A single cylinder engine is the most basic piston engine configuration of an internal combustion engine. It is often seen on motorcycles but has many uses in portable tools and garden machinery. It has been used in cars and tractors.
Pros and cons
Single cylinder engines are simple and compact, and will often deliver the maximum power possible within a given envelope, though they are less suitable for the biggest and most powerful engines. They require more flywheel effect than multi-cylinder engines and the rotating mass is relatively large, restricting acceleration and sharp changes of speed. They are prone to vibration (though this can be controlled with balance shafts). Cooling is simpler than with multiple cylinders, potentially saving further weight.
Early automobiles and motorcycles were all single cylinder, as were engines for marine use. The configuration remains in widespread use in dirt bikes and is almost exclusively used in portable tools, and garden machinery such as lawn mowers.
- Enduro, Hare scrambles, Motocross, Rally raid, Track racing
- Supermono, Supermoto, Super single