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what is your favorite engine size?

  • 50 ccs

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I hope I am seeing a trend in motorcycle engine sizes - a trend back to a degree of sanity that is.



I am an older rider - 2011 will mark my 51st year of riding. I started with a 98cc NSU Quick in 1960 - a machine that I literally rode the wheels off. I like different motorcycles for different purposes so I have a total of 6 bikes at the present time. Of those 6 machines by engine size my order of preference is my TW 200, a Honda 125 and a Suzuki Savage of 650 cc



Starting about 30 years ago an idiotic manufacturers decision saw small engined motorcycles almost totally abandoned in the North American markets in favor of ever increasing engine sized monsters - culminating I guess in the three cylinder 2400 cc Triumph and the v-twin Kawasaki which I believe got to 2200 ccs.



Engines of those sizes along with all engines over 1000ccs belong in cages not on motorcycles



I just read today in Cycle Canada yet another review of Honda's 125 and new model 250. Hurray says I - sanity is returning to our favorite sport.



I would never deny a rider the right to have a monstrous engine in a scoot - but common sense really tells the story - plonking about on my TW is most often a whale of a lot more fun than trying to pilot some behemoth with to many ccs, to much power and riding manners fit only for the best of paved slabs.



So three cheers for sanity and the coming arrival of increased numbers of bikes with engines that we all can ride and enjoy!
 

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It's not just sheer engine size though, most SS 600's are over 120hp now. I like my TW but it can never replace the feeling I get from opening the throttle on a larger cc bike.
 

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I am not a fan of the mega engine catagory. My opinion of these machines is that they are primarily a mine's bigger than yours ego enhancer.

However I began riding in the 60s when I got out of the army and a 650cc machine was a big bike back then. 650 cc hasn't gotten any smaller, only better.

I do not think any machine needs more than 1100cc, even a sidecar machine of which I have had ten. My current two sidecar machines are a Honda 750 and a DR650.

Both are carrying full size sidecars and both will top out around 80 MPH and hold 65 MPH all day without strain. For an open road sidecar, 800 to 1000cc would be better but not necessary. For a solo machine 250cc to 650cc is really a lot more sensible than the mega motors.

They are capable of speeds between 85 MPH and 110 MPH in most cases and in the cases of the thinly disguised street legal road racers, up to 180MPH.

How big of a speeding ticket do you really need anyway?

Most 250 to 650 bikes are capable of very spirited riding and give between 50 to 70 MPG. Many of the bikes with mega engines get worse milage than the average small to medium sized car.

I consider the TW200 to be a bit wimpy but then I am 6'5" and weigh 270 pounds. To me it would be at its' best as a 250 or 350.



Phelonius
 

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I'm only 21 and I agree with polar and phel. I have a 500 along with my TW and while it is fun to do a WOT 0-60 takeoff in 4 seconds every once in a while I still enjoy the TW more in most ways. The traction, light weight, shifting through the gears seems more enjoyable, and best of all you don't get tempted to go super fast with all that power and get in trouble. Hell my 500 only makes a third or less of the power of a 600 SS and it's still tempting to let it go...with the TW I can let hell break lose and won't be much past 60 in 5th!



I'd like something a little stronger than the TW though. 250-350 would be excellent. a really low 1st gear with great ratios and a overdrive highway gear, water cooled, FI - all with TW styling and big tires would be my perfect bike.



I pray they do something like this one day..they can still keep the TW200 line, just add a big brother. I'd guess the cost would probably be over 6000$, but that would be well worth it because a strong watercooled FI engine should last a really long time if treated well.
 

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There is a time and a place for everything, including large displacement motorcycles. I dream of a long-stroke torquey touring bike, maybe 1600-1800cc. Liquid cooling would protect my feet from excess engine heat. 100lbs-ft of torque should do, with a peak about 3000rpm. A horizontally opposed double-throw crank would be nice, an inherently balanced engine design, best way in the world to keep the center of mass low, a key to highway stability, stable cornering, and easy low-speed handling. A pair of overhead valves in each head would flow sufficient air for the tractor-like power curve I envision, and the overhead valve configuration would allow for a single, centrally located cam to promote mass centering and an over-all thinner engine than OHC. Hydraulic cam followers would never need adjusting. Twin-throttle body EFI would provide instant throttle response and good fuel efficiency. Dual exhaust with reverse cone megaphones would provide a wide powerband, and Corvair turbo-type muffler baffles would keep the sound down to a subdued chug-chug-chug, kind of like a TW with a quiet can running at twice the RPM. A 6-speed trans would provide a low 1st for towing a trailer when loaded and a high 6th for loafing down the highway without a load. The 4 middle gears would take care of any other riding conditions, and 4 would be more than necessary considering the wide powerband such an engine would make. Shaft drive for low maintenance, of course.



The frame should include tool-less adjustment of preload on both ends, because the bike would likely see a wide variety of load conditions ranging from a solo rider with no luggage to loaded for long term moto-camping while trailering a TW200. Triple discs and ABS mandatory, electric brakes on the trailer, too. Perhaps a 150/80R17 front tire--a common size with a wide selection of high-mileage touring tires. A 240/55R16 rear, or even a P235/60R15 passenger car tire that would provide long life, good traction, and low cost. Good wind protection and a comfortable seat at a low height with a comfortable upright position, volumnous luggage with the option of a secondary top box instead of a passenger seat when riding solo, and a minimum 35 amp regulated alternator. Running boards and drop guards with highway pegs would be nice. Limit electronics and instrumentation to a basic speedometer with odo, dual trip, coolant temp, oil pressure, battery volt, and fuel level gauges, with idiot lights for high beam, turn, reverse, and neutral, and maybe a few power points for add-ons, like a sound system, cell, and/or GPS. All gauge and indicator lights should be LED equivalents of a 2-element turn/tail bulb, with a daylight sensor to trigger dim mode at night and bright mode during day. Lighting should be dual HID high/low and HID auxilary lights with a flat-topped low-beam pattern. Triple sequential LED turns at each position should also function as running lights, front and rear. Auxilary sequential LED turn/brake with running function should be mounted on the top box. Double LED tail/brake should provide 5 rapid flashes before going solid. All external LEDs should meett SAE Class 1 specifications for emergency vehicles.



Yup, there is a reason for a large displacement motorcycle. When I win the lottery I'll build one. Maybe two.



I agree with Phelonius that a TW350 would give away nothing of the current TW200 goodness while adding tremendously to its current level of functionality.
 
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