The generally Gas Scooter Suppliers economic climate faced by the middle class in the developed world, plus the specific issues faced by the motorsports industry (called out last week in Bloomberg) means the OEMs have to change how they do business. Thumpers won’t die off completely, but once emissions kill off the current crop of 650 singles, they won’t be as readily available as they are now. It’s imperative to keep the price as low as possible to make sure as many buyers as possible can afford it, no matter if their pockets aren’t deep. As a result, we’ll see a move towards twins.
The parallel twin of the Versys pollutes less than the single-cylinder KLR, although they’re the same displacement.Honda’s 500 parallel twin serves in a sport bike, a naked bike, an adventure bike, and now powers the new Rebel 500.The KTM 790 Duke is one of several new models with parallel twins that are about to hit the market.Saving gracesParallel twins are economically advantageous: they save manufacturers money when compared to other engine configurations..Those new bikes are likely to hit this fall’s show circuit. From the late ’80s to 2008, the name of the game was specialization, towards bigger, faster, more advanced bikes.Passing gasWe went over this last summer, but single-cylinder engines, once the powerplant of choice for big-bore duallies and budget adventure bikes, are on the way out.
Swiss Army enginesThe parallel twin engine is arguably the Swiss Army knife of the motorcycle world, and it’s been that way for decades.One of the biggest reasons for the demise of the big singles in the 450-650 cc range is the fact they pollute more than twin-cylinder engines in the same displacement range. It’s much easier to build a tidy chassis around a shorter parallel twin than a longer V-twin. Inline fours and triples have higher manufacturing costs, due to the number of cylinders and pistons. On bikes like the Honda 500 series, the few pennies saved add up to big dollars very quickly.
The futureIn case you missed this piece about Honda’s latest application for its 500, the Big Four are turning back to the parallel twin, after ignoring it for several years in pursuit of more glamorous motors.