EXCLUSIVE: Future Bajaj Motorcycles To Get Variable Valve Actuation
The addition of VVA opens up a world of possibilities for the Indian manufacturer, including multi-cylinder platforms
By now, we have a decent grip on Bajaj’s upcoming Pulsar range, which will spawn several new products and essentially replace the existing Pulsar models. Its 250cc engine platform will be the first of the new-gen Pulsars to be introduced in the Indian market in the coming months. However, there’s more to Bajaj’s future motorcycles than what meets the eye.
We did a little digging and managed to get our hands on some important development stage documents for the new-gen Bajaj engines. These showcase the engine with a nifty little addition called VVA (Variable Valve Actuation), the same tech seen on the Yamaha R15 V3. However, this one seems to be more economical and multifaceted.
Here’s a simple explanation of how it works and how it could change the game in the two-wheeler segment.
Electronically Controlled Variable Valve Actuation
VVA basically allows the engine to run two different valve timings -- one for better low and mid-range grunt and the second for top speed. The system on the R15 works by shifting between two different cam lobes, making it mechanically more complex.
Bajaj, however, has managed to work around this issue by using a relatively simple system-driven electric motor actuator and a lead screw.
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The entire system is pretty compact and versatile. It uses a single camshaft (120) with an independent lobe drum (250) that moves sideways. This is possible thanks to the arm-like slider mechanism (225a) operated by an electric motor (115).
The second step of the process involves the camshaft. It features a three-step slot that ensures the lobes shift both linearly and angularly in either direction.
When the engine hits a certain RPM, the sensor-driven electric motor prompts the controller to move the lobe into one of the three cam profiles using a slider pin. As the angle of the cam rotation changes, it alters the valve timing, which in turn adjusts the engine performance.
Having three different valve timing slots could allow Bajaj to run multiple cam profiles, allowing for better power, superior torque, and improved mileage.
The current VVA configuration in the documents is better suited for a two-valve single-cylinder engine. However, the versatility of the system may allow Bajaj to tap into different market segments. In other words, it could use the same system on a multi-valve, multi-cylinder engine, single spark, or multi-spark engines with minor changes to the engine head. In fact, the actuator that controls the valve profiles could be adjusted manually using ride modes. It could even be retrofitted onto older bikes. So the possibilities are endless.
Future Bikes That Could Feature The System
Technology sharing between KTM and Bajaj has had a huge impact on the Indian manufacturer’s R&D and development process over the years. And maybe it’s time to return the favour to KTM. Bajaj can share this tech with KTM in the near future. The addition of VVA would make a lot of sense on KTM engines, which are known to be quite peaky. Its Adventure range would benefit the most from this update. The same tech could be adopted on Triumph and Bajaj’s upcoming motorcycles.
Moreover, if Bajaj can be economical while manufacturing the entire system, it could end up in smaller bikes like the Platina 110 H-Gear as well. This can contribute to improved performance, both within the city and on the highway.
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