The Bike

Yamaha USA [IMAGE]

The 1993 model year saw the introduction of a bike heralded by some as the Bike of the Century. Yamaha produced one of the finest motorcycles ever built -- The GTS-1000. It was to be a technological tour de force.
Yamaha's GTS-1000 features the following technologies; RADD front suspension, Electronic Fuel Injection, ABS brakes (front and rear), a three-way catalytic converter, genesis-technology engine.


Yamaha calls it Advanced Sport Touring, certainly the GTS 1000 is one of the most forward-thinking designs ever to be presented as a production motorcycle. Central to the design, is James Parker's RADD front suspension. RADD is short for Rationally ADvanced Design; the system lives up to its name.

The front suspension of the GTS is similar to the double-wishbone suspension which has been found on race cars for many years. To accommodate the 90 degree twist on this older but effective idea, the lower swingarm is single-sided. A telescopic steering shaft provides direct input to the front wheel from the handlebars. The front wheel hub is mounted on a spindle attached to a steering knuckle. Two ball joints are used to connect the steering knuckle to the upper and lower A-arms.


So why all the fuss over a design so steeped in tradition? Traditional front forks compress over bumps and during braking, the fork tubes bind in their slides while the wheelbase and caster angle changes, creating wobbles. The GTS1000 has anti-dive geometry and minimal bump steer designed into the front suspension. The use of ball joints minimizes frictional area and resultant binding, and all the suspension forces are channeled straight back to the rear swingarm. Compared to even the best conventional motorcycle, the GTS feels more stable under braking and bumpy corners.

A dished front wheel allows the immense radially-vented front rotor to be located on the centerline of the vehicle. This leads to phenomenal braking (60-0 mph in 89 feet!) without the usual side-pull associated with other single-rotor front braking systems. Most GTS 1000's are equipped with Yamaha's excellent ABS.


The Omega frame allows the use of the engine as a stressed member and is a rigid and light-weight means for providing the pivot-points for the aluminum front and rear swingarms. The appearance of the assembly closely resembles that of the Greek letter Omega, hence the name. Subframes of steel tubing support the seat and steering head.


The powerplant of the GTS is based on the FZR's 1002cc, five-valves per cylinder, water-cooled inline four Genesis engine. The carburetors have been replaced with electronic fuel injection (no choke!). The EFI provides excellent power delivery with an absence of flat spots at any altitude and gas mileage of about 47 mpg or about 4.5 liters/100km. Milder camshafts and lower compression ratio have replaced the FZR's high-end horsepower with real world grunt. (98hp@7500rpm 68ft-lbs of torque at 6800rpm) The GTS accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.3 seconds (40-60 mph & 60-80 mph, 3.7 and 3.8 seconds respectively) and can turn 11.7's in the quarter mile at about 115 mph.

The end. [IMAGE]

I have another page featuring unusual bikes, if you'd like to have a look, just go to the outer limits!


Don McClellan

Updated Friday, May 23, 1997