No turbo or other aids just the magic of a naturally aspirated engine
How do they manage to get all that power from a litre engine? This question is often asked by the sports car fans and the novice riders, but the truth is nowadays superbikes are insanely powerful. The principles are the basic four stroke in-line-four-cylinder or V2 engine, but the magic behind the 200 HP is the technology used.
The compression ratio of the latest superbikes on the market can go as high as 14.0:1. A high compression ratio allows the engine to extract more mechanical energy from a given air-fuel mixture. Basically, the classic thermal four stroke engine is capable of reducing a volume of 1000cc in a 70cc chamber without even knocking. The lowest compression ratio for a diesel engine is 14.0:1 so, the knocking (also known as detonation) comes in place. To avoid the phenomena, the engineers develop an anti-knock system and the fuel used is only high octane.
In order to obtain maximum performance from an engine, the cylinder head must be improved. The design of the cylinder head has to allow the intake gases to flow freely inside the combustion chamber. But this is not all – the engineers usually fit larger titanium valves that have tight angles. Besides resistance, this improvement helps the engine deliver even higher performance.
The electronics systems nowadays are responsible for the optimisation and monitoring of the engine. The sensors fitted on the engine helps the ECU software compensate in real time the needs of each cylinder. It’s practically the computer that keeps the rider requirements satisfied allowing him to set the engine brake, the throttle response or the personalise a riding mode.
This technology is borrowed from MotoGP, and it raised the stakes amongst the series superbikes. This way the cylinders get an optimum amount of fuel throughout the torque curve. Depending on the speed the intake manifolds move up and down to help the fuel injection deliver the fuel inside the cylinder. This system comes with a prompt throttle response no matter the revs.
Large cylinder bore
While an in-line four cylinder engine can hold up a cylinder bore of 80 millimetres or 112 millimetres for a V2, who needs cars anymore? The large displacement translates to a high power output and supreme performance. All of this while keeping the compact engine dimensions and the bike very narrow.
Everybody is used to four injectors. All the cars on the market come fitted with them there's no secret there. The sports motorcycles built after 2005 come fitted with eight injectors. To make the engine perform from low range to top range without any lack of power the motorcycle companies build their racing models with a secondary row of fuel injectors mounted on the air filter box. These are mainly to get a rich fuel mixture, before going through the throttle bodies where it gets even richer.
This assembly of electronics mechanical developments made it possible for a naturally aspirated engine to reach 200 HP. And don’t forget, things are constantly evolving.