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Hey Everyone,

I have never ridden a V-twin bike in my life and would like to find out why do manufactures needed to have both engine configurations in their line up for an almost identical purposed bike. ie.. RC51 vs. CBR929 and some other companies (Ducati) just sticks to one (V-twin).

What is the advantage and disavantage of either configuration. I was told that V-twins pumps out more low-end torque compared to inline-4 of same displacement. But isn't more cylinder usually means more torque?

Please share your opinion on why you chose either the V-2 of I-4. Any regrets on your decision or praises would be appreciated.

Here are some area that could be explored:
-noise
-torque
-smoothness
-accerelation
-balance (handling)
-fuel economy
-heat dissipation
-other

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.:D
 

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I used to have an inline 4 now I have a v-twin. The difference is like night and day. My new bike redlines at the point where my old one was just starting to get on it's powerband. Yet they make about the same horsepower.
The twin handles infinitely better but that is mostly b/c it's a Ducati. I really prefer the narrow feel of the twin over the knees out high cg positioning of the four.
BTW my last bike was a 1996 YZF600R
 

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I have a V-Twin Road Star. When you start out you will never kill that engine. Let out the clutch at a hair over idle and away you go. Just like a big diesel truck. On the other hand how many times have you killed an inline 4 because you haven't revved it quite enough pulling out of a parking space? Whoooooaa.....tiptip. I often do with my inline 4 busa. The difference is torque.

The other factors kind of depend on how heavy your bike is. Like fuel economy, smoothness, heat dissipation, acceleration but IMHO the edge for those factors definitely goes to the inline 4. But I love the sound of the V-Twin more:D
 

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Keep one thing in mind when making the comparison, all things equal a 1000cc twin will put out just a little less horsepower at the rear wheel as compared to a 750cc I-4 but will put out quite a bit more torque. That is why they are allowed to compete against 750cc bikes in Superbike racing. Also, comparing an open class I-4(929RR, R1, Gixxer1000) to a 1000cc twin is like comparing oranges to tangerines. They are similar but the open class bike will usually beat up the twin once they start shifting gears. The twin will take them off the line but then it is game over(given stock machinery). :)

Twins sound different... louder and deeper unlike the high-pitched whine of the I-4.

The torque of the twin is addictive. Drives off the corners like nothing else.

Typically twins are easier on tires for a given horsepower because of the longer time between power pulses.

Twins have alot of engine breaking which can make them quite easy to ride. Some will disagree. It is a matter of opinion really.

As for why one manufacturer will stick with twins while others make both... Ducati knows better than to screw with a good formula and Harley is an engineering black hole while large companies like Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha can pretty much make what ever they feel they can sell. Kawi and Yamaha don't really make any V-twin sportbikes to speak of but they really don't need to at this time.
 

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I've had both, and I prefer the twin. I love the low-end power, and they are easier for me to ride. I never was comfortable on my YZF600. I don't like being required to ride a bike in high rpm's just to get the same power that my SV gives around 5-6K.
It's all personal preference, and hard to explain. If you rode an SV or a TL, or a Duck, you'd understand the difference within 10 feet. (my experience has been that v-twins tend to wheelie a lot easier than the 4's if that helps at all)
 

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V-Twin vs. Inline 4

Now, I've always heard that the V-Twin has a more even distribution of power through the rpms, while when you hit the power band on the I-4, your weight better be on your bars. I also know that twins do not generate anywhere near as much hp at the rear wheel than an inline 4, e.g. the Ducati 748 gets killed in the 600 shootout every year. :crying:

This is what brings me to my question. Why did Honda go for a 1000cc V-Twin over a 929cc I-4 as their ride in Open-Class racing? Even more mind boggling, is that this switch came after a 929 won the championship 2 years in a row. Was this strictly a marketing thing? Anybody have any ideas? :confused:
 

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Re: V-Twin vs. Inline 4

BladeBoy said:
This is what brings me to my question. Why did Honda go for a 1000cc V-Twin over a 929cc I-4 as their ride in Open-Class racing? Even more mind boggling, is that this switch came after a 929 won the championship 2 years in a row. Was this strictly a marketing thing? Anybody have any ideas? :confused:
It all has to do with the FIM rules for the WSC.

Litre size inline fours cannot compete in the SuperBike class. The 929 won the AMA Formula Extreme, not SB.
 

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Re: V-Twin vs. Inline 4

BladeBoy said:
Now, I've always heard that the V-Twin has a more even distribution of power through the rpms, while when you hit the power band on the I-4, your weight better be on your bars. I also know that twins do not generate anywhere near as much hp at the rear wheel than an inline 4, e.g. the Ducati 748 gets killed in the 600 shootout every year. :crying:

This is what brings me to my question. Why did Honda go for a 1000cc V-Twin over a 929cc I-4 as their ride in Open-Class racing? Even more mind boggling, is that this switch came after a 929 won the championship 2 years in a row. Was this strictly a marketing thing? Anybody have any ideas? :confused:
The 748 is theoretically capable of putting out close to the hp of the 600cc fours but not quite. The same is true of the RC-51, Duc 996, Mille and TLRs. The 996 and Mille don't put out nearly as much hp as the TLR and RC in stock trim but in race form the 996, RC, Mille are all putting out about the same hp and it is just a little below the ZX-7RR. :)
 

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V-twin vs I-4

The differences could be explained from now till tomorrow, but I get the feeling that you won't really know what everyone is talking about until you ride one. My first bike was a CBR900RR, which had considerable power and speed. I thought it was the ultimate,.... until I went to Daytona one year and took a demo ride on a Buell Lightning. I got off and I was babbling about all the things you have read here...low end torque, engine braking etc. Ever since that demo ride I have never owned anything but a V-twin motorcycle, the YZ was a single because they don't make V-twin motocrossers :)

I honestly think its a love/hate thing. I don't even like switching bikes with I-4 riders, I just find them dull. The I-4 engines are too smooth like an electric motor, completely devoid of any character or "life", whereas a V-twin seems to be alive with a big thumping heart that you can feel. People point to vibration and noise as V-twin negatives, but thats their point of view. The vibration is what I like about the engines, and the noise....well to me that rythmic beat and low pitched drone is pure music. Again, this will probably make no sense to you, you just need to ride one, then you will know what it is all about.

Take care,
Gregory
 

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After riding a 996 Duc, I gotta say the twin is sweet. It is really tall geared but once you hit 3k it goes. And once those Arrows started to roar, you will really start grinning. It does vibrate harder, its not a buzziness like my I4. It didnt occur to me until I read another post but it is very narrow in comparison. I rode a SV as well. It did have power lower but it never really hit a hard pulling spot anywhere in the rpm range. I wasn't that impressed. I do still like screaming the I4 up to 13K though :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
V-2 vs. I-4

Thanks for all your great responses. I am now really looking forward to experiment riding a V-2 now.

My friend has a BMW Boxer twin (a la James Bond's last movie ridden in Saigon), I forgot the model number but my wife just loves it. She kept telling me that I should of gotten that one instead of F4i because its a more passenger-friendly bike than my F4i. I will ask my friend to let me try it and perhaps in the future, I would like to get a V-2 to complement my I-4.

Since I've only had I-4, I may be taking some of its qualities for granted. Can someone point out why you chose an I-4 as well? I bought my F4i only because of its looks, so I didn't care too much at first about its engine configuration nor I know about its advantages.:rolleyes:

If V-twin is such a good configuration, why don't they make V-4? and have the horsepower to go with the torque?

You guys have mentioned that V-2 has more engine braking than I-4. Doesn't this fact detriments the bike's ability to coast? Because you'd have to feed gas all the time. Unlike when driving a cage, you can sometime let go of gas and just coast a little bit. Isn't this a bag thing:confused:
 

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Honda VFR800

Honda's VFR800 is a V-4. I have never ridden one, but I hear that the noise is pretty sweet. I do have to say that I have ridden plenty of I-4's, but I recently got my TLS (V-twin) and I have doubts about going back to any 4 again. I think the addiction is in the noise and the acceleration from such low revs. Don't know exactly, but I think that is it.
 

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As most people have mentioned, the V-twin I-4 superiority debate boils down to your personal preferences. All V-twins of the same displacement of I-4s will have more torque, most noticeably at the bottom end. This translates to a more rideable machine. Torque isn't everything however. The power of the engine also needs to be considered. Horsepower is measured by the formula (torque*RPM's)/5280 (I'm pretty sure its 5280, correct me if i'm wrong). This means that if torque stays the same, a higher reving engine will be more powerful. This is the big difference between the Twins and the 4 bangers. The twin will feel powerful even at low revs because it is producing monster torque. The drawback is that the twins don't rev as high.

The I-4 on the other hand has very little torque at low rpm's. The engine needs to be reved higher to start producing a good amount of torque. This is why I-4's or any engine with smaller pistons has noticable powerbands. The advantage to the smaller pisons is that they can reciprocate faster without causing damage becasue they have less kinetic energy than their larger counterparts. This allows the engine to rev very high while producing a large amount of torque which translates into big horsepower. With 2 ignitions per RPM for the I-4, the engine also revs quicker than the twin. All this goes to explain why the I-4 engines have a much higher topend than the twin.

Now it comes down to what you want the bike to do for you. If you want to concentrate more on the road instead of shifting in corners, or if you like being able to flick your wrist in high gear to overtake traffice, the Twin is for you. If you dont mind shifting a bit more and you absolutely need mind boggleing acceleration, the 4 banger is for you.

As for me, I much prefer the I-4. I like the feeling of a bike hitting its powerband and taking off like a bat out of hell. Todays 4cyl bikes have enough torque to break a 200 Dunlop loose so its not like they don't have any torque!

So go out and borrow your friends 2 cyl and see what you like. It all depends on how you like your power delivered!



Edited for some obvious spelling mistakes.
 

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Unfortunately I've never ridden a vtwin, but others will be able to help you on that front.

I've got both an I-4 (the CBR6) and a V-4 (the VFR4) at the moment. I started on a CBR250 which redlines at 18,000rpm, and the newer ones redline at 19k. I love revs. So I really enjoy the high revving nature of an I-4. On the CBR6 it really starts at about 7k and buils all the way to the redline @ 13250rpm.

The VFR is a little different. Being a 400 it revs a little higher than the 600. The main difference is the power starts a little lower and peaks in the middle, and dies out towards the top end. I'm not sure if this is the case for all V-4's. In the twisties it's brilliant because it's quite easy to stay in the thick of the power without revving the hell out of the bike.
 

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twins and tires

The torque of the twin is addictive. Drives off the corners like nothing else.

Typically twins are easier on tires for a given horsepower because of the longer time between power pulses.

Twins have alot of engine breaking which can make them quite easy to ride. Some will disagree. It is a matter of opinion really

Having ridden just about evey engine configuration there is (inline 4, Inline twin, Single, Two- stroke single and twin) I would have to say the V-twin has been the most enjoyable. With the gobs of torque and the engine braking you mentioned, the twin allows you to ride twisties all day without having to row the gearbox like a 4 or a two-stroke. Granted I miss the top-end kick in the pants of my gixxer but the RC 51 makes up for it with the on demand wheelies just about anywhere in the rpm range.
As far as tire wear goes, I would like to know what tire/ compound you are using. My RC uses rubber like gas.
 

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Re: twins and tires

C-17RC-51 said:

As far as tire wear goes, I would like to know what tire/ compound you are using. My RC uses rubber like gas.
I run D207ZR(street compound) and I still have stock gearing. I'm getting about 3000 miles per rear tire on average. Haven't run anything else on the RC yet. I am getting a set of Mezelers mounted today. :)
 

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Re: Re: V-Twin vs. Inline 4

748 abuser said:


It all has to do with the FIM rules for the WSC.

Litre size inline fours cannot compete in the SuperBike class. The 929 won the AMA Formula Extreme, not SB.
Thanks for clearing that up. Would you happen to know what Honda was running in SB before they released the RC-51?
 

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Re: Re: Re: V-Twin vs. Inline 4

BladeBoy said:
Would you happen to know what Honda was running in SB before they released the RC-51?
Honda RC45-

Engine Type:
Liquid cooled, four-cylinder, 90 degree V4, four stroke

Capacity:
749.2cc

Horsepower:
180 @ 15,000 rpm

Top speed:
190mph/305kph
 
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