This is kind of off topic, but with wheel spin and tire life such a big deal for GP1 folks, could we see some type of computer-controlled wheel-spin-limiter? (traction control). Aprillia's new bike uses a drive-by-wire throttle, if something like that was coupled to a wheel speed sensor, and a radar system to measure ground speed, the slip of the tire could be calulated. The driver could just crank the throttle open and let the comuter do all the hard work.
Or maybe that would be a bad thing because it limits how much control the driver has, and takes away from the skill that is the hallmark of GP1 riders. What do ya'all think?
The FIM may consider it an unfair advantage, similar to CVT transmissions and active suspension developed for Formula 1 racing. Both things were ran out of the series because it took too much control from the drivers.
One thing you cannot teach a computer is feel. The top riders are able to tell and adjust throttle inputs for tire slippage. That is what makes them so good. If the GP1 series will showcase technologies that someday may trickle down into real-world motorcycles, there is a possibility in seeing bikes in the not so distance future with a similar system hard-coded to the bikes. That will take away the personality, skills, and thrill of riding motorcyles. If you want that, get an electric car.
Plus, it would not be anywhere as entertaining without seeing the sliding action of McCoy.
I agree with others that what makes racing interesting is that it is combination of the rider and the bike competing. I'd hate to see the human element removed from the equation. If it were, the race could be run purely with machines and that would be boring. Might as well read scientific journals. There is a fine line though as to how much the machine is allowed to do. As much as I like bicycle racing, which is nearly all under the control of humans (including supplying the motive power), I find motorcycle racing far more exciting because of what the machine brings to the equation. It really comes down to opinion as to how much control the machine can have on the riding. I prefer to not see electronics added though the Aprilia announcement hints that electronics will play an important part.
I wonder how traction control would work on a motorcycle? I understand on a car the computer compares the rotation of the front wheels and the rear wheels. On a motorcycle where you have the ability to lift the front wheel during hard acceleration the computer could determine the rear was spinning faster in relation to the front ( as if the rear was slipping). The computer would then limit power in some way and slow the bike down to equalize the front and rear wheel rotation. There must be some engineer out there who can explain how the system could (or could not ) work.
The only way would be to use a radar "gun" to measure the speed of the bike relitive to the ground. Such things exist on farm tractors so the operater knows how much wheel slip is going on. The hardware is way to heavy/bulky to be used on a motorcycle, but I am sure that it could be made smaller. I would not mind having "traction control" on my bike that I could turn on when it rains.
I was thinking the same thing. On the day I sold my Bandit I was delivering it to the Purchaser. I came around a corner and hit the gas too hard. The rear wheel spun then caught and I came very close to high siding myself down the road. Traction control would be great for those brain fade moments.
Re: The title should read - "4strokes still slower than NSR"
Oh but of course, if the RC211V doesn't beat NSR at least by 20 seconds on a 10-seconds-go-around track, it's slower - also if it's 0.00001 sec slower - it can't compare to the NSR500, oh unworthy 4-strokes, how can you mess with a sacred 2-stroke temple? Come on and wake up you 4-stroke-haters, It's 1st year of that technology - its debute, and already it's coming to (if not overcoming) the level that 2-strokes held till now. It's frendlier to the rider, it's more powerful, it doesn't lack anything 2-strokes had, it'll probably develop far beyond 2-stroke abilities that came to a dead end by today - how much development and breakthroughs did 2-strokes see lately? I just want so much to know the reason why you guys hate the tech that will soon enough evolve to be in our streetbikes, and turn them cheaper and better.. And to contradict you all, I hope that this year one of the 4-strokes will kick the 2-strokes butt, and better - ALL 4-strokes will kick the 2-strokes butt.
First, i don't hate 4strokes. But i do hate unfair rules. Look bro, when you tell one engineer that he can use an engine that is twice as large,and has up to twice as many cylinders, as the other engineer, it ain't fair. So forgive me if i can't keep my mouth shut that even with all the latest technology(the RC211V has been developing for 5 long years now) and twice the engine, they still can't keep up with the 2strokes(even with a rookie riding no less). And yes, 1 tenth to 1/2 a second is a huge difference in racing, surprised you didn't know that. And if it was Rossi riding the 2stroke, you know it would be a much larger difference than that. Hell, he even said after Katoh smoked him that he missed being on the 2stroke. So i'm gonna gloat until the day they outright ban them from MotoGP, which is the only way to beat them. Twice the engine, and they still can't keep up!.
Re: The title should read - "4strokes still slower than NSR"
I admit I'm a 2-stroke nut. I have 3 of 'em. I don't dislike 4-strokes so much as love 2-strokes. I think that development of 2-strokes was stopped or at least slowed to a crawl because they already make -enough- power. Tires are the limiting factor and have been for what.. like 5 or 6 years now?
That said, we all know that 4-strokes can be easier on tires... note "can be", not "will -necessarily- be".. it's still down to how the engineers tune the motor's output characteristics. They've swapped one devil they know for a demon they don't... but that is an engineer's dream! They -want- a new and difficult challenge.
Two-strokes could have evolved a lot further... not one of them (today) has Elec. Fuel Injection (in GP1)...(well.. not that I've checked.. I suppose it's possible, but I don't recall) and we all know what a huge area of development that opens up. Beyond the possibilities for better emissions (not that GP1 would care -that- much), there's a ton of performance and power-delivery characteristics an engineer could tune with.
Two-strokes were cut down at their peak simply b/c someone somewhere thinks they are politically incorrect, have no connection to road bikes (false, I have two 'stroker road bikes in my garage!), and are 'old news'.
Change is part of stuff like this... so I guess we should all welcome it. I will mourn the passing of 'strokers, but it won't keep me from watching the diesels.
I will close with saying that if someone's interest in GP1 is based on the hope that they will see those types of engines in street-bikes in 2 or 3 years, you're dreaming. The closest you'll get are motors like the VFR V-4... which, it seems, the "hardcore sport-biking buyer" (guffaw!) eschewed long ago... never figured why --it's a nice motor!, but they did... so Honda re-focused that bike to "sporty-sport-tourer". Hmmmm... a motor that very closely resembles GP1 type stuff, right now, sitting on the dealer floor... but folks who claim to be "sport riders" choose other bikes... and they do so b/c they claim "Honda puts every single doo-dad and techno-gimmick on the VFR, diluting the experience and raising the price... gimme a 'pure-bred' race-machine w/out all the gizmos and some hard-edged, unrefined -character-!" ... or words to that effect. Ha! .. if you want THAT, you want a TWO-STROKE!... edge? YES, character? YES! heehee
GP1 == gizmos and hi-tech! I'll laugh if Honda "re-launches" the VFR as their GP1-derived sport-bike and everyone goes nuts over it... good for Honda... and if the bike is good... that's great too!.. but it'll be comical to see the new converts.
Then again, who really cares... if the bike is nice, everyone -should- want it. I just get tired of hipocrisy and bandwaggoning I suppose... though I guess everyone is apt to do that occasionally... I'm sure I have.
Well said!!... when the rules aren't level, it's kind of a load of ... well, you know. I know why they -think- they're making it fair now.. b/c of the whole "twice the power-strokes (in a 2s) == twice the effective displacement (compared to a 4s)".
The problem I have with that analysis is that this makes the 4s the 'baseline tech'. I guess it depends on your viewpoint, but it seems that way to me. It's like they're "dumbing down" the 2s's to equal the 4s's. Why not let the better engine win at a given size? .. let the 2s be capped at 1000cc too! .. not that anyone would build one that big.. but at least the rules would be the same. It would leave some headroom for the lesser teams (KR3) to perhaps bump their motor up another 50 ~ 100cc and see what happens. Give the KR3 another 20hp... man!.. what a combo!
I would hate to see GP1 turn into the crying/whining game that NASCAR is with every manufacturer bemoaning the apparent advantage that their rival's new nose-piece has. "Oh, your 2-stroke is still beating my mega-bucks 4s!... that must mean your motor is too large, or mine is too small!... FIM!.. GIVE ME MORE CC's... OR TAKE THEIRS AWAY!! WHAAAAAA!!"
This is the same problem w/WSB... look at all the crying that goes on b/c the twins are 1000cc. Everyone hates that mess going on... yet they're very willing to muck up GP1 with the SAME kind of mess!! Yes, the rules do permit a team to pick one of several different configs, but once they pick one and it turns out to get soundly thrashed by another... what do you think will happen!?.. they will NOT abandon their mega-bucks investment.. they will complain and whine about everyone else's apparent unfair advantage! Watch!, it'll happen!
This is the primary reason I am worried about 4s in GP1... Lincoln has pointed out that we still see 2s faster right now... this will bring crying ... that is bad!
At least when everyone was on 2s, they were -relatively- happy w/the performance gaps... only Suzuki was left back a bit.. something they could probably recover pretty easily if they tried harder.
And the relatively lower cost of developing a 2s makes it somewhat feasible to scrap an entire 'direction' a motor was going in and start over... this will not happen in 4s GP1... ok, maybe at deep-pockets Honda.
500gp bikes already have traction control. the yamahas this year had a switch on the handle bars which allowed the rider to select, usually 2, different ignition curves which would control wheel spin in the lower gears.
Come on, guys. The 2 Stroke has twice the effective displacement of a 4 Stroke because it fires its load once per revolution instead of once every other revolution. It's disadvantage is that it can't handle air efficiently over a broad RPM range; it has to be tuned to a relatively narrow band. It's advantages are that it is lighter for better acceleration and smaller for less drag and higher speed. All its advantages are related to racing.
Note that the actual horsepower of the 4 strokes is only slightly more than twice that of the 2 strokes. Note also that the extra power does no good at all unless you can apply it somehow to the ground.
Like or hate one or the other, but the rules for racing them together are as fair as they can be.
Hmm... I'm not an electrical engineer, but if I wanted to know how fast a bike was going relative to the ground, and I couldn't use the wheels to make the measurement... I'd probably use an on-board electronic accelerometer. They're reasonably accurate and the sampling rate is pretty good (10s or 100s per sec), even for cheap ones. You'd probably want an expensive one for a traction control unit though... how bad would it suck for the traction control system to mis-interpret the data and pitch you off?
As for traction control and loss of manual control on a street bike.... it seems to me that twisting the throttle is not the same as turning the rear wheel, and whether the intervening system that interprets my throttle inputs and results in rear-wheel output is a mechanical system of cables, springs, and valves, or an electrical system of wires and computers is something that should be governed by the needs of accuracy, efficiency, simplicity, style, cost, etc.
Right now there are several mechanical aspects of your motorcycle that serve as a form of traction control... flywheel, curb weight, the distance you have to rotate the throttle to go from idle to WFO, the rate at which the revs increase, etc. If an electronic traction control system could retain the benefits but remove some of the deficeits (sp?) of some of these systems, I'm all for it.
As others have pointed out, fuel injection is already a major step in the transition from mechanical control to electronic control, and it hasn't reduced the enjoyment of riding (although it has, arguably, reduced the enjoyment of wrenching).
Seems to me that setting a displacement limit based on the stroke count isn't much different than setting a weight limit based on cylinder count... it just generates more whining.
Personally, I'd prefer to see as few limitations on technology as possible. Instead, set limits on the end result... things like horsepower curve, top-speed, weight, dimensions, etc. Then let the manufacturers use whatever technology they please to make a motorcycle that can circulate as fast as possible, within those general limits.
A class like that would yeild machines that focus on being great race bikes, rather than focussing on finding the best rules edges or loopholes.
When the Air Force wants a new high-performance aircraft built, they specify the desired performance envelope, they don't specify the technology to be used. There's a reason for that...
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