Nearly a year and a half ago, The Watercraft Journal outlined that the future of powersports was to be found in small displacement engines producing levels of power that previously couldn’t have been imagined. The very next year, Yamaha WaveRunners introduced to the world the TR-1, a (DOHC) dual-overhead-camshaft, four-valve-per-cylinder, 4-stroke 1-liter (1049cc) naturally-aspirated 3-cylinder.
Coming in at 40-percent smaller (gone is one cylinder and the reduction gear, integrated the oil tank, attached the ECU and air filter to the motor, and used fewer parts), 20-percent lighter (160-pounds), and 13-percent more powerful (125 horsepower) than the outgoing MR-1 engine, the TR-1 is now the standard powerplant for the entire VX lineup as it provides sharper acceleration, higher top speeds, and greater fuel economy.
At 1,049ccs, the TR-1 retains the near identical displacement as the outgoing MR-1 (1,052ccs), and is larger than both its snow and sand counterparts, which come in at 998ccs. Although all three versions of the engine are watercooled DOHC 3-cylinders, mistaking them as being identical triplets would be erroneous.
The off-road YXZ features a broader powerband through its huge 10,500 rpm range, a vibration reducer that cuts engine vibration by 25% at 8500 rpm, a dry sump oiling system (with a baffled aluminum container) permits for a shorter oil pan.
And now, as of March 9th, 2016, the snowmobiles have something to preen over: A factory-turbocharged 4-stroke engine making “close to 200 HP”, making it the most powerful snowmobile engine available on a showroom floor. Built for the 2017 Yamaha Sidewinder, the new Genesis turbocharged and intercooled, 998cc 4-stroke three-cylinder features triple throttle bodies (a first in production turbo engines), lightweight, hardened steel connecting rods mated to forged aluminum pistons that are cooled and lubricated by an under-skirt oil spraying system, as the lightweight aluminum cylinders are ceramic-coated for durability.
This is easily one of the most impressive engine systems we’ve encountered in the powersports market, and wonder if and when we might expect to see Yamaha’s brilliance and ingenuity seen here applied to the personal watercraft market…