2009 Yamaha R1: What’s the go with the crossplane crankshaft?

It’s the one big-four superbike that’s capturing everyone’s interest in 2009; the new R1’s unevenly spaced firing order makes it the first roadbike to be able to claim big-bang MotoGP ancestry. More than just sounding totally horn, the new engine should give a slightly more grippy drive out of corners right at the edge of traction, as the longer breaks between power pulses allow tyre rubber to spring back into shape a touch better.

But there’s also the issue of combustion versus inertial torque - and this Yamaha video shows how the crossplane crankshaft and its uneven firing order virtually eliminate inertial torque to allegedly deliver a more intimate connection between the throttle and the engine’s torque output.

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