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Old 11-15-2011, 02:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckster View Post
I understand the concept of what prototypes are for. Again, current economic situations are creating a scenario where manufacturers can't afford to prototype anything. Since they are no longer competitive, they are leaving the class. At the current rate of attrition, Honda and Yamaha will be the only companies left in the class. I'm sure Ducati won't stay there if they can't get consistant results better than 6th place, it's a profit loss for them. Manufacturers are better off investing their funds into WSB where they win races which results in bike sales.
Suzuki doesn't seem to be doing any prototyping right now. Ducati, Yamaha, and Honda all have things they want to test. Notice how the new Panigale has the engine as a stressed member? I wonder if that's a trickle down from the carbon-framed GP bikes. Notice how the R1 has a crossplane crank? I wonder where they worked out the major engineering hurdles for such a setup.

So even if they're not at the forefront of competition, to some manufacturers there's still value in merely putting a prototype bike on the grid. Suzuki, quite obviously, has not seen that value in the 4 stroke era.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:59 PM   #22
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And I checked the lap times, any veteran rider not on a factory Yamaha or Repsol Honda was about 1.5 seconds off they lead pace or more for the satellite teams. At that rate Honda and Yamaha riders would lap the slow guys by he end of a race. Exciting stuff!
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:02 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by po-po 5.0 View Post
Suzuki doesn't seem to be doing any prototyping right now. Ducati, Yamaha, and Honda all have things they want to test. Notice how the new Panigale has the engine as a stressed member? I wonder if that's a trickle down from the carbon-framed GP bikes. Notice how the R1 has a crossplane crank? I wonder where they worked out the major engineering hurdles for such a setup.

So even if they're not at the forefront of competition, to some manufacturers there's still value in merely putting a prototype bike on the grid. Suzuki, quite obviously, has not seen that value in the 4 stroke era.
Both the crossplane and Ducati were designs from 4 years ago. Trickle down yes, but when was the last time you saw a totally new model. Most factories can't afford new designs under the current economy. Hence the BNG upgrades.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:10 PM   #24
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Correcting myself, 2 years ago. Maybe 3 at most since the crossplane came out in '09.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:15 PM   #25
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I understand the concept of what prototypes are for. Again, current economic situations are creating a scenario where manufacturers can't afford to prototype anything. Since they are no longer competitive, they are leaving the class. At the current rate of attrition, Honda and Yamaha will be the only companies left in the class. I'm sure Ducati won't stay there if they can't get consistant results better than 6th place, it's a profit loss for them. Manufacturers are better off investing their funds into WSB where they win races which results in bike sales.
Not what Honda Racing was saying in the most recent issue of Roadracing World on this issue. (Sorry, no link available, but you get a free subscription when you join CMRA) Honda says it is cheaper for them to test out their ideas on a prototype machine because it is crazy expensive for them to develop and change production motorcycles. Things that work in prototype racing eventually work their way into the production motorcycles (where they make their money), things that don't work get rejected without building that mistake into every CBR.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:19 PM   #26
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Both the crossplane and Ducati were designs from 4 years ago. Trickle down yes, but when was the last time you saw a totally new model. Most factories can't afford new designs under the current economy. Hence the BNG upgrades.
A totally new model? Yea mean like the RSV4? Note: Aprilia first tested V4's in the rscube gp bikes of ~2003. No...they didn't immediately turn around in '04 and release a V4 but nobody ever comes up with a totally new production vehicle that fast.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:07 PM   #27
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I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Whether you see it or not, we both have valid arguments, I feel, to our respective arguments. True, the prototype format is where we get most of our current technology from. But, if the operating cost of said prototypes prevents manufacturers from being competitive, or forces them to leave the premier class altogether, how is that benefiting us?
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:27 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckster View Post
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Whether you see it or not, we both have valid arguments, I feel, to our respective arguments. True, the prototype format is where we get most of our current technology from. But, if the operating cost of said prototypes prevents manufacturers from being competitive, or forces them to leave the premier class altogether, how is that benefiting us?
If ONE manufacturer (suzuki) doesn't see the value/can't afford to put bikes on the grid you want to take away the privilege from everyone else? It has nothing to do with being competitive even. Being mid pack is still teaching Ducati things. You're looking at this entirely from a spectators prospective and assuming that good racing, and that winning racing (what's important to the spectator) is also important to the manufacturer. The manufacturer, while they might receive some intangible sales bump from winning, also looks at prototype racing in terms of R&D. Something you don't have to win to get. Read unswift's post for more enlightenment.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:46 PM   #29
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Spectators are the reason for having a race series. If it was just a shakedown of new technology, they can do that by themselves. All those pretty stickers aren't on the bikes to look cool, they're advertisememts. Spectators see the rolling billboards and want the stuff for themselves. "If Rossi uses brand X then it must be the best". Sponsors pay to have their names on top level machinery because it generates sales. And Kawasaki pulled out of MotoGP for the same reason a few years back.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Spectators are the reason for having a race series. If it was just a shakedown of new technology, they can do that by themselves. All those pretty stickers aren't on the bikes to look cool, they're advertisememts. Spectators see the rolling billboards and want the stuff for themselves. "If Rossi uses brand X then it must be the best". Sponsors pay to have their names on top level machinery because it generates sales. And Kawasaki pulled out of MotoGP for the same reason a few years back.

Its not just a shakedown of new tech, but is one of the continued reasons that some of the manufacturers keep building bikes for this class. Once again...............read unswift's post.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:14 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by po-po 5.0 View Post
A totally new model? Yea mean like the RSV4? Note: Aprilia first tested V4's in the rscube gp bikes of ~2003. No...they didn't immediately turn around in '04 and release a V4 but nobody ever comes up with a totally new production vehicle that fast.

no sir, that was an in line 3 cylinder, 240bhp, pneumatic valve cosworth engine and was bad to the bone.......................
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:48 PM   #32
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Again, read Unswift's post and he's right about it being cheaper for Honda to test this way. The reason is because sponsors absorb most of the cost of racing. If teams don't show results, sponsors disappear and so does the funding. Kawasaki's MotoGP effort cost an estimated $46 million per season. That's a lot of money to develop traction control. In the early years, there was lots of trickle down tech from MotoGP. Other than Yamaha's crossplane design, that's about it as Yamaha is the only manufacturer to run an inline 4. Honda, Suzuki and even Ducati are running V4 engine layouts. The original Honda RC211V was actually a V5. The CBR1000RR, R1, ZX-10, GSXR1000 were all developed when MotoGP was still a 2-stroke format so no connection there either. Those bikes were designed to compete in WSB. Before they ran liter bike formats, they were 750cc, inline 4 engines except for the Honda RC30 and RC45 which were V4 engines based on the earlier VFR series. Again, no connection. Well, maybe MotoGP took this design from WSB. Interesting concept huh?
Early ABS brakes were around in the 90's with the Goldwing and later adapted to the Honda Blackbird so no contribution from MotoGP. Traction control probably has some lineage to MotoGP as well as fly by wire throttles but since those come stock on most bikes now at no extra cost, they really don't pay for themselves, even in the long run.
Will Honda, Suzuki, and even Ducati make a V4 for the street, linking them to their MotoGP heritage? Eventually, when the economy and the companies can shoulder the immense cost of retooling their entire factory line for the new layout.

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Old 11-16-2011, 09:50 AM   #33
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Quote:
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Again, read Unswift's post and he's right about it being cheaper for Honda to test this way. The reason is because sponsors absorb most of the cost of racing. If teams don't show results, sponsors disappear and so does the funding. Kawasaki's MotoGP effort cost an estimated $46 million per season. That's a lot of money to develop traction control. In the early years, there was lots of trickle down tech from MotoGP. Other than Yamaha's crossplane design, that's about it as Yamaha is the only manufacturer to run an inline 4. Honda, Suzuki and even Ducati are running V4 engine layouts. The original Honda RC211V was actually a V5. The CBR1000RR, R1, ZX-10, GSXR1000 were all developed when MotoGP was still a 2-stroke format so no connection there either. Those bikes were designed to compete in WSB. Before they ran liter bike formats, they were 750cc, inline 4 engines except for the Honda RC30 and RC45 which were V4 engines based on the earlier VFR series. Again, no connection. Well, maybe MotoGP took this design from WSB. Interesting concept huh?
Early ABS brakes were around in the 90's with the Goldwing and later adapted to the Honda Blackbird so no contribution from MotoGP. Traction control probably has some lineage to MotoGP as well as fly by wire throttles but since those come stock on most bikes now at no extra cost, they really don't pay for themselves, even in the long run.
Will Honda, Suzuki, and even Ducati make a V4 for the street, linking them to their MotoGP heritage? Eventually, when the economy and the companies can shoulder the immense cost of retooling their entire factory line for the new layout.
Are you really that simple that you think that if the motor in the prototype isn't the identical piston configuration and displacement that there's no connection? You don't think things like different injector spray patterns, different valve angles, bore/stroke ratios, radial brakes, slipper clutches, steering head angles, frame geometries, engine materials, etc, etc, etc, etc (I could go on for a long time) can be tested in a non-identical platform? , even tire tech starts in gp, but wait......they have 16.5" wheels. Guess that means the R&D can't be used on streetbikes.....
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:40 AM   #34
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It's all relative to cost. All those thing you mentioned can be tried and tested without touring the world. Most manufacturers have their own test tracks to develop these things. MotoGP is a showcase of who's the better manufacturer. BMW developed the S1000RR with no GP team or WSB team at the time. Why spend double digit millions when you can do it for much less and not race. At the rate things are going economically, it will eventually be Honda racing itself. The slowest satellite team was over 7 seconds off the lead times at Valencia testing. How is that close? If I want to see people get lapped, I'll watch AMA.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:58 AM   #35
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Bottom line is, racing is done for attention. All racing. Racing is not necessary to develop technologies, it's done to show who's the better manufacturer. What does it matter if your car can do the quarter in 4 seconds, or lap a racetrack at 1:49 per lap. It doesn't matter for development, it's entertainment is all. When people are not entertained, they lose interest. It happens in all sports. If your football team doesn't sell tickets, they move cities or get sold. It's all about profit. When it's no longer profitable, it becomes a loss and gets cut.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:48 AM   #36
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Racing is a business, it's all about getting results (well mostly), some of the the R&D that goes into getting a bike onto the podium will trickle down into our street machines, some won't, eg carbon brakes.

If the big 4 had the option of retaining their current race and street bike models for the next 10 years whilst maintaining their desired profit margin it would be done in a heartbeat IMO. R&D would be put on the back burner, it's not done for customer satisfaction and product enhancement, that's just a pleasant by product.

Racing is also an advertising tool, always has been,
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:50 AM   #37
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Quote:
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Why spend double digit millions when you can do it for much less and not race.
Once again....read unswift's post.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:51 AM   #38
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... MotoGP is a showcase of who's the better manufacturer. BMW developed the S1000RR with no GP team or WSB team at the time. Why spend double digit millions when you can do it for much less and not race. At the rate things are going economically, it will eventually be Honda racing itself. The slowest satellite team was over 7 seconds off the lead times at Valencia testing. How is that close? If I want to see people get lapped, I'll watch AMA.
Hey! I like MotoGP too, but AMA racing rocked this year. You should watch it for pure racing's sake, because unlike MotoGP and WSBK it had championships going down to the last weekend in both superbike and supersport.

BMW is an interesting case. They do no racing and develop a great bike which immediately gains a strong spot in literbike sales. Then they go racing, and find that maybe their bike's dynamics and electronics leave something to be desired in WSBK and AMA racing. Did BMW need to go racing to develop the bike? Obviously not, so we have to assume that the racing program is part of their plan to promote the bike and announce to the motorcycling world that BMW is no longer just about sport touring. Will their racing program help them to improve the bike in future generations? I can't see how it won't.

But will they go to MotoGP? Not as a factory team, at least not yet because they have WSBK, which seems to be working fine for them. And that is the practical issue with moving MotoGP away from prototype machines in my view. The same group owns both WSBK and MotoGP, so they will probably want to keep the product lines distinct to keep from picking each others pockets. Right now some manufacturers want to support racing production bikes (BMW, Suzuki, and Kawasaki), and some manufacturers want to support racing prototypes (Honda, Yamaha, and Ducati). Hasn't it always been so?
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:20 PM   #39
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Kawasaki and Suzuki, at one time, had a very strong presence in GP racing. Kawasaki pulled out in 2009 and launch an amazing streetbike this year with no current GP influence. Suzuki will do the same. Aprilia took a stab at MotoGP with the Cube using an engine not designed by them. Currently, WSB, BSB, AMA and the like are more relevant to the current development of bikes. The luxury of using GP as a development bed for technologies was the bikes would never be available to the public. Unlike WSB, where the bikes used have to be, for the most part, available to the public. GP racing is an entertainment "look what we can do" platform. If Honda didn't have the repsol bikes in GP, would you pay an extra $800 for a CBR1000RR "Repsol " edition? Probably not. Would you buy Brembo's $2500 master cylinder? Probably not also. But when it's advertised as "the same equipment Casey Stoner and Rossi use", people take more interest. It's a great series, don't get me wrong, I hate to see Kawasaki, and now Suzuki leave due to cost. But when the CRT teams are running 7+ seconds off the lead pace and even Rossi, on a factory Ducati, is 1.5 seconds off the lead pace, that's, IMO, no longer racing or entertaining. I understand Po PO's stand for technical development, but the teams that aren't in GP racing are still developing new technology, just without paying a top rider obscene amounts of money or funding a specials team to tour the world.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:01 AM   #40
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