Yamaha to go turbo?

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Words: Nile Bijoux
10 May 2019

If you’ve been reading about bike developments long term, you’ll have heard of Suzuki’s experimental turbocharged ‘Recursion’, the various patents and concepts that have surfaced over the years have shown promise. However, we haven’t seen a production bike as yet, leaving the window of opportunity open to others. If these newly unearthed patents are to be believed, Yamaha could be the one to beat Suzuki to the punch.

The drawings, from 2017, show a parallel-twin engine assisted by a small turbocharger. Judging by the motorcycle around it, the engine could be destined for an upcoming MT-09 or MT-07.

In the patent, Yamaha says: “A motorcycle is required to have improved fuel consumption and improved engine output. To satisfy these requirements, a turbocharger is provided and the engine displacement is reduced. The turbocharger improves the intake efficiency. In this way, engine output is increased while the fuel consumption is improved.”

In a nutshell, this is an indication of where Yamaha is looking to increase power while decreasing emissions and keeping weight contained. Euro5 emissions standards are looming and motorcycle manufacturers will be looking for anything to get their bikes through the gate.

By the by, Yamaha isn’t patenting the turbocharged engine. The trademark is focusing on the wastegate valve actuator that releases surplus pressure from the turbo. The patent explains that the designs optimise the positioning of the actuator to increase the “degree of freedom in layout of the catalyst”. That means a bigger catalyst can be fitted, further reducing emissions.

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