Group 13 - Gate 1: Product Archaeology
Preparation and Initial Assessment
In 1989 Honda began development on a new CBR 600 motor, and by 1991 it was manufactured and released. This engine was mounted and sold in the Honda CBR 600 F2, the successor to the Honda CBR 600 Hurricane. The CBR 600 F2 was produced from 1991, until 1994 and during this time was considered modern and innovative for its time . It consisted of a four cylinder, 16 valve, liquid cooled motor paired with a six speed transmission, mated by a 12 disc wet clutch.
During this period in the early 90s the motorcycle manufacturers and dealers were replenishing their supply of motorcycles available to the public. After an economic slump in the mid 80s, the turn of the decade brought life back to business and sales . People were buying more and newer motorcycles, persuing the more modern technologies available, like the CBR600 F2. The mid 90s was an expanding year for the motorcycles like the CBR, and people saught after more modern models such as this one. At the time, global warming, oil prices and the economy were not the major issues they are today. This lead to increased spending and purchasing of motorcycles. The CBR600 F2 adressed that perfectly, providing a modern, high performing bike to the market that was currently consuming just that . The mid 90s was an economical success for motorcycles like the Honda CBR600F2, and the motorcycle industry.
The success of this bike and other bikes like it was not limited to its sales in the US, but in many other regions around the world as well. Honda one of the leading maunfacturers of motorcycles, had success in Japan, the home of Honda, as well as many other countries including areas across Europe . Honda set out to develop better performing bikes, utilizing modern technologies and high performance components for recreational and sport use. The realease of the CBR600 F2 was positive step for Honda regarding its intentions and progression for creating sport bikes like the Honda CBR600 F2.
The general use of the Honda CBR F2 engine is to power a motorcycle. The use of combustion inside the engine causes rotational motion which powers the motorcycle’s back wheel.
The product can be used for both professional and home use. Many people tend to collect. motorcycles and enjoy the pleasure of riding them as a hobby. Also motorcycle racers do use the engine for racing purposes, therefore the engine is used for professional use.
The Honda CBR engine contains pistons that move up and down caused by a mixture of fuel and air caused by a spark. The procedure is done in four strokes, as seen in the figure below. On the intake stroke, the piston moves from the top of the cylinder to the bottom of the cylinder . This causes a greater pressure within the cylinder. The air and fuel is mixed from atmospheric pressure because one of the ports is open. Finally at the end of the intake stroke the valves close. The next stroke in the four stroke process is called the compression stroke. In this step, the piston goes back to the top of the cylinder compressing the air and fluid mixture. The third stroke is the primary cause of the power of the engine; therefore, it is called the power stroke. In this procedure the piston reaches the top of the cylinder. When the top of the cylinder is reached a spark is ignited causing the piston to shoot downward from the combustion of the air and fuel mixture. This creates a large torque which generates most of the power in the motorcycle. In the final stroke the piston returns back to the top, except this time the exhaust value is opened allowing the piston to push out the air and fuel mixture.
The main energy used in the Honda CBR 600 F2 engine is mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is powered by the combustion of the fluid and air mixture. The combustion is therefore a form of thermal energy, since there is the burning of the mixture. Also the fluid and air mixture is a form of chemical energy. The combustion of the mixture from the spark plug also creates a kinetic energy in the piston. This kinetic energy moves the crankshaft in the form of mechanical energy. The energy is imported in the system when the operator turns the key which activates the starter; therefore creating a spark to activate the engine. Then during the first stroke process, the valve from the engine lets air into the engine allowing air into the cylinder. This air creates a chemical energy with the fluid, which leads to thermal energy when it is ignited by a spark and combustion takes place. The force from the combustion creates mechanical energy by turning the crankshaft.
The different types of energy are transformed inside the compression chamber. The spark creates combustion which transforms the chemical energy in the fluid into thermal energy and kinetic energy. The kinetic energy then creates mechanical energy which powers the motorcycle.
The 1994 Honda CBR 600 F2 engine is comprised of many components. Most of these components are located in the internals of the engines so an exact number is very hard to give. For the purposes of this gate only some main components will be listed, however in the engine analysis there will be a complete step by step dissection of the engine listing every component needed to make this motor function. Some major components of this engine are the engine block, camshafts, pistons, cylinder heads, valve covers, carburetors, crankshaft, spark plugs, fuel injectors, alternator, intake valves and exhaust valves. The components involved in this engine are extremely complex. These components are all very complex because they all have to be a precise shape and size in order for the components to fit and work in sync with one another to allow the proper functioning of the engine. For example, if the timing belt is not installed correctly, this will cause misfires in cylinders because the pistons will not be moving at the times in which they are supposed to be. Also, if a component is made the wrong size even with the slightest error, there is a good possibility that this component will not be able to fit making the engine malfunction. Component interactions are also very complex. As mentioned above, timing is a major factor inside of an engine therefore; many parts have to work together at the proper times in order for function. The size and shape of components also proves that component interactions are complex. For example, every single engine has different designs. This means that where components are placed and how they interact together makes it very complex because no motor is exactly the same.
Materials that are clearly visible on the Honda CBR 600 F2 motor are cast iron, rubber hoses, plastic, steel, and copper. Based on some of our group members prior experience working with motors (mostly cars), we believe that these are the primary materials used inside of the engine.
A user interfacing with the 1994 Honda CBR600F2 would find everything where it would be expected to be. The F2’s controls riding position though aggressive were not terribly different than its predecessor. It had over triple tree clip on handle bars and feet positioned slightly back like the race bike it so nearly was. The user had to be careful with the throttle and the brakes. The braking was improved and the F2 had an additional 10 horsepower over the F model. This may not seem like a lot of power for a motorcycle today but for a sub four hundred pound motorcycle first released in 1991 the F2 was one of the quickest and most powerful.
In a personally written review the F2 was described as comfortable and that the “the bike basically rides itself, just point for a corner and hold on”. One could translate that as the F2 has very sharp intuitive handling that allows the one hundred horsepower to be fully explored.
From my own personal experience on middle weight 600cc sport bikes I can say that they can seem easy to use. Sport bikes as a whole are harder to ride slow than a more upright motorcycle. The power they produce can be deceivingly docile when below the engine’s power band. They are not beginner’s bikes. Failure to recognize this can result in damage to both rider or machine. That being said it easy for anyone to sling a leg over this bike and go fast.
Though Honda four cylinder engines do have a reputation for being bullet proof, regular maintenance on the F2 is required for it to perform and be safe to ride. Maintenance that will most typically need to be done would be oil changes, tire replacement, brake pads replacement, brake bleeding, drive chain adjustment, and sprocket replacement. These are jobs that can be done with some knowledge and some basic tools by the rider. Other regular maintenance that would take a little bit more mechanical confidence would be valve adjustment, clutch replacement, and carburetor cleaning and tuning.
If unsure about how to perform regular maintenance one should always consult or hire a professional mechanic. That being said the F2 is fairly easy to work on. Especially when compared to older or more exotic machines. One feature that makes the bike nice to work on is the twin spar frame. A twin spar frame wraps around the sides of and engine and use the engine itself as a stressed member. This design allows easy and uninhibited access to the top and the bottom of the engine. Additionally if the engine should ever have to be removed there is no under slung frame members to get in the way. This and the fact that the engine only has one cylinder bank make a job such as valve adjustment much less labor intensive.
Roughly 16 years ago, Honda manufactured a line of sport motorcycles to compete with other major motorcycle manufacturers. The engine/transmission they used for this particular motor cycle is the center of research for this specific project. During the production year of 1994, some competing major manufacturers produced engines/transmissions that were placed in the following models: Kawasaki ZX-9, Ducati 750SS-C, and the Suzuki GS500E. The Honda CBR600F2 engine/transmission doesn’t have many unique characteristics that set it apart from other engines, mostly because all gas engines are very similar. One thing that is very attractive about this engine is that it has a higher MPG rating than most of the other three engines in comparison. The only other engine that gets better fuel economy is the Suzuki GS500E, but also has half the amount of horsepower, which can be considered a trade-off.
Even though this engine/transmission has some excellent qualities, it is balanced by some disadvantages compared to some other products. One such example would be its engine displacement of only 600cc. This may sound as if it’s a good engine size, but our product ranks 3rd among the 4 engines being evaluated. This also can be considered a disadvantage because when consumers are searching for a new motorcycle, engine size is a very popular characteristic.
When designing an engine, the most critical aspect of development is creating an engine that will perform well. In comparing our engine performance with that of the competing engines, there are only a few categories to consider. Power, torque, and fuel economy are the three aspects we will be observing with respect to engine displacement. The comparison of the engines is shown in the Table-A, as follows:
|Engine Type||4-cyl, In-line||4-cyl, In-line||V-2||2-cly, In-line|
|Fuel Economy [MPG]||43||39||37||58|
- Table-A: Depicts the comparison of various engine qualities between the listed manufacturers.
As we can see from Table-A for different engine styles and displacements there is a resulting difference in power, torque, and fuel economy. We can now state that these alternative products are vastly different in performance compared to our product. We can also visually observe these differences by examining Figure-A shown below:
- Figure-A: Illustrates a comparison in horsepower for various engines.
One of the biggest factors in manufacturing a product is being to provide a lower cost than competing companies. For our Honda engine, research has shown that since this is a used product, the price range for this engine depends on the shape it is in and/or how many miles it has been driven. For a Honda engine/transmission that is in good shape and low miles will cost approximately $600-$700. A Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Ducati engine/transmission of similar quality will cost approximately $900-$1,200, $500-$600, and $800-$900 respectively.
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