Has the Inline 4 fallen out of Favor?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by cabanza, May 14, 2019.

  1. cabanza

    cabanza Smooth is Fast

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    It seems that the inline 4 isn't as popular as it used to be. Have riders' tastes changed? Have manufacturers favored other configurations? Was the inline 4 never that popular? Is the inline 4 too Japanese?
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  2. Cakeeater

    Cakeeater Long timer

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    Yes.
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  3. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

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    No. Threes are great and v twins and thumpers too. Some of us love that I4 rush. But it is less fashionable to say so in public.

    The difference I see, most sales are lower power P twins and the sv motor. Fours don't occupy that space any more other than the new Honda that I can think of. Yamaha made a difference with their three but still make a higher performance 4 besides the super sports. Long live the four for what many of us love about them. Heck, even bmw got in on the action for sport touring.
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  4. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Now with more sarcasm

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    Nah
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  5. gen1fizzy

    gen1fizzy Adventurer

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    Not here, some of us still love em.
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  6. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    Configurations other than the inline four are great for people who can't quite grasp the relationship between torque and horsepower.
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  7. shoeb

    shoeb Long timer

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    I can understand the decline. The main benefit over twins is more potential power, but on the road that's not very useful; a middleweight twin these days will double all our speed limits here. Drawbacks can, as generalisations, include added weight, less efficiency, costliness to produce. I can certainly understand most manufacturers moving away from them on all but the most performance orientated bikes. They have profit margins to worry about.

    Kind of a pity though, I owned an FZ6 a few years back and LOVED throwing stratospheric revs down the road. I4's epitomise bike engines to me, I don't really know why.
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  8. st3ryder

    st3ryder Been here awhile

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    Yamaha growler crossplane crank, I-4 engine. Made for a reason.

    Most succcessful moto gp bikes the last 3 years. Not I-4s.

    The hottest WSBK bike at present. Not an I-4.

    Most popular adventure bike engines. Not I-4s.

    Most popular crusier engines. Not I-4s.

    Number of major manufacturers offering new, I-4 bikes other than Japanese: 1.

    Best "bang for buck" engines? I-4s.

    Engines most likely to be bought by wanna be racers and squids. I-4s.

    Lesson: there's a lot more to motorcycling than bang for buck.
    #8
  9. st3ryder

    st3ryder Been here awhile

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    Like Honda HRC/Repsol Motogp team? Or Ducati Corse/GP 19 Motogp team? Or KTM Motogp team?

    Those "dummies" race V-4 fours.
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  10. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    /thread

    Modern I4s are (mostly) boring as fuck for normal riding. If I wanted to be bored, I'd go drive my car with an I4.

    Some of the older air cooled I4s and the newer cross-plane configurations are cool and sound good. Personally I've never owned a bike with an I4 and I probably won't ever. I don't like the packaging, sound, feel, or maintenance (even though they are low maintenance overall, when it is required access is very difficult). Can they make stratospheric power and hi revs? Sure, and that might be good for a track day or racing..but not 99 percent of my other riding.

    IMO, if you're going to put four cylinders on a motorcycle it needs to be in a vee.
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  11. Smaug1

    Smaug1 '16 Bandit 1250S, '15 SMax

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    To me, there are a few problems with I-4s:

    • They're typically tuned for highest horsepower at high RPM, so many of them are not that useful on the street. The Japanese have figured this out, of course and are tuning them more appropriately; ex. GSX-1000, FZ6, CBR650. As a result, people love those bikes.
    • They're wide. No way around this, except what BMW did in the 80s with the K100. Shame that didn't catch on.
    • They're buzzy. I've had the smoothest of them, and due to harmonics, they always buzz my hands to sleep at certain RPMs. On my '01 Concours, it was horrible. Buzzy almost everywhere, even with the balance shaft properly adjusted. With my '05 FJR, it was between 70 and 80 mph in top gear, which helped to ruin the bike for me, as one can't really change the gearing on a shaft-driven bike. On my '16 Bandit it's around 3k RPM, which is around 60 mph in top gear. I don't remember having that on my SV650, though I did have it on my CBR500R at certain RPMs. Never had it on a thumper. ('08 KLR and many scooters)
    • It's hard to get to the center cylinders and usually the oil filter, too. Makes maintenance more of a chore. (although I don't think that has much to do with the decline in popularity)

    Yes, they have declined in popularity and twins are doing ESPECIALLY well. Triples are catching up, thanks to Triumph. (and now Yamaha) But they're still doing fine.

    It's just that compared to the 80s and 90s, the market has a lot more variety. Japanese are making good twins now, instead of buzzy, budget ones they made in the 70s.

    Ironically, I think the smoothest engine I've ever had was in a '94 Ninja 250.
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  12. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

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    3 is the perfect number
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  13. Smaug1

    Smaug1 '16 Bandit 1250S, '15 SMax

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    :nah

    No, they're for people who prefer their torque to be accessible without revving to the moon.

    ...but did you know that fours can also be tuned for low and midrange torque? ...and that some people prefer that? Lots of the same people that are going with twins and triples, these days.

    My Bandit 1250S is often criticized for making less than 100 hp in stock form. But since it makes 80 ft-lbs of torque by 3750 RPM, it's quick everywhere. I could've gotten a 600 four that makes more power, but it wouldn't be as enjoyable in everyday riding.
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  14. Smaug1

    Smaug1 '16 Bandit 1250S, '15 SMax

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    You should open your mind a little. Fours can (and often are, these days) be tuned for torque, these days. If you don't like the sound, that's a different issue, but with a mild muffler, they sound great to me. I also like the sound of a sporty twin and just about any triple.
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  15. steingar

    steingar higher life form

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    If you've never owned a bike with an inline 4 engine, how do you know it's boring? And if by boring you mean that the motors deliver gobs of power with minimal vibration and never break, I'll take that kind boring any day. And if you really think a fire-breathing race winning Supersport bike is boring, you should probably stay home. I don't like to imagine what you think is exciting.
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  16. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

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    An S1kRR is pretty adept at redining expectations
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  17. steingar

    steingar higher life form

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    For 20 grand it ought to be.
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  18. Dao1

    Dao1 Long timer

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    yea, i agree.
    someone who's never owned an I4 shouldn't be spewing out venom
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  19. shoeb

    shoeb Long timer

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    To play devil's advocate, I've ridden more bikes than I've owned...
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  20. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    I had a I4 (cb600f/599/hornet) that was low/mid range torque and it still sucked but it was much better then them supersport 600s.

    For bikes I will never go back to I4 again. I do like V4 character but but too much work. I like 90* Vtwins too but my preference on twins is a Ptwin w/270* crank for compactness and looks. And do like thumpers, not the smoothest but there is something about the single power pulse. Currently I have a triple (yamaha) but find it still a little wide for my taste. Character and usability is something the I4 lacks for street.
    #20
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