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MotoGP exhausts

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The 2013 season of MotoGP promises to be very exciting, with the prospect of seeing Valentino Rossi on very competitive machinery alongside MotoGP debutant Marc Marquez compensating to an extent for Casey Stoner’s retirement. The top class of motorcycle racing is for four-stroke machines up to 1000 cc, having a maximum of four cylinders; previously the maximum engine capacity had been 800 cc. The increase in engine capacity and the 25% increase in torque has helped improve the...

Nut materials and their effect on stud fatigue

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Fastener design is a critical area of any highly stressed machine operating with cyclic loads. Reciprocating internal combustion engines are an extreme example of this; there are a lot of bolted joints which are very highly loaded. Engine design engineers therefore need to pay close attention to the design and engineering of their fasteners. The rate at which load cycles are accumulated means that design mistakes are generally swiftly punished. The design engineer might be mistaken for...

The fuel filter

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Mention the word ‘filter’ and I guarantee that most people will think immediately of either the oil or air filter – very few, I am sure, will mention the fuel filter. Nevertheless, as important as both air and oil filters would seem to be, I might argue that for motorsport applications the fuel filter is perhaps the most important of all. Let me explain. If an engine is designed and carefully assembled according to well-defined procedures and then generously run-in to...

Turbocharger speed measurement

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In the inexorable search for increased power with efficiency, engine manufacturers are looking more and more towards the turbocharger in its various forms. Twin-turbo engines, sequential turbos and even engines using dual boost systems – two compressors and one turbine on the same shaft – are becoming more common, and because of this the engine tuning industry is having to understand the limits to these units much more precisely. The accepted limits on the operation of a...

Flat tappet engines and their oil requirements

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It is easy to forget that not all modern race engines are double overhead camshaft, lightweight alloy wonders. There are still many series, notably in the US, that rely on the use of pushrod-actuated valvetrains and solid mechanical valve lifters, the most high profile of these being the NASCAR Cup championship. This presents some unique challenges from a lubrication perspective, not least in the area of oil selection. Modern emissions legislation has seen the make-up of engine oils change...