Photo: Lee Sutton
Yamaha has filed patents for an enduro bike fitted with a Continuously Variable Transmission. A CVT could be the ideal transmission for a small capacity dirt bike, enabling it to permanently remain within its limited powerband and eliminating the need for near constant gear changes. By employing two pulleys that constantly adjust through an infinite number of gear ratios in order to keep the revs at an optimal level, a CVT can make the most of the performance offered by an engine. Because they employ belts operating on cones, the transmission’s applications have so far been limited to relatively low-power applications that won’t cause the belt to slip or break, neither of which should be a problem on a single-cylinder dirt bike. There’s currently no information on which model Yamaha is interested in using a CVT on, but if we had to hazard a guess, it’d be a small capacity, high-mileage Honda CRF230L rival since the transmission would increase mileage, learner-friendliness and performance.