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If You Dont Understand the Bike Jargon

No. of Strokes: My site is discussing only about the four-stroke motorcycle engines, although,
there are two-stroke engines too. So I urge you to never get confused a four-stroke with fourcylinder or two-stroke with two-cylinder because these are totally different from each other.
The definition of the four strokes in a four-stroke engine is as follows:
Stroke 1- Intake valve(s) open, piston moves down and the air/fuel mixture is sucked inside
Stroke 2- All of the valves are closed, piston moves up squeezing the mixture.
Stroke 3- All of the valves closed and a spark plug ignites the fuel/air mixture, pushing the piston
Stroke 4- All but the exhaust valve(s) are open, piston moves up, blowing the old charge out of
the exhaust valves.
A short version is Suck, Squeeze, Bang and Blow.
Cooling: By running a coolant through the engine the heat generated in the engine can be
exchanged through the radiator just like in a car to make the engine liquid-cooled. However,
through airflow just above the fins on the engines these can be air-cooled too. The circulation of
engine oil will take place in the engine and the exchange of heat will take place through a small
radiator for what is called as oil cooling.
Valves: The use of the valves is as mentioned above. For the purpose of intake and exhaust;
however, there maybe use of one or more valves. The number of valves used per cylinder or for
the whole engine maybe indicated by bike manufacturers. As the indication of closed and opened
valves, terms such as SOHC (Single OverHead Cam) or a DOHC (Double OverHead Cam) etc.,
are also used. To operate the valves, there are other methods as well.
Number of Cylinders: There will be as many as 1 to 6 cylinders in the engines. Small bikes use
a single-cylinder engine that is also called as a thumper. Engines with two-cylinders arranged in
several configurations can be seen in many bikes that include:
V-twin Here the cylinders are spaced at a particular angle looking like a V to each other.
Parallel twin In this, the two cylinders are right next to each other in a vertical position.
Flat-twins Here the two cylinders are opposed as seen in the BMW Boxers.
There are many engines that come with more than two cylinders. They include the:
Triples three cylinders are lined up next to each other in a vertical position, say the parallel
In-line fours this is similar to a triple except with another cylinder added to it.
V-4 engines four cylinders and placed as V, like the one used in Honda ST1300.
V-6 engines six cylinders as V, like the ones used in Boss Hoss.
Flat-6 engines six cylinders like the one used in Honda Gold Wing 1500/1800s.
Displacement: The volume displaced as the pistons move from their bottom position to their
highest position in the cylinders of an engine is called as displacement. Measurement of
displacement is either in cubic centimeters (CC) or cubic inches (CI), although, in India we see
only the cc displacement bikes.
Bore and Stroke: Diameter of the cylinder in the engine in which a piston moves up and down is
bore and the distance which the piston moves up and down in the cylinders is known as stroke.
Fuel System: To control the mixture of air and fuel, carburetor(s) or fuel injection is used. During
Stroke 1, the mixture of air and fuel get prepared to be sucked through the intake valves and in
through the cylinders. The carburetor name and the number of carburetors used are usually

identified by the specifications. Fuel injection (FI), Digital Fuel Injection (DFI), Programmed Fuel
Injection (PGM-FI), Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) etc are the different names
used by different bike manufacturers depending on their engine, for the fuel injection.
Compression Ratio: Compression Ratio could be explained like this: Take some 100cc water
and pour it through the sparkplug hole when the valves are closed and also when the piston lies
at the cylinder bottom. Then, it is like full. And, you can at the most pour only 10cc of water in to
the hole to fill it, when the piston comes at the top of its stroke, then the ratio for compression is
100 to 10 or simply 10 to 1. Engines make more power when there is a higher compression ratio
also implying that they require more fuel.
Maximum Torque: Torque is the maximum amount of twisting force given by the engine and at
what value of engine revolutions per minute (RPM). It can be simply explained as the twisting
force. Torque is that quality of the engine that is expressed when you use the throttle aggressively
and accelerate hard. It is just the feeling and needless to say will be felt as more forceful when
the number is high.
Maximum Horsepower: Maximum amount of horsepower delivered by the engine occurs at a
particular engine speed. It can be derived through the formula : Horsepower = Torque
RPM/5252 .So said, both the horsepower as well as torque are interrelated.