2011 Yamaha R6 Slated for Overhaul – Finally!

Despite rampant rumors and speculation, the 2010 Yamaha R6 is little more than a slightly modified 2009 Yamaha R6, which was a slightly modified version of the 2008 model, which was a slightly modified… You get the point. We know now the 2010 is not getting the crossplane crankshaft of legend and lore from the R1. It’s still a fantastic bike but owners are eager for the new engine technology. Unfortunately, the size of the R6 motor precludes it from attaining this level of magnificence. Sorry about that.

2011 holds promise for this high tech engine revolution and the R6. I expect we’ll see a entirely revised bike.


The 2010 Yamaha R6 comes in a spectacular pure white also!

Despite being slightly heavier and technically having less power the crossplane crankshaft bearing 2009 Yamaha R1 is capable of setting down faster lap times due to better traction. That extra traction is a byproduct yielded by the feat of engineering that is the R1 engine.

Basically the crossplane crankshaft smooths the pulses of torque from each individual cylinder firing which allows a more consistant contact patch and power delivery. This increases speed through corners, decreases brake distances, and allows more power at the corner exit.

From the Yamaha R1 Press Release:

It’s all about power – delivery of power, to be exact. That’s because the all-new R1 is the world’s first production motorcycle with a crossplane crankshaft. Originally pioneered in MotoGP racing with the M1, crossplane technology puts each crank pin 90 degrees from the next, with an uneven firing interval of 270-180-90-180 degrees. The result is incredibly smooth, roll-on power delivery with outrageous amounts of torque for a rush like you’ve never experienced before.

The unique shape of the crossplane crank smoothes out fluctuations in inertial crankshaft torque to provide very linear power delivery as the engine’s combustion torque builds, giving the rider more linear throttle response with awesome power and traction exiting corners. Not just new, the R1’s new crossplane crank engine represents a complete paradigm shift.

When MotoGP Fiat Yamaha implemented this technology, throttles were fully open for 25% of a lap compared to just over 15% previously. Data from Jerez showed the 800s braking up to 30 metres later for corners and getting on the throttle up to 15 metres sooner, which helps to explain why lap times stayed static or came down despite a 6MPH loss of tops speed.


We expect the 2011 Yamaha R6 to post even more impressive lap times.

Yamaha has always been on the cutting edge of motorcycle development and this new engine tech is no different. We should expect to see Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Honda variations within a few years, much like the slipper clutch of 2006. Expect a baddass R6!

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