It’s no secret that the likes of Honda and KTM have fresh two-stroke technology primed for release at some point (the Big H published patents earlier this year), and Yamaha recently re-released the YZ125 ‘crosser for 2016. Despite humanity and ignorant suits dictating two-smokers were too smoky, oily and dirty, therefore causing irreparable harm to the environment and killing panda bears and slaughtering rainforests, this fresh injector-based trickery should equate to a cleaner burn and a smoky resurgence.
Personally, I love two-strokes: they’re simple, easy to work on, produce naughty amounts of power in relation to cubes, and the noise is incredible. And there’s less to go wrong meaning cheapness. Maybe it was because I was locked away in my dad’s garage and forced to rebuild my motocross engines with only Castrol TTS as sustenance lucky enough to understand the technology as a teenager. Towards the termination of the 500GP era, those aspirational bikes were making close to 400bhp/litre. But what about a 300bhp supercharged schlag?
We were sent these CGI pics and design details of a V6 sleeve-valve 2-dinger by 44T follower, Richard Franklin. Richard is one of those super-clever engineers who knows unhealthy amounts on the subject matter and posed the question: do you want to know how God ripping his own underpants sounds? As it goes, yes. As an atheist, it’s one of those questions I’ve spent my whole life searching for the answer.
Richard had the idea of revisiting the two-stroke concept for an aero engine first penned by Harry Ricardo – one of the main men behind development of the internal combustion engine – back in 1937, but using modern metallurgy and electronics. While I only boast a very basic understanding of a two-stroke engine (piston, rod and crank, etc), it doesn’t stop an intrinsic interest, especially when Dicky mentioned his supercharged design could potentially produce 300bhp.
“This is a V6 sleeve-valve engine, which gives enormous advantages for a 2-stroke, the first being that you can separate the exhaust and transfer ports vertically, meaning you can have as many ports as you want, all round the cylinder, and you therefore don’t have to open the exhaust ports so soon, getting more power out of the stroke. The second is that you can arrange for the exhaust ports to open first and close first, meaning you can supercharge it. Which you have to do anyway, as the crankcase is not used for compressing the incoming charge. So it has a conventional (like a 4-stroke) oil supply system, and direct in-combustion chamber injection.”
According to Richard, the 1,000cc motor could generate 300bhp at 8000rpm without even breaking a sweat, as it would only need to run 1bar of boost. Apparently, the Rolls-Royce Crecy on which this engine is based could be heard from 5 miles away while still on the test bench – hence the ‘God ripping his underpants’ depiction.
“Do we really need it, given the Kawasaki H2R exists? Of course we do, ask any true believers of the 2-stroke faith,” says Richard. “What could we use it for? Well, it weighs 50kg. Go figure. That’s 2000bhp per ton. It only needs two other things really: a fat wallet to get it made, and a whiff of Castrol R.”
If there are three things I’ve taken from this, they would be a) Richard knows far more than I do, b) I would love to hear the sound of God ripping his underpants and ride him in the process, and c) someone needs to fund this project.