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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, at least they left the door open for those pesky two strokes. How competitiive they will be with the rest of the bikes in the class remains to be seen. I guess the 750cc twins will be SV650's modified to 750cc's. Could make for some interesting racing
 

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They forgot something....

SINGLES!!!

No singles? How else are we supposed to get Ducati to build the Supermono again?

Oh how I longed for the day when supermonos would line up on the grid next to 250 GP class bikes and wipe the floor with them.
 

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Looks like the Formula Xtreme class is designed for all those bikes orphaned by other rule changes.



My guess is that either 600 4s or ex-ProThunder Ducati 748s (or new 749s) might be the hot setup. Too bad the rules didn't also leave room for the Pro-Thunder Buells.



I know SV650s can be punched to 700 -- don't know if there is room to punch them further. From what I have seen of some highly modified SV700s, they could be pretty competitive,although I suspect they would get whipped by the very top rank Pro Thunder 748s (Doug Nash, etc).



Hard to say how competitive the 600s would be -- most of the 600s racing now (AMA or club racing) are in Supersport trim, so there is not a lot of experience with how much more potential can be unleashed with the liberal mods allowed in Formula Xtreme. I should go back and compare Supersport and Pro Thunder lap times from last year -- that would probably give a clue. Figure that the 600s in Formula Xtreme would be a bit faster than Supersport -- due to running slicks, if nothing else.



My sense is that the 250 gp bikes will get stomped, at least at the horspower tracks. I don't know if anyone has done anything with oversized 250s, as allowed by the new rules. If you could bump a TZ250 up to the allowed 330cc, and get a proportional power increase, that could make things interesting.



If we get representation of all the bikes that are elegible for the class, we would have a very diverse field!
 

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Can someone please explain to me the difference between the FIM, AMA, Moto Gp, Ect.

I'm an avid rider and enjoy watching the races on TV but don't understand the difference between the groups.

Thanks
 

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I'll give it a shot.



FIM (initials for International Motorcycle Foundation, in French) is the Geneva-based international sanctioning body for international motorcycling events. Most national organizations (eg AMA) are affiliates of FIM. FIM is analagous to FIA (for Autos) and FIS (for Skiing) -- probably no accident that these organizations are also based in Geneva.



Rules etc for GP (125, 150 and MotorGP), World Superbike, World Supersport, World Sidecars, World Endurance etc are issued by FIM and can be found on their website.



GP racing is actually run by Dorna, a private company and World Superbike, World Supersport, and I think Sidecars, are run by SBK, a unit of publically traded Octagon Ltd (although Octagon's racing activities -- they also own a bunch of British race tracks -- are for sale). I am not sure who is the operater of Indurance racing, or MX, Trials etc.



I believe that Dorna, SBK etc have a great deal of influence over just what the rules are, and that, to a large extent, the FIM "rubber stamps" them, but I don't have first hand knowledge of that.



AMA (American Motorcycle Association) is a non-profit membership organization, and is the blanket organization involved with all sorts of motorcycling activities in the US -- most of which have no involvement with racing at all. Their racing activities are handled by a for-profit subsidiary, AMA Pro Racing. As I mentioned, AMA is loosely affiliated with FIM, which is how they arrange for the joint AMA/World Supers weekend at Laguna. I believe that there is a closer association in MX where some rounds of the AMA champinship also count to the World Championship.



There are several other large national or regional road race series (eg WERA, CCS etc) that are not affiliated with the AMA.



At the local club level in the US, organizations may or may not be affiliated with the AMA. Those that are, generally still operate entirely with their own rules -- I think it is largely a matter of insurance (smaller clubs can get better rates through AMA or one of the other large groups than on their own)



Most large countries have their own national racing series -- I can't speak for their off-road racing, but at the Superbike level, there are large, professional race series in Canada, Britain, Australia, Italy, Japan and probably others. BSB, the British Superbike series is owned by Octagon (who also control World Superbike) -- I don't know much about the structure of the others.



From a fan perspective, what is probably most relevant is summarized as follows:



GP Bikes



Purpose-built pure race bikes with no production components. 125s are all 2-stroke with single cylinder. A number of makes compete, some of which you likely will not have heard of if you are American (eg Derbi, Gilera etc). Aprilia tend to be very strong in this class.



250gp are all 2-stroke twins. Aprilia also are most dominant, although in 2001, the late Daijiro Kato won a record number of wins on the way to taking the championship on a Honda. Yamaha are also sometimes competitive.



MotoGP are mostly 990cc 4-strokes, although 500 2-strokes are allowed -- only Proton, for the first few races of this year continue with the 2-strokes. Prior to 2002, the class was limited to 500cc and for many years, had been all 2-strokes. Honda has historically dominated in recent years (Suzuki's 2001 championship by Kenny Roberts Jr being the notable exception). This year there are more viable competitors, however, with Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia already competitive. Suzuki still lags a bit and Kawasaki is still far from competitive.



Superbikes

World Superbikes are production-based machines, with fairly extensive modifications allowed. The fact that factory bikes cost well over $500,000 each gives a pretty good idea of how extensively they are modified! Historically, they allowed 750cc 4-cylinder, 900cc 3-cylinder and 1000cc twins. In recent years, the twins have dominated, with Ducati and Honda trading wins and championships. For 2003, the rules were changed to allow 1000 cc 4s, but with restrictors in the inlet. Because of delays in issueing the rules, as well as economic issues, all the factory teams other than Ducati and Suzuki pulled out. There are a number of privateer teams however, most with Ducatis (last year or earlier models) and a few Yamahas and Hondas. In the first two rounds (actually 4 rounds as they run 2 races per weekend) the Ducatis continue to win, but the Suzuki has had huge improvement, and I expect they will get some wins before the season is over.



World SuperSport is for 600cc production bikes (up to 750cc for twins) with limited modifications. They run DOT (or Euro equivalent) tires on stock wheels. I am not sure of exact mods, but basically exhaust, shocks etc.



AMA



AMA runs mostly production-based (except for the 250 gp class that is in its final year). In general, rules are broadly similar to World superbike.



Superbike -- unlike World Superbike, they allow the old 750s to be bored out to 800cc. In addition, they allow 1000cc 4s with no restrictors, but with more limited internal modifications (eg stock crank, rods, valve sizes etc).



SuperStock -- this year, is for production based 750cc bikes, with similar rules to World SuperSport above. Next year this is opened up to 1000cc bikes. Fairly close to stock, except that the factory bikes are mysteriously much faster than the rest. Basically all GSXR 750s, with a few Kawasaki 636s and some 600s running up one class.



SuperSport -- almost identical with World SuperSport above, except that 750 twins are not allowed. The most competitive class and not changed for next year.



Formula Xtreme -- this year is largely overlapped with Superbike,which is why next year is totally different. Limited to production-baded bikes (I think they must be US legal, where Superbike requires only that they be legal someplace in the World). I think that the mods are more generous than Superbike, but most Formula Xtreme bikes now are also Superbike legal, and riders do sometimes cross over.
 

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It is also of note that this year there was a major defection of the top World Superbike racers, including Troy Bayliss the 2002 champ and Colin Edwards the 2001 champ, to Moto GP. Now that 990cc fourstrokes are allowed Moto GP truly represents the fastest motorcycles on the planet and is the primier racing series.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Had to go back and review the class structure but I see they didn't leave any space for a bike like the Tularis. Being an ol' 2-stroke lover, I'm going to miss those bikes. The AMA didn't leave much room for any experimentation with the new class structure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Had to go back and review the class structure but I see they didn't leave any space for a bike like the Tularis. Being an ol' 2-stroke lover, I'm going to miss those bikes. The AMA didn't leave much room for any experimentation with the new class structure.
 

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OK, I went back to check some actual Q-times from last year, and I have changed my opinion. Unless the gp bikes are able to take advantage of the extra 80 cc allowed, they will get beaten by the 600s. Last year, the Q-times for the 250s were close, but generally slightly slower than the 600 Supersports. With more modifications allowed, slicks etc, the 600 FX bikes should soundly beat a 250gp.



The Pro Thunder bikes were similarly just slightly slower than the 250s, so unless someone finds some more speed than guys like Jeff Nash did last year (maybe the 749 gived enough extra? I doub't it. Especially since there is no Ducati factory team to do development on the 749).



Looks to me like modified 600s will be the hot setup.



Bob
 

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Actually, the AMA has not had a class for the Tul-aris for many years, so this is not a change. I believe that the Tul-aris will continue to race in F-USA (I think that is the series).



AMA has progressively moved toward being a production-based series (250 gp being the only exception). There really is no place for real experimentation in their series. Basically, as a professional series, they follow the money. Fans and sponsors like the production-based machines.



Thankfully, this is not the only game in town, with groups like F-USA, and AHRMA, CCS etc that have classes for singles and twins with essentially wide open rules.
 

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Re: They forgot something....

Hey, I just saw your similar comment on the Colin Edwards site -- are you new there?

Seriously, unless someone were to develop a thumper powerplant with a lot more power for its weight, it will be hard for one to compete with the existing 250 gp bikes. I am pretty sure that even the fastest Euro SOS (Sound of Singles) would fall short.

I know some guys (Bare Bones Racing, in Colorado) who build Rotax/TZ250 hybrids that have won several AHRMA Singles championships, frequently beating bikes like the Duc SuperMono etc, but they are considerably slower than even a middle-of-the-pack club-racing TZ250. In the MRA, where they compete in the "Colorado Class" (open singles and 125 gp -- I think street-based 400 2-strokes etc) they frequently lose to one of the 125s. In fact, I think they may have pulled out of that class.

Being a big fan of 4-stroke singles myself, probably the biggest hope for the future is the rumor that the 125 gp class could get replaced with a 4-stroke single rule (rumors are that the 250s could become 4-stoke 600s -- basically prototype 600 sportbikes).

Meanwhile, there is some pretty good singles racing in AHRMA and in many local clubs (eg WSMC).
 

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RIP 750.



I read on another site that Twins will be allowed 1380 CC's. Think we'll see these get punched out soon or with the CBR1000R/GSXR1K and R1 we'll see the death of the Vtwin?
 

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This re-organization of rules structures opens the door for a production version of the Honda RC211V in the Superbike category....990cc 5cyl....



I can't help but think that very soon we'll see a Honda 5cyl literbike in showrooms. That would definitely make Honda's huge investment payoff from a marketing standpoint.
 

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Per the press release above, Aircooled twins will be allowed up to 1380cc in SuperStock. I am not really sure what bikes might take advantage. Theoretically Buells and the new Ducati 1000cc SS could run, but they would not have a chance against a GSXR1000, R1 etc.



Since the SuperStock rules do not allow overbores, the only way to take advantage of the 1380cc displacement allowance would be if the factory were to produce one with that displacement. Perhaps they were trying to entice Eric to take the boring bar to the new Buell. Some time back, I had heard a rumor of a 1200cc aircooled Ducati Monster, but I have no further reports and no evidence at all that this was anything more than idle speculation.



 

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The rules are not quite as restrictive as that, but they do say that at a minimum, cases, cylinders and head cannot be production parts. That does not mean that they cannot share key dimensions and design. Eg the WCM which uses an engine closely based on the R1, but without using Yamaha parts. It could be looked at as the sportbike equivalent of a S&S Vtwin relative to a Harley motor.



Good question about how that would be applied if someone were to subsequently produce a production version of an existing GP motor. In this case, it probably would be OK, because the production components might share key architecture and dimensions but would not be identical -- essentially your would have a similar, but opposite, situation to the WCM situation.



 

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FLASH!! WCM Disqualified

This just in from Crash.net -- FIM has ruled that the WCM does NOT meet the rules (why they did not make this ruling at Suzuka is not clear). I understand that this was a controversial decision, with the representatives from IRTA (International Race Teams Association -- the team-owners' group) and Dorna (the promoters) being overruled by the FIM rep.

Would have been nice to have figured this out before they spent millions developing the bike!
 
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