Go Inside the Workings of a Grand Prix Motorcycle Engine with SAE International's New Book

WARRENDALE, PA – July 24, 2012 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – SAE International offers a new book that takes readers inside engines of World Championship Grand Prix motorcycles, detailing the design concepts that make them work.

“Engine Design Concepts for World Championship Grand Prix Motorcycles” is developed especially for racing enthusiasts, focusing on the design of four-stroke engines for the MotoGP class. The book opens with general background on MotoGP governing bodies and a history of the event’s classes since the competition began in 1949. It then presents some of the key engines that have been developed and used for the competition through the years. Technologies that are used in today’s MotoGP engines are discussed.

A sidebar discussion on calculating brake, indicated, and friction performance parameters provides mathematical information for readers who like such technical details. Future developments of MotoGP engines, including the use of biofuels and recovery of thermal and braking energy, are presented. The introduction concludes with a chart that details the winners of the various classes of World Championship Grand Prix (WCGP) motorcycle racing since the competition began in 1949.

The bulk of the book consists of SAE International technical papers that were expressly chosen by Dr. Boretti to provide greater insight to the relationships between engine parameters and performance, namely the influence on friction and mean effective pressure of traditional spark ignited four stroke engines tuned for a narrow high power output.

The first paper provides the reader with a quick way to estimate the friction loss and engine output. The second paper discusses output and fuel consumption of multi-valve motorcycle engines. The third paper, published in 2002, compares WCGP engines developed to comply with the then-new FIM regulations that allowed four-stroke engines in the competition. The fourth paper examines specific power densities and therefore the level of sophistication and costs of MotoGP 800 cm3 engines. This paper shows the performance of these as well as the 1000cc SuperBike engines. The fifth paper presents four engine concepts including one for a MotoGP/Superbike with 2 and 3 cylinders. The sixth paper compares 3 and 4 in-line, V4, V5, and V6 layouts through 1-D engine simulations. The seventh paper considers the actual operation of 800cc MotoGP engines on the race track, where the percentage of the duration in fully open throttle is less than 20% of the race, but the partial throttle is used for as much as 80% of the race. The final paper in the compendium reports on the Honda oval piston engine concept.

Alberto Boretti is a research professor of mechanical engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. After he received his PhD from the University of Florence, Italy, in 1988, he was a senior researcher and project and team manager in the automotive industry for 17 years. Within the FIAT group, he has been involved in many racing engine projects, mostly with Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat Auto Corse. His last position in industry was manager of four-stroke engines for Aprilia racing in 2006. Within the university setting, he supports teaching and research in motorsport. During his career he has worked on many different racing engines, including F1, F3, super touring, rally car, and Superbike and MotoGP motorcycle engines.

Book details:

  • Table of Contents
  • Published By: SAE International
  • Published: August 2012
  • Pages: 134
  • Binding: Softbound
  • Product Code: PT-155
  • ISBN: 978-0-7680-7799-5
  • Price: $89.95 List, $71.98-80.96 SAE International Member

To request an electronic review copy of the book, email pr@sae.org . Forward published reviews to Shawn Andreassi at pr@sae.org  or SAE International, 400 Commonwealth Dr., Warrendale PA, 15096-0001, to receive a print copy of the book or another equivalent SAE International book.

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SAE International is a global association of more than 133,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International’s core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE International’s charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.


Contact: Shawn Andreassi, SAE International, via pr@sae.org or call 1-724-772-8522

SOURCE: SAE International