Yamaha’s ‘Dark Side’

Last year’s Cologne Motorcycle Show saw Yamaha make bold claims about what we could expect from them in the near future.

The firm unveiled a slightly bizarre wire and engine ‘sculpture’ centred around an all-new, three-cylinder engine, dubbed the ‘P3’.

Yamaha hasn’t given much away about the new motor, but they are very clear about its significance – openly admitting the company had been too passive in recent years in developing new models. Now they claim the P3 symbolises the return of Yamaha to the top.

The radical three-cylinder is the pet project of Kunihiko Miwa, Yamaha Motor Corporation’s Senior Executive officer, and the man who was chiefly responsible for the firm’s landmark R1 and R6 sports bikes back in the ‘90s.

Miwa told MCN that Yamaha had gone for a transverse three-cylinder layout as it is lighter and slimmer than a four, and would incorporate Yamaha’s latest ‘cross-plane’ technology as introduced on the current R1.

He said: “Over the past few years we know people have been asking ‘What is happening to Yamaha?’, that we were not producing as many exciting motorcycles as we used to. We are now taking a new approach and now we want to introduce models that give a hint of that future.”

You can’t overstate the importance of the new triple to Yamaha’s plans. While we’re still waiting for confirmation on the details of the first bike it will appear in, it’s already certain that triples will feature in multiple capacities, and across several different types of machine.

Yamaha have also confirmed that: “A big announcement will be made on Tuesday June 11 at 2pm”, when we’re expecting to see the production-ready triple in the metal for the first time, and to have full technical information about the engine. But in the meantime have a watch of the official video…

Andy Davidson

By Andy Davidson

Former MCN Feature writer