Desmodromic KZ engine: Black Rock LKE

Anyone familiar with this engine?

The unconventional gearbox is interesting. Note the shift shaft under the crank instead of behind it. Engine is really compact front to rear.


Is it taller than usual?

I was thinking the same.

I remember desmodronic valves in Mercedes GP cars and GP bikes… But those were both four strokes.
Any idea what the desmodronic element is here?

Here’s an excerpt from tKart.

It’s designed by Roland Holzner, so that’s cool. Heres another one he’s designed:

Looks like XRM sell these in the US

/edit desmodronic relates to the gearbox, although I’m still not sure what that means… maybe poor translation…

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Is it just me or isnt this just a sexy looking thing? All the engines I have seen have been bare metal or 4 stroke jobbies where its like the engine bay of an 5 series, hidden. The raised engine builder logo instead of the sticker kit is pretty boss. It matches the spark plug cover.

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Yep, it’s slick looking. TM seems to get the lion’s share of the KZ market, & they make good engines (or else I wouldn’t have 2 of them). Anyways, I’m curios about the performance & service interval requirements. It’s a different beast with that GB. The latest TM R1 looks about as compact with a conventional GB.

Hello Just thought I would reply about the DESMODROMIC Gearbox being that we are the importer for LKE engines. It’s a slick set up, the pin is no longer an integral part of the fork but it instead rolls along a desmo track which is placed in the lower area of the engine , which then provides excellent lubrication, faster gear insertion and shorter shifts. Being designed this way it increases mechanical strength. If you would like more information about the engine don’t hesitate to contact us we would be happy to answer any other questions you may have .

Have you raced it against TMs, Roks, and SSEs, and what were the results? Where are you based out of?

We have done testing with these engines and had favorable results against these other brands. We are based out of Arizona

Do you have any hard numbers or data on comparative gear shifting times?

We’ve done standard testing at the moment to see where we would fair with lap times so far we have been impressed with the performance of the engine .

I presume it’s got otherwise similar output & commensurate maintenance/rebuild cycles to those offerings from TM, ROK, Maxter, IAME, etc?

Did you dyno this engine and did you dyno TM ?
If so,what was the difference?

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you are correct the maintenance /rebuild cycles are similar to the other brand of engines

No we haven’t but the Black Rock has been dynoed and it pulls 49hp out of the box

If maintenance and performance is similar to the other options what would you say the value prop of this motor is versus the competition?

Thanks for the answer,but you said you tested the engine…is it a high rpm engine or is it also strong in the lower rpm’s.
I know that the problem was with the Modena’s lot of rpm’s but lack of power in the lower part,I mean around 9000 rpm’s.

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The maintenance and rebuild cycles are the same but where you gain is the grearbox by having the desmo track where it produces less friction and smoother shift and faster insertion in-turn allowing the gearbox to run at much cooler rate which allows the gearbox to maintain optimal performance

The engine is well balanced between high and low rpms, so you would have no problem getting the performance needed for get up and go. That is one thing we noticed and where impressed with when testing .

Would love to know more about how it stacks up directly against the TM and Modena products. I recall Brian Fisher and Josh Lane spending some time developing an LKE back in 2017 and couldn’t quite get it to the same level as the two aforementioned makes. The gearbox technology sounds cool, but faster shifting doesn’t mean more HP.