Blackcat, there has been considerable information released by Honda about it's design. The previous Forza used an offset cylinder design too. You can do a search and I'm sure it will show up.
What I did not know is it, the 279cc Forza is a single cylinder. Not sure why the comment on off set cylinder/crank means. You can not offset a single cylinder from something not there. It takes 2 or more cylinders to offset one or more cylinders.
Dave, you have good information but you are talking about the differing crankshaft configurations applicable to various engine types. Not offset cylinder to crank design. Yeah...it's confusing isn't it!
The Honda Forza uses offset cylinder design to improve engine wear, torque, fuel economy and various other engine characteristics. Many other engines are now beginning to use this design too. Cars and bikes. I've just finished an engine project which also used this type of design. As mentioned above it has many advantages. Here is a diagram showing the principle of the design.
This type of design, as some of you will know, is not new and was used in the previous Forza. But in the past it has been used mainly in more specialist engines, mostly. The advantages were always there but were not considered enough to warranty it's use enmass. But now that's changing quickly. Now with engine technology and the use of better materials, the need to reduce friction inside the engines, get better engine life, better power and emissions/fuel mileage etc etc, it's starting to be incorporated in quite a few engines and we will be seeing more and more engine using this design. Kawasaki use it in some engines and many car manufacturers here is 'Urop' are using it. Honda obviously are using it. The engine design I was commissioned to work on uses it and as a result produces around 6% more power with that feature alone and around 5% better fuel economy.
You can see why. The main power stroke occurs at the point of best efficiency, where pumping forces are reduced and maximum use of the torque is made. This produces less engine wear, more power, more mpgs. In a normal engine, most engine wear in the cylinder occurs on the power stroke, ovaling the piston and bore, leading to less efficiency over time. Also wasting power and fuel. The reciprocating mass after the power stroke, although traveling out of line in the 'offset cylinder design' a bit farther than otherwise would be the case, wears the cylinder and crank less than normal. Vibration is not a problem either as was often muted in the past.
So it's all good! The Forza is a great engine. Honda have tuned it for good intermediate torque with lower overall top end power. It should go well though.