Recent comments

  • Marquez' Oval vs Rossi's Ranch: Which Dirt Track Layout Is Best For MotoGP?   1 week 5 days ago

    Zero question which looks more helpful as well as fun. Obvious to echo rs's statement that nothing but constant radius left handers is really limiting - only train turning oone direction? Ugh.

    I had a supermoto CRF450 and tried it and flat track once. Tougher than it looks!

    Is anyone sticking a low-traction rear tire on a sport bike to lap road racing tracks on? Curious.

  • Marquez' Oval vs Rossi's Ranch: Which Dirt Track Layout Is Best For MotoGP?   1 week 5 days ago

    If you're in the Texas, Houston / Austin area this is a great time.

    Many Motogp riders have been through there as well to check it out and other professionals akso show up as guest instructors.

    Last year Brad Baker who will be at the Superpristigo representing America badly broke his arm when he got tangled up there.

    The tracks are a combination, of turns and oval, can check them out here.
    http://texastornadobootcamp.com/tracks/

  • Marquez' Oval vs Rossi's Ranch: Which Dirt Track Layout Is Best For MotoGP?   1 week 5 days ago

    I do not want to sound as if I am somehow capable of judging which of the two ways of training is better, so whatever I say here, take it is an attempt to understand something rather than making a statement. When I saw the videos I did think that at the MM93 track, which seems akin to a speedway on is only turning left, does not allow you to do as much as Rossi's track does.So how does one learn to change the direction while perhaps drifting the rear. Also seeing Rossi ride, one does find that he is drifting the rear in order to turn, I suppose that is called using the rear wheel for steering. So frankly I did not see too much difference in the way they were using the rear wheel. I also remember that after shifting to the 500 cc category, Rossi did go to America, presumably to Rainey's ranch (apologies if I am wrong about the place) to learn how to cut down apex speeds and use the rear wheel to turn and accelerate faster out of corners. I think Rossi does this even on the race track. Marc Marquez, no one knows what he is doing. So I better not comment and make a fool of myself. But the one thing that is probably irrefutable is that on the Ducati, Casey Stoner made greater use of the rear tyre (not as much as Gary McCoy did in the 500 cc category) than Rossi did after he went to Ducati. Back on the Yamaha I see him doing it again.

    Moto2 riders like Pol Espargaro (when he was riding in that category) also let the rear slide around, unlike Scot Redding. But I do not see Pol Espargaro doing it in the MotoGP class. Too much power perhaps? Please feel to correct me if I am totally wrong about things. That way I will learn. Thanks in advance.

  • Marquez' Oval vs Rossi's Ranch: Which Dirt Track Layout Is Best For MotoGP?   1 week 6 days ago

    I wonder why there are no Speedway riders at the Superprestigio event.

  • On Sale Now: The Indispensable MotoMatters.com 2015 Motorcycle Racing Calendar   1 week 6 days ago

    Be any discount for site supporters?

    Also, any news on whether the format/amount for site supporters itself will be changing at any point?

  • Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories   1 week 6 days ago

    Why can't they do the same in Moto3? The costs of Moto3 have exploded, it's almost impossible to get into this so called entry-class with a budget under 100.000 a year. That's just partly because of the intitial price of engines, but mainly because the engines need a very expensive (10K) rebuild every 2000 km as critical maximum, so most do even less to make sure they don't blow up.
    So Honda is able to run 9000 km. without major rebuilds in a 250HP+ MotoGP bike, while costst in a 50-something hp Moto3 are skyhigh because they can only do 2000!

    Is it strange to think this might have to do with the fact there is a real market for Moto3 engines, while in MotoGP most engines are being used by the factory itself, so there's no profit to be made, only costs?

  • Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories   2 weeks 1 hour ago

    Funny David, how you write quite a lengthy article and then conclude with "there is not much to tell".
    You underestimate yourself, sir.

  • On Sale Now: The Indispensable MotoMatters.com 2015 Motorcycle Racing Calendar   2 weeks 5 hours ago

    Thanks for the prompt reply, will order accordingly.

    Vrolijk Kerstfeest to Motomatters :)

  • On Sale Now: The Indispensable MotoMatters.com 2015 Motorcycle Racing Calendar   2 weeks 6 hours ago

    Yes, we know about some of the shipping problems. The problem was that customs seemed to apply duty charges without any rhyme or reason. It was only a few customers who had duty applied, most didn't.

    We will be shipping calendars from Europe, but getting them to Europe to ship will take 5 to 6 days, so it will make the shipping date later. This will be a problem for anyone wanting a calendar to be shipped for Christmas, but if you are prepared to wait a few days extra, then it won't be an issue.

    To ensure you avoid the extra duty, please add a note to your order stating "Please ship from Europe." We will then ship it as soon as I get some calendars at MotoMatters HQ in Holland.

  • Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories   2 weeks 6 hours ago

    Good questions, and I think that maybe it isn't entirely clear from my article above.

    The engines are allocated per rider - or more accurately, per grid slot, as any replacement rider uses the original rider's engine allocation. So, in the example above, Alex De Angelis continued to use the same allocation which had been assigned to Colin Edwards when he started the season.

    To make it more clear: at the start of the season, Jorge Lorenzo's team will have presented five Yamaha YZR-M1 engines to MotoGP technical director Danny Aldridge for inspection. His team will have verified that all five of those engines were identical (as they must be under the engine development freeze rules), and will have sealed all of those engines. Yamaha then would have crated up engines #3, #4 and #5, and put #1 into one bike, #2 into the other bike. Engines are then removed and swapped as and when they are needed.

    As for your second question, riders often have a particular preference for a #1 or a #2 bike, but it varies by manufacturer. At Ducati, almost every rider has a very strong preference for one machine over another, though that is much less so at Honda. Even then, riders like one particular bike, despite the two bikes being identical. The riders prefer that bike at every track, it's not just that they like #1 at, say, Jerez, then #2 at Le Mans.

  • Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories   2 weeks 7 hours ago

    I've never been quite sure about this. I assume from reading the article, that the engine location is per rider. So for the factory riders it's 5 engines total, not 5 per bike (since everyone has two bikes). Also, does anyone know if the riders have favorite bikes (#1 then #2 bike) that is their "go to" bike at every track, or do they switch from track to track? If they do favor one bike over the other, can the engines be switched between bikes? Sorry if this is fundamental, but I've always been curious and don't know (especially interested from a racers perspective).
    Thanks!

  • On Sale Now: The Indispensable MotoMatters.com 2015 Motorcycle Racing Calendar   2 weeks 8 hours ago

    Any chance that the calendars can be shipped from Europe? By the time Customs had added their charge and Royal Mail had taken their pound of flesh for sorting out the Customs charge, last years calendar from the US was kind of expensive!

  • Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories   2 weeks 23 hours ago

    Exit speed from the corner could have some impact as well

  • Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Yamaha used to operate an engine rebuild truck at (at least the European and maybe all) rounds. It was top secret for a long while but finally appeared, looking not unlike an operating theatre on a narrow boat, in various media.

  • Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories   2 weeks 1 day ago

    "No longer are engines crated up after every race to be flown back to Japan, there to be stripped, measured, tested, and rebuilt, then flown back to Europe again ready for the next MotoGP round."

    There's an obvious answer to this which is to have an engine rebuild facility in Europe. It was Honda's choice to air-freight everything back to Japan.

    And that raises the question about rebuilds and how much of the engine is retained. Dorna likes to talk about "Engines" as if 12 engines means you actually have 12 cases, cylinder blocks and so on. In WSB a year or two ago, when Aprilia and Ducati got through huge numbers of engines what that really meant was huge numbers of rebuilds.

    Then there's the unforeseen consequences of limited sealed engines of putting more and more on the outside of the seals (like external flywheels) and engineering in clever ways of inspecting the internals.

  • Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Power also indicates how fast they get up to their top speed, perhaps riders are referring to this.

  • Spanish CEV Moto3 Championship Upgraded To "Junior World Championship" Status   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Unfortunately, when it comes to DI 2-stroke reliability and maintenance, I've heard the same rumors. The truth, however, is far different:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAI9SvEz1hs

    Production DI 2-strokes are lighter, cheaper, higher performance and more reliable than 4-strokes. The rumors you've heard come from KTM, who don't have a single DI 2-stroke engine in production. KTM's opinions may differ from Rotax, who specialize in DI 2-stroke technology and have leading products in numerous applications (aviation, outboard, snowmobiles, etc.)

    Honda is indeed guilty of using its powers to kill the 2-stroke, but from a business stand point, I understand their decision. Frankly, they didn't have the depth of expertise with 2-strokes compared to 4-strokes, and they reluctantly started developing them for the 500cc GP after the NS500 project failed. They never wanted anything to do with 2-strokes, and when emissions regulations started creeping up, they saw a golden opportunity. They could have left the engine rules open, but that would have put them at risk if a competitor developed a superior DI 2-stroke. As such, they pushed for 4-stroke displacement advantages and convinced the FIM to accept it.

    That being said, Honda still acted for the greater good overall. Their 4-strokes have literally saved millions of lives [1]. The carbureted 2-stroke road bikes in the developing world have caused massive amounts of toxic pollution in large cities, and this is a problem to this day. Furthermore, nobody had a readily available road certified DI 2-stroke motorcycle when the regulations came, so a case could not be made to the FIM that the 2-stroke ban was too draconian. If any of the other factories had an interest in DI 2-strokes, they should have produced a prototype. The FIM would have caved, because banning 2-strokes whose emissions equaled 4-strokes would've been illogical and thus would've been too openly partisan a decision to go without criticism.

    For local racing however, the 2-stroke ban was a tragedy, because the new 4-strokes drove costs up astronomically and prevented a whole generation from experiencing the sport. I believe that the junior classes should have never migrated to the 4-strokes, simply due to cost. As for MotoGP, the argument could be made that it is mostly a marketing platform, and if most road bikes were to be 4-strokes, this class would've had to follow suit.

    But us regional racers are the victims of this extreme, all or nothing 4-stroke approach. A hybrid would have suited everyone best, much like how karting is primarily 2-strokes, but Formula 3 onwards are 4-strokes.

    I still have hope for a resurgence in 2-stroke regional racing, and if someone steps up with a proper DI solution, road bikes as well. We still have some time to kill until the electrics are up to speed.

    1. http://www.unep.org/transport/pcfv/PDF/KGR_CleanerMotorcycles_new.pdf

  • Aspar Press Release: Jorge Martinez On The Moto3 Partnership With Mahindra   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I seriously do not understand Mahindra. They were originally the assemblers of CKD Jeep kits and slowly turned manufacturers in the 1970s. They continued to build Jeeps finally switching to right hand drive after years of putting together Left hand drive models in a country, where like in the UK, people drive on the left side of the road. Having said that I must say that the rule in India is perhaps only notional usually with people choosing to drive on whichever side of the road is convenient to them. Till the 1990s Mahindra were using the World War II vintage Jeep platforms to produce Jeep clones that were the mainstay of the government departments, the Indian army and the police. In the 1990s when the delicencing of the Indian automotive sector happened Mahindra partnered with Ford only to break the partnership and came away with nothing in their hand. They then partnered Renault and this time around came back out of the partnership with full rights to the Dacia-Renault Logan platform.

    In 2008 they bought out Kinetic Engineering which made two wheelers (scooters) in collaboration with Honda and some motorcycles with Hyosung of Korea. Kinetic could not withstand competition in the market and sold out to Mahindra. Prior to selling over, Kinetic had bought all of Italjet's assets and designs and also established a partnership with San Yang Motors of Taiwan. Mahindra has been selling three scooters that came out of this collaboration and have built a motorcycle that bombed in the market. They relaunched 110cc motorcycle in a different garb and met with very, very, moderate success. Mahindra sells about 15,000 units of its small capacity engined two wheelers every month while market leader Hero (who bought 49% of Eric Buell Racing) sell 500,000+ units every month. Mahindra does not advertise its racing legacy (probably a good thing since they only pay money to put their name on the 250 cc Moto 3 machines made by Suter) and do not advertise their two wheeled products also aggressively. It really makes me wonder what they are doing pouring buckets of money into Moto 3 racing which seems to be of no consequence for their road going machines. I also hear that Mahindra may pull the plug on their two wheeler division if it does not perform as per expectations (not laid out; the expectations bit that is).

  • Spanish CEV Moto3 Championship Upgraded To "Junior World Championship" Status   2 weeks 1 day ago

    There is a possibility of having clean two stroke machines which use direct injection of fuel technology, fresh air induction into the exhaust and more efficient catalytic converters. Orbital Tech (Sarich and Sarich) from Australia were pioneering this at one time, but I really do not know what happened to the company. The point however it seems (I say seems because I am only going by hearsay) is that clean two stroke technology loses its inherent strength of a simple engine which is light and easy to maintain. I was told that the new two stroke technology somehow makes the engines and consequently the motorcycles heavier, difficult to rebuild and a lot more expensive because the catalytic converter needs frequent replacement. Like I said this is what was told to me by someone who works for a motorcycle maker in India and if it is apocryphal my apologies in advance.

    The rules stating the nature of technology to be used is however totally unacceptable. When stricter emission norms were introduced in India, the government outlawed two stroke engines, while it should only have laid down how much an engine of a certain cubic capacity could pollute. I have been told that Honda (very, very big in India) was behind lobbying for four stroke technology centred pollution control norms. Honda seems to be to motorcycling what Google is to web technologies. Both companies talk of exalted values but are quite happy to make bend governments to bend over to get their requirements converted into rules.

  • Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Ducati is no longer topping the charts in maximum speed but I see some riders insistently praising Ducati's power at straight... why is this?

    With latest upgrades in Ducati GP14.2's engine, given it more power, I'd like to know what is the most powerful engine in the paddock and how much better it'd be comparing to the second?

    Is the Desmosedici the most powerful? If so, would be their TC efficiency the reason for not topping speed charts consistently any more?

    thanks.

  • Spanish CEV Moto3 Championship Upgraded To "Junior World Championship" Status   2 weeks 2 days ago

    The IOM government has funded a commission to look into a TT World Championship. Although I am not certain what an outside organization can tell them that there own expertise could not. It seems likely any such championship would be held mostly in the UK and Ireland at least initially due to the massively increased costs of moving further afield.

  • Spanish CEV Moto3 Championship Upgraded To "Junior World Championship" Status   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Exactly...the engine rules should have never specified 2 or 4 stroke. It should have been emissions based just like the EPA and Euro rules, which do not specify engine technology.

    This would have pushed 2-stroke vehicle manufacturers to develop direct injection, just like the Evinrude E-tec [1], which won the EPA's cleanest engine award in 2004 for lowest total emissions of any outboard motor (including 4-strokes!). Clean 2-stroke technology exists today, we just need the incentives in the motorcycle industry to push manufacturers to produce them. They'll still be cheaper, more powerful and lighter than 4-strokes, as the Rotax E-TEC engines have demonstrated.

    1. http://www.epa.gov/air/cleanairawards/winners-2004.html

  • Spanish CEV Moto3 Championship Upgraded To "Junior World Championship" Status   2 weeks 3 days ago

    I think that was the original question: why were they ruled out? Wasn't it ultimately because some controlling interest (the FIM? Manufacturers?) wanted Grand Prix to go four-stroke, but they knew teams would keep racing two-strokes as long as they could get them, thus delaying for centuries any positive advances to four-stroke technology?

    It's kind of interesting. Two-strokes were being legislated out of existence by governments around the world, not by specifying how an engine could operate, but by the emissions it could produce. They focused on the results.

    Racers, being the gearheads that we are, approached it from the other side, focusing on how those results were obtained. Thus we regulated how the engine operates.

    Now that four-stroke technology has found its legs--and is accepted by the racing community--maybe it's time to rejigger the rulebook and make it outcome-based. If an engine can meet X emissions standard, it's legal. Probably needs to be a bit more technical than that, but you get the idea.

  • Dorna Press Release: Honda To Continue To Supply Moto2 Engines Through 2018   2 weeks 3 days ago

    In that case I highly recommend the Transformers movies and the Robot Wars TV show.
    Were you aware these machines can only sit on their stands in pit lane until one of the PC clone riders gets into the saddle? And that they make the difference between it going fast and less fast? And that they frequently break bones and sometimes lose their lives as they try to extract the best performance from these machines?

  • Spanish CEV Moto3 Championship Upgraded To "Junior World Championship" Status   2 weeks 3 days ago

    There was an opportunity here to have a European feeder championship alongside the European Superstock 600/1000 races at WSB race weekends. Especially when Dorna controls that series. I'd quite like to see a Moto3 championship at Euro WSB rounds. It might make a better next step for people like Jordan Weaving.

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