When Yamaha announced its new R1 literbike last fall, company reps told us about the tractability assets of its new, MotoGP-derived crossplane crankshaft for the four-cylinder engine. It’s unique in that cylinders fire 90-degrees apart, allegedly enabling better grip during acceleration.

A byproduct of this design is an exhaust note that is distinctive in this world of cookie-cutter designs. The new R1 sounds most like a V-Four engine, although it also has sonic elements of a V-Twin and a traditional inline-Four.

We’ll be sampling it for ourselves next week, but in the meantime let me direct you to a couple of YouTube videos in which you can hear the engine now.

Here’s a European promo video that includes comments from none other than MotoGP God Valentino Rossi:

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For a better look at the bike, plus some more sounds, check out this other Yamaha-produced video:

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We’re getting our bags packed for a trip to sample the distinctive new R1 at Eastern Creek in Australia. We’ll have a full report for you next week, so stay tuned!

2009 Yamaha R1 Unveiled

2008 Literbike Shootout

  • Tim

    WOW it sounds so different not the deep thump a high pitched note now i really do like it sounds very gp . Would love to here it in real life guess it wont be long.