Sorry MotoGP, But This is the Best Sounding Lap of Assen We’ll Hear This Week

MotoGP visits Assen this weekend for the Dutch TT, but it won’t sound at any point as good as this 50cc ripper at 16,000rpm

Kreidler 50cc bike laps Assen at 16,000rpm. - MiticasDosTiempos/Facebook
Kreidler 50cc bike laps Assen at 16,000rpm. - MiticasDosTiempos/Facebook

MotoGP is in the middle of one of its most exciting seasons of recent years as it heads to Assen this weekend, but the sound remains relatively underwhelming.

It’s not that MotoGP bikes sound especially bad, but they definitely don’t sound spectacular. Plus, almost all of them sound almost exactly the same because almost all of the manufacturers use almost identical engine configurations.

Marco Bezzecchi, 2024 MotoGP Italian Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose
Marco Bezzecchi, 2024 MotoGP Italian Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose

The exception, of course, is Yamaha, which runs a ‘big bang’ firing order like everyone else, but the cylinders being fired are all lined up in single file, rather than in the ‘V’ formation used by the rest of the MotoGP factories.

The reason most of the bike all use mostly similar engine configurations is because a ‘big bang’ 90-degree V4 (only KTM, with an 86-degree ‘V’, uses an angle smaller than 90 degrees) has been discovered to be the easiest way to achieve both high engine performance and sufficient rideability.

But now is not the first time that MotoGP bikes have all sounded almost identical. Back in the 500cc two-stroke days, all the bikes sounded exactly the same, too, especially by the mid-1990s when Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha were all using ‘big bang’ V4s.

But everyone loves a two-stroke and mostly for the sound. The two-stroke big bangs certainly have a more exciting and dramatic sound than the modern four-strokes, but, to be honest, the 500s were never the best-sounding two-strokes. 

 

No, instead, much like production inline-four-cylinders, the smaller the capacity the more striking the sound thanks to reduced inertia and therefore increased rev limits.

 

To demonstrate that, the above video is of a Kreidler 50cc two-stroke being ridden around the TT Assen circuit, where MotoGP races this weekend, and revving to over 16,000rpm. It sounds spectacular, and certainly more so than the MotoGP bikes that will compete in the 75th World Championship Dutch TT in a few days’ time.

Image credit: MiticasDosTiempos/Facebook

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