- Cylinder/s are positioned in an almost horizontal position
- Longer swingarm along with a shorter wheelbase benefitting handling and stability
- Reversed cylinder head configuration
While an upside-down engine design might not be an all-new concept in the motorcycle world, it surely is a different outlook towards how the engine is packed into the bike’s frame. In a recent patent application filed by Suzuki, the Japanese bike maker has been redesigning a bike’s packaging by changing the most basic layout of a motorcycle.
As per the leaked image, the layout might be for a single-cylinder or a parallel multi-cylinder motor. The engine has been flipped upside-down with the cylinder/s positioned almost parallel to the main chassis rails. While the cylinder head is positioned right after the front forks, the crankshaft is positioned at the centre region of the motorcycle. The gearbox has been located below the engine in a suspended manner rather than sitting behind the motor in a basic layout. Notably, the cylinder head has been reversed, which is confirmed by the painted red portion suggesting it to be the exhaust headers. The downpipe further connects to the exhaust canister which is now positioned below the gearbox.
The benefits of this configuration? Well, as per the application, there are two main benefits. First, the layout makes provision for a longer swingarm which should help in providing more stability and reducing overall movement of the suspension components. Next is a shorter wheelbase, which is achieved from the front wheel as it now has more room to move backwards as the forks compress.
However, the layout does give rise to few concerns like, a restriction to the steering movement due to the cylinder head (in case of the multi-cylinder motor) being too wide. Next, the application mentions the motor to be a liquid-cooled unit which highlights the radiator to be missing in the setup. A side-mounted radiator, perhaps? Besides that, the repositioning of the engine has taken up space commonly allotted for parts like the fuel tank and the air-box. Expect the fuel tank to be shifted under the seat, while the battery and other electronics to be located also under the seat but ahead of the fuel tank below the rider.
Considering the challenging design and its short-comings, there’s still a lot of time before we could get to see a production version of this layout anytime soon. The company is also been working on a new quarter-litre offering, which will likely to be introduced as the Gixxer 250 when launched.