Vs

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by MrRyannnnnnnn, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to engines and what makes each different. The extent of my knowledge is that Inline 4s are the quickest lol.
    But, When looking for a bike (me = LAMS), and plan on keeping the bike for years, should I lean towards a certain engine type? I mean, only I would know what feels most comfortable to me but, is there a most reliable engine type?, do you usually get more ks out of one? (being all up until the engine starts to deteriorate).

    Might seem like a stupid question but I have always wondered.

  2. you wont keep it for a second longer than you have to.

    no need for spec sheet racing/mechanics.

  3. Good question.

    I bought a Suzuki GS500. Decent capacity, good mileage, and a nice simple engine that I could learn bike maintenance on once the warranty ran out. It may not be the fastest bike out there, but it did pretty well for me, and I'm not a small bloke. The GS's engine is bulletproof - design hasn't changed for 20 years. In short, it's an excellent LAMS bike that you can easily hold on to for a few years after coming off your restrictions.

    As soon as I came off restrictions I sold it and got myself a 750.
  4. Reliability is more about how highly tuned the engine is. Lower cylinder bikes generally have more midrange power, and less top end power. Street riding generally favours midrange over top end.
  5. Honda's have very reliable motors,
  6. Reliability has nothing to do with the engine configuration. All of the major manufacturers build bulletproof, long-life motors and running gear these days.
  7. Riiiight. I'm sure quite a few current generation oil burning Fireblade owners may beg to differ. Or if we go back a year or few, there would be some chocolate camshaft VFR owners with not quite the same thoughts as yourself. And if we start talking about the electrical system from any Honda in the last 20 odd years -well thats just another rather large can of worms waiting to be opened.
    No manufacturer is immune from producing crap products from time to time. Not even the mighty Honda.
  8. There are 2 basic sorts of reliability, there's the modern style design for a reliable estimated usage (like Honda, Yamaha and most euro bikes) and then there's the old fashioned fully rebuildable style (like Harley Davidson, Moto Guzzi etc).

    The modern style bikes are mostly ride and service and forget about it but they tend to have a defined lifetime at which point it's not economical to keep them going (although that point varies, VFR750's for example last a very long time).

    Older type bikes generally have very low stressed motors and can just about be rebuilt from the ground up but this can sometimes mean more frequent work.

    Don't worry too much about reliability, most bikes these days are pretty good (although there is the odd lemon model).
  9. wrong.
  10. lol, usually i only amuse myself.
  11. (From what I gather)

    Pretty much any bike out there will last >50 000km easily, if well maintained. If you intend to do all the maintenance yourself, *that* is when these things start to come into play.
  12. Engine configuration has a lot to do about ‘feel’.
    If it was just up to power/reliability, then everyone would just stamp out the same engine.
    Companies like Ducati & HarleyD bank their whole line up on what a bike (because of it’s engine) feels like.
    If you can, go out there & ‘feel’ a few.
    You’ll come back with exactly what engine configuration is for you.
  13. I agree. No more fundamental design flaws in engines etc.
    Regular, proper servicing and proper respect for the equipment will make anything last forever.
    Wish I had a dollar for every time I see someone jump on a stone cold bike, run it for 30 seconds then make it deliver full rated power......
    Given the abuse a lot of bike drive trains get, I am impressed how well they last.

    Regards, Andrew.
  14. most roadbikes yes.

    ape sxv550? no. plus just about any of the hi strund enduros struggle to get that

  15. sssvvvvhhhh. My initial thought also, along with "state of tune has more to do with it".

    Despite this, state of tune means different things to different configurations.
    So two similar capacity engines making their peak power at the same revs, the lesser cylinder engine will be more stressed.

    we see this in singles. the modern 400cc trail bikes make their peak power around 7500 rpm (?) and they are basically bombs. The new cb400 would eat 7500 rpm and still survive 5 single rebuilds.

    The other side of the coin is that the larger capacity engine, making the same power will tend to be less stressed.
  16. ahh but the 'trail' versions of the 400's (not the race / enduro machines) can get well past 50,000 if treated right witing a rebuildthout getting a rebuild. drz400,xr400 ect ect

    in the same way that a i4 400 highly strung racebike would need rebuilds a long time before a cb 400.

    lets not forget to rebuild a single could be as little as 2-300 depending on whats required. id love to see how much a cb 400 rebuild costs.

    in conclusion. singles rock and are the best engine configuration however as with any configuration its all about the state of tune and intended use.

    got a mate with a wr450 (full on enduro race machine / motarded ) with 70,000kms on it.

    plus i was looking at DR big bore kits today... $400 delivered from the us lol you couldnt even get a can for an i4 for that price
  17. Yeah I like singles too. Just saying that one that is tuned to make it's peak power at 11,000 rpm is not going to be as reliably at a 4 that does the same.

    It's not such a problem with single as there isn't many road bike singles (in our market anyway) and everybody is aware of their limit's.

    The problem comes with twins that are in a high state of tune. Some out their falsely claim they are more reliable than 4s. The reality is they need to be in a lower state of tune to achieve the same reliablity.

    Of course there is the other end of the scale where you have too many cylinders for the capacity. The 250/4 come to mind here. Something that complicated is bound to have more problems then a 250 twin.

    Ultimately this is why 3 is the correct number of cylinders for mid to large capacity bikes.

    So the OPs question is a good one.
  18. you wont find a road oriented single that revs to 11k though. rpms arent everything. road/trail singles are designed to run lower rpms for longevity. the same way some twins and i4's are detuned to give longer life.

    triples have the same mechanical downsides as i4's.
  19. 25% less or do I'm told