It is hard to believe, but it has been eight years since Valentino Rossi raced a Yamaha in liter capacity in MotoGP. Without even getting into the 800cc era that started in 2007 and ended in 2011, it is safe to say that a lot has changed since Rossi’s 2006 Yamaha YZR-M1 and the still unofficially debuted 2013 Yamaha YZR-M1.
While we already have a pretty good idea what was under the fairings of Rossi’s 2006 M1, since Yamaha Racing made detailed high-resolution pictures of the machine publicly available, what lies beneath the fairings of MotoGP’s current crop of prototypes is a closely guarded secret.
That secret must not have been guarded closely enough though, because the eagle eyes at GPone have gotten a photo of the Jorge Lorenzo’s M1 in the buff, and the Pride of Iwata has some interesting secrets to share with us.
Most notably, the 2013 Yamaha YZR-M1 has an almost triangular frame that envelopes the cylinder head of the YZR-M1 engine. Contrast that to the almost pure twin-spar design that the 2006 model’s frame employs, and you can see a real evolution in the M1’s design philosophy, from arms the reach down to the lower parts of the engine, to the full-on aluminum triangle shape.
Almost a more conservative approach to Ducati’s “frameless” chassis design, the 2013 Yamaha M1 clearly builds a great deal of the chassis’s front end off of the motor, though where the Ducati GP11 had only the small subframes off the engine heads, Yamaha has maintained a more standard perimeter-style frame into the equation.
There is certain M1 a bevy of conjecture about how and why the new M1 chassis functions (be sure to read GPone’s own insightful opinion). Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Photos of the 2006 Yamaha YZR-M1: