There will be some potential meaty competitors now ~ Honda 954 & RC51, Suzuki (the twins as well as the fours), Ducati 999, Yamaha R1, The Triumph 3's, Benelli, Aprilia, Kawasaki.
It will be very interesting, when everyone is allowed the same total capacity, to see if the twins can maintain their weight/power delivery advantage.
I wish the japanese manufacturers were not scaling down their superbike efforts. I really believe superbike can continue to showcase production technology, while moto-gp gets more and more exotic.
Whoever begins to push the envelope first in MotoGp, will force the others to follow. The list of technical inovations that could come out of the MotoGp series is staggering, but it will drive costs to the moon!
I truly believe if we are going to have a cost controlled production based series like this, that the rule makers should have Nascar like flexibility, to prevent one manufacturer from dominating the series.
I did read it. I was thinking there were going to be intake restrictions like WSB but apperently there won't be any. You know, the reason Honda won't support a WSB team next year. Just trying to strike up conversation you big meanies.
Looking at the rules, you are still allowed a fair amount of tweaking. The manufacturers will have to produce any alternate fuel injectors, but you CAN have an alternate fuel injector/throttle body assembly for racing purposes, if Yamaha/Suzuki/Honda would develop and provide them.
You can futz with the valve train alot (new cams, mostly new valves, new springs, new timing), lighter pistons and con-rods, etc etc etc etc etc. You can't increase the gas flow in the enigne however (valves must be stock size, no machining out the head).
With the R1 and GSXR already competitive in British Superbike (with airflow restrictions) at a much lower cost/bike, I'd expect that the AMA Superbike is going to have a pretty large number of R1/GSXR/Fireblades doing very very well by the end of the 2003 season.
Re: Prediction: GSXR/R1 will dominate by the end...
I am glad to see the new rules come out so that everyone can at least start thinking about what to do for next year.
What I am not clear on is how Superbike will differ from Formula Extreme -- at least superficially, they seem to have a huge overlap. I admit that I have not recently read the FX rules, so maybe I am missing something significant.
If the factories jump in (reportedly Suzuki will do so, anyway) they could quite possibly beat up the twins pretty well.
I would guess that the SS-spec (except running slicks) 750 gixers that have recently filled out the Superbike fields will be largely superceeded by the 1000 4s -- especially as lots of the local clubs have already had classes for 1000 or open Superbikes.
NASCAR are those racing events with sold out, packed grandstands and people willing to pay scalper prices to get tickets. AMA Superbike racing are those events where the only way they are going to have any bigger crowds than a T-ball game, is to offer free food to the homeless. Promotional slogan idea for AMA events. "Come hear the sound of one hand clapping."
LOL, Good debate. I realize Nascar has more of a following, but you have to admit SuperBike racing is more exciting. For one, they can pass. Two, the riders are are pure artist, placing their bare butts out on the line. 180 mph without a steel protection cage. Awesome.
Car racing is exciting also, but bike racing is beauty in motion
I thought that the Twins were still a second or so faster than the Fours on most tracks becasue of the power delivery, weight, and such... Why would that change? Sure the fours have a little more juice, but I think (hope) the twin will hold their own.
I would put money on Bayless with a 600 over most of the AMA jokers on liter bikes any day of the week...
As I recall, Eric Bostrom on his "antiquated" Kawasaki 750 4 made Nicky really work for his championship last year. As I reckon that they are roughly equal in talent, that would suggest that the bikes are pretty equal as well. That Kawasaki with an extra 50cc, or a well developed 1000 could very kick the RC51's butt, or at least make it a real battle.
>>Nascar has more of a following, but you have to admit SuperBike racing is more exciting<<
So is the lawnmower racing that they used to show on Speedvision (before it changed to SpeedTV) ;-)
As much as I like to dump on NASCAR, it is what pays most of the bills for SpeedTV -- without it, I doubt that we would see any WSB, AMA or GP racing on US television.
The other reason I dump on NASCAR is that I am still pi$$ed about being passed over for a job I applied for at Petty Enterprises. Those guys are all hard core gearheads and a lot of them are fanatics about all forms of motor racing.
With Eric and Ben in AMA next year I will watch. I just hope they buy a real announcer; I ca't stand the SpeedTV guys. Anyways, I'm going to guess Eric will take the championship next year, assuming the big green machine tosses him a ZX9R.
Re: Prediction: GSXR/R1 will dominate by the end...
I like the new SBK rules - something for everyone. I think it allows a manufacturer to develop their 1000cc -4 while giving them the option to race their 750 (oops...800). It LOOKS like this is what Suzuki is going to do. But it was SO LATE that you have Yamaha saying "no way" and Kawi saying, well "it's SO late!!". As DA pointed out at his webzine, Kawi would be fools NOT to punch out the ZX-7R and put EBOZ in the class....
Now - having said all of that, I DON'T like FX and 750SS existing as classes...our series should be modeled after BSB/WSB in the following respect:
FX should have been changed to OPEN SS (or Superstock as they say in Europe/GB). Why the AMA lets Suzuki continue to enjoy their marketing coup with 750SS is just beyond - although I DO UNDERSTAND that from a privateer racer standpoint, the class offers about as level of a playing field as they are going to get in the AMA. But F__ that, bring your 750SS to the OPEN SS class - you're not going to be at that big of a disadvantage. I'll point to Formula USA Superbike (which I kinda think of as souped-up SS bikes...) as evidence that a 750 would be competitive in OPEN SS. And look at the bike mix you would have - maybe Aprilia and Ducati could compete in such a class - they do in Europe!
The FX bikes should have been forced into SBK - I guess the privateers may be racing there now anyway, huh? But I HAVEN'T heard any FACTORY SUPPORTED bikes from HONDA, SUZUKI, or YAMAHA throwing their hat it. Kinda confusing for the un-informed racing fan on an AMA weekend, if you ask me.
>Car racing is exciting also, but bike racing is beauty in motion<
I agree. Motorcycle racing is the most aesthetically pleasing of all. You can see what the racers are doing and what they do has more impact on the control of their machine than auto racing. They are part of the aerodynamic mix. Tuck for speed, sit up and stick a knee out to slow down. Hang off to lower their center of gravity in the turns. Drag a knee to determine max lean angle and even to help support the bike so it doesn't fall. Neat stuff.
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