Single cylinder motorcycle engines.

#1
I have a prejudice that single cylinder motorcycles tend to be more reliable and simpler, therefore easier to work on than their multiple cylinder variants.

As I understand it the downside of single cylinders is that the ride is less smooth and the MPG is lower than say a twin.

Is this the case, and if so why then are the manufacturers producing less of them as new models?

Thanks in advance.
 

cent05zr70

On ROPS
On ROPs
#2
I have a prejudice that single cylinder motorcycles tend to be more reliable and simpler, therefore easier to work on than their multiple cylinder variants.

As I understand it the downside of single cylinders is that the ride is less smooth and the MPG is lower than say a twin.

Is this the case, and if so why then are the manufacturers producing less of them as new models?

Thanks in advance.
Reliable, simpler, easier to work on? I always found singles reliable, less cylinders, less to go wrong/work on. Smooth ride? I've swapped cranks, flywheels, cylinders and heads round, balance factor? Dunno, seemed to work OK, but old Brit singles were never things that enjoyed getting revved to buggery. MPG? I reckon a 500 was good for 80MPG, again, if you didn't rev the arse off it.
Lots of little singles about, Royal Enfield's 350 and 500 are pleasant rides, I might even go back to one, a modern Bonnie is a bit of a lump to get on the centre stand nowadays.
 
#3
Horses for courses - there are some multi cylinder engines that a blind man could fix with a hammer but would not need to because they never go wrong and some singles that are so highly strung that they need councelling.

Before August 1994 it was a big single all the way for me - slim, agile, torquey and brilliant in traffic. But others love lots of pots.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
lots of small chinese motorcycles are single cylinder
the piaggio range of scooters is single cylinder
enfields do a single cylinder
and most of the Japanese manufactures make smaller singles
the bigger ones probably vibe too much for modern riders
 
#5
Reliable, simpler, easier to work on? I always found singles reliable, less cylinders, less to go wrong/work on. Smooth ride? I've swapped cranks, flywheels, cylinders and heads round, balance factor? Dunno, seemed to work OK, but old Brit singles were never things that enjoyed getting revved to buggery. MPG? I reckon a 500 was good for 80MPG, again, if you didn't rev the arse off it.
Lots of little singles about, Royal Enfield's 350 and 500 are pleasant rides, I might even go back to one, a modern Bonnie is a bit of a lump to get on the centre stand nowadays.
I was raised on Brit singles but more recently I rode both XT and SR500 Yamahas and they were superb - like a Brit bike but with a little better reliability. Then they went out of fashion but I did see a more modern XT600 type thing the other day.

Funnily enough my faves though are/were Triumph twins, even the oil-in-frame versions.
 
#6
I have a prejudice that single cylinder motorcycles...

..why then are the manufacturers producing less of them as new models?
Lack of demand - simples.

Re MPG: over a 4 year period I averaged 62mpg on my GPz550H1 - commuting and leisure all year/weather (inc snow). Every journey include plenty of WOT > 100mph.
 
#7
The old Honda CB250RS was my favourite London bike - very small, lightweight and compact (I kept it in the house stairwell for security), but very punchy and quick because of the power to weight ratio.

Pity they don't make anything like that nowadays. Everything seems to three times the size and bulk for the same engine size - bit like the riders, I guess.
 
#7
Pity they don't make anything like that nowadays. Everything seems to three times the size and bulk for the same engine size - bit like the riders, I guess.
Yes, that is the other issue. Many bikes today seem big and unwieldy. More like car engines bolted to two wheels.


In terms of single cylinders I have been looking at the Yamaha MT03 (660cc)

Yamaha MT-03.jpg


or the Honda CMX500
2017 Honda Rebel_01.jpg
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
A girl friends dad had one of them , he also had a collection of Ferrari and other exotic Italian cars .
He was/is nice , her Mum was/is lovely , she was and still is absolutely beautiful..............I was a fool .
I followed a young lady over the Circuito de Lario on one of those, I had trouble keeping up on a modern bike
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top