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Old 01-19-2009, 08:56 AM   #11
sarnali2
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Amazing level of technology, unbelievable in a streetbike.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:11 PM   #12
Kenneth_Moore
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Nice writeup Mr. Duke. It is good to hear there's something genuinely new in the sportbike world with the crossplane crank. I'm curious though about 2 things:

Underseat mufflers? With so many bikes going for mass centralization by putting the exhaust down low and toward the middle of the bike, were you surprised to see that on the new R1?

"I asked if there was the possibility of using a single-plane crankshaft arrangement in which the two paired pistons fire at the same time (instead of 180 degrees apart), similar to a project used a few years ago in the British Superbike championship on a Yamaha R1. That engine proved to work well in wet conditions, but it was soon outlawed by race organizers."

Why was this crankshaft/firing order outlawed?
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:37 PM   #13
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If Bostrom and Spies win the AMA and WSBK I promise to sign up for the Jamie James Yamaha School. I'm too chicken to own one for everyday use.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
Nice writeup Mr. Duke. It is good to hear there's something genuinely new in the sportbike world with the crossplane crank. I'm curious though about 2 things:

Underseat mufflers? With so many bikes going for mass centralization by putting the exhaust down low and toward the middle of the bike, were you surprised to see that on the new R1?

"I asked if there was the possibility of using a single-plane crankshaft arrangement in which the two paired pistons fire at the same time (instead of 180 degrees apart), similar to a project used a few years ago in the British Superbike championship on a Yamaha R1. That engine proved to work well in wet conditions, but it was soon outlawed by race organizers."

Why was this crankshaft/firing order outlawed?
They have to race the bike in "stock" format. Yamaha developed the crank in mid-season and not for the street bike. Now that it comes on the street bike they can't complain they can only adopt the new tech. Like Suzuki did with it's traction control a few years ago and Yamaha did with the dual-stack intakes last season.
If it's offered on the street bike then it's legal.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:17 PM   #15
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Interesting that they said power was down on top. I wonder if the bike being tested was the US spec model. If so, then the softer top end is not surprising, since the test says the bike is down 6hp relative to Euro spec (bastards) If not, then the US spec is even softer, and that would be too bad.

On a second note, I have a 2000 VFR800 Interceptor. I still own it because it has one of the best bike motors ever . It is so tractable and so much less hyper than my in-line four (my sport bike is an 08 1000RR). Too have the 1000RR power in an engine as 'calm' as the v-four would be great, but Honda can't build a V-Four nearly as light or as cheaply as they can the in-line.

Yamaha may have an answer here. I'd love to see Honda follow up with their own cross-plane, but it may take a while. Look at how long it took all 3 factories to copy Yamahas stacked transmission, which along with CF casting techniques are 2 of the most significant advancements in sportbikes in the last 10 years, IMO.
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:20 PM   #16
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I second the notion that it's nice to see something that seems to be truly different from a Japanese manufacturer. Yamaha seems to be the most willing of the Big Four to take a step away from norm. I was sorely disappointed with the last couple of top-end-heavy R6s, but now I'm becoming a fan.

It is ugly as dirt, though. I have to assume that GK Dynamics did the design again; I just wonder what they laced the company saki with this time around.

If the bike really is very good, though, I'll forgive the ungainly appearance.
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:52 PM   #17
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The most aerodynamic subsonic shape is a teardrop. In the search for ever higher performance the shapes of these bikes is eventually going to have to bow to necessity rather than looks. And frankly since the people who buy them claim to be most concerned with performance then they should be demanding the slipperiest fairings over the best looking. I'd like to see some wind tunnel results of these bikes to see if these new and uglier shapes are actually more aerodynamic. The sharp in front look is probably going to give more drag than the blunt look.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:43 PM   #18
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" In the search for ever higher performance the shapes of these bikes is eventually going to have to bow to necessity rather than looks."

Thus, the Hayabusa.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:14 PM   #19
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Yeah, but motorcycle aerodynamics get a bit tricky, especially when you're dealing with a roadracing-type bike. You can make it more efficient when going forward but, theoretically, you might then make it harder to turn. You could lower the bike and enclose it in a teardrop-shaped shell and you'd have a more efficient shape but that efficiency could become a liability once you get to a corner.

I'm sure the manufacturers are always looking for ways to decrease frontal area and clean up the airflow, but I imagine what they can actually achieve is limited. The not-very-aerodynamic rider and his position is probably most important.

So I have to assume that styling is only part science and still very much about aesthetics.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKE1K View Post
Although I'am left wondering what the test rider means by "may have lost some ponies off the top, but it's dynamite coming out of corners"?
Expect a broader torque curve. Don't expect class-leading peak hp numbers.
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