Single Spark VS Double Spark Ignition Engine

Published On 20-Dec-2017 04:16am , By Saleh

The spark plug is an essential part of internal combustion gasoline or petrol engine. Considering the vehicle type and purpose this type of engine may carry single to multiple cylinders for the combustion process. single spark vs double spark ignition Commonly every cylinder contains a ignition spark plug for the ignition system. But some of the engines also carry double spark plug therefore dual ignition system for the combustion process. Regarding this issue here is our Single Spark VS Double Spark Ignition Engine. Let’s learn something with a brief discussion.


You know modern motorcycle engine very usually is an internal combustion gasoline engine. So motorcycle engine also carries single or multiple cylinders where the spark plug ignites the air & fuel mixture inside the cylinder. Most commonly the motorcycle engine carries single spark plug for the ignition system. But these days some duel spark ignition engines are available in some motorcycles.

Basically double therefore dual spark ignition engine is not a modern feature for the internal combustion engines. This feature widely used in earlier times in the aircrafts for the efficiency and safety issues while flying in the air. Moreover in the old age some manufacturer also used this feature in their car engine for minimizing cold start issue and for few other reasons single spark vs double spark ignition Engine.

But in motorcycle engine double spark ignition is not so common. Presently Bajaj Auto Limited is applying this technology in their motorcycle engines as DTS-I where their technology is copyrighted. But with different feature that also is available in some BMW and KTM motorcycles in limited range. Whatsoever the application and technology of double spark or dual spark ignition is that has differences considering different manufacturer. Hence not going for wide discussion here we will focus on Single Spark VS Double Spark Ignition Engine.


Single Spark Ignition Engine

Single spark ignition is very much common in modern motorcycle and car engines that run with gasoline. In such engines only a spark plug performs the ignition for each cylinder. The ignition system is controlled and operated by an electronic control unit that may call as CDI or ECU. Here a single spark plug ignites every time even that can ignite faster like 1-300 times in a second.

Single spark ignition engine is comparatively simple with single piece of spark plug that place at the top of the cylinder. It powered from single ignition coil and that operated and controlled by the electronic circuit. As its single spark technology so calculation of engine related parameters are calculated with comparative straight way than the multi spark technology. Whatsoever it is still very popular and successful technology for igniting the internal combustion engines and it has both merits and demerits.

Single Spark Ignition Engine - Advantages

  • Construction and operation of single spark ignition engine is comparatively easier.
  • Single spark ignition engines are lighter in weight and have lesser electronic arrangements.
  • For the lower capacity engine single spark ignition is better option.
  • In high performance multiple cylinder engine the single spark ignition is also good as it minimizes space weight and avoids complex electronic devices.
  • Lesser sensors and electric parts used in such engine therefore the whole ignition system comparatively less complex.
  • Maintenance and diagnosis of single spark ignition engine is easier.
  • Lower emission is the significant advantage of single spark ignition engine.

Single Spark Ignition Engine - Disadvantages

  • Optimum level of combustion is hardly possible in single spark ignition system.
  • For large size cylinder single spark ignition system is not a good option.
  • High rev character engine may loose performance comparatively while operating in high RPM.
  • Cold start issue is major problem in such engine.
  • Single spark ignition system is less fuel efficient.
  • Possibilities of un-burnt fuel remaining inside the combustion chamber while operating in high RPM.
  • Efficiency of producing power can be hampered even in simple contamination or degrade of fuel.
  • Engine can vibrate, misfire or knock due to inefficient combustion.
  • Engine can overheat.
  • Spark plug fouling issue is very common.
  • Spark plug life gets shorter. It looses its performance fast and damages fast.


Double Spark Ignition Engine

Double spark ignition system widely used in aircraft we mentioned earlier and it also available in few manufacturers’ four-wheelers. In motorcycles, some manufacturers also use double spark ignition. In double spark ignition each cylinder contains two different spark plugs which ignite simultaneously or sparks with different timing.

Hence in such engine the ignition system is completely controlled by the electronic control unit. This unit collects information of the engine considering air-fuel mixture, throttle position, temperature, engine RPM etc. Analyzing those information ECU determines the ignition timing of both spark plugs. Hence considering the situation the spark plug may ignite at a time or its spark timing may differ.

In common situation in low RPM both the spark plug ignites together but in high RPM condition it ignites single and that one after another to ensure perfect combustion. Again in some other engine where the cylinder size is larger it can ignite together but with a small timing gap to ensure optimum fuel burning inside the large cylinder. Whatsoever the technology but double spark ignition engine also has some advantage and disadvantages. So let’s take a look on the bullets.

Double Spark Ignition Engine - Advantages

  • Efficient and optimum level of combustion is ensured in double spark ignition.
  • For high performance and high rev character engine double spark ignition is better solution.
  • Fuel efficiency and optimum power production is core feature of this type of engine.
  • Engine knocking, back fire and vibration is significantly minimized in double spark ignition engine.
  • Larger capacity and larger stroke engine can be designed with this type of technology.
  • In extreme cold weather environment double spark ignition is a convenient solution.
  • Spark plug life is longer in this type of engine. Spark plug fouling issue is significantly low.

Double Spark Ignition Engine - Disadvantages

  • This technology increases engine weight and dimension.
  • That is not cost effective and suitable for low capacity and common category engine.
  • The electronic device, circuit and mechanical arrangement is quite complex in such engines.
  • Maintenance and problem diagnosis comparatively hassle full and complex in such engine.
  • In case of motorcycle engine when a spark plug fails then whole circuit corrupts and engine halt like single spark ignition engine. Again in such case diagnosis is complex.
  • Emission level is higher.

Single Spark VS Double Spark Ignition

Single Spark VS Double Spark Ignition Engine – Which Is Better?

So readers you can see we have discussed in brief on Single Spark VS Double Spark Ignition Engine. You know the technology is developing day by day and replacing the old tools. Even that is true some old technology also getting revised with new features and proving better result in blend of new technologies single spark vs double spark ignition engine.

Hence development, precision and craftsmanship are the core matter. Hence considering those issues single spark ignition engine still is doing so nice and successful from a long time. Moreover higher grade of elements like offset cylinder, larger intake, précised fuel injection, high performance spark plugs and modern intelligent ECU all to gather making nice job even in high performance and higher capacity engines.

Therefore still we can’t ignore the capability of the single spark ignition engines for motorcycle. Moreover less complexity & cost effective technology which ensures lighter weight & dimension is another significant focus for manufacturing modern bikes. In consideration of above single spark ignition system is still unbeatable.

On the counter for the motorcycle engine the double spark ignition engine or the duel ignition systems has more scope and possibilities. Its feature and efficiency is really something better then the single spark ignition technology. But still the benefit difference is not so significant for motorcycle engines.

But of-course it has the utility in higher capacity single cylinder engine and also in premium four wheeler engines. Again the technology changes and upgrades up on time. So double spark ignition system will also take its place soon as it has many more capability and more easy availing features to be revealed. So we appreciate all the technological advancement, feature and upgrades; wish you are also agreed with us.

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Published by Saleh