I too think this will keep the series alive and exciting for the future. Now it will be interesting to see if Ducati stays with the v-twin, or develops the new GP1 v-four for superbike duty as well. Could this be the end of the Ducati v-twin in racing? In any case, I'm really looking forward to next year's racing - even though I think Colin will close up on Troy this year and make for an exciting season ending.
I don't know why everyone is so happy. Until the big four (minus Honda) actually puts some time into R&D and building better chassis parts for these 1000cc bikes, they will still lag behind the Ducati and to a slightly lesser degree the Honda. These bikes may have a lot of good power, but they just don't turn and burn like the Superbikes... I know the Suzuki 1000 kicks ass at the endurace races but in the Canadian and British series they are still behind the twins. They may do better, but they won't dominate. Ducati is safe for now...
But who will carry the load when Bayliss goes GP? Bostrom is good but not dominating, Xaus is Count Crash a lot, Hogdson is about on par with BBoz... Colin will dominate, especially since Michelin seems to be dominating by a larger margin this year. Only Dunlop bike to win was at Sugo.
Don't flame me... I want some good racing too! The unrestricted FX bikes in AMA don't cut laps like the superbikes so I am wondering what will happen.
Then again, the obvious question is how much will the 1000s be handicapped by the increased minimum weight and those air restrictors?
If they aren't too handicapped, Ducati's days using 1000 V-Twins are numbered. One can't use BSB as a template. There, you're seeing fully developed Ducks against hastily thrown together 1000cc streetbikes. Let's wait until the full focus and R&D weight of the factories are behind things such as Honda's 1000cc V4, Yamaha's homologation special R1, etc...
Once the tire companies catch up, it'll be all over. Since GP1 has already made the tire companies have to deal with 210 hp, even this issue will be moot.
Besides, look at what Honda's brand spanking new 990cc four stroke is doing in GP1 already, against the bike (NSR500) that was already the best race bike on earth.
Once Honda is allowed to throw their $$ at a 1000cc V4 Superbike, it'll be all over for Ducati...
Bare minimum, V-Twins will soon have to be allowed major handicaps, just like in '88 when the entire WSB series was set up in such a way as to give Ducati a chance.
If the fours are allowed to run unfettered and at an equal weight with the Twins then it's good night now for the twins.
On the bright side for V-Twin fans, hey, now you have a great excuse for wifey as to why you simply HAVE to buy that RC51 or Mille that you've been looking at, since they're now destined to be collector's items!
Remember, Ducati has a v-four under development for motoGP - so reports of their demise in SBK may be premature. I think it was prescient of them to develop the v-four for motoGP, as they may have suspected SBK would allow 1000cc fours. This way they have both bases covered - just like Honda did in motoGP.
Regarding the competitiveness of 1000cc fours in SBK: just wait - mark my words (did anyone forget that EBoz nearly got on the WSBK podium with a very antiquated 750??). Formula Xtreme and BSB are not indicative of the true capabilities of these machines when developed by the factories specifically for WSBK.
Let them playwith the rules. Changing restrictor size is easy.
If it gets twins and triples and fours putting out comparable laptimes SBK will be a fantastic spectacle.
If the fours have more power but were heavier and not handle so well, the racing, with different bikes having advantages in different parts of the track will be fantastic racing, and the series can still reflect the bikes we ride on the road.
If anyone thinks this is going to stop Ducati and Honda from winning all the races your crazy. The AMA has had a Formula Extreme division for a while now with unrestricted air intakes. Guess what they still turn slower lap times than V-twins. Whos going to throw R&D money into it? Kawasaki hasent updated there 900 for four years unless you want to count the heavier crank they put in the bike this year. Honda might dump money into developing a decent chasis for the 954 but why would they there rc51 is already a frontrunner now. Yamaha was to cheap to put any R&D into a race chasis for the R1 in Formula Extreem in the AMA. Thats why the AMA last week outlawed their R1 engine in a R7 chasis The only manufacture that benifits from this is Suzuki. Since their 1000cc inline for chasis is closley related to their 750. But the restricted intake and the weight disadvantage is going to make it perform more like a 800cc bike instead of a 1000cc. So maybe next year will see the R1 and the Gixxer1000 in WSB getting their butt kicked by Ducati and Honda V-twins. Like they do in Canadian Superbike. Never getting a podium finish should really do wonders for their sales totals.
I think Ducati should immediately fire their management team, engineers and designers--clean house. Then, they should quickly hire you to run things, because obviously they are stupid and know nothing about winning races or building motorcycles. They are so stupid in fact, that they are really surprised by this announcement and are caught entirely flat footed by the new rule. Devistated by this announcement, they are seriously considering withdrawing from racing entirely and building scooters. But, since their demise seems iminate--you being all knowing and able to predict the future of motorcycle companies could surely be helpful to them in some way. Get real.
Check out Australian superbikes where the 1000cc fours have taken over with few modifications from stock.
The FIM spec bikes (HIGHLY modified 750 fours and 1000 twins) may have been competitive, but at many times the cost of a competitive 1000cc bike (which had few modifications allowed).
If Mladin, Gobert, Bostrom can be close on their Jap 750 fours, imagine the same machines with more torque and/or more power. It's not hard to get a R1 or GSXR1000 to 170 HP while still close to stock and they have enormous amounts of torque. Give them the current mods allowed to 750's and the twins wouldnt have a hope with out the restrictors in place. It wont cost more to run a 1000 than a 750.
Personally I think the weight limits should include the rider. e.g. a bike with a 65kg rider should have to carry more weight (maybe on the rider) than the same bike with an 80kg rider.
It seems like a 90 degree V-4 may be the optimal configuration. The V-4 has the advantages of inline 4 on the top end and the nice natural balance of a V twin. Are V-4s of Yamaha and Suzuki in Moto GP the beginning of a Back to the Future (remember the Interceptor is based on a V4 racebike)? But then Honda ruins that theory with a wacky V-5 and Aprilla with a Triple, go figure. Also the restricter plates are as someone said the fine print that may keep the inline 4s down. I wish some one could tell me how the restrictions purposed for the inline 4s compare with the current V-Twin restrictions.
Good post. The Australian stuff is interesting. However, I don't like any handicapping. I think it should be 1000cc and anything else goes. If people want technology parity or just want the riders to be the only variable then perhaps a IROC style series should be developed for motorcycles. Maybe WSB could be the IROC thing and MotoGP be the two wheel version of Formula One. Does Formula One have any handicapping? I enjoy both styles of series.
I think you guys are all wet. The top ten racers in any of the series, AMA, FIM etc.. are going to finish in the top ten no matter what they ride (except maybe a hardley....). It's all about skill, no fear and ball size.
Take the AMA for example, give all those Suzuki 750 'privateer' riders a factory Honda RC and Nicky & Duhamel will still lap them.
Hey I don't have a problem with them making the bikes equal but adding weight to one rider to make him weigh as much as another is lame. If I go out and eat buffalo wings and drink beer all off season while another rider works out and stays in shape than he deserves to have the advantage. Obviously he cares about winning more than the fat guy.
Yamaha doesen't even put money into the R1 now. They don't care about winning enough to put allot of money into it. If they did it wouldn't have been using the r7 chasis and r1 engine They are happy being the fifth largest distributer of motorcycles and show no desire to move ahead. All they do is make bikes that people want to by no matter what they do on the track.