Love Two Strokes? Kawasaki Might Be Bringing Them Back In An Interesting Way!
What has four cylinders, a cross plane crank, direct injection, poppet valves, a hybrid system and a supercharger? Possibly the new Kawasaki engine.
Two strokes are basically a thing of the past. Some blame emissions, other reliability, and some just felt that the average rider could not handle things. Whatever your brand of thinking is, the fact remains that the Two Stroke engine is a rare thing to see. Many boat outboards, jet skis, and even lawn equipment have moved on to small displacement four strokes. But some recently filed patent documents seem to hint at the idea that Kawi wants to breath some new life into the concept.
Some readers will see that drawing and assume that since it has valves that it is a four stroke. That would be an incorrect assumption. Those are poppet valves. For this design the motor does not rely on crank case pressure to move air through the engine, instead it has a supercharger.
This is actually not as cutting edge as one might thing. Detroit was famous for their forced induction power plants. They produced a series of engine that powered everything from buses to ocean-liners. Known to be amazingly reliable and also extremely fuel efficient.
It looks like Kawasaki is taking an old idea and bringing it into the modern world by adding direct injection. Another thing of note is that this is not going to be a small displacement lawn tool, nor a huge industrial engine. Both markets that Kawasaki builds motors for. Instead this is posed to be used in an upcoming motorcycle.
No word on the exact displacement, but safe to say this will now be a scooter. With a four cylinder arrangement and cross plane crank I would expect this to be a performance oriented bike.
Personally I am crossing my fingers that the engine makes it way into a Bimota as Kawasaki now owns 49% of the Italian exotic company.