Trickle down tech: Motorcycles start to get variable-valve-timing

Soon, I plan to write an editorial about which way the motorcycle designers are going when it comes to being a green form of alternative transportation. A sneak peek: motorcycles are getting bigger, faster and less fuel-efficient. Why? The demands of the buyers, of course. But, with the same things being demanded of cars, and with very tough fuel and emissions standards, we are starting to see some technology trickle down from the automotive sector to that of motorcycles. An example of this is the variable-valve-timing that will appear on the Kawasaki Concours 14. This bike in particular is an example of a model that was well thought of, the Concours, being redone with a much larger and more powerful engine, while gaining significant amounts of power and weight in the process. Of course you know that power and weight will usually have a negative impact on fuel efficiency. In an effort to help combat this, Kawasaki has created a system on the Concours 14 which can change the timing of the intake valves to match the needs of the rider. This can create more power when necessary and reduce it when not necessary, thereby saving fuel and reducing emissions. Does the world need a touring motorcycle capable of 200mph in the first place? Probably not, but if the success of models like the Hayabusa, BMW K1200 bikes and the Honda Blackbird are any indication, we can expect to see more like it in the future. For more details and video of their system, click here and follow the appropriate links.

Honda has had a Vtec system available on their Interceptor, or VFR bikes for a few years now as well.

[Source: Motorcycle Daily]

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