Who invented the internal combustion engine?

March 1, 2020

A construction crew works on a

Dan seems to be talking about cars, the writer about motorcycles. In a motor cycle "just 8000 rpm" might be a likely output but in a car it would be a screamer. On the other had an 1800 cc, 262 hp engine would seem quite lovely in an automobile but a 1800 cc, 262 hp bike a bit of an overkill regardless of how smooth running the motor might be.

Tom Benson

Yeah, despite some of the crazy hp bikes coming out lately. The engine is interesting though, the port design power improvements are impressive. The gearbox possibilities with the engines intrinsic 2 output shafts get interesting as well.


the idea of duel crankshafts is not new, it was done in the 1940's I remember reading about a car built with 2 4cylinder engines mounted horizontally opposed to form a flat 8 due to the design, it was used in a hill climb vehicle I believe there was a square 4 built by a motor cycle company

Gavin Roe

'The fact is that there are global and US oil and gas fields available which should last for many, many decades' Indeed, but I would suggest it should be used for more important purposes than powering transportation.

Brendan Dunphy

"I’m not anti-electric automobiles, " says 84 year-old Gurney. "The fact is that there are global and US oil and gas fields available which should last for many, many decades

… provided we totally ignore minor issues such as EROI or CAPEX. Peak oil is already here: The very fact that we had to move to non-conventional oil starting in the 70's is a symptom.

Actually, there will still be oil in the ground in thousands of years. We'll just have given up on oil a long time before that.

Freyr Gunnar

Geared crank connections are sloppy and inefficient, Phil Erving's 76° parallel twin offset crank are relatively expensive to make, compared to a 180°, but are compact and effective.

Jon Catling

I hope he succeeds. Thing is, an electric motor is so much less complicated in comparison. Maybe this would lend itself to a gas/electric hybrid bike.


I hope the day will come soon, when the last fool will recognise that it's time to abandon the combustion engine completely.

Martin Leitner

OK, I really like the idea of venturi technology being used to make combustion more efficient. That could work with other engine designs as well, one presumes. Its a hell of a lot better than the complicated and slow to spool-up turbo-charger and, I would guess, less expensive than the super-charger. 260 peak HP is a nice step up from todays 190hp bikes cause there is nothing worse than pretending you have 190HP on tap only to find out that 140-150 was the usable limit. If the design is sufficiently compact, it could be shoehorned into a sport bike...right?


Another article, another group of naysayers.

Good for you Mr. Gurney. Thing is, these people commenting do not even know who you are, and what you have done. People on the internet are in greatest majority going to post a negative comment, it is how people work. Good thing people pay no attention to all of the complainers and move projects forward all the same!


Dan is one of the greats, and I remember the Gurney Weslake heads putting over 500 hundred horse power into a small block Ford. I am more impressed with his head design then the cancelling balance issue. The pistons are still traveling in a vertical motion, and the extra weight makes it suspect to a good idea but not much if any improvement.



The engine hasn't been built, and I suspect the high horsepower output will be elusive with air filters and passageways warping the pure math.

I also look at those large gears and recall the design nightmares of the Vincent big end bearings, where the oil would flash into vapor from the massive shear involved.

BMW boxer twins are likely as far as this particular aspect of design inherent balance can be carried. The Ariel Square Four was an abomination, but liquid cooling might have helped those hapless rear cylinders.

Ormond Otvos

A German company called Neander currently produces a motorcycle which uses a duel crankshaft engine. Their engine is better than the one being reported on in many ways but mostly because each connecting rod pair drives a single piston thus eliminating piston side forces. You can check their motor out on their website.


Dan Gurney has a long history in racing. What's he's designed here is a super high revving racing engine. Its peak horsepower is too far above the peak torque RPM.

In an internal combustion engine without fancy trickery like variable valve timing, variable displacement etc. the peak torque will always be close to 5250 RPM.


I would have thought all the possible intake and port possibilities would have been tried and tested well before now. Power is derived from cramming as much fuela dn air into the combustion chamber as possible. I don';t see how the dramatic increase in power occurs with a fairly simple port change.

Oh, and Jon, that would be Phil Irving, not Erving. A master engineer if ever there was one.

Martin Hone

Second last line of the article "it still sounds too good to be true" - says it all. In this case yes - it is too good to be true.

Tony Morris

My Kawasaki 250 twin-cylinder road bike in the 1980s had the exact same counter-rotating crankshaft arrangement as per the Gurney. It wasn't just a Kawasaki race bike that had this configuration.

T N Args
Source: www.gizmag.com
Secret Life of the Internal Combustion Engine - GeekDad
Secret Life of the Internal Combustion Engine - GeekDad
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