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CRANKSHAFTS IN CARS AND MOTORCYCLES
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The crankshaft of an engine, is the component that converts the up and down motion (reciprocating motion) created by the pistons, into rotary motion. The rotary motion ultimately turns the back wheel with the aid of a chain, propelling the motorcycle forwards. The straight twin engine shown below, has two pistons (a two cylinder engine) and often power motorcycles.
 
 
 
 
Each cylinder is a sealed unit. The piston moves up and down inside the cylinder.
 
 
 
 
 
In a four cylinder car engine, half the pistons are moving downwards, at the same time as the other two are moving up. The cylinders moving down provide the power required for the cylinders moving up. This provides a continuous drive to the crankshaft, producing a smooth ride.
The crankshaft shown below has four pistons (four cylinder engine). This type of engine is found normally in cars.
 
 
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