Yamaha To Build Moto2 Bike?

Fascinating news from Italy. According to a post on the Oberdan Bezzi's blog, Yamaha are building a Moto2 bike, ready to compete when the series replaces the 250 class, either in 2010 or 2011. Bezzi, an Italian motorcycle designer, has a stunning mockup of what the bike would look like, named, appropriately enough, the YZR 600 M2.

According to Bezzi, Yamaha has decided that the new Moto2 class could offer a good return on investment, as a way of providing production racing motorcycles to buying customers at an affordable price. In line with this thought, the bikes would be sold in Yamaha's traditional red and white production livery, much as the old TZ bikes were back in the 1980s. The bikes would be offered for sale, and not provided on a lease basis, as the bikes in MotoGP are.

Should the story be true, and Yamaha be genuinely interested in producing equipment for the Moto2 class, it would mark a turning point for the series. So far, the entries have been almost entirely from chassis specialists such as Moriwaki, Suter and BQR, building prototype chassis around production engines - mostly Honda's popular CBR600RR powerplant. But a manufacturer producing bikes would change the game significantly. What's more, Yamaha producing limited run racing motorcycles for sale would not violate the terms of the contract which the Flammini brothers have with the FIM for production-based motorcycle racing. Although the powerplant would undoubtedly be similar to Yamaha's R6 engine, changes would have to be made for it to comply with the current set of rules. The R6 is already close to the rev limit enforced under the Moto2 regulations, and the engine would likely be modified for torque, rather than power.

Once one manufacturer crosses the bridge that leads to Moto2, more could follow. The surprise exception could well be Honda, though. Paddock and fan gossip puts the naissance of the new class down to Big Red's malign influence, part of their witchhunt against two strokes. But so far, Honda have not expressed any interest in the new class, and there have even been some statements which would seem to imply that the Japanese giant will not build a bike for the new class. Perhaps it was not Honda pushing for the four strokes after all, but another Japanese conglomerate. One which makes musical instruments, perhaps?

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People like to get his self indulging creations confused with his professional work. Read the blog description on the right. Motoblog.it seems to reprint his wonderful musings as fact but the translation doesn't always come through. It would not be the first time there's been heated discussion stemming from his art on Motosketches and Scooterdesign. But I'd suggest to read the last line of that post on his blog along with the page description. But I hope house of Hamamatsu is bringing something fun to the Moto2 table (TZF-M2!).

The R6 is already close to the rev limit enforced under the Moto2 regulations....

This makes me chuckle, given the wildly optimistic rev limit Yamaha touted in 2006 for the R6. :)

"Yamaha has mentioned the YZF-R6 17,500 RPM 'redline' in the 'Yamaha 2006 YZF-R6' press kit. The same 17,500 RPM 'redline' was communicated to you in the presentation at the YZF-R6 press introduction in Qatar in October 2005.

Due to tachometer read-out tolerance the 'redline' actually starts at approximately 16,000 RPM as was measured during actual bench testing using a calibrated tachometer. It is important to note that the tachometer read-out tolerance has absolutely no effect on the performance of the YZF-R6 and that there is no relation to safety issues. The maximum performance is 133HP (with direct air induction) at 14,500 RPM.

Yamaha would like to offer its sincere apologies for possibly creating confusion regarding the 'redline' and trusts that YZF-R6 customers continue to enjoy the performance that this motorcycle offers.

Based on promotional activities undertaken by Yamaha in the US in combination with specific US legislation, Yamaha deemed it necessary to offer a 'buy-back' option to US customers and US dealers. This action is specific for the US market and will not be applied for Europe."

It's a sexy bike, to be sure. While I'll certainly miss the 250's (for now) I'm warming up quite rapidly to the Moto2 idea.


Ah, but Jim, even if the calibrated maximum revs for an R6 is 16,000 rpm, that's already what the limit is under the Moto2 rules. So Yamaha couldn't go chasing more power through more revs, they'd be more likely to chase torque by lengthening the stroke.

I remember reading somewhere that Yamaha was only interested in maybe producing engines for Moto2, not complete bikes. But if Yamaha do decide to go the complete bike route, I think it will be great! I think a racing plan like this, to produce production racers ala the two-stroke TZ Yamaha's and RS Honda's would really work out for small manufacturers who don't want to go broke trying to play in MotoGP, or even for factories like Suzuki and especially Kawasaki. To help encourage these smaller manufacturers though, the regulations need to be adjusted to allow twins and triples to be a more viable option, along with the fours. But that's another story...

If enough complete Moto2 bikes can be built and sold, you could even see a few national Moto2 series (besides in Spain) popping up around the world...which certainly wouldn't be a bad thing.

the best part about this plan, if hatched, would be that the bike would be widely (here's hoping) available to just about anyone who wants a pure race bike. remember the days when you could go down to the honda or yamaha dealership and order a customer tz or rs 250? imagine rolling up at the local track day with one of these?

another thought: can you say wildcard? imagine moto gp 2 racing at motegi, donington, or laguna with a host of local ama, all-japan, and bsb riders ready to bump and barge the established moto2 stars. these riders would already be familiar with the bikes and teams as they would be racing in their own national moto2 series. moto gp wildcard rides are hard to come by- but with moto2's customer bike, what better (and economical) way would there be for moto gp managers to have a look at prospective talent, and snatch them up faster than you can say flaminni.

Right, now, it looks to me like Moto2 has the possibility of rivaling MotoGP in popularity. If all of the pieces come together, the model for cost savings is laying right in front Dorna and they created it.

the 800cc regulations can't be changed until 2012, right?

BINGO!! I think you hit the nail on the head Rats! On all of it.

The 800cc rules were supposed to last for 5 years, which I think would indeed make it 2012. Perhaps it is time to rethink that...

Ha ha you fella's make me laugh. First the customer RS and TZ's had a truckload of trick kit parts you couldn't buy unless you finished second last year. As with Honda RS A kit stuff( pure unobtainuim) you could deduct about 3-4 seconds a lap.Heavy cranks, lightweight parts etc etc, that's what will happen if the factories get involved and I could wear out this keyboard before I got to the end of the examples.Early days of mx was the same, exotic lightweight specials that LOOKED exactly the same as the production bike. Then there would be the situation where a Japanese national finished second last year, all of a sudden(as with the out of the blue YZR 250 or Nakano's and the RSW 250 of late Dajiro Kato) they take a MASSIVE leap is development.At the end of the year they get spirited away back to Japan never to surface again, claim the engine you say, well exactly how many time has that been used and how effective was it?

Fair enough but how does that make things any worse than they already are? There is a clear benefit in terms of cost and a lot of opportunity for ingenuity. That alone seems to make it interesting. I don't think anyone expects the series to ever break the control the factory resources provide but if the number of teams out there and the variety of engineering approaches increases, I think we have a net benefit.

I could be wrong, but I thought the idea of the strict engine regulations of the Moto2 class were to sort of eliminate much of the unobtanium. Of course, we'll see how this actually works in practice when the time comes.

yes- the claiming rule and the rules prevent over-spending. iirc, it's 20K for the entire bike, not just the engine. who wants to build a $500,000 bike, only to have it bought out from underneath you every race? because if the privateers suspect that's what you are doing, 20Kisn't a lot to spend to prevent you from doing it every race. the bike will be claimed by a different team every race, and tore down to see if there are any "funny" parts.

maybe i'm just an idealist...

So what's to stop this situation the new 'golden haired boy' is the champion with a few crucial unobtainum bits, no sooner is he in parc ferme, and golden haired boy No2 claims the engine. Secrets safe as No2 gets the special bits and No1 goes off the MotoGP with the championship,the factory is very happy.

I posted this in the main forum, but I'll post it here too. I wonder if this is being built so Valentino can get a double championship in 2010 and then retire?