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Yamaha Inline Triple Crossplane Concept

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The new engine will bring race-inspired performance to the street.
Unfortunately  there has been no indication of exactly what future models the new engine will be used in.
Yamaha has released its ‘crossplane concept’ three-cylinder engine at the Intermot Motorcycle Show in Cologne, Germany. Unfortunately, there has been no indication of exactly what future models the new engine will be used in.
Yamaha has released its ‘crossplane concept’ three-cylinder engine at the Intermot Motorcycle Show in Cologne, Germany. The Inline Triple layout is reportedly being developed for use in its next generation of street bikes, although there has been no indication of exactly what future models it will be utilized in.

According the Yamaha Motor Europe website, the new engine will bring ‘race-inspired performance’ to the street. That seems to eliminate the notion that this Triple will be utilized in a sport bike package since the Yamaha YZF-R1 and Yamaha YZF-R6 are firmly established four-cylinders. However, the idea of a thinner, lighter supersport bike would be a tantalizing concept in its own right.

On the flip side the new light and compact engine could make its way to any number of street bike applications. A small-bore Tenere-style adventure touring bike to go head-to-head with the Triumph Tiger and BMW F800GS would be a trendy move. The Streetfighter market would be an interesting application as well. Imagine this lightweight and torque delivering engine in a sporty chassis at a decent price point? The opportunities are endless and Yamaha is quite excited about this new venture.

Yamaha engineers are playing off the success of the YZF-M1 MotoGP and YZF-R1 superbike engines, both of which have featured the crossplane concept with great success. The linear power delivery and sexy exhaust note would be appealing on a number of fronts. As anyone in the industry will attest to, the Japanese motorcycle market is in a funk, while the European brands continue to gain market share through their innovative engine configurations and multi-purpose platforms, (think BMW F-series and the Monster line-up for example, not to mention the direct Inline Triple competition from Triumph).

“It is the philosophy where ‘crossplane’ means the kind of torque character that gives riders the exact torque they want when they need it,” explains Senior Executive Motorcycle Business Operations, Kunihiko Miwa.

Unfortunately, this is all the information that Yamaha has offered up at this time. Stay tuned for more details on the New Yamaha Concept model Three-Cylinder as it becomes available.
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iburrell64   October 11, 2012 11:46 AM
I enjoyed reading your article jfc1...you made a lot of good points! I have never seen or ridden a RSV4 but saw and heard it on several U Tube videos. It's expensive, fast, and handles well and what got my attention the most was that V4 sound...and in my opinion there's nothing like that deep, mean sound of that V4! Upon further examination I see that it is a 65 degree V with a 180 degree crank. Guess what Japanese bike has the exact same configuration but larger? That's right, the new(2009+) Yamaha V Max!
iburrell64   October 6, 2012 03:21 PM
Turning The Page: Everthing that I have posted so far was quessing the technicals of Yamaha's cross-plane crank without altering the crand itself. Now I will change the normal 3 cyl.crank to what Yamaha says that it is, a cross-plane crank meaning 90 degree journals.

Looking at the motor from the left side and rotating counter-clockwise, with pin #1 at 12 oclock, move pin #2 back from 8 oclock to 9 oclock, and move pin #3 ahead from 4 oclock to 3 oclock. This would give you a cross with one pin missing at 6 oclock, in other words an upside down "T". As the crank would rotate counter-clockwise when the second pin came to 12 oclock the crank would have turned 270 degrees. Turn the crank again till the next second pin came to 12 oclock and the crank would have turned only 180 degrees. Turn the crank again to the next second pin came to 12 oclock and the crank would have turned another 270 degrees and you are back where you started two complete turns back. So this arrangement would give 270, 180, 270 degrees firing intervals which equals 720 degrees and then it would start repeating these same firing intervals. The 180 degrees would be the "Big Bang" of the cycle. I would predict that this crank arrangement would produce a lower pitch because of the 270 instead of the 240 degree intervals, but it should harmonize with the higher pitched 180 degree interval...time will tell, maybe?
iburrell64   October 5, 2012 08:22 AM
A triple with the 0, 120, 240 degree would give a 240/480 power/coast type engine. In comparison a 90 degree common pin V-twin would give a 270/450 degree power/coast engine. A Kawasaki 650 Versys twin with it's 180 degree crank would give an even more radical relationship of 180/540 degrees of power/coast which should need more flywheel than the triple. Sooo it is possible that Yamaha could use this 240/480 degree design on their new triple? Got any thoughts?
iburrell64   October 4, 2012 07:22 PM
This is my 5th and last post today! To do it your way and to be totally accurate the power pulses would be a total of (0, 120, 240 degrees)= 240 degrees of power pulses compared to (720-240 degrees)= 480 degrees making this different than the parallel twin mentioned in post #4. This would give this engine a 240 degree/480 degree power/coast relationship. This would be the same power/coast relationship found in a hypothetical 120 degree V twin. One would need a flywheel similar to a 120 degree V twin with a common crank pin. Seen any 120 degree V twins lately?
iburrell64   October 4, 2012 06:53 PM
After I had submitted my 3rd post I thought of something to add to that post. In regards to the heavy flywheel, 3 times 120 degrees is 360 degrees total and then you get 360 degrees of nothing till the next power stroke...is that not basically the same situation in a parallel twin with a 360 degree crank? Now how heavy does that crank have to be?
iburrell64   October 4, 2012 06:34 PM
In both of my post when I used degrees, I was talking about the degree of the interval from one power TDC to the next Power TDC. If I read you correctly I think that when you listed degrees that you meant the totaling(adding up) of degrees as the crank would turn. If I have read you correctly your example of 0, 120, 240 would be the same as my second post. I would think that this arrangement would possibly need a heavier crank to keep the grouped power pulses smoother below 2500 RPM. This arrangement would certainly be smoother than a single. I have looked at my first post several times today and I cannot make that engine run. :-(
Thommo675   October 4, 2012 02:39 PM
You were basically right first time. THere are only two different options for firing order for a triple with a 120 throw. The 0, 120, 240 sequence would be in effect a long-bang, but would then require the engine to perform a compression stroke on each cylinder before it got another ignition stroke, and would need a massive flywheel to avoid stalling (or a little electric motor to help out, like Kawasaki patented a few years back). Remember that a 4-stroke requires each piston to do 720 degrees per cycle. The even firing sequence on triple with a 120 crank throw is having ignition at 0, 240, 480 degrees.
iburrell64   October 4, 2012 01:45 PM
After drawing out my 120, 240, 360 degree firing sequence in my first post I found out that my thinking was wrong. The new sequence that should work is 120 degree, 120 degree, 480 degree giving a total of 720 degrees. This arrangement would give the motor an even bigger Big Bang effect with it's 3 cylinders on then 3 cylinders off firing. I could only imagine how this one would sound wound up?
iburrell64   October 4, 2012 10:40 AM
One way that Yamaha could have their cross-plane crank with the Big Bang characteristic too with perfect primary balance also is to leave the crank as is with 120 degree throws, but alter the firing sequence. The firing sequence could be changed from the even-fire 240 degrees, 240 degrees, 240 degrees to a Big Bang arrangement of 120 degrees, 240 degrees, 360 degrees. This could be done by altering the timing of the ignition and the timing of the cam(s). While aiding the traction at the rear wheel this should also make for an interesting exhaust note coming from those pipes!
Thommo675   October 4, 2012 03:30 AM
maths fail: The Jota was a 666cc parallel twin with an extra 333cc cylinder inserted...
Thommo675   October 3, 2012 08:57 PM
@eligovt: most triples have a cross-plane crankshafts, with 120 degree throws between each crank. It is the only configuration that gives an even firing spacing to an in-line triple. Yamaha describing their new three cylinder design as a cross-plane is more about cross-marketing than engine innovations. Interestingly, the only triple that I am aware of with a flat-plane crank was the Laverda Jota 1000, which was basically a 750cc, 360 deg parallel twin with an extra 250cc cylinder inserted in the middle, with its crank journal offset by 180 degrees to the other two - a magnificently lumpy and unique sound was the result. So I guess in spirit, a flat-plane crank on a triple gives a result more akin to a cross-plane crank on a four cylinder, giving unevenly spaced power pulses and needing extra balancing.
eligovt   October 3, 2012 10:15 AM
I don't understand how the crossplane crank would be useful in a triple. I thought the advantage in a 4 cylindar was in how it synchronized firing order to make it more like a v-twin. Doesn't seem to make as much sense in a triple. Any help?