Scott Lear
Scott Lear Club Editor
2/13/09 2:38 p.m.

Tom and I were sidetracked momentarily by this question, and I'm darn curious. He thinks there was a Yamaha (FZR400?) in the late 80s with a 16,000 rpm factory redline. Is that the fastest spinning production engine ever unleashed? Discuss.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
2/13/09 2:50 p.m.

I think Tom is right.


Gearhead_42 Dork
2/13/09 3:02 p.m.

2006 YZF-R6

16,500 RPM (though Yamaha advertised at 17,500 and had to retract it later)

The CBR250RR was around 19,000 but not sure that one counts

Autolex Reader
2/13/09 3:06 p.m.

well, lets see...

the 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R goes to 16,500rpm

Grtechguy SuperDork
2/13/09 3:33 p.m.


MTT Turbine SUPERBIKEā„¢ Engine: Rolls Royce Allison, 250 series gas turbine Power: 320-hp @ 52,000-rpm, (286-hp @ rear wheel) Torque: 425-ft/lbs @ 2,000-rpm

Transmission: 2-speed, automatic Lubrication: dry-sump/3.5-qts turbine oil Frame: aluminum alloy

not sure if it counts, but Leno owns one

extremeacres None
2/16/09 10:41 a.m.

fastest spinning production engine ? for anything ? or for bikes ? Honda's NR750 (oval piston ...8 valves per cyl ....2 rods per piston... i think that was up in the 17,000 plus range... and YES those 250 CC inline 4's CBR250RR , FZR250 etc... had Higher Rpm ranges also...

It is the Smaller piston and rod etc. that allows higher Rpms... due to less Reciprocating mass (weight being moved back and forth )

The fastest Piston driven engine that I'm aware of ... would be for an RC car.... I know that more than 5 years ago (i'm guessing that You can Find HIGHER numbers nowadays) there was an RC engine putting out more than 1 HP's displacement was .21 c.i. and it spun to over 43,000 rpms.... runs on methanol/nitro mix... and is a single piston, rod, crank, 2stroke with a glow plug for ignition.... and the Piston has No rings.... the Seal at the combustion chamber is made from the Cylinder being slightly cone shaped !!! tighter at the top than the bottom !!

how's THAT for frikkin technology ?

Jensenman SuperDork
2/17/09 9:01 a.m.

Way back when (early/mid '60's), there were 'teacup' road racers, so called because they were limited to 50cc's or about the displacement of a teacup. The bikes ranged from singles to 6 cylinder layouts.

I read a review of a Tohatsu 'teacup' twin cylinder racer where they mentioned that it idled at 11,000 RPM and redlined at something like 21,500. Of course that wasn't a street bike.

This is Honda's RC115, their 50cc twin. It redlined at 22,500 RPM.

A cool page with all kinds of teacup info:

Scott Lear
Scott Lear Club Editor
2/17/09 3:02 p.m.

Awesome, thanks guys; pretty crazy stuff.

Mental SuperDork
2/18/09 10:01 a.m.

Reposted this question on my local bike board and it followed a very similar path.

From that thread I got the previous gen R6 went to "17,500 rpm, but the tachs were "optimistic" by about 10%. "

Gonzo_Bmod New Reader
2/18/09 10:19 a.m.

Kawasaki ZXR250 - 20,000RPM

16vCorey SuperDork
2/18/09 11:14 a.m.
Jensenman wrote This is Honda's RC115, their 50cc twin. It redlined at 22,500 RPM. A cool page with all kinds of teacup info:

I want one.

Jensenman SuperDork
2/18/09 2:07 p.m.

Did you notice the front brake? It grabs the rim like a bicycle brake.

16vCorey SuperDork
2/18/09 2:25 p.m.
Jensenman wrote: Did you notice the front brake? It grabs the rim like a bicycle brake.


I'd still ride it.

benzbaron Reader
2/18/09 3:09 p.m.

I saw a honda a few years ago with a redline of 18K rpm, it must have spun like a top. I'm not sure which model though. That is about the fastest motorcycle engine I've seen in my couple years of riding.

pinchvalve SuperDork
2/18/09 3:20 p.m.

Ducati wanted to go with a V-Twin on the 1098 Series, but redline would have been in excess of 17,000 rpm to hit the power target they wanted. Hence the V-4.

Gonzo_Bmod New Reader
2/18/09 9:45 p.m.

The 1098 is a twin (now an 1198). The V-4 is in the Moto GP bike and the Desmosedici road going GP replica.

rebelgtp HalfDork
2/19/09 10:05 a.m.

well there is always the Drysdale V8 line of bikes. The standard bike costs around $70,000 and is made to order. They use either 750 or 1000cc engines depending on the model. Their top engine will hit a peak RPM somewhere over 20,000 RPM.

Oh he also made in the past made a two wheel drive bike.

Jensenman SuperDork
2/19/09 3:34 p.m.

Didn't Drysdale use Yamaha heads on his own crankcase and cylinders?

rebelgtp HalfDork
2/19/09 5:55 p.m.

Yeah I think that is what the original engines were built up as.

I remember thinking about one of those engines stuck in one of the small sports car racers in SCCA.

Jensenman SuperDork
2/20/09 7:34 a.m.

Not a high RPM motor but a very interesting concept, the Beare six stroke:

Best picture I could find of the top end:

Basically, it's a rotary valve two stroke bottom end inverted and stuck on top of a 4 stroke bottom end. Drysdale was very much involved in the development of this engine but for some reason it seems to have fizzled out.

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