The best motorcycle engine for you would be the one that suits your style of driving and your needs. Here is an in-depth breakdown of these different types of engines.
Twin Cylinder Engines
Typically a twin-cylinder engine splits the displacement into two cylinders, either placed inline or parallel. While most twin cylinder engines have a displacement lower than 650cc, there are some exceptions like the higher end Ducatis that participate at the World SuperBike races.
- If you are planning to drive off-road, then twin cylinders should be your priority. Twin-cylinder engines produce a much more forgiving power delivery under compromised traction.
- The fewer parts your bike has, the more reliable it will be. Twin-cylinder bikes can be easily serviced and are much cheaper.
- Acceleration at lower speeds is better.
- More fuel-efficient.
- Easier to handle as the engine is more responsive.
- Higher Torque
- Lighter and better suited for commuting.
- Has a lower top speed than triple or four-cylinder engines.
- Acceleration at higher speeds is less.
- The vibration is more perceptible in twin cylinders.
Triple Cylinder Engines
The three-cylinder engine design aimed to slim down the girth and weight of inline-four-cylinder bikes while boosting the revs of a twin. It produced a more balanced bike that took the best from both worlds. These are mostly featured in sportbikes or cruisers like the Triumph series.
- One of the main advantages of a 3-cylinder engine is its compact size. It is much narrower and lighter than a comparable 4-cylinder engine.
- The vibration is much less than a twin-cylinder engine.
- It performs well in mid to high RPMs.
- Its balanced nature makes it ideal for both everyday commuting and the occasional track racing.
- Can reach higher top speeds than a two-cylinder bike.
- More fuel-efficient than a four-cylinder engine
- Struggles with the power output at lower RPMs. Three-cylinder engines have an area of no firing in the cycle when the crankshaft is rotating on the momentum generated by the previous stroke. But this solves itself when the engine revs up higher.
- Costlier to maintain than a two-cylinder.
- Often has a slight response delay.
- Will not match up to the top speeds of a four-cylinder engine.
Many experts consider a four-cylinder engine to be the pinnacle of bike engineering. While there are some variations among its inline and V-4 versions, both of them feature only in sports bikes. They are expensive, so you might need to pre-plan your bike finance if you want to own a four-cylinder motorbike. But these bikes offer power that is unmatched by anything else in the market.
- These bikes are powerful and can offer maximum top speeds.
- There is no delay between the firing. It ensures a smooth and steady power delivery.
- Accelerates much faster in the higher RPMs
- Perfect for racing
- Almost no vibration comes from the engine.
- Can crank up to high horsepower in higher revs.
- Much costlier to buy and maintain.
- Offers low torque in the lower RPM range.
- Weighs more and are broader in build.
- Not ideal for everyday commuting.
- Not as fuel-efficient as twin cylinder or triple-cylinder engines.
- Takes more practice to achieve the desired handling.
Choosing your engine build can be a big decision. You should consider what you are looking for and choose accordingly. If you want a lighter bike that you can take out every day, then twin-cylinder engines are the best choice. But if you wish to roar through the race tracks at insane speeds, then you can not go wrong with a 4-cylinder sports bike.
If you have your heart set on a high-end four-cylinder bike, then do not let your budget be a constraint. Bike loans have become much easier nowadays, and figuring out the total cost with a bike loan EMI calculator only takes a few clicks. So pick out the model you like and blaze a trail through the tracks.