Yeah, you're right. Next year's World Superbike may have the best crowd of competitors yet. Besides Haga looking set for a big comeback, Bostrom's time is ripe for next year. I can feel him cresting. Then we got Ruben Xaus looking like the major up-and-coming star, since towards the end of this year he was always being forced to come in second behind his Ducati teammate just so he could let him win the championship. Then there is Colin Edwards, who got a clear message that he can't rest on his laurels... let's not rule him out, he did, after all, win the championship last year, and will have a newer bike to give a try on next year, and won't have laurels to rest on. If that's not enough to make you think it's going to be really competitive, the inline-four 750's just got slipped some weight advantage by the rules, so who knows what will come from riders on R7's and GSXR-750's, or even ZX-7RR's? All this may be a good thing, too, because WSBK will need a booster shot of adrenaline to keep it strong, since so much interest is defecting away from it and toward the new MotoGP. I say, keep Superbike strong--those bikes are a lot closer to what we get to ride on the streets, and we want streetbikes to keep improving!
Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki need to get some better quality riders. They keep complaining about twin superiority but look at Goby, E Bos, and Mladin here in the states, and the only twin that is up front is that of Nicky Hayden. Doesn't seem like a real disadvantage to me. Especially when a Suzuki wins the Japanese championship. I think the only Dark Horse we got in WSB is Itzutsu for a Sugo win and Chris Walker the Stalker for a few other wins. Kaw hasn't had a WSB win since.... I can't remember... Was it Gobert? Russell? Oh Yeah, and if Eboz can get a good bike for the few WSB races he will be in, look out. Man, what if DUMB ass Yamaha had kept Haga and added Gobert in WSB... That would be a nasty team.
These pictures provide the first proof that Yamaha is seriously working on two-wheel-drive technology for its most powerful bikes. And one man who has ridden the 2WD R1 claims the system improves the bike immensely, even making it safe to ride hard in the wet.
Two-wheel drive could be just he revolution motorcycling requires as it copes better with the ever rising bhp outputs of the latest performance bikes.
The R1 was spotted at a circuit in Spain, where Yamaha was testing the 2wd system to see just how it could affect performance and handling.
The test bike is the result of almost a decades development. Suspension firm Ohlins, which is 75 per cent owned by Yamaha, has been working on this 2wd system since 1992.
Indeed, MCN has previously been invited to ride an off-road Yamaha with a similar system fitted.
At the moment, the roles a bikes front and rear tyres play in acceleration, cornering and braking are clearly defined and more than anything else it is the limits of their grip that define the performance parameters of any bike. Two-wheel-drive has the potential to share the tyres tasks more equally giving any bike fitted with such a system a potentially huge advantage in outright grip.
Accelerating in a straight line, the front tyre of normal, one-wheel-drive bikes is effectively redundant. Equally, under braking the front tyre takes all the strain.
When a bike is cranked over, both the front and rear tyres have to cope with huge sideways loads. And when theyre asked to cope with either hard acceleration or braking at the same time, they can give up the ghost with predictable consequences.
This is where two-wheel-drive could help.
By directing even a small amount of the bikes power through the relatively lightly loaded front tyre through corners, there is the potential to raise its limits as it means the rear has less to cope with.
Yamahas two-wheel-drive system also has a second benefit; while during normal riding only a small fraction of the power goes through the front wheel, if the rear loses grip and spins it will transfer more power and torque to the front hopefully helping to pull the bike back on course before the back slides out far enough to cause a crash.
Yamaha is keeping quiet about how well the testing of the bike is going but we tracked down one of the bikes development riders and persuaded him to spill the beans.
For obvious reasons, he cant be named, but this is what he said: " I really didnt think two-wheel-drive would be a benefit on Tarmac. Off-road, two-wheel-drive makes a big difference, especially in really muddy conditions when you can feel the front clawing its way through. But on Tarmac, I was sceptical until I had the chance to try it.
" The stock R1 is actually a difficult bike to ride really hard on a circuit. It spins the tyre a lot more than the average road rider would realise, and it wheelies at will. It also understeers and is unstable over bumps. In other words, its hard to make really good lap times.
" But once I tried the bike with the two-wheel drive connected it was transformed. There are no more high wheelies for a start. If you really gun it off the line the most the front lifts is about five or six inches and, because some of the power is transferred to the front, it doesnt wheelie in the higher gears at all.
" The bike no longer understeers either. As you turn in to the corner, you can feel the drive to the front tyre dragging you towards the apex. And, whats even more impressive, is that you can actually run into the corners a gear lower than before and be more aggressive coming out of the corners because theres no wheelspin to worry about. Its just all drive.
" And all thats in the dry. In the wet it becomes even more impressive. You can push so hard that you almost have to re-think your riding style. Its almost as big a jump as fitting a qualifying tyre for the dry.
" The only disadvantage is in the extra weight. Theres no question you can feel the difference turning at very slow speeds but once you get up to speed the system makes the bike do everything so much better you wont worry about it such a small disadvantage. "
the big break they gave the fours was not so special. the suzuki and kawa teams have bugger all money to spend, but if they want to be competive thay can lighten their bikes. this is a very expensive exercise, considering that several yaers ago some bikes were not even at the lowest allowable weight. the r7 and lately the rc51 were the only two bikes easily able to meet the weight. the ducati has had several years of weight loss to get to the current weught.
if the italian run and controlled wsk was serious about fours in their championship they would have allowed the proposed 10% capacity increase.
but no a cheap and effective fix was ditched in favour of an expensive and possibly impossible solution.
they are now talking about 1000cc capacity limit, regardless of number of cylinders, treaded tyres...
You plagiarizer. Someone wrote that somewhere else, almost word for word. The no name brand riders all ride the inline fours, it's not the bikes. Look in the states, the best riders are on fours and one or two on twins. Same in Japan. They need better riders, not less weight or more power.
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