Do you remember Gyro Gearloose? He was an anthropomorphic chicken created by the Walt Disney Company who appeared in the Scrooge McDuck comic-book series. Gyro was the town of Duckburg’s most famous inventor. Because his inventions were rarely successful, the name Gyro Gearloose has become synonymous with any inventor with a crazy or crackpot idea. Motocross has had more than its fair share of Gyro Gearlooses?some amazingly successful, rich and lauded for their ideas, while others were derided, laughed at and forgotten for ideas that were just as good. Sadly, some of the most creative motocross inventions never made it to the bikes of a sport dedicated to innovation. MXA presents the latest installment in its series of weird and wacky inventions.
YAMAHA PANCAKE PIPE
Because Yamaha didn’t have an air-cooled works bike ready to go in the 1980s, they decided to make the best of what they had. So, they flattened the main cone of their works YZ490 exhaust pipe to use it as a scoop to draw air through the cylinder fins.
It as called the “pancake pipe” because it was squashed flat. Even though Hakan won the 500 World Championship in 1983, he was never very happy with his air-cooled Yamaha YZ490 (called the OW500). The pipe’s unusual shape did cost some horsepower, but the YZ90 engine could afford to lose a little.
Hakan Carlqvist? 1979 250 and 1983 500 World Champion.