According to a media report, Yamaha is working on a new engine layout for the YZF-R25 / YZF-R3. The news of the Kawasaki in-line 4 quarter-litre monster has taken the automobile world by a storm and Yamaha is likely to be developing a three-cylinder quarter-litre engine to be used on the next generation YZF-R25 & YZF-R3. If the rumours are true and the bike gets updated to three-cylinders, it will compete with the rumoured Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R speculated to get a 4-cylinder engine.
The quarter-litre motorcycle is quite popular in the ASEAN markets and the Yamaha R25 is quite a hit there. In India, Yamaha sells the R3 which is a R25 based higher displacement motorcycle and sports a 321cc parallel-twin engine. There are poor quality spyshots which have emerged on the internet, but we don’t think that the prototype might be in such developed running stages at the moment. India by the way still has to receive the facelift of the Yamaha YZF-R3.
The Yamaha YZF-R3 currently in India is powered by a 321cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve motor producing 42 PS of power @ 10750 RPM and 29.6 Nm of torque @ 9000 RPM matched to a 6-speed gearbox. The facelift model is expected to bring USD forks to the table, which is not present in the current model. Yamaha did give the R3 an ABS update in 2018.
If Yamaha is truly developing a new engine layout, it could have been in research for a long time now and the company could be hiding it in the ‘Dark Side of Japan’, who knows? The bigger more powerful engine will also come at a higher price tag which will be close to motorcycles with a 400cc engine and with a premium price could compete with the twin-cylinder Kawasaki Ninja 400.