Vmax666 wrote:There is a big difference between a 60bhp off reader and a 200+ bhp circuit racing bike
Moto3 they are competitive
Moto2 with new triumph engine not competitive
MotoGP not competitive
Whatever metals they are using on the frames or the welding process must be too complicated at this moment in time
Will they ever be the fastest time will tell
But if it’s not soon they will struggle to attract fast riders
After seeing zarco which top rider would make the switch ( unless they are chasing a last big payday)
It's true that they have succeeded in very different formulae from MotoGP. I'd guess that their 990cc Paris-Dakar rally bike had a lot more than 60bhp, though the stresses on the frame and the parameters that make a winning bike will be different in that event than MotoGP.
KTM themselves say that what's holding them up at the moment is knowing how the frame should flex (etc.) rather than the frame material/philosophy and that they can achieve any flex parameters they want - if they only knew what they need. They could of course be wrong or deliberately misleading, but TBH I doubt either. While they haven't succeeded in a series with anything like as much power as MotoGP, they are going to know an awful lot about engineering and materials. Their 125 bikes show that they will, or at least would in the past, use aluminium twin-spar frames. If they say that they can win with the steel trellis, then I'm prepared to believe that they can. Their 250cc two-stroke had a twin-spar aluminium frame too. They haven't, in the past, had a hard policy against twin-spare aluminium.
In Moto2 there has been a change, and it may well not be the additional power beyond what can be handled with a steel trellis frame that has made KTM less competitive. I think that it's simply the case that they didn't come up with as good a frame concept as Kalex (or Speed Up), and the frame material is irrelevant. However, I'm just guessing there - we'll see if KTM return to the front of Moto2 in future years.
Re: Top riders making the switch - as they are a factory team they will always be able to get decent riders. I suspect that the teams and riders know how good other riders are. If just decent riders start achieving good results on the bike, then top riders will recognise the team as a reasonable prospect. Witness Rossi moving too Yamaha. (Though of course his subsequent move to Ducati had a different result.) There may be a delay between the team reaching a good level and top riders moving there, but I would expect that if they get there, top riders will recognise that. Even if they had had a long fallow period before that. However, if they only achieve success with one rider, and other riders can't make the bike work for them, then certain well known precedents may dissuade riders.
AL-2 wrote:I am definitely counting on computer modeling as part of the frame development. The problem is that a MotoGP frame is an incredibly niche application. There is little real technical data available. Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki are not going to reveal anything useful to a potential competitor. It all has to be developed in-house. Data from a different type of motorcycle would be of limited usefulness and could even lead development down a deadend path. Nothing else has to deal with the power, grip, stopping ability and lean angle of a MotoGP bike.
Just determining what the “answer” you are looking for is made more difficult by the wide variation of tires, pavement grip, tracks and riders that will have to be accommodated. As with most engineering problems there isn’t really a single “correct” answer, only the least bad compromise.
If chassis design was a straightforward easily defined engineering problem, Honda and Yamaha bikes would be perfect after all this time and would be quickly adapted to any tire, electronics, engine, rider or rules change. Obviously, this is not what happens. Frame development takes lots of small steps and lots testing/data collection. Having to deal with a much more complex structure does not seem to be an advantage.
In my opinion, while it will be possible for KTM to solve their chassis problems using a tube frame, I think it will be more difficult and take them longer than it could have. My fear is that the tube frame decision was made by management and marketing, not by the engineering department.
I'll add my answer here as it follows on from the post above.
I think there might be a bit of a misunderstanding here. To try and clarify I'll rather pretentiously label two parts the problem of designing a frame into Problem A and Problem B.
Problem A: Defining the parameters of a frame - how it should flex in which dimensions etc.
Problem B: Designing a frame that matches the specification created when solving Problem A.
I was only suggesting computer modelling for Problem B, which I think is far easier than Problem A. If Problem B can be solved by computer, then that may mean that even if it's harder to solve Problem B for a steel trellis frame than an Aluminium twin-spar frame, that isn't such a problem if it can be solved in a reasonable time by computer.
Problem A is a much harder problem, and I'm not suggesting it could be solved by computer optimisation. I don't believe that it would be possible to model a racing motorcycle to the accuracy required and to evaluate frame designs in a short enough time to make optimisation feasible for actual use. I could be wrong, but this is what I believe right now. Certain parts of your post make me wonder if you interpreted my post as meaning that I think that Problem A can be solved through computer optimisation. I don't think that. I'm only suggesting that Problem B might be amenable to computer simulation. Which might equalise frame design/materials where Problem B is of different complexity if the computers can be left to run on the problem overnight.
KTM say that their problem isn't in producing a frame with the flex characteristics that they specify. Their problem is, they say, knowing how the frame should flex. They could be BS-ing us, but I don't believe this to be the case. They also say that they can design and build frames quickly. So, unless there's more evidence that what they say is wrong, I'm probably going to continue believing what they say - at least for a bit