Yamaha has just stunned the Intermot show, taking the wraps off this totally unexpected, three-cylinder, crossplane crank, seemingly middleweight engine. Currently the equivalent of a concept car, there's little firm detail attached to the motor aside from the above, but this thing seriously has the potential to utterly break the Japanese sportsbike mold.
The crossplane crank currently employed in the M1 MotoGP and R1 superbikes is said to enhance the connection between rider and rear tire by eliminating inertial torque.
Inline three-cylinder engines, as used by the Triumph Daytona 675 and MV Agusta F3, bring together the power of a four and the flexibility of a twin. They’re sort of a killer app in the 600-ish world, making that capacity far more useable and rewarding.
Officially, Yamaha has very little to say of this new motor beyond theory. Here’s a bad translation:
"Yamaha: Engineering and Philosophy The near future is the concrete representation of three philosophical concepts for Yamaha role in the development of models for generations of pilots of the twenty first century. First of all, the bike is much more than a means of transport is a means to get a sense of satisfaction and fullness. Yamaha calls this philosophy "Jinki Kanno", a thought that made it possible, in the last fifty years, the study and implementation of highly innovative motion as XT500 in the '70s, '80s FZ750, R1 in the 90s and the first lady of MotoGP YZR-M1 today. The second concept that has helped to make every single model Yamaha is the philosophy of GENESIS, which considers the motion as a living organism, constantly evolving. Yamaha considers each component as part of a whole, and the designs by thinking in relation to all other elements, in a report of the organic type. In this way, Yamaha is able to create a sense of unity between the rider and his bike. Genesis philosophy has enabled the creation of models that speak directly to the hearts and minds of the pilots. The last concept, after Jinki Kanno and Genesis, is the application of innovative technologies for the electronic management, designed to enhance the driving experience from all points of view. Electronic technologies have been developed considering the human perception and sensitivity, to enhance the bond between rider and machine, thus forming a copro unique. The concept model on display is a visual interpretation of the perfect balance between the three concepts: Jinki Kanno can be seen in the enthusiasm and the pleasure of driving the new three-cylinder engine give the bike of the future; Genesis is perceived in the cables that connecting the different elements such as the nervous system of a living organism, and GENICH occurs in the immediate throttle response, thanks to the new electronic engine management system." Here's a link to the gallery.