Back When: YZR M1 2004 – Rossi’s first Yamaha | Valentino Rossi Blog

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Back When: YZR M1 2004 – Rossi’s first Yamaha

 Honda and Yamaha’s battle had waged for years both on and 
off the track. With the 2002 rule changes and the introduction 
of the MotoGP™ class, the four stroke engines presented their
 rivalry with a new dimension. New regulations meant more
 development, racing technology again testing and 
experimenting for future consumer products.

It was for this reason that Yamaha adopted a more
conventional four-cylinder engine layout as opposed
 to the exotic V5 of their rivals Honda. From this point
 on the Yamaha became known as the ‘YZR M1,’ the
 Iwata brand looking for success in the new racing era.
The arrival of Valentino Rossi in the official team at
the end of the 2003 season marked a distinct shift
with the Yamaha. His move changed the expectations
of many and saw a complete revolution within
Yamaha’s racing department, accelerating the development
process of the M1 to turn it into Rossi’s bike,
a true championship weapon.
Within the framework of the inline four a number of
 different crankshaft settings were tested in the pursuit 
of power and make it as useable by the rider as possible.
 Four and five valves per cylinder were also tested with 
the same end goal, Yamaha eventually settling on four valves. 
Electronic carburettors had already been rejected during the 
2003 season. The cylinders were inclined along the lines of 
the Yamaha R1, which allowed the frame, a classic twin 
beam aluminium design, to envelope the engine more
 and improve overall aerodynamics.
In the 2004 version of the Yamaha M1, the engine
mounting spars at the front of the bike were longer
 than that of its predecessor as Yamaha looked for
 great rigidity. The centre of gravity was also lowered
 to improve traction, all MotoGP™ bikes and riders
always hunting for more traction.
The results of all this work was a leap forward in the
competitiveness of the bike, confirmed by the victory
 of Valentino Rossi in the first GP of the season in
 South Africa. Rossi took the title on his first attempt
with Yamaha. It was the start of a relationship that
 would bring a number of great moments for the union
 of the Italian rider and Japanese brand in the
following years.
Tech Specs
EngineFour stroke, in-line four
FuelingElectronic fuel Injection
PowerOver 250bhp
ChassisTwim beam aluminium
Front SuspensionÖhlins upside down front forks
Rear SuspensionÖhlins rear shock
BrakesBrembo Carbon front disc, steel rear disc

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