Vyrus 986 M2 prepares to race

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The futuristic Vyrus 986 M2 will see its first race outing this weekend at Jerez as part of the Spanish CEV championship. That series has seen a Moto2 class in-operation since 2010 and is a popular test bed for smaller teams not yet ready to make the leap to the World Championship. The thing is, this bike is significantly different from the original concept we unveiled in February.

Look at this picture of the concept and compare it to the prototype seen above and the differences are immediately apparent. While the radically angular bodywork and self-supporting carbon rear subframe/seat unit, upside-down omega frame, under-engine radiator and air-shock are present, two of the 986 M2’s defining features are missing — the titanium/ceramic Zard exhaust that exited on either side of the shock has been replaced with a conventional Mivv side-mount canister and the hub-center front end appears to be of a less-sophisticated, heavier arrangement which requires a locater running up to the head tube where traditional fork legs would be.

It’s likely that this is an engineering prototype intended to test as many final components as possible while bugs in the front suspension and exhaust are still worked out. We’ve reached out to Vyrus for further explanation and hopefully for info on this weekend’s racing.

Regardless, getting another look at such a special motorcycle makes our morning. Make sure you check out our other Vyrus 986 M2 articles, in which we explore the bike in depth.


  • Mr.Paynter

    Still looks like it’d be an intersting ride!

  • BenP

    Wes, do you have any information as to why they added the locator?

    Sort of spoils the look but I’m interested in what problem they were solving.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Sent them an email first thing this morning. Went ahead and published because it usually takes a day or two to hear back.

    • je

      “We’ve reached out to Vyrus for further explanation and hopefully for info on this weekend’s racing. “

      • BenP

        This is why I always failed at reading comprehension back in grade school… sorry.

  • Kris

    I’ve heard that front end swingarm suspension bikes like this and the Bimota Tesi are notorious for poor front end feel. Maybe this is an attempt to fix that but still maintain the other benefits.

  • http://www.amarokconsultants.com michael uhlarik

    It appears to me that these are conventional fixes to well known problems.

    Exhaust :

    The rear shock on any racing motorcycle is subject to severe friction induced heat retention problems. Adding high temperature heat sources on either side of said shock, as in the original arrangement, exaggerates the problem. Also, when it comes to racing, it is vital to eliminate as many variables as possible, so using a proven exhaust system on a proven motor is a smart thing to do.

    Suspension :

    I have always been a proponent of alternative front systems, but not merely for the sake of difference. The Tesi concept has been repeatedly proven to have feedback issues, a result of many linkages and changes in force / orientation along them. Only the Parker derived Yamaha GTS 1000 solved this with any efficiency. Again I imagine this fork replaces the linkages as a direct steering imput device, like the OLEO link on a BMW Duolever fork, or simply adds stiffness.

    But what do I know.


    • http://www.faster-faster.com fasterfaster

      Hard to say without more pictures, but the linkage as shown doesn’t alter axle path and doesn’t eliminate the braking arm. That basically only leaves stiffness/strength tuning for possible functionalities (unless it’s actually a steering fork that replaces the hydraulic system, in which case, ignore my next paragraph).

      My guess would be that they are seeing lateral and torsional stresses on that bike well beyond what previous iterations experienced, and either the standard swingarm, or the new hydraulic steering are being overstressed. This wouldn’t be a fundamental/architectural change… more like the stiffened rear swingarms on WSBKs.

      On the exhaust, I agree, that doesn’t seem like a major change to me and makes perfect sense for a race bike vs an aesthetics-driven street bike

  • T Diver

    This among the coolest street bikes I have ever seen. The prototype model with the exhaust above (or integrated into) the swingarm is incredibly awesome. I think about this bike alot. Does anyone want to trade a kidney for one?

  • http://rohorn.blogspot.com rohorn

    The silver upright above the front hub looks like a replacement for the previous monkey motion linkage.

  • Scott-jay

    Funny Front End, FFE, is interesting stuff.
    I see the “locator” as steering linkage.
    Blue rod for brake torque?
    “Lack of feed-back” is not necessarily built into FFE motorcycles due to design(s).
    However, brake dive is built-into ordinary telescoping forks.

  • Jonathan

    My guess is that the original (hydraulic) steering system proved to be either unreliable or had poor “feel” for the test riders.

  • http://mansgottado.tumblr.com/ gregorbean

    Super cool to see a functional race bike without conventional forks.

  • Cajun58

    That locater running up to the head tube looks similar to the telescopic steering column on the RADD front end. The frame may be but changed but the front and rear swing arms are definitely different. The hydraulic steering unit on the right side is clearly missing. The “blue rods” which appear to be unchanged are anchoring arms for the brakes. James Parker claims that Kenny Roberts told him back in the day, “don’t ever bring this [RADD suspension] to GP”.

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    Less sophisticated = less complicated

    Very much like James Parker’s RADD front suspension with the telescopic steering arm. This delivers steering forces better, unlike the vague steering linkages equipped on many true HCS designs. This motorcycle is exciting regardless of how off-color it is from the concept.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Ah mann – I gotta say I was kinda disappointed when I saw that picture. The changes stand out like… alot.

    Hoping it is just because they’re nutting out some final problems.

    Clever engineering will conquer all!!

  • dux

    Still fucking cool