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]