Gallery: Utterly brilliant engines

Published: 04 September 2016

We are truly living in a blessed time when to comes to two-wheeled development. Gone are any signs of the ‘Universal Japanese Motorcycle’, now every manufacturer is striving to stand out from the crowd. And what better way to achieve this than to have its own signature engine?

On a motorcycle, the engine provides far more than just power. This lump of animated metal contains the bike’s heart and soul and, in terms of showroom pulling power, can be a stronger draw than the rest of the bike’s technology put together. Some riders fall in love with the feel of a specific motor and base their entire buying decision on that single emotion. Others refuse to step outside their comfort zone and fail to experience the variations on offer.

So what is it that makes an engine truly great? Is it a vibration, the number of cylinders, or simply a sound? Can a single cylinder evoke the same pleasure as a inline-four? MCN brought together six of 2016’s best engines - the Aprilia Tuono’s V4 1100, the BMW S1000XR’s 999cc inline four, the 675cc triple from the Triumph Daytona, Ducati’s Monster 1200 R’s L-twin, Yamaha’s crossplane-cranked MT-10 and KTM’s 690 Duke single - to discover which is the greatest of them all.