Hmmm. Doesn't sound good for brand Y, taking the safe and inexpensive route to a GP motor. For an inline four, "compact" means long stroke, lower revs, and less power. It may be moot for the 2002 season, since it seems the full power potential of a liter 4-stroke awaits development of tires to match. But tires will catch up, and Yamaha could be caught napping.
Vees will be the way to go because of their reduced width and frontal area. I'm inclined to think a V4 would be better than Honda's V5, though. If, as rumored, they're unable to use the power of a full 990cc, why carry the extra weight mandated for a 5 over a 4?
I am happy they are building an inline four. That makes it more likely to become a street bike in the future. And it may just be affordable. If Honda ever comes out with their V5 on the street, it will probably be super expensive, like the RC45. But, Yamaha did have the $30k+ R7, so maybe theirs will be expensive too.
I know, why not make a 990cc single, that thing will be super torquey and give a massage to the hands as the rider crosses the finish line in first place.
Awesome. While I love the crazyness and uniquenes of the 2 stroke gp bikes, there is no doubt about the way 'racing improves the breed'. I can't wait to see what happens to SS bikes in the coming years. After all Suzuki's managed to create monsters (new GSXR1000 - yeah baby!) without high profile racing series to compete in... imagine what a 2005 GSXR will be like!!! Might have to replace the '86 1100.
Any truth to the rumors that this will influence the redesign of the R1? This will be the fourth year of production for the R1- quite a while in the world of bikes! The GP engine sounds a lot like an improved R1 engine: 5 valves/cylinder, 1 liter, inline 4 cyl, 4 stroke, etc, etc. Mmmm, improved R1, guaaaghhhhh (in the Homer Simpson voice).
Boo hoo! The two-stroke dying the slow death it had coming. Check out Superbike mag 2/01 for a snippet on the Aprilia direct injection two-stroke scooter motor. If they can only get that technology into bigger bikes and possibly make it to the street, there could be a major alternative for the discriminating buyer.
I'm not behind this whole fiasco of pouring 4 & 2 strokes into the same pot. Because there is no model recognition to the 500 GP bikes, the manufacturers (through the race sanctioning body) are hell bent on pulling the plug on the most elite corps of riders competing in the motorcycle racing world. Their plan, beat the 500's with their 4 strokes, rule the industry & become the new sales leader. We judge what to buy based upon what wins in their respective class. Its quite evident. Honda wins the 600 supersport classes. Honda sells the most 600's. I always figured the 2 strokes lived this long so the manufacturers could demonstrate technologically, what they're really capable of. Nothing accelerates like a 500 2 stroke. It's the pinnacle of the sport. If profits are so important to you, why not start marketing/racing baby strollers. Not all parents allow their kids to get motorcycles, but guaranteed, a great deal of them rode in a stroller. Now convince them you've got the highest tech, easiest to push, best maneuvering stroller out there, sanction some races, the fitness nuts will go crazy, you'll sell millions. NOW that I've saved the day, will you Please leave the fargin' 500 class alone?
no need to fear - the 4 strokes will not beat the 2strokes, plain and simple. remember - weight is everything in racing. The first couple of years the 2 strokes will win everything. then, the manufacturers will stop updating them, abandoning the 2strokes, and only then will you see a 4stroke on the podium
Because its wierd, and Honda likes to do it that way, until people catch up. They did it with a 2 stroke triple in 83 until the world caught up and then they went to 4's...widely thought that their R&D pointed that way long before. So they'll start with a big money 5, wait for the world, change to the optimum config R&D point at, wash rinse repeat.
It sux to see the 2S bikes go like this tho. 2S bike were always around, finally came on the scene in an evolutionary way, competing against 4S bikes of the same displacement, until they ultimately ruled. To kill them off with a capacity subsidy to their 4 stroke 20 year-gone loser cousins is a widdly ass way to do it, worthy of Harley and their endless rule fiddling conquest of the dirt track scene. I say they ought to let them do anything with 500 cc's, and build that turbo 4S, rotary (yikes!) or insane turbine idea on the shelf somewhere, wait for the world to catch up, etc.
The H.Y.S.K. (think: Borg) are buying a change, and that's just how it ends for 2S machines. But it sucked to see a lot of stuff other stuff go, like GT Prototypes or turbo F1 cars, and even after all this awfulness, gee whaddayknow, life does go on. Killing off the 2's takes with it a innocent/inconvenient bystander, that being the whole idea of the 500 cc benchmark as a premier class. Turning it into a support class is not a noble death, but a gladiator style mismatch, a spectacle.
And do you know what? It will catch on big time, even tho you know its not fair, because everyone still likes to see a good ass kicking now and again. Its like punching your little brother. You shouldn't do it, its not fair, but its still fun.
That tethnology works fine in larger engines. Mercury outboards have been using the same direct injection technology from Orbital Engine Co. for years in their large outboards. Orbital licenses their technology to many companies, not just Aprilia. Aprilia could build a large displacement direct injection 2 stroke if they thought there would be a market for it. Ultimately I think that 2 stroke street bikes will have a hard time competing with much longer lived 4 stroke based motorcycles. Pretty much the same thing has happened in the car world. Remember those SAAB two stroke three cylinder cars back in the '60's. Bike owners have different expectations about things like reliability, and engine life than they did thirty years ago when two strokes ruled the roads. I just bought a '01' VFR that I fully expect to go 100k miles should I decide to own it that long. My expecations for a two stroke would at best be half that.
I think that you will see acceleration between the heavier higher hp four strokes equal to the lighter two strokes. The difference will be in top speed where the higher hp 4-strokes will have a distinct advantage considering all bikes will be roughly equal in aerodynamics. 40hp is alot more power to push against the wind. My prediction is on fast tracks the 4-strokes will clean up, assuming the tires last at 210mph, but on the slower, twistier, tracks the 2-strokes will continue their winning ways.
Does anyone remember the Vdue? I'm sure there was a demand for it, but BIMOTA couldn't make it work. I think they (bimota) had their own direct injection system,though,not Orbital's. What could've been...IceWorm makes a huge point on the reliability issue, I for damn sure don't want to plop down a 5 figure check for something that just cannot possibly last as long as a 4stroke.
But what 2stroke are you comparing your '01 VFR to? a Aprilia RS250? 2 strokes historically have been smaller than their 4 stroke counterparts because of their high power output. Small engines wear quicker than large ones. You don't know the reliability of a big-bore V-Twin 2 stroke, because there's never been one! And like clockwork, well-meaning people like yourself invariably bring up the smoky 2strokes of 30-40 years ago, like the Saab 3 cylinder or the kawasaki triples. Watch a Grand Prix race this season - tell me if you see ANY smoke coming from the engines(all of them are 2strokes). and tell me if any fail to last the entire race. Modern 2strokes are highly reliable. as a matter of fact, Honda told a very skeptical public when announcing their 4stroke grand prix bike that they could make their crankshaft last as long as their NSR's. I totally hear you about not wanting to plop down big $$ for a bike that is garbage before you finish paying for it. I think the EPA regulations haven't let the modern 2stroke show what it can do