Chinese language bike manufacturers have not too long ago been a controversial topic however there’s a transparent path in terms of the standard and efficiency that they provide. By making a 1000cc V-4 superbike, CFMoto might make the identical leap into the mainstream that Honda achieved with the CB750 half a century in the past.
That seems to be a part of the corporate’s plan, because it’s filed a patent software for simply such an engine. CFMoto particularly mentions targets of 1000cc and 201 horsepower and explains why it’s choosing a V-4 format somewhat than a cheaper-to-make inline-four.
The patent itself revolves round some pretty mundane points of the liquid-cooling system and the circulate of coolant across the engine, however the necessary component is that it’s immediately related to each the V-4 format and to the excessive particular energy that CFMoto is intending to attain from a 1000cc capability.
The one picture of an entire bike included within the patent is a purely illustrative image of the machine bought within the US because the 300SS (supplied elsewhere because the 300SR and identical-looking 250SR). It’s used solely to verify that the brand new V-4 is meant for a motorbike and to label key elements just like the body, bodywork, engine, and transmission. Whereas the selection of a faired sportbike somewhat than a naked machine is likely to be a clue as to the type of motorbike that the V-4 will find yourself in, the probabilities are that ought to the brand new engine attain manufacturing it should seem in quite a lot of bikes, each faired and unfaired.
Trying on the engine itself, there are a number of particulars that may be gathered from the drawings. First is that it’s not a conventional 90-degree Vee. As an alternative, measuring the Vee-angle of the drawings reveals it to be round 78 levels, making for a extra compact total package deal however not one which’s as tight because the 65-degree Vee of Aprilia’s RSV4 engine. We don’t know if the drawings are to scale, in order that angle may very well be a couple of levels off (72 levels could be a extra standard determine, as utilized by Norton’s V-4, or 75 levels as in older variations of Aprilia’s RS-GP racebikes).
Might this be a race engine, maybe a clue to a MotoGP effort from CFMoto? It appears unlikely. For starters, the design seems to make use of chain-driven camshafts, the place gear drive could be the norm for a racing V-4, and secondly the patent particularly refers to the usage of a thermostat within the cooling system, which is one thing you wouldn’t probably discover in a MotoGP engine. The goal output of 201 hp from 1000cc additionally screams streetbike somewhat than racer.
A cutaway of the cylinder head reveals the usage of finger-followers somewhat than buckets and shims, in keeping with the most recent superbike design developments, and naturally verify that the valves are conventionally sprung, not utilizing a Ducati-style Desmo system or the kind of pneumatic closing that you just would possibly count on from a MotoGP engine.
Though CFMoto has a detailed relationship with KTM, there’s no indication that this engine is expounded to the Austrian agency’s long-canceled plans to make a V-4 streetbike. Not solely does the engine not resemble any of KTM’s race V-4s from both its short-lived try on the 990cc period with Kenny Roberts’ group or the present RC16 challenge, however the patent has been filed purely below CFMoto’s identify, not the official identify of the three way partnership that ties the 2 manufacturers collectively.
As ever with tales associated to patents, it’s value noting not each challenge that reaches the stage of patenting an thought reaches manufacturing. We could by no means see any extra of this CFMoto challenge than what’s proven in these drawings. Alternatively, nevertheless, this might develop into the primary 200-plus-hp bike to emerge from a Chinese language model and open the door to a brand new period of reasonably priced, high-performance bikes, offering precisely the kind of revolution available in the market that we noticed when the Japanese manufacturers blew away the established British and Italian sportbike makers of the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies.