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Old February 9th, 2023, 10:42 AM   #1
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[] - CFMotoís 200-horsepower Sportbike V-4

New patent filings show that CFMoto is considering building a 1000cc, V-4, that it hopes will make 200-plus horsepower and power its future sportbikes.

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CFMoto has been filing patents on a brand-new Chinese made 1000cc V-4. (CFMoto/)Chinese motorcycle brands have recently been a controversial subject but thereís a clear path when it comes to the quality and performance that they offer. By making a 1000cc V-4 superbike, CFMoto could make the same leap into the mainstream that Honda achieved with the CB750 half a century ago.

That appears to be part of the companyís plan, as itís filed a patent application for just such an engine. CFMoto specifically mentions targets of 1000cc and 201 horsepower and explains why itís opting for a V-4 layout rather than a cheaper-to-make inline-four.

A view straight down into the intake tracts. (CFMoto/)The patent itself revolves around some fairly mundane aspects of the liquid-cooling system and the flow of coolant around the engine, but the important element is that itís directly relevant to both the V-4 layout and to the high specific power that CFMoto is intending to achieve from a 1000cc capacity.

The only image of a complete motorcycle included in the patent is a purely illustrative picture of the machine sold in the US as the 300SS (offered elsewhere as the 300SR and identical-looking 250SR). Itís used only to confirm that the new V-4 is intended for a motorcycle and to label key components like the frame, bodywork, engine, and transmission. While the choice of a faired sportbike rather than a naked machine might be a clue as to the style of bike that the V-4 will end up in, the chances are that should the new engine reach production it will appear in a variety of bikes, both faired and unfaired.

Measuring the Vee, it appears that the angle is roughly 78 degrees. (CFMoto/)Looking at the engine itself, there are several details that can be gathered from the drawings. First is that itís not a traditional 90-degree Vee. Instead, measuring the Vee-angle of the drawings shows it to be around 78 degrees, making for a more compact overall package but not one thatís as tight as the 65-degree Vee of Apriliaís RSV4 engine. We donít know if the drawings are to scale, so that angle could be a few degrees off (72 degrees would be a more conventional figure, as used by Nortonís V-4, or 75 degrees as in older versions of Apriliaís RS-GP racebikes).

Could this be a race engine, perhaps a clue to a MotoGP effort from CFMoto? It seems unlikely. For starters, the design appears to use chain-driven camshafts, where gear drive would be the norm for a racing V-4, and secondly the patent specifically refers to the use of a thermostat in the cooling system, which is something you wouldnít likely find in a MotoGP engine. The target output of 201 hp from 1000cc also screams streetbike rather than racer.

A side view of the proposed engine. (CFMoto/)A cutaway of the cylinder head reveals the use of finger-followers rather than buckets and shims, in line with the latest superbike design trends, and of course confirm that the valves are conventionally sprung, not using a Ducati-style Desmo system or the sort of pneumatic closing that you might expect from a MotoGP engine.

A closer look at the valvetrain. Note, the finger-follower design. (CFMoto/)Although CFMoto has a close relationship with KTM, thereís no indication that this engine is related to the Austrian firmís long-canceled plans to make a V-4 streetbike. Not only does the engine not resemble any of KTMís race V-4s from either its short-lived attempt at the 990cc era with Kenny Robertsí team or the current RC16 project, but the patent has been filed purely under CFMotoís name, not the official name of the joint venture that ties the two brands together.

As ever with stories related to patents, itís worth noting not every project that reaches the stage of patenting an idea reaches production. We may never see any more of this CFMoto project than whatís shown in these drawings. Alternatively, however, this could become the first 200-plus-hp motorcycle to emerge from a Chinese brand and open the door to a new era of affordable, high-performance motorcycles, providing exactly the sort of revolution in the market that we saw when the Japanese brands blew away the established British and Italian sportbike makers of the 1960s and 1970s.
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