Piston tunes that tickle the ear and move the body to the ton
When you ride a motorcycle, along with the wind-in-the-face experience, you are listening to the symphony of the engine.
Each motor has its distinct personality, and each unit was made to fulfill the taste of a particular type of rider.
Is there a perfect number of cylinders that you want to have on a cafe racer? What kind of engine architecture should be present on a cafe racer, to tickle the ears and move the body in a pleasant way? Inline? V-twin? Flat?
Back in the golden era, most of the cafe racers used inline-two engines, like Triumph engines. Nowadays, people start turning every kind of bike with different engine architectures into cafe racers.
Choosing a platform for your cafe racer is the same thing like selecting a playlist on your stereo. Both should make you happy, in almost the same way.
First of all, we're going to share some details about how the firing order and timing between the explosions influence the beautiful music that gets out through the exhaust. For example, an inline-three engine will have the same timing between the sparks in the combustion chamber. This will lead to a sound that is similar to an inline-six. An inline six engine is very well balanced, and somehow it resembles the sound of Formula 1 cars. Check the examples of Honda CBX1000 and Kawasaki KZ1300.
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A V-twin engine will have a throaty roar because one of the cylinders is fired a little bit later than the other. For example, a 90 degrees V-twin will have uneven firing intervals. A V-twin with the angle of cylinders less than 90 degrees is more compact, and it has more even firing intervals, but it is not so well mechanical balanced.
The flat-twin and inline-twin engines share the exact time between the combustions. This feature makes the engine to be very balanced and to have a linear exhaust note.
How about the inline-four engines? Compared to the inline twin engine, the time between the explosions is shorter, thus giving the impression of a continuous sound.
The theory behind the engine architecture is very complicated, and we cannot comprehend it in one article. In the end, it matters what you like the most, what makes you happy. A good sounding ride keeps the rider happy.
Tell us, what is your favorite engine sound and what engine would you use for a cafe racer?