2027 MotoGP rule change ‘very beneficial’ to Yamaha’s Inline 4 engine

The new 2027 MotoGP technical rules could be 'very beneficial' for Yamaha's inline four-cylinder engine.

Yamaha M1.
Yamaha M1.

The change from 1000cc to 850cc engine capacity, combined with a smaller bore size, for the 2027 MotoGP season will benefit Yamaha’s M1.

That’s the view of MotoGP technical journalist and author Neil Spalding, who told the OMG! MotoGP podcast:

“If you look at the new rules, every single major technical aspect has been pulled back by 10 per cent. Totally agree with it. Nicely done. I think it’s quite a classy rulebook.

“[All the manufacturers] have got to build new cylinder heads because the bore has got smaller. Yamaha probably has to build a new engine, but Yamaha probably has to build a new engine anyway.

“And it’s very beneficial to Yamaha.

“Because a V4 [as used by all of Yamaha’s rivals] can now be built 12mm narrower, 6mm off each bore. But the argument is, is it actually worth it? To be honest, quite a few of them won’t bother. They’ll just put smaller pistons on top of the old crankcases.

“But the Yamaha has issues, because it is a four-cylinder inline and ‘too wide’. But now they can shrink the width of the engine by an inch, 6mm off each bore (6 x 4 = 24mm).

“That means it can flick into corners quicker. It’s less wide.

Yamaha M1 radiators.
Yamaha M1 radiators.

“It also means their radiators can cool properly. That is an issue. Back in the day, with Michelins (before the single tyre era), the front tyre was so close to the radiator and they were making so much heat with the engines that they couldn’t cool.

“There were several races where Rossi was desperate to overtake and get into the cool air in front of the bike ahead.

“Then with the Bridgestones, which didn’t need as much weight on the front tyre, the front wheel went out two inches (away from the radiator) and suddenly the Yamahas could cool.

“Now we’re back to Michelins, the front tyre needs more load on it and is sitting closer to the radiator. But now [in 2027] we can shrink the engine behind the radiator by an inch and get more air flowing around it. For Yamaha, that’s a big thing.”

Spalding is also predicting a big push by the other struggling Japanese manufacturer, Honda, in the next year or two:

“I think these [2027] rules will make a big difference and the front tyre temperature problem will just go away. And on the rider front… I want to know who Honda is going to sign. Not for now, but for 2026.

“Because in 2006 they pulled all the stops out to build a special bike for Nicky Hayden (and won the title). 2012, towards the end of the 800s, they hadn’t won an 800 championship and went for it like crazy. They got Stoner on it in the last year and won.

“Here we are with new rules coming in 2027… I’ll put some money down on Honda A) messing up the rider market and B) trying to win the 2026 world championship almost regardless of cost.”

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