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Motorcycle Engine Dry Sumps

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The concept of using a motorcycle engine to power a small racecar or sidecar outfit is well established and very effective - bike engines are small, light and very powerful, giving excellent straight-line acceleration and weight-saving potential. There are, however, some fundamental differences between the bike and car-sidecar applications that can lead to oil surge and potential engine failures. The biggest differences in lubrication needs between an engine fitted in a motorcycle and one...

Synthetic oils

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Oil is one of the most important components in a modern race engine, but it rarely appears in the limelight in the way power-enhancing components do. Beyond the realms of historic racers, which still use the beautifully aromatic caster oil blend of Castrol R, race engines will run on fully synthetic oils. It would be fair to say that without the development of synthetic-type oils, the levels of performance and reliability achieved from, for example, a Formula One V8, would not be possible....

Oil condition

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Lubrication supply is a key factor in governing the longevity of a race engine; however, the quality of the lubricant is equally important. For many years, the only component ensuring this was a filter to remove damaging particles from the oil. The only means to test the condition of this oil was to analyse the contents of the filter to try to identify any impending problems, and the analysis was only possible with the car stationary in the pits. Given the complexity and cost of modern...

Oil coolers

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Oil coolers are a vital part of any racecar lubrication system and have to meet a number of exacting design criteria. In many applications, especially where aerodynamic performance is an important part of overall performance, the sizing of coolers can have a big impact on aerodynamic efficiency. The larger the cooler, the larger the inlets required and the greater the drag; the result being that safety margins in the cooling system can be pared back to a minimum. This means that any...

Oil lines

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Most race engines will feature a lubrication system with external oil lines, either to supply different sections of the engine with oil or to link to external components such as oil tanks. The design and construction of these lines can often be overlooked in the grand scheme of things; however, poor-quality lines can be disastrous for reliability, while good design and choice of material can bring considerable benefits in terms of vehicle packaging. For many years the standard has been...