Newer and Better
The Yamaha YZF-R1 is a force to be reckoned with in the liter bike category. It has been since the late 1990s. Now that bike may be redesigned to meet new European emissions standards. According to iMotorbike, the R1 doesn’t meet the restrictions for the Euro 5 emissions standards that will take effect in 2021.
The publication also said the company won’t just scrap the old bike. It also won’t add in the necessary emissions compliant engine parts. It’s going to completely redesign the motorcycle and infuse it with more MotoGP technology. That could mean things like a counter-rotating crankshaft—like is in the Ducati Panigale V4—variable valve timing, and a seamless gearbox.
There’s supossed to be a patent application for the seamless gearbox floating around out there, but I was unable to find it. iMotorbike reported on it, though, and RideApart reported it as well. A seamless gearbox improves acceleration and makes the shift from one gear to the next extremely smooth.
The downside is it requires a ton of maintenance. If Yamaha will put one on its next R1 production bike, I’d assume it found a way to make the gearbox less labor intensive. That could make the new R1 a truly amazing machine indeed. If Yamaha has figured out how to do that, I’d assume it would use it for racing applications, too, which would be pretty cool.