The Lamborghini Countach is a mid-engined, V12 sports car produced by Italian car manufacturer Lamborghini from 1974 to 1990. Its design pioneered and popularized the wedge-shaped, sharply angled look popular in many sports cars. It popularized the cab forward concept, which pushes the passenger compartment forward to accommodate a larger rear-mounted engine. In 2004, American car magazine Sports Car International named the car number three on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s, and listed it number ten on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s. The word countach is an exclamation of astonishment in the local dialect, the prototype was introduced to the world at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. Most previous and subsequent Lamborghini car names were associated with bulls, the Countach was styled by Marcello Gandini of the Bertone design studio, the same designer and studio that designed the Miura. Gandini was a young, inexperienced designer — not very experienced in the practical, ergonomic aspects of automobile design, Gandini again produced another striking design.
The Countach shape was wide and low, but not very long and its angular and wedge-shaped body was made almost entirely of flat, trapezoidal panels. The doors, most often credited as a Lamborghini trademark, were a design feature for the Countach. They first appeared on the Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo concept car in 1968, the doors have come to be known as scissor doors, hinged at the front with horizontal hinges, so that they lifted up and tilted forwards. The main reason is the cars tubular spaceframe chassis results in very high and it was partly for style, and partly because the width of the car made conventional doors impossible to use in even slightly confined space. Care needed to be taken, though, in opening the doors with a low roof overhead, the pure style of the prototype was progressively altered by the evolution of the car to improve its performance, handling and ability to meet mandated requirements. This began with the first production model, which included several vents that Lamborghini found necessary to cool the engine adequately and these included the iconic NACA duct on the doors and rear fenders.
The car design changes ended with a large engine vent directly behind the driver, additions—including fender flares, carburetor covers, and bumpers—progressively changed the cars aesthetic values. The Countachs styling and visual impression made it an icon of design to almost everyone except automotive engineers. The different impressions left by the various Lamborghini models have generated numerous debates, the rear wheels were driven by a traditional Lamborghini V12 engine mounted longitudinally with a mid-engined configuration. This contrasted with the Miura with its centrally mounted, transversely-installed engine, although originally planned as a 5 L powerplant, the first production cars used the Lamborghini Miuras 4-liter engine. Later advances increased the displacement to 4754 cc and 5167 cc with four valves per cylinder, all Lamborghini Countaches were equipped with six Weber carburetors until the arrival of the 5000QV model, at which time the car became available in America, and used Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France and Austria.
Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides.
The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
A V8 engine is an eight-cylinder V configuration engine with the cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two sets of four, with all eight pistons driving a common crankshaft. Most banks are set at an angle to each other, some at a narrower angle, with 45°, 60°. In its simplest form, the V8 is basically two parallel inline-four engines sharing a common crankshaft, since the 1920s, most V8s have used the somewhat more complex crossplane crankshaft with heavy counterweights to eliminate the vibrations. This results in an engine that is smoother than a V6, most racing V8s continue to use the single plane crankshaft because it allows faster acceleration and more efficient exhaust system designs. In 1902, Léon Levavasseur took out a patent on a light and he called it the Antoinette after the young daughter of his financial backer. From 1904 he installed this engine in a number of competition speedboats, the aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont saw one of these boats in Côte dAzur and decided to try it on his 14-bis aircraft.
Its early 24 hp at 1400 rpm version with only 55 kg of weight was interesting, Santos-Dumont ordered a larger and more powerful version from Levavasseur. He changed its dimensions from the original 80 mm stroke and 80 mm bore to 105 mm stroke and 110 mm bore, obtaining 50 hp with 86 kg of weight and its power-to-weight ratio was not surpassed for 25 years. Levavasseur eventually produced its own line of V8 equipped aircraft, named Antoinette I to VIII, hubert Latham piloted the V8 powered Antoinette IV and Antoinette VII in July 1909 on two failed attempts to cross the English Channel. However, in 1910, Latham used the VII with the engine to become the first in the world to reach an altitude of 3600 feet. Voisin constructed pusher biplanes with Antoinette engines, notably the one first flown successfully by Henry Farman in 1908, the V8 engine configuration became popular in France from 1904 onward, and was used in a number of aircraft engines introduced by Renault, and Buchet among others.
Some of these found their way into automobiles in small quantities. In 1905, Darracq built a car to beat the world speed record. They came up with two racing car built on a common crankcase and camshaft. The result was monstrous engine with a displacement of 1,551 cu in, victor Hemery fixed that record on 30 December 1905 with a speed of 109.65 mph. Rolls-Royce built a 3,535 cc V8 car from 1905 to 1906, in 1907 The Hewitt Motor Company built a large 5 passenger Touring Car. It was equipped with a hefty V8 engine that developed 50/60 horsepower and had a bore of 4 inches, the Hewitt was the first American Automobile to be equipped with a V8 engine. De Dion-Bouton introduced a 7,773 cc automobile V8 in 1910 and it was produced only in small quantities, but inspired a number of manufacturers to follow suit
The Ferrari Testarossa is a 12-cylinder mid-engine sports car manufactured by Ferrari, which went into production in 1984 as the successor to the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. Almost 10,000 Testarossas,512 TRs, and F512 Ms were produced, making it one of the most-produced Ferrari models, despite its high price, in 1995, the F512 M retailed for $220,000. The Testarossa is a two-door coupé that premiered at the 1984 Paris Auto Show, all versions of the Testarossa had the power fed through the wheels from a rear-mounted, five-speed manual transmission. The F512 M was introduced at the 1994 Paris Auto Show, the F512 M was Ferraris last mid-engine 12-cylinder car, apart from the limited edition F50, Enzo and LaFerrari, featuring the companys last flat engine. The Testarossa was replaced in 1996 by the front-engined 550 Maranello coupé, the Testarossa name paid homage to the famed World Sportscar Champion 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sports racing car. Testa Rossa, which means red head in Italian, refers to the red-painted cam covers sported by both cars 12-cylinder engines.
The Testarossa can trace its roots back to the faults of the 1981 512i BB, to fix these problems Ferrari and Pininfarina designed the Testarossa to be larger than its predecessor, the Berlinetta Boxer. For instance, at 1,976 millimetres wide the Testarossa was half a foot wider than the Boxer. This resulted in an increased wheelbase that stretched about 64 mm to 2,550 mm which was used to accommodate luggage in a storage space under the front forward-opening hood. The increase in length created extra space behind the seats in the cabin. Headroom was increased with a half an inch taller than the Boxer. The design team at Pininfarina consisted of Ian Cameron, Guido Campoli, Diego Ottina, with little surprise, they were led by design chief Leonardo Fioravanti, the designer of many contemporary Ferraris. The design was originated by Nicosia, but the guidance of Fioravanti was equally important, being a trained aerodynamist, Fioravanti applied his know-how to set the aerodynamics layout of the car.
As a result, the Testarossa did not need a rear spoiler like Lamborghinis Countach yet produced zero lift at its rear axle, the aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.36 was significantly better than the Lamborghinis 0.42. Pininfarinas body was a departure from the curvaceous boxer—one which caused some controversy, the side strakes sometimes referred to as cheese graters or egg slicers, that spanned from the doors to the rear fenders were needed for rules in several countries outlawing large openings on cars. The Testarossa had twin radiators in the back with the engine instead of a single radiator up-front, in conjunction the strakes provided cool air to the rear-mounted side radiators, thus keeping the engine from overheating. The strakes made the Testarossa wider at the rear than in the front, thus increasing stability, One last unique addition to the new design was a single high mounted rear view mirror on the drivers side. On US based cars, the mirror was lowered to a more normal placement in 1987, like its predecessor, the Testarossa used double wishbone front and rear suspension systems
The Lamborghini Miura is a sports car produced by Italian automaker Lamborghini between 1966 and 1973. The car pioneered the mid-engined two-seat layout, the standard for high-performance sports, when released, it was the fastest production road car made. The Miuras rolling chassis was presented at the 1965 Turin auto show, and it received stellar receptions from showgoers and the motoring press alike, each impressed by Marcello Gandinis sleek styling and the cars revolutionary mid-engine design. Lamborghinis flagship, the Miura received periodic updates and remained in production until 1973, a year the extreme Countach entered the companys lineup, amid tumultuous financial times for the company. During 1965, Lamborghinis three top engineers, Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani and Bob Wallace put their own time into developing a car known as the P400. The engineers envisioned a road car with racing pedigree, one which could win on the track, the three men worked on its design at night, hoping to convince company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini such a vehicle would neither be too expensive nor distract from the companys focus.
When finally brought aboard, Lamborghini gave his engineers a free hand in the belief the P400 was a valuable marketing tool. The car featured a transversely-mounted mid-engine layout, a departure from previous Lamborghini cars, the V12 was unusual in that it was effectively merged with the transmission and differential, reflecting a lack of space in the tightly-wrapped design. The rolling chassis was displayed at the Turin Salon in 1965, impressed showgoers placed orders for the car despite the lack of a body to go over the chassis. Bertone was placed in charge of styling the prototype, which was finished just days before its debut at the 1966 Geneva motor show, none of the engineers had found time to check if the engine fit inside its compartment. Committed to showing the car, they decided to fill the bay with ballast and keep the hood locked throughout the show. Sales head Sgarzi was forced to turn away members of the press who wanted to see the P400s power plant. Despite this setback, the car was the highlight of the show, the favourable reaction at Geneva meant the P400 was to go into production by the following year.
The name Miura, after the famous Spanish fighting bull breeder, was chosen, the car gained the worldwide attention of automotive enthusiasts when it was chosen for the opening sequence of the original 1969 version of The Italian Job. In press interviews of the time Ferruccio Lamborghini was reticent about his birth date. The earliest model of the Miura was known as the P400 and it was powered by a version of the 3.9 L Lamborghini V12 engine used in the 400GT at the time. The engine was mounted transversely and produced 350 PS, exactly 275 P400 were produced between 1966 and 1969 - a success for Lamborghini despite its then-steep price of US$20,000. Taking a cue from the Morris Mini, Lamborghini formed the engine and its shared lubrication continued until the last 96 SVs, when the case was split to allow the correct oils to be used for each element
A spoiler is an automotive aerodynamic device whose intended design function is to spoil unfavorable air movement across a body of a vehicle in motion, usually described as turbulence or drag. Spoilers on the front of a vehicle are often called air dams, spoilers are often fitted to race and high-performance sports cars, although they have become common on passenger vehicles as well. Some spoilers are added to cars primarily for styling purposes and have either little aerodynamic benefit or even make the aerodynamics worse, the term spoiler is often mistakenly used interchangeably with wing. An automotive wing is a device whose intended design is to generate downforce as air passes around it, as such, rather than decreasing drag, automotive wings actually increase drag. Since spoiler is a term describing an application, the operation of a spoiler varies depending on the effect its trying to spoil. Most common spoiler functions include disrupting some type of airflow passing over, a common spoiler diffuses air by increasing amounts of turbulence flowing over the shape, spoiling the laminar flow and providing a cushion for the laminar boundary layer.
However, other types of airflow may require the spoiler to operate differently, while a mass is travelling at increasing speeds, the air of the environment affects its movement. Spoilers in racing are used in combination with other features on the body or chassis of cars to change the handling characteristics that are affected by the air of the environment. Often, these devices are designed to be adjustable to suit the needs of racing on a given track or to suit the talents of a particular driver. The goal of many used in passenger vehicles is to reduce drag. Passenger vehicles can be equipped with front and rear spoilers, front spoilers, found beneath the bumper, are mainly used to decrease the amount of air going underneath the vehicle to reduce the drag coefficient and lift. Sports cars are most commonly seen with front and rear spoilers, even though these vehicles typically have a more rigid chassis and a stiffer suspension to aid in high speed maneuverability, a spoiler can still be beneficial.
This is because many vehicles have a steep downward angle going from the rear edge of the roof down to the trunk or tail of the car which may cause air flow separation. The flow of air becomes turbulent and a zone is created, increasing drag. This may reduce drag in certain instances and will generally increase high speed stability due to the rear lift. Due to their association with racing, spoilers are often viewed as sporty by consumers, the spoilers that feature on more upmarket models rarely provide further aerodynamic benefit. Frailness is a disadvantage of plastic, which increases with product age and is caused by the evaporation of volatile phenols. Fiberglass, Used in car parts production due to the low cost of the materials, fiberglass spoilers consist of fiberglass cloth infiltrated with a thermosetting resin, such as epoxy
Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout
In automotive design, an FR, or front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is one where the engine is located at the front of the vehicle and driven wheels are located at the rear. This was the automobile layout for most of the 20th century. Modern designs commonly use the front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout, the first FR car was an 1895 Panhard model, so this layout was known as the Système Panhard in the early years. The layout has the advantage of minimizing mechanical complexity, as it allows the transmission to be placed in-line with the output shaft. In comparison, a vehicle with the engine over the driven wheels eliminates the need for the drive shaft, in order to reduce the relative weight of the drive shaft, the transmission was normally split into two parts, the gearbox and the final drive. The gearbox was produced with its highest gear being 1,1. The final drive, in the axle, would reduce this to the most appropriate speed for the wheels. As power is the product of torque and angular velocity, spinning the shaft faster for any given power reduces the torque, in an era when gasoline was cheap and cars were heavy, the mechanical advantages of the FR drivetrain layout made up for any disadvantage in weight terms.
It remained almost universal among car designs until the 1970s, after the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and the 1979 fuel crises, a majority of American FR vehicles were phased out for the FF layout – this trend would spawn the SUV-van conversion market. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, most American companies set as a priority the eventual removal of rear-wheel drive from their mainstream, chrysler went 100% FF by 1990 and GMs American production went entirely FF by 1997 except the Corvette and Camaro. This configuration is referred to as a transaxle since the transmission. In Europe, front-wheel drive was popularized by small cars like the Mini, Renault 5 and Volkswagen Golf, upscale marques like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar remained mostly independent of this trend, and retained a lineup mostly or entirely made up of FR cars. Japanese mainstream marques such as Toyota were almost exclusively FR until the late 1970s, toyotas first FF vehicle was the Toyota Tercel, with the Corolla and Celica becoming FF while the Camry was designed as an FF from the beginning.
The Supra, Cressida and Century remained FR, luxury division Lexus has a mostly FR lineup. Subarus BRZ is an FR car, currently most cars are FF, including all front-engined economy cars, though FR cars are making a return as an alternative to large sport-utility vehicles. In North America, GM returned to production of FR-based luxury vehicles with the 2003 Cadillac CTS, as of 2012, all but the SRX and XTS are FR-based vehicles. Chevrolet reintroduced the FR-based Camaro in 2009, and the Caprice PPV in 2011, Pontiac had a short run with the FR-based G8 and Pontiac Solstice. A Chevrolet replacement for the G8 called the Chevrolet SS was released in 2013, chrysler and Dodge reintroduced the 300 and Charger on a FR platform
Formula One is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de lAutomobile. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been the form of racing since the inaugural season in 1950. The formula, designated in the name, refers to a set of rules, the F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held worldwide on purpose-built F1 circuits and public roads. The results of each race are evaluated using a system to determine two annual World Championships, one for drivers, one for constructors. The racing drivers are required to be holders of valid Super Licences, the races are required to be held on tracks graded 1, the highest grade a track can receive by the FIA. Most events are held in locations on purpose-built tracks, but there are several events in city centres throughout the world. Formula One cars are the fastest road racing cars in the world. Formula One cars race at speeds of up to approximately 375 km/h with engines currently limited in performance to a maximum of 15,000 RPM, the cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of five g in corners.
The performance of the cars is very dependent on electronics – although traction control and other driving aids have been banned since 2008 – and on aerodynamics, the formula has radically evolved and changed through the history of the sport. F1 had a global television audience of 425 million people during the course of the 2014 season. Grand Prix racing began in 1906 and became the most popular internationally in the second half of the twentieth century. The Formula One Group is the holder of the commercial rights. Its high profile and popularity have created a major merchandising environment, since 2000 the sports spiraling expenditures and the distribution of prize money favoring established top teams have forced complaints from smaller teams and led several teams to bankruptcy. On 23 January 2017 it was confirmed that Liberty Media had completed its $8 billion acquisition of Delta Topco, the Formula One series originated with the European Grand Prix Motor Racing of the 1920s and 1930s.
The formula is a set of rules that all cars must meet. Formula One was a new formula agreed upon after World War II during 1946, the first world championship race was held at Silverstone, United Kingdom in 1950. A championship for constructors followed in 1958, national championships existed in South Africa and the UK in the 1960s and 1970s. Non-championship Formula One events were held for years, but due to the increasing cost of competition
Hidden headlamps first appeared on the Cord 810 in 1936. Each unit had a crank on its side of the dashboard, powered hidden headlamps were pioneered in GMs Buick Y-Job concept car of 1938 and were used briefly on Chrysler Corporations 1942 production DeSoto. The features popularity has waxed and waned over time, hidden headlamps regained popularity in the late 1960s, particularly in the US market where aerodynamic headlamps were not permitted. A relatively large variety of cars incorporated hidden headlamps in the 1970s, 1980s, hidden headlamps are out of favour. US laws now permit aerodynamic headlamps, relative to which hidden headlamps represent added cost, the last time pop-up headlamps appeared on a volume-production car was in 2004 when both the Lotus Esprit and C5 Corvette ended production
He was widely known as il Commendatore or il Drake. In his final years he was referred to as lIngegnere or il Grande Vecchio. Ferrari was born on 18 February 1898 in Modena and his birth certificate had recorded his birth date on 20 February because a heavy snowstorm had prevented his father from reporting the birth at the local registry office. He was the younger of two children to Alfredo and Adalgisa Ferrari, after his elder sibling Alfredo Junior, Alfredo Senior was the son of a grocer from Carpi and started a workshop fabricating metal parts at the family home. Enzo grew up with formal education. At the age of 10 he witnessed Felice Nazzaros win at the 1908 Circuit di Bologna, during World War I he served in the 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment of the Italian Army. His father Alfredo, and his brother, Alfredo Jr. died in 1916 as a result of a widespread Italian flu outbreak. Ferrari became severely sick himself in the 1918 flu pandemic and was discharged from Italian service. Following the familys carpentry business collapse, Ferrari started searching for a job in the car industry and he unsuccessfully volunteered his services to FIAT in Turin, eventually settling for a job as test-driver for C. M. N.
A car manufacturer in Milan, which rebuilt used truck bodies into small passenger cars, on November 23 of the same year, he took part in the Targa Florio but had to retire after his cars fuel tank developed a leak. The prancing horse emblem was created when Italian fighter pilot Francesco Baracca was shot down during World War I, Baracca gave Enzo Ferrari a necklace with the prancing horse on it prior to takeoff. Baracca was tragically shot down and killed, in memory of his death, Enzo Ferrari used the prancing horse to create the emblem that would become the world famous Ferrari shield. However the world first saw this emblem on an Alfa Romeo as Ferrari was still tied up with Alfa Romeo and it was not until 1947 that the shield was first seen on a Ferrari. This was the birth of Ferrari, in 1924 Ferrari won the Coppa Acerbo at Pescara, a success that encouraged Alfa Romeo to offer him a chance to race in much more prestigious competitions. Ferrari himself continued racing until 1932, before he left Alfa Romeo to found Scuderia Ferrari, despite the quality of the Scuderia drivers, the team struggled to compete with Auto Union and Mercedes.
In 1937 Alfa Romeo decided to regain control of its racing division. Unhappy with the arrangement, Ferrari left and founded Auto-Avio Costruzioni, with the outbreak of World War II in 1943, Ferraris factory was forced to undertake war production for Mussolinis fascist government. Following Allied bombing of the factory, Ferrari relocated from Modena to Maranello, at the end of the conflict, Ferrari decided to start making cars bearing his name, and founded Ferrari S. p. A. in 1947
A transverse engine is an engine mounted in a vehicle so that the engines crankshaft axis is perpendicular to the long axis of the vehicle. Many modern front wheel drive vehicles use this engine mounting configuration, the Critchley light car, made by the Daimler Motor Company in 1899, had a transverse engine with belt drive to the rear axle. A1911 front-wheel drive car had an engine with a clutch at each end. The first successful transverse-engine cars were the two-cylinder DKW Front series of cars, after the Second World War, SAAB used the configuration in their first model, the Saab 92, in 1947. The arrangement was used for Borgwards Goliath and Hansa brand cars. However, it was with Alec Issigoniss Mini, introduced by the British Motor Corporation in 1959, Issigonis incorporated the cars gearbox into the engines sump, producing a drivetrain unit narrow enough to install transversely in a car only four feet wide. Coupled to the much greater interior space afforded by the layout this made the Mini a genuine alternative to the small family car.
This design reached its ultimate extent starting with Dante Giacosas elaboration of it for Fiat and he connected the engine to its gearbox by a shaft and set the differential off-center so that it could be connected to the gearbox more easily. The axleshafts from the differential to the wheels therefore differed in length, Giacosas lay-out was first used in the Autobianchi Primula in 1964 and in the wide-selling Fiat 128. With the gearbox mounted separately to the engine cars were by neccesity larger than the Mini. The Giacosa lay-out provided superior refinement, easier repair and was better-suited to adopting five-speed transmissions than the original Issigonis in-sump design, now most small and small/medium-sized cars built throughout the world use this arrangement. The Lamborghini Miura used a transverse, mid-mounted 4 and this has allowed for improved safety in a frontal impact, due to more front to back engine compartment space being created. The result is a front crumple zone. Transverse engines have widely used in buses.
In the United States they were offered in the early 1930s by Twin Coach and they were used in the British Leyland Atlantean and in many transit buses and nearly all modern double decker buses. They have widely used by Scania, MAN, Volvo. Motorcycles with a V-twin engine mounted with its crankshaft mounted in line with the frame, most Ducatis since the 1970s and most Harley-Davidsons, are said to have longitudinal engines. This convention uses the longest horizontal dimension of the engine as its axis instead of the line of the crankshaft, modern Motorcycle Technology, How Every Part of Your Motorcycle Works
Timing belt (camshaft)
In an interference engine the timing belt or chain is critical to preventing the piston from striking the valves. A timing belt is usually a toothed belt -- a drive belt with teeth on the inside surface, a timing chain is a roller chain. Most modern production engines use a timing belt or chain to synchronize crankshaft and camshaft rotation. Timing chains were common on production automobiles through the 1970s and 1980s, when timing belts became the norm, but timing chains have seen a resurgence in recent years. Timing chains are more durable than timing belts – though neither is as durable as direct gear drive – however, timing belts are lighter, less expensive. In the internal combustion engine application the timing belt or chain connects the crankshaft to the camshaft, a four-stroke engine requires that the valves open and close once every other revolution of the crankshaft. It has teeth to turn the camshaft synchronised with the crankshaft, in some engine designs the timing belt may be used to drive other engine components such as the water pump and oil pump.
Gear or chain systems are used to connect the crankshaft to the camshaft at the correct timing. However and shafts constrain the relative location of the crankshaft, even where the crankshaft and camshaft are very close together, as in pushrod engines, most engine designers use a short chain drive rather than a direct gear drive. This is because gear drives suffer from frequent torque reversal as the cam profiles kick back against the drive from the crank, leading to excessive noise, fibre or nylon covered gears, with more resilience, are often used instead of steel gears where direct drive is used. Commercial engines and aircraft engines use steel gears only, as a fibre or nylon coated gear can fail suddenly, a belt or chain allows much more flexibility in the relative locations of the crankshaft and camshafts. Also, timing belts do not require lubrication, which is essential with a chain or gears. A timing belt is an application of a synchronous belt used to transmit rotational power synchronously.
Timing belts are typically covered by metal or polymer timing belt covers which require removal for inspection or replacement, engine manufacturers recommend replacement at specific intervals. Indicators that the chain may need to be replaced include a rattling noise from the front of the engine. When an automotive timing belt is replaced, care must be taken to ensure that the valve, failure to synchronize correctly can lead to problems with valve timing, and this in turn, in extremes, can cause collision between valves and pistons in interference engines. This is not a unique to timing belts since the same issue exists with all other cam/crank timing methods such as gears or chains. Timing belts must be replaced at the recommended distance and/or time periods