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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The next big thing....

Remember when direct injection two stroke engines were going to be 'the next big thing'? In the 90s, there was a lot of interest in an engine built by Australian firm Orbital that could revolutionise (and save) two strokes.

Basically, it got round the main problem of two strokes - fuel passing straight into the exhaust port without burning, leading to poor fuel consumption and high emissions. The direct injection system get round this by injecting the fuel directly into the combustion chamber after the exhaust port has closed.
A story went about at the time that a number of Police forces in the UK were trialling Ford Fiestas fitted with Orbital engines, but no more was heard and the last reference I could find to it on the Web was from 1995.
That was until I found this video on YouTube:

Not much in the way of technical detail, but it would appear that Italian company Athena are working on a bike engine.
However, I did find this video from BRP, parent company of Ski-Doo, Can-Am,  Rotax, etc.

Looks like they are already using direct injection technology on some of their snowmobiles. Good to see that a big company like BRP is investing in direct injection technology, and as Rotax make bike engines, who knows what they might build in the future?
Of course, someone's already done something similar.

Kawa posted a link on Facebook to an article about this bike. It's an 800cc Rotax snowmobile engine fitted into a Kawasaki ZZR 1200 frame. The article mentions that it's a 2003 engine, so it might not have direct injection, but the idea is there. (I really like the pullcord start!)
So the technology's out there, who knows what we might see next??

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