Ask MO Anything: Transverse or Longitudinal V-Twin? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-12-2017, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Ask MO Anything: Transverse or Longitudinal V-Twin?



Quote:
Dear MOby,

Excuse the noob question, but what’s the difference between a transverse V-Twin and a longitudinal one, and what are the advantages of each?

Navigational Ade


Dear Ade,

It has to do with the orientation of the crankshaft. Any engine, be it a V-Twin, V-Four, or inline-Four, is considered to be “transverse” if its crankshaft lies perpendicular to the motorcycle’s wheels, i.e. across the frame, parallel to the axles. Most motorcycles have transversely mounted cranks, including all Harley-Davidson V-Twins, nearly all four-cylinder sportbikes like the Yamaha R1, Kawasaki ZX-10R, Aprilia RSV4, all Ducati V-Twins and V-Fours… including the Monster 797 pictured on the left, above.

Chain or belt drive to the bike’s rear wheel is simplest and lightest with this layout, and having the crankshaft spinning in the same plane as the rear wheel means power can be transferred through the gearbox and straight on into the drive chain and rear sprocket without making any power-sucking changes of direction.
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post #2 of 4 Old Yesterday, 04:19 AM
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Interesting and informative thread! Some comments extending the discussion follow:

"Longitudinal" crankshafts might favor shaft drive, no? Straying from the V-Twin universe, as in, BMW "boxers," maybe even the Honda Gold Wings/Valkyries, . . . back to V-Twins, who could forget the Japanese Marusho "Lilac" motorcycles (favoring Moto Guzzi's approach)?



I think Indian 4-cylinder motorcycles from the past had longitudinal crankshafts (not that they necessarily had shaft drive; unsure there).

Yes, the rotation direction of longitudinal-crankshafted motorcycle engines must be changed 90-degrees to make the wheels turn in the desired direction, but . . . most automobiles (can't think offhand of one with a "transverse" crankshaft) suffer from the same, "power-sucking" situation.

No criticism or contradiction of the excellent IP intended; again, interesting thread!

EDIT: Clicking on the link to read the full article, I see "Mo" makes the very points I raise above! My insinuation was premature; I'll try to read the full source more completely before I comment again!

Last edited by Damocles; Yesterday at 05:22 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old Yesterday, 09:37 AM
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We all occasionally put the cart before the horse.

Interesting that the Japanese Lilac motorcycle had 'twisted' cylinder heads long before the Honda CX500-650's.

A lot of the newer generation cars, suv's & cross-over vehicles that are available in either 2wd wheel drive or 4wd/all wheel drive versions, I believe have "transverse" crankshafts. The front axle is the primary drive. Then needs the 90 degree bevel gearing to transfer power to the rear.
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post #4 of 4 Old Yesterday, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
A lot of the newer generation cars, suv's & cross-over vehicles that are available in either 2wd wheel drive or 4wd/all wheel drive versions, I believe have "transverse" crankshafts. The front axle is the primary drive. Then needs the 90 degree bevel gearing to transfer power to the rear.
I'm sure you're correct; I may be DRIVING one!

I was thinking of front-engine, rear-wheel drive (as God intended) vehicles, when I made my too-broadly categorical statement!

--------

Remember the Cord automobile? Longitudinal crankshaft, front-wheel drive, IIRC.

Last edited by Damocles; Yesterday at 11:09 AM.
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