MotoGP: Yamaha’s Seamless Transmission Coming Soon?

Paul Carruthers | July 17, 2013

CYPRESS, CA, JULY 17 – Yamaha Motor Racing’s managing director Lin Jarvis said today at Yamaha Motor Corp.’s U.S.’s headquarters in California that he fully expects the Yamaha M1’s seamless transmission to be introduced to the MotoGP team at some point this season.

Honda has been using its seamless transmission for two years – a system that allows the RC2113V to upshift quicker, allowing for better acceleration than the Yamaha.

“One thing that we are working on and it’s that’s on-going process is the gearbox,” Jarvis said. “It’s been talked about in the early part of the season and hopefully if our development goes well we’ll be able to introduce our seamless-shift gearbox in the latter stage of the season. That will help us close the gap a little bit more on the Honda because Honda has been using that system for two years.

“It’s all about fine-tuning. I think base of the M1 is very good and it’s very much a bike with rideability and, as Vale [Rossi] said, it’s particularly good on the faster tracks. We have to see how the second half of the season’s going to pan out. Last year we saw that Dani [Pedrosa] was particularly strong in the second half of the season – he won many races. But I think also Jorge [Lorenzo] was defending [his championship lead] last year so it will be interesting when we run into the second half this year because it looks like the top three, and maybe the top four, guys are all going to be very, very close. It will be a fascinating season.”

The fact that the Yamaha has remained competitive without the seamless transmission isn’t lost on Jarvis.

“I’m not a rider, but I understand that our gearbox is extremely good anyway so as a regular gearbox it’s at an extremely high level,” he said. “The date of introduction of the final seamless is still to be determined. We will be testing it soon… we are already testing it in Japan on the racetracks, but we’ll be testing soon with our Grand Prix riders. Based upon that when we’re ready can see that it really has an advantage and the reliability is there, we’ll introduce it. I think you will see it this year.”

The main issue is making certain that the transmission is reliable, Jarvis said.

“Talking to our main engineers, their main concern is always rider safety,” he said. “With a gearbox you cannot afford to make one mistake. You make one mistake and it costs you the points and what’s more important is that it can cost you the rider. Yamaha will not introduce it until they are 100 percent sure that it’s working really well and faultlessly.”

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.