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MotoGP stars launch `big bang` R1.

All four Yamaha MotoGP riders took part in the global unveiling of the all-new Yamaha R1 in a glittering show in Las Vegas, Nevada on Monday.

Fiat Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, plus Tech 3 Yamaha team-mates Colin Edwards and James Toseland were surprise guests at the unveiling, which took place in front of 3000 Yamaha US dealers at the famous Mirage Hotel.

Significantly, the new R1 features an uneven firing 'big bang' type engine design, similar to that used in Yamaha's YZR-M1 MotoGP machine since 2004.

"This is a great bike, it's very like my M1 and it's exciting to see so many MotoGP qualities now appearing on a bike for the road," said Rossi, currently on target to win his first MotoGP title since 2005 and his sixth in total. "I think everyone who loves the R1 and Yamaha will be very excited about this new version, it's fantastic!"

Total engine torque is a combination of combustion torque, produced when a cylinder is fired, and inertia torque, produced by the rotation of the crankshaft. Of the two, only combustion torque is controlled directly by the rider, via the throttle.

Uneven firing 'big bang' engines improve rider feel by reducing the effects of inertia torque, but they are also more complex and reduce ultimate engine performance slightly compared with a conventional design.

During winter MotoGP testing, Masao Furusawa, Yamaha's general manager of Engineering Operations, told Crash.net that the company will 'never' use an even-firing engine in MotoGP again.

'Big bang' engines have not been used in World Superbike due to a rule which states that "the sequence in which the cylinders are fired (i.e. 1-2-4-3) must remain as originally designed on the homologated model".

But since the 2009 R1 features uneven 'big bang' type technology as standard, Yamaha will be able to use it in WSBK next season.


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Anorak - Unregistered

September 11, 2008 6:10 AM

A few misunderstandings here - It isn't a "big bang" engine - it's a 4 cylinder with a 2 plane instead of the normal single plane crankshaft. The crank layout is a copy of that used by Helmet Fath to beat the works BMW's to the 500cc world sidecar championship in the late 1960's'. It doesn't fire a cylinder every 90 degrees of crank rotation - it would have to be a straight 8 to do that - it still only fires twice for each rotation of the crank. The firing intervals are the same as on a 90 degree V4. It is a slightly heavier engine - the crak journals are up from 28 to 32mm and a balancer shaft is required. Not necessary for the road, but it will sound like a V4 and give a similar feel.

Marc - Unregistered

September 11, 2008 3:46 PM

Can't say I love the new R1's look. They've adopted the Buell front and are sticking with the dual canister out back in the previous Kawi formation. Plus the heavy weight is a turn off especially when the Honda's about 20 lbs lighter. I would have rather Yamaha take design guides from their own R6 now that looks nice and rocks on the track to.



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