How It's Made - Motorcycle Engines

the v-twin motorcycle engine actually

dates back more than a century talk

about staying power central to the

design are two cylinders that form a V

around the crankshaft this configuration

is more compact than a straight-line

engine and its appeal is timeless with

its throttle cranked the v-twin can take

you on an exciting ride and leave sedans

in its dust


to make one a robot loads a cylinder

into a machine equipped with cutting

tools the tools milled the cylinders

metal slats to highlight them the slats

are called cooling fins they allow the

engines heat to dissipate

this cutting tool bores into the center

of the cylinder carving it to precise

dimensions to allow engine components a

perfect fit

next an operator assembles the

crankshaft he aligns connecting rods and

slides them over bearings

he then assembles the rods and bearings

to the crankshaft


the machine press fits everything



next a lift scoops up the crankshaft

assembly and transfers it to the lower

half of the crankcase

at the next station an automated

dispenser precisely apply sealant to the

inner edge of the crankcase

they then arranged the upper half of the

crankcase on the lower assembly and both

the two together


it's now time to link the crankcase and

shaft assembly to the transmission


this chrome-plated cover is the

finishing touch


next they fit the camshaft into the

crankcase its job is to maintain valve



they position the pistons on the

connecting rods now installed in the



remember those highlighted cylinders

made earlier workers now slide them over

the Pistons

these are the cylinder head castings

technicians paint them and then machine

them to fit on the cylinders


a robot bolts them together with just

the right amount of torque the operator

then installs tubing that will house

push rods

he snaps them into the cylinder heads

then he clips on metal covers to secure

them he now inserts the push rods in the


up next is the electronic fuel injection

system which controls the flow of fuel

to the engine

they install it between the two



a special bracket holds the injection

system in place

he bolts the rocker boxes to the

cylinder heads

then tops off the assembly with more

gleaming chrome covers

the operator now screws the oil filter

onto the engine case and secures it with

a special wrench this is the electrical

charging system it goes on the


now it's time to pump oil into this

v-twin engine and put it through its


computerized testing equipment moves in

and mates to the engine

the engine rotates and they shift the

transmission through all the gears this

allows the testing equipment to analyze

every aspect of its performance


next they insert spark plugs into the

cylinder heads and these 1584 CC

motorcycle engines are now revved and

ready for their wheels