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MotoGP Development: Yamaha M1 2007-2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
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The YZR-M1 has seen many adjustments while trying to maintain a balance between the engine, chassis and electronics.
Between 2007 (left) and 2011 (right) changes in chassis engineering and fairing design have led to better cooling and aerodynamics.
Chassis development has centered on frame rigidity with vertical stiffness being increased in 2011 to reduce instability under braking.
Despite engine capacity being reduced in 2007, overall performance and durability of the M1 has increased over the past five years.
Lap times have finally surpassed 990cc bikes due to increased engine power, advanced electric systems and tire development.
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The Sportbikes of Tomorrow
Radial-mount front brake systems, slim, lightweight aluminum chassis and compact-yet-powerful engines paired to advanced electronics that make motorcycles easier to control. These are just some of the now-standard features that we take for granted on brand-new sportbikes. And it can all be attributed in some way to MotoGP.
Grand Prix is a real-life laboratory where designers are given the creative freedom and access to the world’s top riders and racetracks to develop performance-enhancing technologies that may one day trickle down to production street bikes.
Need proof? Look at Honda’s current CBR1000RR. This two-time MotoUSA Superbike Smackdown shootout winner was designed by Kyoichi Yoshii, the same man who assisted in development of Honda’s ultra-successful RC211V GP bike, a machine piloted to three MotoGP World Championships in its short five-year existence. The latest CBR’s chassis, including frame and rear suspension, were all designed with knowledge gained from GP racing.
Another example is Yamaha’s recently redesigned YZF-R1. It uses an engine similar in architecture to the M1 racer used by the Fiat Yamaha and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teams. The innovative crossplane crankshaft design and uneven cylinder firing order produces a smoother, steadier spread of thrust compared to a conventional Inline-Four engine.
Only time will tell what other innovative features we’ll see on the next generation of sportbikes, but we’ll likely see it first on a MotoGP racebike.
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November 6, 2011 09:29 AM
MCUSA - Thanks for spotting the error alang. It's been corrected.
November 5, 2011 11:47 PM
November 5, 2011 05:51 PM
looks like vertical stiffness of the frame inceased in 2011.
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