The V-Twin, as smallest of all multi-cylinder engines, combines advanced internal balancing with the slim silhouette of the single. Depending on the degrees of cylinder angle, the firing interval and construction details, this concept can deliver it all – from a cool Cruiser to a WSBK winning hightech race bike. In a perfect (old) world without rider aid systems, the V-Twin with its unbeatable mechanical traction could outperform most of the other engine concepts.
But what about the Single? Singles are running rough due to the lack of a partner which overtakes parts of the 720-degree crank rotation duty circle. They fire once and the crankshaft needs to rotate 2 times for the next bang, what generates as consequence vibrations and a quite pulsating power delivery. To overcome the dead time, the crankshaft is heavier than on a multi-cylinder engine (per cylinder), redline is lower, as is the HP output per cylinder volume. But there are some clear advantages for the Single as well – namely, weight, simplicity, and fuel consumption.
At NCCR, we have a special interest in Adventure bikes. As the former Swedish importer of the British CCM GP 450 Adventure, a fascinating 125kg dry weight BMW/Husqvarna 450cc powered light long-distance travel Enduro, we know a thing or two about them, to say the least.
We will never understand the failure of Buell and EBR to not build a successor of the XB Ulysses or XT model for the US market. We had a concept ready 2 times, the first back in 2010 based on the Buell 1125 and then again in 2016 based on the EBR, but stepped aside because we did not want to violate the interests of the company. The customers were begging long enough for the AX model, which would’ve been fairly easy to realize, but now with the Harley-Davidson PanAmerica another “red, white & blue” competitor has entered the arena and does a tremendously good job. Anyhow, time will tell if we build an AX demonstrator, but now let’s talk SuperSingle.
In 1992, Ducati launched at the Cologne Motor Show in Germany the first single since 1974, the Ducati “Sounds of Singles” Supermono. A limited edition Racebike, with an engine based on the 888 Corsa V-Twin bottom. Ducati used only the front cylinder Top End. The position of the rear cylinder stayed empty, but was used to house a rocker, a pivoting lever which was connected to the rear cylinder conrod. Yes, the (re-balanced) 888 V-Twin crankshaft stayed in the crankcase as Bordi and Mengoli had created it, but the second conrod now acted as a part of a counter balancer system. That way, the single was able to rev over 10.000rpm and delivered 75 HP out of 549, later 572cc without the usual vibrations and imbalance of the single cylinder motor. A similar technic with a balancer conrod uses BMW on their 700 and 800 side inline Twins and Suzuki just lately filed a new patent around a single with that technology.
Yepp, you see it coming, don’t you? NCCR took the Helicon 1125 / EBR 1190 engine and develop the NCCR SuperSingle. With a capacity of 562cc (1125), 595cc (1190) cylinder and a planed 660-700cc Bigbore, we expect to get a reliable and powerful aggregate, which can be the base of an advanced mid-weight Enduro and later maybe a Sound of Single racer. Regarding today’s Enduro riding styles, weight distribution and packaging requirements, the NCCR development team decided to use the rear cylinder position.
There are multiple advantages of this positioning:
- Airbox pointing into the main air stream
- Smallest bike silhouette
- Maximum ground clearance
- Radiator positioned in front of the engine
- Support traction with today’s standing riding position
- Maximum protection of all vital bike components
- Under seat exhaust system
- Low emission with optimized positioning of the catalyst converter
- Maximum leg clearance and minimized burn risk
- Side luggage positioned maximum close to the bike
- Engine easy accessible for maintenance
Target of the NCCR SuperSingle project is building a first demonstrator, a 165kg (dry weight) / 70 HP rugged Long-Distance Travel Enduro. Travel ready with RAID style front fairing, soft luggage carrier with embedded Rotopax can, easy to repair and maintenance. EFI will be standard, but a carburettor conversion (for tech haters) will be available. The Helicon clutch, the gearbox and the oil volume are anyhow oversized for the single application and they will be combined with a couple of NCCR improvements. In combination with rugged and easy to repair Docol steel frame components, we expect a package that will perform very well and reliably doing anything from traveling to exploring under extreme conditions.
If we see a success of our demonstrator and a demand on the market, NCCR plans to offer components for DIY builders and, depending on the local regulations, maybe also complete bikes.