For 2016 the motorcycle industry talk is all about fractured-split technology. While the technology itself isn't new, it's back in the headlines because Yamaha technicians have perfected a system to fracture-split titanium. This has allowed the motorcycle manufacturer to produce cost effective titanium connecting rods for its latest sportsbike.
The term fractured-split technology may look awesome when you read about it, but how many people actually know that it is, what's it's used for and the benefits it delivers?
Fractured-splitting is the process allowing a solid object to be fractured into two or more pieces in a controlled fashion, similar to the way a tile cutter scores the surface of a tile and then applies pressure to create a fracture along the scored line. Yamaha's new technology employs two engineering ideas which have been around for decades – the use of lightweight titanium for connecting rods and fracture-splitting. But it's a 21st century breakthrough which is allowing it to produce a perfectly fitting connecting rod and end cap from titanium, saving substantial manufacturing costs in the process.
Like the stacked gearbox used by Yamaha in 1998, the new fracture-split technology for connecting rods could revolutionize motorcycle engine design.