-- Yamaha experiment with triple-cylinder engines
As one of the more innovative of the Japanese motorcycle brands Yamaha have often chosen to take a path less trodden, sometimes to great effect. That spirit has led them to experiment with triple-cylinder power to give the tuning fork brand another point of difference to its traditional Japanese competitors.
After many years of producing a vast variety of triple-cylinder powerplants, Triumph have only recently really got a good handle on ironing out the rough edges on the triple-cylinder layout. Balance shafts can only go so far, the other ingredients are perfect fuelling and combustion chamber design and this is something only made possible through more recent advances in technology and it is these latest improvements in EFI and cylinder head technology that has most probably seen Yamaha investigate the triple-cylinder route.
Yamaha has had recent success with the crossplane crank layout in the road going YZF-R1 sportsbike and MotoGP winning YZR-M1. They plan to bring this engineering approach to the triple-cylinder layout, to form the basis of a new line of motorcycle powerplants.
With this new layout, what Yamaha is really seeking is a more evocative ride experience than offered by traditional engines. Their crossplane crank YZF-R1 certainly delivers on this with its unique sound and power delivery. Taking this approach to the somewhat evocative triple-cylinder layout is sure to deliver a unique power delivery and engine note. In typical Japanese fashion they have a term for this more philosophical approach to engineering: ‘Jinki Kanno’.
The engine was shown for the first time this week at the Intermot Motorcycle Show in Cologne, Germany and was displayed with a series of wires and cables to represent Yamaha’s Genesis philosophy of cables linking components ‘holistically’… Amazing what Japanese engineers can come up apparently without the aids of psycho stimulant drugs…
Yamaha have given no indication as to what models they see the new engine being utilised in but with the constant references to sportsbikes in the press material, one could infer that Yamaha are visioning a lightweight triple-cylinder sports machine in perhaps both faired and naked layouts.
Devotees of the triple-cylinder layout will surely be salivating at the thought of Yamaha putting their full engineering prowess behind the development of an all-new engine which Yamaha say, “will shape Yamaha’s future motorcycle line-up”.
I, for one, can’t wait to see what they come up with.
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