Yamaha R1 to Get Dual-Clutch Transmission?

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Visordown is reporting that Yamaha is planning an electronically controlled dual-clutch transmission for a future version of its YZF-R1 superbike. Taking a page from the Honda VFR1200F’s DCT setup (check for our ride report on this in the next few days), Yamaha is looking to implement a simpler DCT system than the one found on the Honda VFR, with a clutch on either side of the motorcycle gearbox.

Yamaha’s DCT is different from the Honda unit, which employs an input shaft the runs through the other input shaft, and has the clutches all on one side of the motor. Instead of this all-in-one arrangement, Yamaha is using a split input shaft that’s half the normal length, with each half attached to an opposing clutch. The overall affect is a much simpler arrangement, but is not as compact or light as the Honda DCT.

The justification for this trade-off is that while the Yamaha DCT is bulkier and heavier than the Honda DCT, it allows the weight of the dual-clutch system to be evenly distributed across the motorcycle. We didn’t notice any lateral bias when we rode the 2010 Honda VFR1200F last week, but the YZF-R1 is a very different animal than the VFR, and weight balance plays a more important role as such, so there may be something to that reasoning.

Visordown is reporting that the current prototype of the Yamaha dual-clutch transmission has been tested on a ’07 R1, suggesting that Yamaha has been working on their DCT setup for nearly three years now. It’s not known when Yamaha will bring out the DCT R1, but considering the rumor (also from Visordown) that Honda is working on DCT CBR1000RR, it would seem that sport bikes do not have to wait long for the new technology to make it to the race track.

We’re still iffy on this rumor as we have not been able to confirm with Yamaha that they are working on a dual-clutch transmission for the YZF-R1. Considering that Visordown seems to be making a lot of DCT connections with sport bikes this week, and with their general reputation for being hit or miss with rumors, we’re not overly optimistic on this one. However, it’s very clear that dual-clutch transmissions will make their way into sport bikes eventually, the question is just how soon that future will be for us. More as we get it.

Source: Visordown