Engine design is a smack in the gob

A new motorcycle engine, that made its debut at the British Supermotard event in October, has already set something of a speed record in its journey from concept to competition.

In fact, it took less than four weeks from the first spark of an idea to rolling the motorcycle out onto the tarmac ready for race day.

The motorcycle itself is powered by an engine with a unique rotary valve cylinder head developed by Roton Engine Developments of Queensferry, North Wales, and designed with a little help from RAND Worldwide.

It was put through its paces on the challenging Lydden Hill Supermotard Circuit, Kent, in the British Supermotard championships on October 25-26th in what was hoped to be an impressive showcase for the engine’s capabilities.

Engineer Kingsley Wright is an expert in the intricacies of the four-stroke internal combustion engine and has been building race engines for clients for over twelve years.

In an effort to drastically improve the breathing of his race engines, he decided to look to other fields of engineering the control of fluids and gasses. A rough idea emerged and soon after he met Roger Whiteman, whose principle experience was in the field of metallurgy and component evaluation in the automotive industry.

Together, they formed Roton Engine Developments which now employs a team of six.

Roton specialise in designing rotary valve cylinder heads for internal combustion engines. The cylinder heads can be adapted for any current or future cylinder block from all the main Original Equipment Manufactures, both for four-stroke petrol and diesel engines, and for cars as well as motocycles.

The design of the motorcycle engine incorporates a unique Roton sealing system that allows the rotary valve to rotate freely while still creating a gas tight combustion chamber. The effect is a powerful engine with low emissions.

Two years ago, Kingsley was trying to get the project off the ground and looking to find support from backers and buyers.

In a speculative move, he went to the AutoSport International Trade show 18 months ago looking for information on computer aided design systems. It was there that he came across the RAND Worldwide stand.

’The project was entirely self-financed, and money was really tight. I didn’t have the money to buy a full CAD system, but I knew that it was the way forward. RAND were really interested in my concept and asked if they could design it. They came to my house and within eight hours the idea had gone from thoughts in my head to a fully worked-up design and drawings’ said Kingsley.

’I was absolutely gob-smacked, I didn’t think such things still happened.’