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Sport bike engine longevity (inline 4)

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by dgmeister, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Am interested in jap race rep bike 600-1000cc.
    wondering what is the general engine life, given proper maintenance and treatment of the bike. Before you need a new top end etc.

    Is maintenance fairly simple except for valves and timing stuff?

    Do 1000cc engines/service intervals last longer than 600's?
  2. Sometimes it can. Quite often in fact. But only if things are really working properly. In the overall grand scheme of things. Sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes it is no. It all depends on a great many variables really, and there is no actual guarantee that all those variables will all work in harmony to produce the most favourable result in the application you are describing. I would not hold my breath in any case, as the worst things can happen at the most inappropriate times, and cause you no end of hassles.
    Hope this helps. It is obviously quite a complex situation, and will require quite considerable time to analyse and chart the best course of action to provide you with an acceptable solution.
  3. yes i am in the process of a top end rebuild for a 250 single . sucks.

    guess if you keep the valves in check and oil in the sump, they go for ages.

    but a rebuild gets close to the price of a new/old engine/bike
    unless you can do your own labour, which i must learn to do.

    makes you see the value of a two stroke. And the value of doing your own work.
    Especially maintenance!
  4. Are we talking a] a full blown race ( superbike, supersport ) engine or b] a streetbike thats been lockwired and a set of tyres thrown at it ??

    If the answer is a] then it may need to be rebuilt as often as every race meeting or more likely at least twice a year ie. 1/2 way thru the season. Regular maintenance will be the equivalent of at least a full service after every 1 or 2 race meetings depending on you. IE. just how well you want your bike to perform on the day will determine how much time and effort you put into its preparation.

    If the answer is b] then the 'average joe' will service the bike every 2-4 track days/race meetings depending on the miles done and how hard the bike is ridden, and attend to stuff likes brakes and tyres as the need/cash arises.

    1000 vs. 600's......The 600's are more highly strung than the 1000's so I would expect slightly more work ( maintenance ) for an engine that regularly revs to 16-17K than one that revs to 13K

    @ Roarin...."It is obviously quite a complex situation, and will require quite considerable time to analyse and chart the best course of action to provide you with an acceptable solution."
    May our friend heed your wise words...
  5. just a road going / occasional track day bike; CBRrr/GSXr/YZFr/ZXr

    Everyone knows bikes are expensive, but shit.

    I do my own work mainly so by service i gather you mean: valve adjust, oil, oil filter, air filter, etc.

    By top end rebuild: new piston/cylinder/rings/gaskets etc. + valves.

    Just a stock engine, given servicing how far will it go before it NEEDS more expensive attention?
  6. My '98 600 Hornet just turned over 166,900kms on the way home from Eastern Creek this afternon. It's never had a top end rebuild, or any other sort of rebuild, nor do I expect it to....
  7. My baby VFR 400 has had the living sh!t flogged out of it, bouncing off the rev limiter every time I ride it, for the last 90,000kms. It has been held throttle pinned to the stop for minutes -not seconds, at a time, many times in fact. In those 90,000 kms I have adjusted 2 inlet valves. Because they were getting close to the lower tolerance. Didn't "need" it. Do you think you will ride a 1000 that hard?
  8. 166,900kms - thats what i want to hear. valve adjustments are crucial for performance and engine life, learnt that the expensive way.

    No i think the point of a 1000 rr would be you don't NEED to ride hard because you can open up a big tin of whoop arse on any other vehicle ever invented.

    The choice of 600 or 1000 = very hard decision.
    purely for track a 600 would probably rule, but i will be riding on the road most of the time. Its very tempting to live in the fast lane and get a 1000! and then those sexy damn gsxr 750's as well!
  9. My CBR929 is about to tick over 100,000kms. Still going strong.
  10. My zx9 has 105,000kms still going strong.
  11. I had a Honda CB400 (year 2002 vtec carby model), that had ~118,000kms when I sold it. Not entirely sure of the history of the bike but it did provide a very comfortable and problem free 8 months of service. new owner is very happy with it as well.

    regarding maintenance, i change my oils at around 3-4000km or 3-4 months, whichever comes first.. i'm a slave to the bikes and that's what they demanded from me. fresh oils or no go! :(
  12. I ride an 85 Yamaha XJ750 (inline 4) that has been round the clock multiple times, so I have no idea of true kms. When the bike was released it was considered a sports bike/ sports tourer and the engine made 83hp, which was considered to be very good power for a 750. I have had a lot of problems with the bike, but none of them have been with the engine, which has been absolutely bulletproof. If a bike is well maintained, and the model does not have any known engine problems, I would think that the engine would be one of the last things to go.
  13. can't speak for my gsxr-750 (only got 50 odd thousand k's, still going strong)
    however one of the guys i ride with has an 06 r6 with 140,000km's on it. several track days a year, every year.
    it's immaculate and runs like a dream. never had any problems with it
  14. As the others have said.
    1. It's complicated. There are no guarantees.
    2. As long as the model has no known weaknesses or issues, and it is maintained as per the handbook, it should pretty much go for ever.
    3. Other parts of old bikes start to go pear shaped before the engine. Steering head and swing arm bearings, brakes, suspension...
    4. Part of handbook maintenance includes more serious maintenance items, like camchains and camchain tensioners from time to time. The service interval for that kind of thing can be modified a bit depending on the condition of the parts at inspection, but they will wear out eventually. And the inspection is sometimes not a trivial thing in itself.

    Jap inline 4s got a bit of a pasting from the old school when they first appeared, 40 odd years ago. "Show me a ten year old Jap bike!" and so on. But jap fours have proved to be some of the best built, best engineered, longest lasting motorbike engines ever. That's despite the fact that they've usually been at the cutting edge with regard to revs, power output, young wild-eyed owners and every other warning sign. In 40 years and about a million km, I've only ever managed to blow up one bike, which was a 2-stroke triple - and that was my fault, not the bike's. My Honda 400/4 dropped a cam chain at idle, while somebody else was riding it, but that also was my fault. I knew there was a problem, which again was caused by me, but I continued using it.

    All things being equal, I would think a litre class bike will go further than a 600, without the need for major work, simply because it doesn't need to work as hard. But the money saved on mechanical work will be cancelled out by the higher fuel and tyre bill. As a very broad rule of thumb, the faster the bike, and the faster you ride it, the further you go away from the handbook maintenance schedule, the more it costs. Compared to other engine configurations, inline 4s are pretty good.
  15. PatB might have a difference of opinion with you. Especially if you mention the word Honda. He he he he.
  16. LOL - Sometimes things break. meh - it happens.
  17. Generally performance and longevity or reliability for that matter don't go hard in hand. So as soon as you start going race tuned for can kiss engine life and money good-bye, its not a cheap hobby. If your just using a street engine with no or minimal mods, as long as you service it properly i don't see why you wouldn't get 100k+ km of reasonable abuse out of it be it 600 or 1000cc. Of course don't expect it to make the same power as a new engine but it will run and perform reasonable well.

    A quick engineering lesson, twice the amount of revs means 4 times the force, so generally higher rev ceiling means lower life, keep that in mind when looking at bikes and where they make there power.