• Feb 19, 2010
BMW S 1000 RR valvetrain – Click above to watch the video after the break

It takes a ton of engineering prowess to create any functional internal combustion engine, but especially one that's capable of spinning itself up to 14,200 RPM... without blowing itself to bits in the process, of course. Such high rotational speeds are rarely seen on the street – except in high-performance motorcycle engines such as the BMW S 1000 RR's new 1000cc four cylinder mill.

BMW's most powerful production motorcycle engine cranks out 193 horsepower at 13,000 RPM and 82.5 pound-feet of torque at 9,750 RPM. Reliably. Perhaps the most impressive piece of engineering in such a high-strung engine is the valvetrain, which in this case is comprised of two intake and exhaust valves per cylinder made of lightweight and strong titanium. Each valve is operated by tiny single cam followers with camshafts driven by a very short sprocket driven via an intermediate gear.

This technology was borrowed from BMW's Formula 1 racing endeavor and is put spectacularly on display in the video that you'll find after the break. Trust us, seeing the valves clicking away at 14,200 RPM is not to be missed, and be sure to keep an especially close eye on those springs as they spin on their perches while constantly being pounded into submission from overhead. Amazing.



[Source: BMW Motorrad USA via YouTube]



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Engineering is beautiful art.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Astounding. I am as guilty as any about complaining when my car is unreliable, but to think of all that his happening underneath that hood every time the car runs...I'm amazed they work at all.
      • 4 Years Ago
      holy crap- makes you wonder how the springs manage to lifts the valves back up quickly enough. does anyone know their average spring coefficient?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Stuka

        It's all about force multiplication. The valves have got to be a lot lighter then the valves from your Mustang. It's a bike. Taking this into account, and the fact that the spring is pushing on a lot of surface area, which is interacting with a small area of the valve. They have probably calculated how strong the spring has to be interacting directly with the valve, and then figured out how fat the spring had to be to get it within a certain spring constant (maybe due to manufacturing requirements). Just a thought though. I wouldnt mind be proven wrong, with a good explanation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, my experience with bike engines is almost nil. However, I have built some high RPM Ford V8's (8500rpm redline). To keep the valves from floating (ie: they never fully close due to the frequency they are being moved at) we had to run tripple valve springs. Which is basically a spring inside a spring inside a spring. This makes for an extremely stiff spring rate. Putting them in actually puts a noticeable strain on the starter motor to turn the engine over (12.5:1 compression didn't help).

        As I recall, that valve train is made is very light materials (titanium). But the springs have got to be amazingly stiff. As I dont see a multi-spring setup.

        It is mesmerizing to watch though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd like to see a Ducati desmo setup doing this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Awesome. I can't wait for the extended director's cut on blu ray.


      • 4 Years Ago
      Amazing..
      • 4 Years Ago
      AWESOMENESS....hate the headlights tho
      • 4 Years Ago
      I need this engine and an old Yugo. Wait, no, I need a Le Car instead....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cool, yes, but lame video. I want to see that from a high-speed camera... full speed on a standard camera taking even 60fps is silly when the valvetrain is rotating at 7100rpm.
      • 4 Years Ago
      193 horsepower per liter? good lord!!
      I'm not up to date on motorcycle tech, but doesn't this best even the Hayabusa, and Yamaha's more insane motors too?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'll take one in an original NA Miata, thanx :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Then strap that V8 into an Atom. The result would be something similar to a hummingbird on crack.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @jonnybimmer: I'll meet you all back here to watch the effect that V8+Atom combination has on Jeremy Clarkson's face.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How long before someone wedges two of these together and makes the most ridiculous sounding v8 of all time? :p
        • 4 Years Ago
        nah....

        Just wait for the inline 6 engine that BMW is developing (Concept 6 motorcycle previewed it), which will no doubt share some tech with the S and K bike 4 cylinders....

        Then make a common crankcase for a 3 to 4 liter V12, or a flat 12... THAT would be one insane engine.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like she's got a little bit (lot) of blow-by guys, might wanna check the rings.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This might be the new champ of the liter class...

      BMW really went all out with this one. I can't wait to ride one!!!!
    • Load More Comments