By Peter McLaren
Masao Furusawa, Yamaha's general manager of Engineering Operations, likes listening to Kawasaki's new screamer engine - but says the even-firing design will never again power a Yamaha MotoGP bike.
"We will never use a screamer engine again. Never!" said Furusawa, during an exclusive interview with Crash.net
. "We threw away the screamer engine in 2003."
Furusawa, who has worked with Yamaha since the early 1970s, was put in charge of the YZR-M1 project upon Valentino Rossi's arrival in 2004 - and one of the first major technical changes was the introduction of a 'big-bang' 990cc engine.
Following Yamaha's example, the technology - previously seen in 500cc - was soon once again present throughout the premier-class field. However, last year's change to 800cc engines saw Ducati and then Honda return to a screamer, as maximum horsepower - the main advantage of a screamer - became a priority.
Whereas a screamer engine - so called due to its high-pitched engine note - features an equal amount of time between the firing of each cylinder, 'big-bang' engines have an uneven firing order.
So - in the case of a four-cylinder engine - two cylinders fire closely together (producing what sounds like one 'big bang'), then there is a longer than usual time period before the other two cylinders are fired (also closely together).
Kawasaki's development team rolled out the factory's superb sounding new screamer during the January Sepang test, although it didn't make a return appearance at last week's outing, much to Furusawa's disappointment.
"I hope Kawasaki brings it back! I like to listen to it. Their screamer is not here this time and honestly I don't like it," he smiled. "Please use the screamer engine!"
Nevertheless, Furusawa - who gave a detailed presentation on 'big-bang' at the season-ending Valencian Grand Prix - was happy to explain why Yamaha will be sticking with 'big-bang' for its grand prix prototype.