What does it cost to build a competitive LWT motor
Updated: Nov 17, 2019
I've had a lot of questions lately on engine builds. With the increasing interest in the twins cup and the relatively lower running cost in the series it has drawn quite the crowd in the motorcycle racing community. This is great for the sport and the grids with everyone through the grid being able to find someone to grid up and race against in more than a 6 lap sprint environment. I think its awesome.
Where people seem to be floored is when you start looking into building a competitive motor for the grid. I've had 2 phone calls this week asking for a motor and start talking through the expectations and goals of each person. At some point in the conversation you have to start talking about budget. Its the nasty detail.
Once I started discussing price I could tell with one customer we might have an issue aligning expectations of costs, desired results and reliability. I'll be the first to tell you LWT racing is far cheaper than most classes, but it doesn't mean you cant sink in huge amounts of money into a LWT motor, or that building a competitive motor package is by any stretch cheap.
Like building any motor nothing is overly expensive in isolation, but it all adds up. Its all nickel and dime but it turns into real money, and pretty quick. Just like build a race bike in general, right?
So what does it cost to build a LWT motor? Totally depends. This is why there is a contact form on the website. Running costs on a motor can also depend a lot on the owner and how they ride the bike. Some riders are going to get a season or more out of a motor while others less before needing to do a refresh. Two answer the original question however is a good guess is between $3,500 and $8,000, depending on what you start with and overall goals of the build. Some of the twins racers in the MotoAmerica series have over $9,000 in each motor which seems to throw the idea of this being a budget class out the window.
On the newest SV test motor we built that is currently in the #180 bike we ordered $4000 just in cams to swap on the dyno and check results from different the profiles. I'm just saying there is a lot of variables that go into the question. It would be further expensive if I didn't have a dyno and had to rent time by the hour when testing something. But that ultimately is what your a shop paying for isn't it (?) the hours of testing of different part configurations?
If this is something you have more interest to discuss I'd be happy to have a conversation. But don't be shocked when you're staring a build not far off the cost of the original cost of the cheap commuter bike you started the build with.