Recent comments

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   1 hour 43 min ago

    I am really sorry that in my reply instead of ending after making a case for KTM entering MotoGP (I suppose I cannot call it making a case, but I can't find better words at this point) I went to declare my love for two strokes and my petulant attitude to the environment. Thanks for once again bringing me and the rest of us down to earth again and reminding us of what we can discuss and what we cannot given the nature of website and the forums. Apologies once again and thank you.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   3 hours 29 min ago

    Mercedes' latest iteration of Magic Body Control uses stereoscopic cameras to read the road surface ahead of the car and prepare the suspension accordingly, and Rolls-Royce are using GPS connected to the transmission in the Wraith to make sure the car is always in the right gear.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   3 hours 48 min ago

    I think there is a level of misunderstanding on the real capabilities of current electronics. Maybe it's too many sci-fi movies. Currently, Google's self-driving car is unable to distinguish between rain drops and collision objects. And that is an unlimited-budget project with the best mapping available. Allow me to remind that people drive completely off the road, in broad daylight, every day, blindly following their GPS!

    Electronics are rider's aids, not substitute riders. Some folks just need to get over that 2-strokes, shitty rubber, pathetic suspension and carburetors are NEVER coming back to MotoGP.

    Even in a collaborative effort, someone has to lead. Cecchinelli comes off not like a tyrant, but more like a steering committee, herding cats in a general direction. Maybe its messy from time to time, but its better for fans in the long term than no rules, or as it has been: rule-making by the perennial winners.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   5 hours 1 min ago

    The whole thing sounds very professional and handled by experts, until you realise that the 'new system' that Cecchinelli is trying to implement and get his head around in preparation for July 2015 is an out of the box Sharepoint change request system.

    Are these people going to be able understand and properly handle the software that controls the best prototype motorcycles in the world?

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   5 hours 1 min ago

    I'm all for ABS on the streets and roads, and traction control as well. But not in racing, where I want the contest to be between the riders to the maximum extent possible. We certainly need to keep some form of TC to prevent highside crashes, but today's strategy of just whacking the throttle WFO on corner exit (and let the electrons take care of it) is just lame. The racing in F1 was improved when they banned TC, and MotoGP needs to do the same.

    There are viable strategies for safety-only TC. For example, when TC kicks in (meaning the rider has made a mistake and in danger of a crash related to throttle control), the TC is there to save your ass, but full power will not be available for a dew seconds. So the rider will not activate TC intentionally. This is the approach I favor for the spec electronics. TC for safety only. Wheelie control banned. Launch control banned. Seamless gearboxs banned.

    I'm very disappointed by Cecchinelli's approach to this opportunity. Just my $0.02.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   5 hours 22 min ago

    Which brings us back to the question of what percentage of the audience understands exactly where the level of the technology is. Looking at the car world, F1 gets the eyeballs, despite being a series which is spec in almost every area bar aerodynamics, while the Le Mans series has a much smaller, but highly dedicated following, and is where the real technological development and advancement sits. I hate cars (so much so that I don't even own one), but even I am fascinated by the Le Mans cars. 

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   5 hours 32 min ago

    I'm don't think there's any real direct connection between sports bikes and motogp, but for sure there's a connection between bikes per se and racing. Look at F1. There really isn't the slightest, tiniest relationship between those cars and a souped up citreon saxo but the fan base is enormous. Paradoxically the fan base for BTCC is so small you see races where there is evidently hardly anyone there to watch, even though those cars create the illusion of being related to your average family saloon.

    Back in the day I'd watch Sheene on sunday and lie flat on the tank of my moped for the next couple of weeks, kidding myself that 87mph or whatever an FS1E did was fast and furious. (In fact it was just dangerous, but that's another story). I didn't dream of owning some monstrous suzuki, even this boy-racer knew that was never going to happen, but I did aspire to a CBR250, then something bigger, and so on.

    The point being that as long as people are mad keen on motorcycles, there will remain an appetite to follow racing, and out of that, a few will want to race properly, followed by a desire or need for a pinnacle series. Whether a series is popular enough to be on the tv screens is, in my view, almost entirely down to promotion. In that respect Dorna have adopted a strange strategy. So MotoGP as we currently know it might well disappear in time - in fact it's bound to, nothing lasts forever - and sooner than we'd like if Dorna have got this badly wrong. But if that does happen, I bet it won't be too long before it's replaced by something comparable. Maybe WSB will bounce back.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   5 hours 34 min ago

    >>Devil's advocate: because the fans don't care about technology, they care about riders.

    Given riders on the top technology, yes. Every rider's dream is a factory GP ride. That's what the celebrity is built around. Take the exclusivity away and you've removed that abstract quality that is impossible to replace. The Honda V5 was all-powerful back then and people lauded Honda's willingness to spend excessively on R&D and didn't care that Rossi won so much. In many ways the V5 was just as popular as Rossi. Rossi quit them because he felt the V5 shared too much of the credit and in the following years proved himself to be both right and wrong.

    As long as the highest technology is there then it is about the riders. Otherwise they lower themsleves in to the fray of fighting for viewers in a world of 140 character tweets.

    Chris
    http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   5 hours 38 min ago

    I went in to the interview hoping to get Cecchinelli's vision for the future, the path he intended to set out. However, I opened the interview with a question about the process, and Cecchinelli spent a long time talking about that, and when I tried to turn the conversation towards what would and wouldn't be present in the unified software, Cecchinelli kept turning back to the process of putting together the IT infrastructure. I think that's why I led the conversation more than normal. I expected to spend maybe 10 minutes with Cecchinelli, in the end, it was nearly 25 minutes.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   5 hours 42 min ago

    Thank you all for staying on topic and keeping the standard of debate so very high. I really appreciate it, and I am always so impressed by the quality of the comments people leave. 

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   6 hours 38 min ago

    I should have followed my wait a day rule before wading in.
    And just to be sure that there is no confusion...I really love two strokes.
    Especially Yamahas. I grew up on them. Just the smell makes me feel good.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   7 hours 13 min ago

    There was a great article in a Dutch magazine several years ago on the usefulness of ABS. A magazine editor (and experienced road tester) and an ex-racer had been to a test track, spent all day testing ABS vs non-ABS under all sorts of conditions. The ex-racer was able to beat ABS in the dry, and get close in the wet. The experienced journo was able to match or just beat ABS in the dry, and was a few meters longer than ABS in the wet. They had proved that ABS was good, but not convincingly.

    On the ride home, they took one of the roads which leads over the dikes along a Dutch river (where the best roads in Holland usually are, nice and twisty). It had been a long and tiring day, and they were riding along at a relatively leisurely pace (for an ex-racer and bike journo ...). The journo was following the racer, and his mind was wandering a little. All of a sudden, he looked up and saw he was a lot closer to the racer than he thought he was, the lapse in attention meaning he missed the guy in front braking for a corner. The journo slammed the brakes on, and slowed just in time. The ABS on his bike kicked in a couple of times, but he made it, managed to come up short of hitting the ex-racer. That, the journo wrote, convinced him of the necessity of ABS more than anything else they had done that day.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   7 hours 25 min ago

    >> Nobody complained when it was the Rossi/Honda cup

    Devil's advocate: because the fans don't care about technology, they care about riders.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   8 hours 7 min ago

    Motorcycles are unique from cars in that, three variables define the balance of forces around a turn. 1. Corners radius, 2. Lean angle, 3. Speed.

    With corner radius obtainable from google maps using your GPS location and lean angle from your bikes onboard lean sensor, it is very easy to give warning of a safe speed at any moment, or for an upcoming turn, or for a user defined distance ahead by using a saved memory of rider typical demonstrated lean angle. Wet whether of course means you have to lean less, but even this can be figured if have a rain mode and then temp sensor for ice mode.

    In racing Turn by turn is a poor mans patch anyway, a proper system looks at the bikes attitude. I think Honda are ahead here.

    As for EU it will be allowed to have a combined front-rear system instead, but the real change is On board Diagnostics to monitor emision performance throughout the bikes life. More electronics, not less is the future for road bikes.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   8 hours 34 min ago

    >>I can outbrake ABS

    It is a misconception that ABS is only to shorten braking distances, which is does not always do. Its main benefit is retaining the ability to steer and keeping a consistent trajectory by preventing the front wheels from locking up. A locked tire still has a decent friction coefficient so is helping the car to stop but it does not allow any deliberate maneuvering.

    >>I was performing a panic stop (on purpose to test a recently built bike) and ABS kicked in, allowing the front wheel to keep rolling, and I almost went over the bars, and definitely missed a stop sign.

    You were stopping near the limit of traction (high deceleration rate), the ABS kicked in (which reduced the deceleration rate) and you nearly went over the bars? How exactly is that possible? Not to mention that testing the stopping ability of a newly built bike where there is a stop sign (that you apparently went through) sounds like a dangerous test procedure.

    >>Traction control on MotoGP bikes is mostly a performance gain. Safety is only a small portion.

    Don't you remember the variety of highsides we used to see that are now pretty rare?

    >>Keep the safety bit, toss the rest.

    That's like when some prince or something told Mozart that his composition had too many notes and to take some out. Much easier said than done and in the meantime who gets to go for a moonshot?

    Chris
    http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   8 hours 46 min ago

    Thanks David, discussion involvement appreciated.

    What is the saying? "With friends you want to keep don't discuss politics, religion or money" or something like that. Does 'fan boy fanatic personal attacks' fit in there somewhere? Glad you intervene when you do, great "pruning" of the discussions.

    We seem to do a pretty good job as a community pushing into difficult testy areas respectfully and effectively. Thankful we don't have threads of 'flame wars' going on and on re tangential topics that need to be picked through or ignored with the 'not this again!'

    Carry on!

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   8 hours 50 min ago

    >>Checchinelli explains; TbT has racing gains BECAUSE it is not GPS based (insufficient resolution), and this is why it has no real world application.

    No, that's not it at all. GPS enabled TbT software was in use and in an attempt to eliminate TbT mapping Dorna banned GPS on the bike except for their camera stuff in 2010. (http://motomatters.com/news/2010/12/09/gp_commission_fp3_reinstated_gps_...) The manufacturers worked up a way to get TbT without GPS by using the sector/lap timing signals. Both systems used the rear wheel speed and vehicle sensors (gyro, acc) to get better accuracy than the GPS or lap signals could provide on their own. However without the GPS every now and then we now see a bike lose its place on track and the rider inevitably drops down the order. So we have a rule that was instituted to prevent something which did not prevent it but forced everyone into a more expensive, less safe and less effective workaround. That seems to be standard procedure for any of these restrictive regulations. Seamless transmission anyone? A cheap, durable dual clutch system or super expensive, high maintenance engineering tour-de-force? Which one do you think the regulations permit?

    >>Whether or not consumer-grade GPS might eventually become sufficiently accurate is moot, because this is NOT the system MotoGP is using or developing.

    Any $100 consumer 20Hz GPS unit is sufficient right now. That's a GPS data point every 11 feet at 150mph with an accuracy of about 2 feet. It is more than sufficient when combined with bike sensors (dynamic and weather) to provide useful information. And it is not what GP is using or developing because the cheap technology is arbitrarily banned.

    >>YamaHonda only care about winning

    IT IS COMPETITON!!!!!!!! That's the entire point!

    >>Their goals are quite different from DORNAs goals.

    As well they should be.

    >>Checchinelli thinks that if there are incentives to pursue R&D that can benefit street bikes

    This is a straw man argument since in the past 20 years under the management of the MSMA street bikes have become safer, more fuel efficient, emit less emissions and more capable across the board. Street bike development is not suffering at all. MotoGP sponsorship and teams' financial health is. And above all, smaller MotoGP teams (who this is all about) could care less about developing street bike technology.

    >>They can't do this when they need 5 techs to program the TbT for each race.

    More straw. That cost is miniscule compared to the costs of competing in a global 'prototype' series.

    >>And when the series devolves into only a couple of protagonists, the fans stay away, so it is most definitely DORNAs concern.

    The years of Rossi dominance prove this statement to be wrong.

    Chris
    http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   9 hours 19 min ago

    >>What he means is normal, natural development arising from what Magneti Marelli and Dorna see is necessary. The "oh yeah, we need to do that," process of ongoing development.

    The process is described further in the interview as responding to user requests with him as the final say. In fact he did not mention MM once in the entire interview which is interesting since they have the most knowledge of these systems apart from the factories and will actually be doing the coding. From many previous statements he apparently will be making decisions to level the playing field and make the show more visually exciting. In fact, his stated desire to remove at least TbT functionality is exactly the opposite of evolution. Dorna does not want to make the software better, they want to reduce functionality it to make it easier to use. That is not spontaneous or natural evolution. That is devolution.

    The funny thing is that on 6/15 the MSMA will drop a hugely complicated software package in their lap as the basis for the spec software and in reality no development will go on though the year. How could it? How could you fairly prioritize one team's request over another if granting that request gives that team a competitive advantage? Similar to this year's tire changes. Oh, they reduced edge grip. I wonder who that will affect most? As Bradley Smith how he feels about BS bring last year's spec to some tracks. Of course it was not because of Lorenzo bitching and moaning (rightfully).

    >>Yes, they are using one of those systems, but even out-of-the-box systems need to be adapted to suit the particular needs of a project. As anyone who has used Wordpress to build a website can tell you.

    Yes, and you usually hire specialists who have experience with the base architecture for training and development. He specifically says he is training himself which in my experience is not the best way learn software.

    >>The goal is to help train the data and electronic......................to make it 100% usable by the best of the satellite guys, and to help get the others to that same level.

    Talk about mission creep for a marketing company! They could do that without forcing spec software and hardware on everyone. I guess my main objection is that the previous rules they have created to level the playing field and reduce costs (primarily the spec tire rule) have not achieved the desired results and in fact have made racing more processional, reduced the number of possible winners or podium contenders, and increased costs. The rules that the MSMA want and that Dorna and a lot of people rail against, fuel and engine limits, have not affected racing at all. This year we have great racing. Why? 2 reasons. The riders, specifically Marquez resetting the bar for what is acceptable aggressive behavior. And Rossi is fast again and as aggressive as he used to be. You could freeze the tech specifications for 5 years as they are now and as long as Marquez and Rossi continue on as they are the fans will be happy. And the other reason for more exciting races? Ducati (and Forward) essentially get access to a qualifying tire so mix the grid up a bit and cause passing to happen during the race.

    >>And secondly, Dorna put so much pressure on Bridgestone to change their tires that Bridgestone decided to leave, with Michelin taking their place.

    Which just shows the folly of spec tires in the first place. When only two or three companies in the world can supply the product and only one tenders a proposal you are at their mercy. That happened in 2007 when BS won the contract and again this year when Michelin got the next contract so why is there any expectation that Michelin will behave any different than BS? It is a marketing effort from the tire manufacturer, they could care less if the racing is close as long as nothing makes them look bad.

    >>The manufacturers set the technical regulations, and the manufacturers wanted a ban on active suspension and ABS.

    The manufacturers wanted open software too but they didn't get it. I feel that Dorna forces the issue at completely the wrong times and on the wrong issues.

    >>When there were no restrictions, only Honda could really afford to build a competitive MotoGP bike

    That statement does not stand up to scrutiny. Yamaha won 2/5 990 titles and 3/5 800cc titles. If it weren't for Stoner, Honda would not have won any titles in the 800cc period. In the 500s until Doohan came around there were no serious periods of Honda dominance. Honda make great bikes and have a huge budget but without great riders they are no better off than anyone else. Ducati started off their GP participation at a high level but the spec tire regulations effectively shut down their progress and likely cost Ducati/PM well over $100M and any chance of being competitive in the process.

    >>With spec electronics on horizon, Suzuki, Aprilia and KTM

    It has been established that Suzuki and Aprilia have to spend more to adapt to the spec electronics than they would if they were allowed to use their own systems so I can't see spec electronics as a positive factor in their rejoining. KTM? Let's see what happens in 3 years. Its so convenient to make a PR for something far into the future. Motorcycle racing is starting to emerge from the double blow of the death of tobacco sponsorship followed by a global recession. To me that is why manufacturers are showing interest in coming back to the fold, they need to look a couple of years to the future when they hope people are purchasing expensive bikes again.

    >>rather than just the Honda cup.

    Nobody complained when it was the Rossi/Honda cup. Seems to me its more the lack of marketing and expansion plans that are crippling MotoGPs growth and attractiveness to manufacturers and sponsors more than anything else. Until I see them making strides in that direction all of the spec electronics stuff is just a distraction.

    Chris
    http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   10 hours 16 min ago

    I can attest to this. Was riding with 2 friends when a deer jumped out of the woods in front of the lead rider (I was third). Knocked my friend straight back into my line of travel. Deer and bike went left, second rider was on my right, I had to stop. Did a big endo. Didn't hit my friend or run him over, I took the brunt of the damage. I had only a fraction of a second to make my decision to brake. I had to stop as quickly as possible, but I overdid it. ABS would have prevented the endo. People say "If you'd practiced panic stops then you would have known how much brake to apply." Maybe. But there's no way to replicate the speed in which that incident happened. I had time to perform one action. ABS would have made that one action much more effective. And maybe saved me two surgeries, a concussion and a punctured ankle.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   10 hours 31 min ago

    This interview and the boat load of comments it has generated are excellent. Nobody is talking about particular riders; their behavior; their behavior toward a different rider; who is the best in the world; etcetera. This is the dialogue that first drew me to MotoGPMatters. Oh, and outstanding writing by the editor. :-)

    Keep the comments coming, in a civil tone, because I think they provide David with more material to ask questions in the paddock and to find out things that are not covered by other motorcycle racing blogs/magazines. He sees where his readers want more elucidation and that becomes a win-win situation. He gets to talk to people about things they probably have not spoken about before, and we get to read/get answers to our questions (which usually spawn a new round of comments and questions).

    David - two thumbs up! Keep it coming.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   12 hours 49 min ago

    Won't do it again David, sorry

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   13 hours 49 min ago
    ABS

    I can outbrake ABS. one of my bikes has it and it's almost caused a highside because I was performing a panic stop (on purpose to test a recently built bike) and ABS kicked in, allowing the front wheel to keep rolling, and I almost went over the bars, and definitely missed a stop sign. On that bike, it cannot be disabled so it does more harm than good when I can achieve a level of performance more so than the machine in terms of braking. I don't need it intervening and it shouldn't over ride the rider's input. None of my bikes have TC either and somehow I'm still walking and talking.

    Traction control on MotoGP bikes is mostly a performance gain. Safety is only a small portion. Keep the safety bit, toss the rest.
    Ban turn by turn as well as it has 0 to do with a roadbike.
    GPS mapping is garbage because a satellite does not know the current conditions of the road. I've got twisty bits I regularly ride that have been repaved recently and the Sat isn't going to know about that.

    Without some intervention on electronics the series could just put chimps on the bikes, in a few years, and have the techs with remote controls in the pits.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   14 hours 3 min ago
    Hmm

    I must say though I usually prefer conversations over Q&A sessions so I wouldn't change much. I also think the language barrier can be hard to navigate (especially with Italian people, no offense!) so offering suggestions can be helpful.

    However in this particular interview you may have gone a little overboard with that.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   14 hours 59 min ago

    I try to keep politics off the site, as it can spoil the atmosphere and lead to a lot of divisive posts. Personally, I believe that anthropogenic climate change is real, and that the vast majority of scientific evidence points that way. Others disagree, and there are good arguments to be made on the action of specific gases on global climate. 

    However, this is not the website to be discussing that. In the interest of sanity, I will delete all further discussions on climate change. Not because it is not a debate worth having, but because this is not the website to discuss it on.

    The discussion over two strokes vs four strokes is interesting, especially in the light of marine engines going over to two strokes rather than four strokes. But if we can keep it to the pollution aspects, rather than the climate change aspects, I'd be grateful.

  • Corrado Cecchinelli Interview: The Goal Of MotoGP's Spec Software? More Usable, More Relevant To The Road   15 hours 5 min ago

    Sometimes, when I am trying to get an answer, I will offer suggestions. But I am aware that too often, my interviews are more of a conversation than a Q&A session. That has good points and bad points, and the bad point is, as you say, that it can mean me leading the interviewee. I'm working on this, trying to improve. I want to find out as much as any of you do, and I need to avoid being told what I want to hear, so yours is a valid criticism.

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