A high-performance four-stroke motorcycle engine was analyzed at a steady flow rig. The aim of the work was to characterize the fluid dynamic behavior of the engine head during the intake phase. To this purpose a twofold approach was adopted: the dimensionless flow coefficient was used to evaluate the global breathability of the intake system, while the laser doppler anemometry (LDA) technique was employed to define the flow structure within the combustion chamber. The analysis gave evidence of two contrarotating vortices with axes parallel to the cylinder axis and showed variations in the flow structure when moving away from the engine head. Furthermore, the study highlighted the great influence of the throttle angle on the head fluid dynamic efficiency and how this influence changes with the valve lift. Experimental data were correlated by a single curve adopting a new dimensionless plot. Moreover, LDA measurements were used to evaluate the angular momentum of the flux and an equivalent swirl coefficient, and to correlate them to a previous global swirl characterization carried out on the same engine head using an impulse swirl meter.
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