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New Yamaha “Crossplane” Twin Revealed at Japanese meeting

The website autoby.jp posted photos of the next Yamaha “crossplane” family member, a parallel-twin engine. Like the three-cylinder found in the FZ-09, the parallel-twin will not technically feature a crossplane crankshaft, but will be considered part of the family by Yamaha, presumably because, like the engine block featured in the FZ-09, it will be a derivative of the R1 and feature the same bore. In any event, the displacement of the twin is unknown at this point, but it might be reasonable to suspect that it is 2/3 the displacement of the FZ-09, or 565 cc.

Carrying this assumption a bit further, this should be a very potent, and compact twin. Just looking at the published horsepower and torque figures for the FZ-09, one could expect a twin with the same bore and stroke to put out more than 45 foot/pounds of torque and 70 horsepower at the crank. It could form the basis for a very entertaining, light, simple and inexpensive twin. Stay tuned.

77 Comments

  1. Provologna says:

    At first opportunity I would place deposit on a proper Yamaha adventure bike powered by this new twin. 375 lbs seems like a reasonable goal, and within reach. Many heavier European sourced bikes might be traded for such bike.

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    • GuyLR says:

      With the bare (no accessories installed) V-Strom 650 and Versys at about 430 and 415 pounds dry I can’t see an Adventure bike with this engine coming in under 400 pounds unless there is an extensive use of light alloys. That would drive the price up a lot. If you split the difference in the wet weights of the V-Strom and Versys you get 463 pounds. I’d consider anything below that weight would be pretty good especially if they could offer it at under $8K.

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  2. allworld says:

    There are a number of bikes Yamaha could put this power plant into, but I would love to see it in the Tmax.
    It could go a long way in competing with Honda’s new 500cc trio.

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “It could go a long way in competing with Honda’s new 500cc trio.”

      that long way would probably take them “offshore” to Thailand. otherwise, there is no competing with Honda, there’s only the “illusion”.

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  3. Alpinaweiss says:

    well it was high time for Yamaha to offer an EnterTenere!
    good news indeed !

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  4. kawatwo says:

    Time to bring back the Vision 550! My first street bike. Virago 565 also gas a nice ring to it.

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  5. Klaus says:

    The headline is a bit misleading – “new crossplane twin” – when it states in the report that “the parallel-twin will not technically feature a crossplane crankshaft”. So the discussions about 270 degree cranks are interesting but off-topic.
    The “crossplane talk” comes from the fact that the engine “will be considered part of the family by Yamaha, presumably because, like the engine block featured in the FZ-09, it will be a derivative of the R1 and feature the same bore.”
    So it will have the same bore as the R1 and thus be part of the “crossplane family” – quite a stretch!

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  6. Satoru says:

    There is additional news to this. Yamaha is also going to introduce a trike quite similar to Piaggio MP3. And it’s going to be powered by the twin you see on a photo.

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    • MGNorge says:

      If this is so, and a trike is in the works, it would seem that if this proposed new twin is part of the mix, that it doesn’t sound like the screamin’ demon that its “cross-plane” triple brother is made out to be.

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  7. John says:

    I would gladly buy a 565cc Tenere, as long as it’s got an acceptably low seat height and weight. Preferably in the area of 32″ and 350-375lbs.

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    • Guylr says:

      In the 500-600cc twin class you’ll probably see steel frames like that of the FZ6R to keep cost down. That bike comes in at about 450 pounds wet. So even as a lighter twin I’d expect it to be right around 400 pounds. Add Tenere type racks, shields and guards and you’re up an other 30 pounds or so. Not that light but not too bad either.

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    • Eric says:

      Oh yeah, me too. DR and KLR killer, that bike would be. For some reason this seems to be technologically and financially impossible for Japanese manufacturers. WR250R is almost perfect for my use, except for the displacement. I’d pay the same price or a bit more as WR and accept 50 pounds more weight for a fuel-injected 500-600 cc dual sport/adventure tourer. I guess KTM had the 640 Adventure and that never really gained any traction. Mzybe too pricey, too short service intervals?

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  8. Gary says:

    Interesting approach to marketing by Yamaha … focusing on the engine first, then the rest of the bike(s), as they are developed. Similar to Silicon Valley’s “Intel Inside” ingredient campaign, which others have tried (and failed) to replicate. Makes me wonder whether this engine will be featured in bikes other than Yamaha.

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  9. Artem says:

    Like this engine. Its clean shapes purely shows the design process.

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  10. Doug says:

    Go Yamaha! it’s not the honda snore-fest. Both engines look great. Glad to not to see any fake cooling fins, Kawasaki take note. The new FZ-09 is so much more motorcycle than the blando safety scooter NC700SA.

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    • MGNorge says:

      Not aimed at the same person.

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        • MGNorge says:

          My point is how does one compare bikes that aren’t cross shopped by potential customers. It’s like comparing a Mustang to a Carolla.

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          • Doug says:

            The two bikes are the most recent releases in a similar displacement rage from either company. They can act as set of examples of each manufacturers goals & priorities, ie. personalities. If they are different then maybe it’s that both these roadster/naked examples are executed with different results. That does not negate the comparison, it actually accentuates it.

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          • Dave says:

            Mgnorge is right. That Honda released a different bike that is different than Yamaha’s means very little in judging their personalities, more to do with development cycles. Yam a has the majesty scooter and lower cost cruisers too. Honda just released the 500′s and a new cbr600 as well as announcing an upcoming v4 superbike.

            Yamaha made a great move but they need to make more of them. It-s been a tough 5 years for all the Japanese makes. Hopefully they’ll continue to invest in new models.

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          • Norm G. says:

            re: “The two bikes are the most recent releases in a similar displacement rage from either company. They can act as set of examples of each manufacturers goals & priorities, ie. personalities. If they are different then maybe it’s that both these roadster/naked examples are executed with different results. That does not negate the comparison, it actually accentuates it.”

            couldn’t have said it better myself.

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          • Klaus says:

            I’m with MGNorge. You can’t pick just one bike and use it as an example of a manufacturer’s goal and priority when at the same time the same manufacturer offers very different bikes, like Dave pointed out. Compare the Yamaha Majesty with the CBR600 and you’ll come to the opposite conclusion.

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  11. soi cowboy says:

    I don’t want to be the one to pss the pool, but that never stopped me before.. To me this is a repeat of the strategic disaster of the early 80s. Lots of new product and big plans followed by record setting showroom endurances. Dealers in my region have Bolts for 9k, while nos vstar 950s are less than 8k.

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    • goose says:

      It sounds like you were also there in the eighties, I remember that time well. Great for buyers, bad for Yamaha and terrible for dealers.

      If Yamaha had done this in 2006 I’d see a similarity to the eighties. With the US economy on the (slow) upswing it seems like Yamaha is timing their move well.

      Time will tell,

      Goose

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    • Provologna says:

      I’m age 59 and bought one NOS Yamaha in the mid 80s, an 81 XV920R silver. IIRC OTD for this gem was about $1300; original MSRP base was $1999. I lived through Yamaha’s nightmare and watched the daily long list of NOS deals in SF Chronicle classifieds (remember those, old timers?), models ranging from small dirt bikes to full dress Ventures and everything in between (including all years for the gorgeous full fairing silver XJ650 Turbo).

      Readers need a bit of history I’ve posted before. In the late 70s Yamaha foolishly decided to overtake Honda as the world’s number one maker of motorcycles. They jacked production to maximum expecting that if they made them, buyers would buy them. Immediately thereafter worldwide recession hit and motorcycle sales dropped like a stone.

      Yamaha had bikes backed up in the supply chain to the rafters and no buyers. Bankruptcy arrived with no available credit. Yamaha CEO came before the throne of Soichiro Honda himself, begged for forgiveness for their stupendous error, and Soichiro saved Yamaha from the graveyard of history with financial loans.

      No such current situation exists such as described above with Yamaha.

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      • Brian says:

        I was a Yamaha dealer at that time, and while I do remember pages of non-currents being available at the warehouses, I never EVER heard of bailout loans to Yamaha from Honda. What I recall was a similar situation industry wide, with leftover Hondas, Yamahas, Suzukis, and Kawasakis. Honda definitely cleaned Yamaha’s clocks from a sales (and specifically marketing) perspective, but there was NEVER any talk of bankruptcy or bailouts…

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        • Provologna says:

          I have no way to confirm nor deny the story I mentioned. The story could be true with no public confirmed disclosure, all the history having occurred behind closed and tightly secured doors.

          But I’ll swear to the following: Per the San Francisco Chronicle motorcycle classifieds, of all motorcycle makers in the early through mid-late 80s, absolutely positively Yamaha listed the largest number of NOS models and for a longer duration of time in years. The model choices were less and duration of sale backlog was shorter with every other make.

          The fact of Yamaha having suffered the worst effects of the world recession at that time is consistent with other points in the story.

          As a 59 year old professional business person I have never seen such gross example of NOS merchandise in similar cost category, especially merchandise for discretionary purchase (Americans don’t generally buy bikes for general transportation).

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          • Brian says:

            Those are facts I can agree with. In the mid-80′s Yamaha had non-currents in the warehouses from as far back as 1979. Funny thing is that there were SR500′s available in the last 3 model years 79-81 and your couldn’t GIVE them away…now any of them will fetch more than original MSRP in decent condition. (CBX’s and non-Yamaha turbos fall in this category as well) Then as now, Yamaha seemed least willing to “bite the bullet” and clear out non-current inventory as fast as the other 3. This time around though, they learned a lesson and stuck the dealers with inventory rather than have it in the warehouses. Guess the net result was the same as they got a lot of machines back when the dealers folded, but I don’t remember as many dealers closing back then as have since ’08… jmho…

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        • Norm G. says:

          re: “This time around though, they learned a lesson and stuck the dealers with inventory rather than have it in the warehouses. Guess the net result was the same as they got a lot of machines back when the dealers folded”

          and there it is, the “shell game” of trying to hide costs when in reality… THERE IS NO HIDING COSTS.

          there are only attempts to transfer financial burden onto someone (or some entity) who’s name you may, or may not know.

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      • soi cowboy says:

        A lot was demographics as well. Baby boomers were in their 30s and giving up the toys for a mortgage.

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      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Yamaha had bikes backed up in the supply chain to the rafters”

        the technical term is “out the yin-yang”.

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    • soi cowboy says:

      BTW that might be a cam phaser on the exhaust.

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      • Norm G. says:

        that might also simply be a single sprocket drive to reduce the spacing between the cams and thus the overall size of the head and utilizes a shorter/less hyvo chain.

        notice the bump out on the triple’s valve cover, that’s clearly a traditional setup of a chain draped across 2 separate sprockets. in the single drive setup, an integral gear on the exhaust cam then meshes with an integral gear on the intake cam spinning it 1:1 anti-clockwise. whatever attempts to advance or retard the one cam would impact both lobe centers equally. not 100% on the specifics, but you’d definitely lose independence and the effect may or may not be something you want.

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  12. Rocky V says:

    I loved the Husky Twin–900cc’s

    as for styling –my Zrx motor looks great with the fake fins–i don’t know why mor motors are not made like that–

    I would hope at some point BMW – chops off two cylinders -on the 1000 rr—90hp from a 500= fun

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  13. HotDog says:

    I’m starting to sense a small Tenere, comfortable, powerfull, lithe and easy to pick up.

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  14. EZ Mark says:

    It looks like it has a Uni-cam head like the CR-F Honda’s.
    Did Honda’s patent expire yet?

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  15. Starmag says:

    I was just thinking how much I’d love to have this sounds-like-v-twin in my KLR instead of it’s current motor which runs and sounds like a diesel without a diesel’s MPG (the diesel version of the KLR gets 100MPG vs a stocker’s 60). Also it would DOUBLE the horsepower with a minimal weight gain.

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    • Tim says:

      Then you need to check out ADVRider and search for the ‘Versys/Ninja 650 swap into a KLR’ stories. I’ve stopped checking in as regularly but, at one time, the original swapper was selling kits with all of the custom fabbed bits (it wasn’t a lot of parts) so you could make your own. Wrecked Ninja 650′s are fairly plentiful and reasonably affordable. I don’t know how much the Kawasaki twin sounds like a V-Twin but it would nearly double the stock HP.

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  16. John Bryan says:

    Looks like Honda’s CB500 range is about to get trumped – maybe by a new-style XS “600″?

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    • MGNorge says:

      Depends on what price they are offered for too. In the sixties and early seventies there were models offered at just about every 10cc from 50′s to 125′s. Many more models, each with their own flavor, configuration, and price point.

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      • ROXX says:

        Judging that the triple is only $7990, I’d say the Honda is obsolete.

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        • Dave says:

          The Honda is nearly $2k less and aimed at riders who aren’t interested or ready for something like the Fz-09. Given what Yamaha achieved with the FZ, the news of a 500 twin does have to be troubling to Honda though.

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          • paul A says:

            What I want to know is, who is going to buy the Suzuki SVF650 for $8000?

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          • Norm G. says:

            re: “the news of a 500 twin does have to be troubling to Honda though.”

            they’re not scared in the least. they got the jump on the market and they’ve got the ace of thai manufacturing. remember, this is the race to the bottom. I’ve said previously in the race to the bottom there are no winners.

            well, that’s not entirely correct. in the race to the bottom, the one with the best margins is the winner. Honda can bury, kawi, yam, and suzi. k-heavy can prolly last the longest, but there isn’t a one in that bunch who can survive on thin margins.

            when margins are this small, even if units moved at the rate say… 600′s, 1000′s, and 1200′s used to a few years ago…? (which they aren’t) that isn’t going to get it done (mladin voice). the numbers don’t add up.

            anything less than 3rd world volume is just treadin’ water. meanwhile, big red (flush with cash) swims with the fishes. the rest…? sleep with the fishes. savvy…?

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  17. goose says:

    Interesting new engine. It looks like it is built to a lower price point. It isn’t finished as well and the transmission isn’t stacked like the triple and they are doing something odd with the cams, I wonder what the cylindrical bulge on the right end of he front cam is covering. My big question is what is the big bulge in front of the crankshaft. It may be the balance shaft but it seem too big for just that.

    Just because he exterior is different doesn’t mean the internals aren’t common.

    Whatever Yamaha is going to do with it it isn’t a scooter engine, they need to be nearly horizontal (like the TMax and NC700) to fit in a scooter chassis.

    From my understanding the conjecture the engine has a 270 degree crank is correct. Both a 180 degree twin and a 360 twin have the pistons stopping at the same time, that isn’t “cross plane”. A 270 twin has one piston stopped when the other is at maximum speed, that is cross plane.

    Goose

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  18. TheBaron says:

    As even the most unobservant bird would notice, in the top shot there’s an in-line three cylinder engine and a parallel twin. Yamaha did indeed switch the crank phasing in the old Super Tenere engine to create the TRX-850. The big-ends were phased 90 degrees apart instead of 180 or 360 degrees, as had been used in parallel twins since the first ones appeared. Yamaha’s marketing people chose to call this a “270 degree” crankshaft (same thing). So yes, the TRX-850 had firing intervals the same as a 90 degree V-twin with a common crankpin – 270 and 450 degrees. Triumph has done this with one of its Bonneville engines, in the Scrambler and also the Thunderbird. Honda has done this with the new 700cc twins and Yamaha is using it in the Super Tenere 1200. Vic Willoughby wrote a lengthy technical treatise on this – for the people who can read more than two paragraphs.

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    • Starmag says:

      Nice info.”As even the most unobservant bird would notice”, ” for the people who can read more than two paragraphs”. Go back to bed, get up on the other side, and get back to us.

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    • DucTech says:

      As an unobservant bird, it looks to possibly have gear or hybrid gear dive cams and or variable cam timing along with a fairly large counter balancer. Yes indeed Yamaha has done the “Crossplane“ crank in a twin, makes it sound like a proper motorcycle engine not the fart like sounds of a 180° or 360° parallel twin. Maybe now the U.S. can have a proper TRX type bike.

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      • HotDog says:

        I think the press had a pretty good hand in Yamaha not bringing the TRX into the U.S. . At the time, Ducs were 851/888 and dressed in a white trellis frame. Yamaha released it in Europe and the press in the U.S. stated to call it “Trixy”. The press choose a sissy name, instead of perhaps “T-REX”. How about the TDM850? The press associated it with “Tedium” and it sold here for 2 years. A great motor in those machines, let’s hope that Yamaha makes a run again, in the U.S., with more parallel twins.

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  19. John says:

    The 2-cylinder looks terribly ugly though. It looks like it was designed to be hidden, which could be a bad sign. Or in a 4-wheeler, where people don’t care how it looks.

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    • Starmag says:

      + 1 I normally hate fake styling cues,fake scoops and the like, but I make an exception for fake fins on water-cooled engines that show. They’re easy and cheap and would beautify the top end. The bottom end looks fine to me.

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  20. John says:

    JAPAN. F*** YEAH.

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  21. paul A says:

    I wish Yamaha would use that motor to build a cruiser, without the feet forward (like the eliminators and sportsters).

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  22. Norm G. says:

    I just rode a tenere. this would likely be THAT engine.

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    • Tim says:

      Norm, I test rode a Tenere too, thinking I might buy one. There was a very rough spot at about 3,500 to 4,000 RPM that has me scared…very un-Yamaha like. I had also tested the 1200GS and the Triumph Explorer, and loved both engines. Now I’m leaning GS despite the reliability and cost of maintenance concerns. Just curious if you noticed something similar on the Tenere you rode? I have noticed others commenting on this but I don’t know if it is limited to a few bikes or an actual defect in the design or software. It was very a annoying. The bike had only 2 miles when I tested it so I thought maybe it just hadn’t worn in yet. The BMW was incredible…brakes, motor, handling. Kind of wish I hadn’t tested it because it will be very hard to pass on it, and I hate the cost.

      The smaller twin might make a nice, lighter weight version of the Tenere…good thought there.

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      • Jim says:

        The Tenere benefits greatly from an ECUnleashed ECU reflash, which gets rid of that EPA-setting induced rough spot that you felt. It also removes the restrictions in 1-3 gears and improves fuel mileage. People also have found that resincing the throttle bodies also helps.

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      • Norm G. says:

        yup, I noticed similar. it’s the combo of the 90 degree crank/parallel twin set-up. I felt the same (albeit a harmonic higher) when I first rode the CP R1. for me it’s just different set of vibes than you’d get from say… a triumph bonnie. tenere or GS…? whew, nice options to have. :) can’t lose with either.

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  23. Gary says:

    Those two engine don’t appear to share any similarity. From the shape of the head, cylinder, water pump housing & case…these are two different designs.

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    • John A. Kuzmenko says:

      I thought the same thing.

      It doesn’t have the same triangle-shaped layout of the crankshaft, transmission main axle, and transmission driven axle that the Yamaha sport bikes have had since the original YZF-R1K of 1998.

      Doesn’t look like a sport bike engine to me, but instead looks big and chunky.
      Time will tell if first impressions are correct.

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    • jim says:

      but if they can sell them as “Cross-plane” twins you can bet they certainly will.

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  24. Dave says:

    Didn’t they do a clocked crank on the TRX-850 to make the parelell twin have the same characteristics as a 90* v-twin? That is the same as what they called “cross-plane”.

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    • Dave says:

      Someone pointed out that the Phazer snowmobile is powered by an 80hp 500cc 4-stroke. Could this be a version of that engine?

      Things are getting good…

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    • Guylr says:

      The TRX and the updated TDM850 both got the 270 degree crank for 1996. It was carried on in the TDM 900 and new Super Tenere too so it’s a familiar layout for them now. I’m wondering how large this engine will be. By the size of those head pipes I’d guess anywhere from 600 to 700cc or more.

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    • Bob Downe says:

      Yes they did, I own one. it is a true “crossplane” crank firing @ 270deg & 360deg just like a 90deg V twin.

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  25. Gutterslob says:

    This will probably go into future Tmax and other ‘maxi’ scooter models. You can even see a scoot parked beside them.
    Here’s hoping Roland Sands decides to make another Hypermodified Tmax in future.

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  26. Michael H says:

    Umm…that thing in the back of the top photo looks like an aluminum scooter frame….

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  27. Kagato says:

    Tip of the iceberg I think they said–looking forward to some smaller displacement bikes! Scrambler please!

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