How Motorcycles Work - The Basics

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motorcycles of today are the true

marvels of engineering a basic model of

inner parts of a typical motorcycle is

shown here in this video we will explain

the basic function of each of these

parts in a motorcycle let's begin from

how a motorcycle engine starts all

motorcycles have either a Kickstarter or

a self-starter or both a Kickstarter

mechanism is simple yet interesting as

the Kickstarter lever is descended a

helical spline forces the gear to slide

and engage with a freewheeling gear on

the main shaft as the lever is descended

further the gear spins on its axis and

transfers the power to the clutch hub

the clutch hub transfers the power to

the crankshaft and eventually to the

engine in a self starter system a

battery-powered motor provides initial

spin to the engine once the engine is

started the starter motor has to be

disengaged from the crankshaft to

prevent damage due to excessive speed

this is achieved by using a one-way

clutch the model shown here is of a

roller type one-way clutch it has an

outer race and an inner race with small

rollers as the starter motor spins the

outer race in one direction the rollers

get trapped between the surfaces and the

power is transferred to the inner race

and thus to the crankshaft once the

inner race starts spinning faster than

the outer race the rollers get released

causing the inner race to spin freely

like every four-stroke gasoline engine

motorcycle engines require a source of

ignition to ignite the air fuel mixture

for power strokes a spark plug is used

for this purpose the spark plug requires

voltage in excess of 20,000 volts to

fire properly in this particular model

the voltage is obtained from the stator

of the motorcycle although a 12-volt

battery may be used for the same purpose

the stator is a stationary coil of wires

the flywheel of the motorcycle has a set

of permanent magnets which revolves

around the stator and produces

alternating current in the coils each

output from the stator has different

purposes as shown here the output for

the ignition purpose is received from

the exciter coil this coil has a denser

winding of thinner wire than the other

coils to produce higher voltage for the

ignition this voltage is supplied to an

electrical component known as the

capacitive discharge ignition or CDI

unit the connection for an AC CDI is

shown here the primary function of the

CDI unit is to store electric charge and

dump the stored charge when required a

capacitor inside the CDI unit stores the

electric charge another component known

as a pickup coil tells the CDI unit when

to dump this charge the pickup coil has

a small magnet with a coil of wire

around it the flywheel has a small

extrusion on its outer surface as this

extrusion approaches and passes the

pickup coil a small voltage is developed

in the coil this voltage is supplied to

the CDI unit which closes an electronic

switch known as a silicon controlled

rectifier or SCR this will dump all the

charge from the capacitor through the

output of the CDI unit to increase the

voltage further an ignition coil is used

the ignition coil is a step-up

transformer which increases voltage up

to 200 times the input voltage which is

sufficient to fire the spark plug

several other factors contribute to the

continuous operation of the engine the


and exhaust valves are controlled by

using a timing chain as shown here as

long as the engine is running the

crankshaft rotates and transfers power

to the other components for proper

operation single cylinder engines

generally use a counterbalance to reduce

the vibration caused by unbalanced

forces the clutch helps in smooth

transfer of power from the crankshaft to

the transmission system the transmission

system helps in altering the speed and

torque as per our requirement