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No pain, no gain...

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As I described in my previous article, there were (and are) many enthusiasts out there creating their own race engines. Historically, the racing series with the most open regulatory books have been those based on these DIY race engines. One such series with lots of birth certificates for engines originated in the late 1980s, and was the Sound of Singles Series, later called Supermono. This motorcycle series mandated single-cylinder four-stroke engines without forced induction. Later the...

The parable of the cylinder head bolt

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Once there was a young engineer. Experienced in the stripping and rebuilding of traditional internal combustion engines, the assembly and testing of his first prototype design looked set to be a particularly enjoyable challenge and something he was anticipating with great relish. The first in a series of concept designs, the engine used a system of longer than normal cylinder head bolts clamping the conventional cylinder head to the cylinder block. In doing so, much of the upper portion of...

Liner cooling the OEM way

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Although I couldn't possibly guess at the true statistics, I would imagine that at least 99% of all race engines are derived from mass-produced, OEM units. In essence that means modified or 'improved' but nevertheless 'stock' cylinder heads, and perhaps more critically, 'stock' or possibly even standard, unmodified cylinder blocks. The technology of the OEM cylinder liner and its cooling are therefore of great interest if they provide a signpost to the race...

Do It Yourself?

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Among those people who start out as amateur racers, some will develop a role as an engineer and learn to understand the shortcomings of their production engines in the quest for more horsepower. Of those people, most will choose not to increase horsepower further, but instead focus on other areas of improvement. This could be on the vehicle itself or on using a stronger engine. A few people though will not want to accept horsepower limits, and will choose to develop their own engine. Since...

Error, and trial and error?

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"One Man's Dream - The Britten Bike Story!" is the title of the DVD that goes alongside the biography of John Britten, the inventor of the Britten V1000, the legendary self-build race bike from the early 1990s that was able to threat the major manufacturers' superbikes for the podium. In this article I would like to show the inventiveness that small/low-level racing teams need for them to progress in their racing classes. Professional teams, with professional-level budgets,...