In order to give you a better introduction about the DUKE engine, we have to briefly remind you of the standard internal combustion engine. The cylinders are multiplied in row in a V or inline arrangement in order to gain power. On the other hand, the DUKE engine arrangers the pistons as well as cylinders in completely opposite manner – in circle! The pistons are connected with star-shaped unit named the reciprocator which is responsible for the moving of the pistons in a wave-like manner. Duke Engines’ 3-liter, five cylinder test mule is already making a healthy 215 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque at 4,500rpm – slightly outperforming two conventional 3 liter reference engines that weigh nearly 20 percent more and are nearly three times as big for shipping purposes. With an innovative valveless ported design, the Duke engine appears to be on track to deliver superior performance, higher compression and increased efficiency in an extremely compact and lightweight package with far fewer moving parts than conventional engines. The Duke axial engine is arguably one of the most advanced gas-burning engines ever made, but has it come it too late? As we’re constantly reporting on advances in electric power, is the gas engine done for good regardless of the engineering power?
The company is currently working on aerospace, marine, and automotive applications, but the benefits for motorcycle use are many, including significantly reduced engine weight and physical size. Duke says its five-cylinder prototype weighs just 86 pounds and measures roughly 17 x 10 x 10 inches. That’s about two-thirds the weight and half the size of a conventional 1,000cc inline-four. The symmetrical axial design produces little to no vibration, and without a heavy transverse-mounted crankshaft, the Duke engine would have a greatly reduced gyroscopic effect.