Yamaha patented {smooth} transmission | Motorradonline.de

Yamaha patented MotoGP’s Smooth Shift Technology. The new R1 can be equipped with this gearbox.

So-called smooth gearing has been a cutting edge technology in MotoGP since 2011. Complex technology has yet to hit the road. Ducati received the patented special system for sequential use in 2020. Yamaha will follow suit in 2022.

R1 . seamless gears

Seamless transmissions derive their name from smooth transmissions that do not cause any interruption in traction on the rear wheel and therefore the load does not change. These transmissions work with the traction clutch, though two primary gears are always engaged at the same time. The difference is in the way of changing gears. In conventional transmissions, the transmission cylinder moves the claws that move the sleeve between the gears and engage the gear. Seamless transmissions work differently: here, the transmission cylinder acts directly on a two-part transmission shaft and rotates it slightly. As a result, in the case of the Yamaha system, dolphins are set up—not unlike the free movement of a bike—which then insert into appropriate gaps in the previously freely rotating gear wheel, thus completing the gear change.


With the seamless technology in the transmission, transmissions take place without any load changes or interruptions in traction.

Advantages and disadvantages

The advantages are obvious: gear changes work instantly, there are no changes in load and turbulence in an inclined position and the rear tire is protected. In addition, a semi-automatic type can be offered as a comfortable function on the road with a real automatic transmission, without the disadvantages of a dual-clutch transmission with an additional clutch. However, the disadvantages are that the technology is too complex, not stable and therefore potentially expensive, which, however, should have small advantages in terms of gearbox weight.

When does seamless transfer come?

MotoGP has been using these gearboxes for over 10 years. This technology was not introduced into the production chain. Only Ducati and now Yamaha “recognize” this type of transmission and use it on the road with corresponding patents. It is not known if, how and when smooth shifts will initially change gears in sports motorcycles. On the other hand, fast converters for conventional transmission work excellently.


Yamaha has patented a smooth-shift transmission. Transmissions of this type always have two gears at the same time, and they can be engaged with only one clutch. When changing gears, the sleeves are not moved, but the free small wheels are closed and opened. The gear shaft is mechanically actuated. It remains unclear whether the seamless transmission will soon be used by Yamaha in production motorcycles.

Leave a Comment