Saturday, January 04, 2020
Even though some Subaru models such as the early Outback have a die-hard fanbase who is obsessed with the Boxer engines, it's far from being as perfect as it seemed to be. I must confess I have actually prefered the old-school Volkswagen air-cooled Boxer for a long time, which by the way can have its displacement increased with some performance kits allowing it to get figures similar to the EJ-series Subaru engines. Another kinda controversial option that I would consider to replace a stock EJ-series into a Subaru would be some V-Twin engine such as the ones traditionally fitted into custom/cruiser motorcycles. Among the reasons that would lead me to consider such option, at least 5 can be listed.
1 - fewer parts: since it would have half the amount of cylinders, depending on engine model it will lead to have around half the amount of moving parts, occasionally less than half considering most are either OHV or SOHC while the EJ-series engine had resorted to a DOHC valvetrain for most of its versions.
2 - availability of different displacements allowing enough power and torque: even though it may seem more likely to become underpowered with most of the stock motorcycle engines, there are some within the 1800cc displacement range which would already have enough power, not to mention all the aftermarket parts and even some entire engines usually based on older Harley-Davidson designs even surpassing the 2000cc range.
3 - setting the engine back: this would allow some improvement to the weight bias, since the Boxer only allows a longitudinal fitment ahead of the transmission.
4 - servicing eventually becoming easier: even though it may not be the case for every V-Twin out there, the access for some components such as spark plugs in the EJ-series is kinda hard.
5 - just for the experience: sometimes it's tempting to try some different engine configurations just for the sake of it...