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New rider engine layouts: Singles

The simplest bike engine design is the single cylinder and it’s what’s fuelled generations of young and new bikers’ love affair with two wheels, as well as keeping the masses moving in poorer countries.

Its chief advantages are its relative simplicity and cheapness with one of everything and light weight too, making it favourite for use in smaller capacity machinery and off-road bikes too.

Against that you have its relatively low power output and primary imbalance caused by that piston thumping up and down on its own.

This can lead to a lot of engine vibration and “lumpy” power delivery at the bottom end in four-strokes. Two-strokes are smoother.

Pros
Cost
Simplicity

Cons
Low power output
Vibration

Examples
Aprilia RS125
Honda CRF450

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