What Is the Smallest 4 Cylinder Motorcycle banner What Is the Smallest 4 Cylinder Motorcycle banner

People always talk about how 4-cylinder motorcycles got that balance between power and smoothness. But What about the smallest 4-cylinder motorcycle? Sure, they don’t got that brute force of the bigger ones, but they make up for it by being nimble and not guzzling gas. Let’s take a peek into “What Is the Smallest 4-Cylinder Motorcycle?”, looking at models they used to make and what you can buy now. Come along for the ride as we fire up these little babies and check out why theyre still pretty rad despite their size.

Overview of 4-Cylinder Motorcycles

Four-cylinder motorcycles got a rep for being stable and packing some punch.  For smaller engines, these bikes mix up performance and not guzzling gas nicely.  From that new  Honda CBR 250R R to like the old Moto Guzzi 254, making little 4 cylinder engines shows how design and engineering can come together.  These kinds of bikes are a small but important slice of the motorcycle world.

Exploration of Smaller Engine Sizes

4-cylinder engines that are like, pretty small, usually between 250cc and 400cc, have this cool unique thing going on for motorcycles. The tiny engines give this mix of good and tricky stuff – they gotta balance being light but also revving high. Their little size lets you ride a motorcycle that’s quick and doesn’t waste gas without losing too much power. It’s a tricky balancing act that needs really clever design and engineering. More and more motorcycles are coming out that are nimble but still a rush to ride because of what you can do with smaller engines and it just shows how you can make little engines that are still a blast.

What Is the Smallest 4-Cylinder Motorcycle?

Moto Guzzi 254 – The Smallest Historic 4-Cylinder Motorcycle

The Moto Guzzi 254 is a pretty cool old bike that was made in Italy. It’s got the smallest 4 cylinder engine ever put in a motorcycle back when it was built. The engine is only 231cc but it can rev all the way up to 18,500 rpm! That’s crazy for such a little motor.

What Is the Smallest 4 Cylinder Motorcycle Moto Guzzi 254 What Is the Smallest 4 Cylinder Motorcycle Moto Guzzi 254

The bike is really lightweight too. It’s got plastic fairings and the gas tank only holds 8. 5 liters so its super easy to flick around and the redline and power output seem nuts for the size of the motor. I guess the engineers were trying to take advantage of some tax break in Italy for bikes under 250cc.

It looks awesome too with the open engine and everything. Overall the 254 was way ahead of its time with the power, lightweight design, and innovation. Too bad they didn’t make it for very long probably didn’t sell enough of them. But it’s still remembered today for having the smallest 4 cylinder engine of any production bike. Just a cool piece of history that shows what you can do when you push technology to the limit.

It looks awesome too with the open engine and everything. Overall the 254 was way ahead of its time with the power, lightweight design, and innovation. Too bad they didn’t make it for very long probably didn’t sell enough of them. But it’s still remembered today for having the smallest 4 cylinder engine of any production bike. Just a cool piece of history that shows what you can do when you push technology to the limit.


1977 – 81


Four stroke, transverse four cylinder, OHV, 2 valve per cylinder


231 cc / 14.1 cu-in

Bore x Stroke

44 x 38 mm

Cooling System

Air cooled

Compression Ratio



4x 18mm Dell’Orto VHB carbs

Max Power

27.8 hp / 19.7 kW @ 10500 rpm


5 Speed

Final Drive


Front Suspension

Telescopic hydraulic forks

Rear Suspension

Swinging fork and shock absorbers

Front Brakes

Single disc

Rear Brakes


Front Tyre

2.75 -18

Rear Tyre

3.00 -18


1270 mm

Dry Weight

126.5 kg / 275.6 lbs

Fuel Capacity

8.5 Litres / 2.2 US gal


Honda CBR 250R R – The Smallest Currently Produced 4-Cylinder Motorcycle


What Is the Smallest 4 Cylinder Motorcycle banner What Is the Smallest 4 Cylinder Motorcycle banner

The Honda CBR 250R R is a really unique bike in the motorcycle world. It’s the smallest 4-cylinder bike anybody makes today. Honda wanted to show they could make a tiny engine with 4 cylinders that still runs great.

Even though it only has a 250cc engine, the CBR 250R R is designed to be a total thrill ride. The engine revs up to 19,000 rpm which is crazy fast for how small it is. So you get awesome power even though the engine itself is tiny compared to other bikes and

the look of the CBR 250R R is really sleek and modern too. Honda focused a lot on making it aerodynamic and efficient. Since its so lightweight, it handles incredibly and is super nimble and responsive which riders love.

If you compare it to an old bike like the Moto Guzzi 254 the Honda is a way more modern take on a small 4-cylinder motorcycle. The Moto Guzzi was all about being lightweight and unique looking but the Honda focuses more on performance and using the newest tech.


ProductionNovember 2016 – present
AssemblyJapan: Ōzu, Kumamoto; Indonesia: Karawang, West Java
ClassSport bike
Engine249.7 cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve DOHC parallel-twin
Bore / Stroke62.0 mm × 41.4 mm
Compression Ratio2017–2020: 11.5:1; 2020–present: 12.1:1
Top Speed179 km/h (111 mph)
Power2020–present: 30 kW (40.2 hp) @ 13,000 rpm
Torque2020–present: 25 N⋅m (18 lbf⋅ft) @ 11,000 rpm
Transmission6-speed constant mesh, chain final drive
Frame TypeSteel truss frame
SuspensionFront: Inverted 37 mm fork; Rear: Aluminium swingarm
BrakesFront: 2-piston caliper, 310 mm disc; Rear: 240 mm disc
TiresFront: 110/70–17; Rear: 140/70–17
DimensionsL: 2,060 mm; W: 724 mm; H: 1,098 mm
Seat Height790 mm (31.1 in)
Weight165 kg (364 lb) non-ABS; 168 kg (370 lb) ABS
Fuel Capacity14.5 L (3.8 US gal)


Comparison Between Historic and Current Models


The old Moto Guzzi 254 versus the new Honda CBR 250R R shows how much bikes have changed. The Moto Guzzi was a pioneer back in the day with its teeny 231cc engine and plastic body. It was a big deal at the time but they don’t make it anymore.

Meanwhile, the Honda has all this new technology under the hood and its 249. 7cc engine is liquid-cooled and the bike just looks futuristic. The Moto Guzzi was basic but it worked. The Honda is like a spaceship with its crazy engineering. It really shows how much more advanced and powerful motorcycles have become. Going from the Moto Guzzi to the Honda is like going from an old flip phone to the latest iPhone. The motorcycle industry keeps innovating and these two bikes make that really clear.

Other smallest 4-Cylinder Models

Honda CB 1

The Honda CB 1′s got this weird name that sticks out. At first it was just for Japan, but then they brought it over to the US and Canada too. It’s a tiny thing but the 400cc engine packs a punch. Just right if you want something quick and easy to whip around, not one of those big ole’ bikes. I kinda dig the look too – very sleek and futuristic vibes with the body styling. Overall a pretty rad little package from Honda for people wanting a lighter ride that can still go.


Also calledCB400F, NC27
ClassNaked bike
Engine399 cc liquid-cooled DOHC four valves/cyl. inline-four
Bore / Stroke55.0 mm × 42.0 mm
Compression Ratio11.3:1
Top Speed190 km/h (118 mph)
Power55.2 bhp @ 10,000 rpm
Torque29 lb⋅ft @ 9,500 rpm
Transmission6-speed chain drive manual
Weight179 kg (dry), 187 kg (wet)
Fuel Capacity3.3 US gal (12 L)


Kawasaki GPZ 400R

The Kawasaki GPZ 400R is a small but powerful sports bike from Kawasaki’s famous Ninja family. As one of Kawasaki’s tiniest Ninjas, the GPZ 400R, also called the ZX 400, is built for performance not comfort and this bike screams when you rev it up, with a high-strung engine that wants you to push it hard through the corners. The styling on the GPZ 400R is totally sleek and focused on speed, showing off Kawasaki’s commitment to being top dog in the sports bike arena. Riders who dont mind trading some comfort for an exciting, nimble machine will find lots to love in the GPZ 400R and its race-ready attitude. Kawasaki has always tried to make its Ninja bikes special and the tiny GPZ 400R proves they can pack tons of punch in a small package.


Engine TypeWater-cooled 4-stroke, 4-cylinders, inline
Displacement398 cm³ (24.28 cu in)
Power & Torque59.0 hp (43.4 kW) / 12000 rpm, 35.0 Nm / 10500 rpm
Top Speed205 km/h (127 mph)
Transmission6-speed, chain drive
Weight176 kg – 181 kg (dry), depending on model
Dimensions (L x W x H)2095 mm x 675 mm x 1180 mm
Fuel Capacity18.0 l / 4.8 US gal


Suzuki GSR 400

The Suzuki GSR 400 is a pretty versatile motorcycle, just like the GSR 600 but with a smaller engine. It’s got a 400cc engine which gives you enough power but still gets good gas mileage. Suzuki mainly sells this bike in Japan and a couple other countries, but it shows what their engineers can do and the GSR 400 is comfy and you can count on it to keep running well. The engine isn’t too big or too small, it’s sort of a nice balance. I think Suzuki did a nice job designing this bike even though you dont see it too often outside of Japan. It’s a good example of their engineering skills and making bikes that are practical but still fun to ride around.


Engine TypeWater-cooled 4-stroke, 4-cylinders in-line
Displacement398 cm³ (24.3 cu-in)
Power & Torque61.0 hp (45.0 kW) / 12000 rpm, 39.0 Nm / 10000 rpm (2009-2017)
Top Speed190 km/h (118 mph)
Transmission6-speed constant mesh, chain drive
Weight215 kg / 474 lbs (wet) – GSR400 ABS
Dimensions (L x W x H)2090 mm x 795 mm x 1075 mm
Fuel Capacity16.0 l / 4.22 US gal


Kawasaki Ninja ZX-R 250

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-R 250 is pretty well-known for having some advanced engineering and design features. Even though its only got a 250cc engine, it can still almost keep up with 400cc bikes in terms of speed. The higher rev range and power output compared to the engine size is definitely impressive and with its slick looks and unique features, the ZX-R 250 has become a popular choice for riders who want something compact and manageable, but still pretty powerful.

Engine TypeLiquid-cooled 4-stroke, 4-cylinders, inline
Displacement249 cm³ (15.19 cu in)
Power & Torque45.0 hp (33.1 kW) / 16000 rpm, 24.0 Nm / 11500 rpm (ZX250C1-C2, ZX250-D1)
Top Speed160 km/h (99 mph)
Transmission6-speed, chain drive
Weight141 kg / 311 lbs (dry) – ZX250C-D
Dimensions (L x W x H)2000 mm x 685 mm x 1090 mm (ZX250C-D)
Fuel Capacity15.0 l / 3.9 US gal – ZX250C-D


Suzuki GSF 250 Bandit

The Suzuki GSF 250 Bandit is a special little bike. It’s part of the Bandit series but it’s smaller at just 250cc. This mini Bandit stands out for its cool technology. It has liquid cooling and variable intake timing controlled by a solenoid and the littlest Bandit mixes great performance with good gas mileage. All in a small package. The tiny Bandit shows Suzuki’s clever engineering. It gives riders a fun compact motorcycle with some advanced features.


Production1989-1997 (2000)
Engine TypeWater-cooled, 4-stroke, 4-cylinders in-line
Displacement248 cm³ (15.13 cu in)
Power & Torque45.0 hp (33.1 kW) / 14500 rpm (1989-1992), 40.0 hp (29.4 kW) / 13500 rpm (1993-2000); 25.0 Nm / 10500 rpm (1989-1992), 26.0 Nm / 10000 rpm (1993-2000)
Top Speed180 km/h (112 mph)
Transmission6-speed, chain drive
Weight146 kg / 321 lbs (dry) – GJ77A
Dimensions (L x W x H)2050 mm x 700 mm x 1060 mm (GJ74A)
Fuel Capacity14.0 l / 3.7 US gal – GJ74A, 15.0 l / 4.0 US gal – GJ77A

Honda CB250 F Hornet

The Honda CB250F Hornet is a pretty sweet sports bike. It’s got this high-revving engine that lets it go all the way up to 16,000 rpm, which is just crazy fast. The straight cut gears in the engine give it a unique sound too. With that kind of power, this bike can hit speeds up to 190 km/h no problem. It’s built to be fast and nimble so you can really push it around tight corners. The Hornet brings a nice dose of excitement to the 250cc class and it’s not your typical beginner bike it wants to be ridden hard. If youre looking for a small displacement rocket, the Honda CB250F Hornet is a pretty rad choice.

Engine TypeWater-cooled 4-stroke, 4 cylinders in line
Displacement249 cm³ (15.19 cu in)
Power & Torque40 hp (29.4 kW) / 13000 rpm, 23.53 Nm / 11000 rpm
Top Speed180 km/h (112 mph)
Transmission6-speed constant mesh, chain drive
Weight149 kg / 328 lbs (dry), 166 kg / 366 lbs (wet)
Dimensions (L x W x H)2045 mm x 740 mm x 1055 mm
Fuel Capacity16 l / 4.2 US gal

Yamaha FZR 250

The old Yamaha FZR 250 was part of the V gamma Superbike series, with models going from 250cc to 1000cc. The 250cc one had Mikuni carburetors to give it strong power and let it rev real high – up to 18,500 rpm! Yamaha was really focused on making their bikes have awesome performance back then. The FZR 250 shows their engineering was top-notch and they wanted to make bikes that were all about going fast.


Dimensions (L x W x H)2010-1990 mm x 680-675 mm x 1120 mm
Seat Height / Dry Weight750-735 mm / 140-145 kg
Engine Type / DisplacementWater-cooled 4-stroke, 4-cylinders in-line / 249 cm³
Max. Power / Max. Torque45-40 hp / 24.5 Nm (11500-12000 rpm)
Front Brake / Rear BrakeSingle disc (1986-1988), Double disc (1989-1994) / Single disc, 220 mm
Fuel Capacity12.0-14.0 l


Suzuki GSXR 250

The old Suzuki GSXR 250 was a rad little bike from the eighties. It was one of the first sportbikes to have liquid cooling and double discs on the front brakes, which was so futuristic back then and with its tiny 250cc motor, you wouldn’t think it could scoot, but this thing rips for a small cc bike. Suzuki didn’t cut corners when they built it just because it had a smaller engine. The GSXR 250 has that classic sportbike look that shows Suzuki was into trying new stuff and thinking outside the box. It was years ahead of other bikes at the time. That’s why its such a beloved classic now.


Dimensions (L x W)2000-2020 mm x 700-695 mm
Seat Height / Dry Weight730 mm / 138-143 kg
Engine Type / DisplacementWater-cooled 4-stroke, 4-cylinders in-line / 248 cm³
Max. Power / Max. Torque45.0 hp (33.1 kW) / 24.0-25.0 Nm
Front Brake / Rear BrakeDouble disc, 290-300 mm / Single disc, 240 mm
Fuel Capacity13.0-14.0 l

Advantages and Disadvantages of Smaller 4-Cylinder Motorcycles

Four cylinder motorcycles that are smaller got some good things going for them, but also some drawbacks depending on what you’re looking for. On the plus side, usually they have a good mix of power and weight so they handle real nice and get awesome gas mileage. Since the engine’s so compact, the bike overall can be nice and light making it real nimble and quick on its feet.

But that little engine means you’re not gonna get tons of power or super fast speeds, so maybe not the best if you wanna go real fast on the highway or get into serious racing. Also cramming four cylinders into such a small space can make things kinda complicated maintenance-wise. So basically, if you want a motorcycle thats practical but still pretty zippy, a smaller four cylinder could be great. but if speed and power are more your thing you’ll probably want something bigger. and It all comes down to what kinda riding you wanna do.


The smallest 4-cylinder motorcycles are really interesting when you think about motorcycle engineering and design. Like, the old Moto Guzzi 254 and the new Honda CBR 250R R show how you have to balance power and weight on a bike and they give you a cool riding feel without losing too much speed.

The Moto Guzzi 254 was famous back in the day for being super lightweight but still fast. And the Honda CBR 250R R shows that small 4-cylinder engines are still popular now. These bikes kinda represent always trying to innovate but also loving motorcycle culture. They inspire riders and fans because they pack a lot into a little engine.

So in summary, tiny 4-cylinder bikes are a niche thing but cool to see how much performance engineers can get out of small motors. The Moto Guzzi 254 started it and the Honda keeps it going today. They show commitment to new ideas but respect for history too. Riders love what they can do.