State of world superbikes

Talk about the World Superbike series run by FGSport. Including World Superbikes, World Supersport, European Superstock, etc.
Vmax666
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State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

It’s sad to see on a bike racing forum that no interest is shown on yesterday’s crowning of a 4 time champ
Perhaps it shows how far SBK has fallen
What would spark people’s interest to get them involved and interested in SBK
It can’t just be the domination by one rider as this has happened in all forms of racing over the years
Or the fact one manufacturer is dominating as again this has happened in all forms of racing
But there is clearly something that puts people off

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JanBros
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by JanBros »

I've watched almost every race since the 888 was still running 8-)
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herbs
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by herbs »

Apart from Kawasaki and ducati, the manufacturers don't care. The Yamaha I don't think will ever get there consistently. I was actually really disappointed that van der mark didn't go to Kawasaki instead of Haslam. As otherwise, he's just wasted at Yamaha.

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JanBros
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by JanBros »

10 years ago, you could have replaced "Yamaha" with "Kawasaki" in what you wrote. No manufacturer is guaranteed everlasting succes. not even Honda. Or Ducati in worldsuperbikes. Newsflash : the Panigale will - I believe - be the first Ducati ever (or at least for a very VERY long time, maybe one of the predessecor's of the 851) that will not become a championship winning bike. And the Kawasaki isn't miles ahead of the competition, only the combination Rea/Kawasaki is (you simply have to look at Sykes), just as the combination Marquez/Honda is in MotoGP.
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Vmax666
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

I think Kawasaki are ahead and rea is definitely quite a lot better than the competition
But more needs to be done to attract more teams and be more evenly competitive
I am sure the Honda road bike is not that far away from the Kawasaki. And the BMW is very strong in super stock so surely some rules on the way the ecu is utilised should allow all riders to show their potential on different bikes
BSB has had winners riding all the manufacturers involved so must have something right

bikermike
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by bikermike »

I'd say the showing of the Honda on the roads and in BSB would imply it isn't that good yet.

kenup283
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by kenup283 »

@Jansbros excellent post, summarizes exactly the situation

@Vmax666 intrest is WSBK in general is tough topic,..but I think paradoxically Dorna owning them hurts the series while saving it at the same time.

I hold out for time to change this, but i do not see any chance for WSBK to touted as rivaling series to MotoGP for status as the "Premier Class" of motorcycle racing. That term coined by Dorna used to establish hierarchy in the series, also clearly establishes where you put your sponsorship dollars if your intersted in visability. I just don't see WSBK ever rising to the level of branding and marketing that Dorna puts into MotoGP and would not see them undercut one for the other. It would seem WSBK is left to the manufactures / participants / sponsors to promot for themsleves, but with the series promotor conditional interest in not taking away from thier other asset, the MotoGP series.

From the fans persoective, they may ask; If MotoGP is premier class, what then is WSBK ? and why should I bother watching it?



As for rules, I'd be intrested if you find in terms of diffence btwn BSB and WSBK, particulary since WSBK brought in BSBs rules saviour (just my impression of how he was presented in various articles at the time) to replace the outgoing let them race mentality.

And what I have seen is in last five years is WSBK has gone though lots of differnt formulas, droping the long standing use of weight ballast to even the differnt mfgrs out, to use of air resrictiors, and now to Rev Limits. Price caps, upgrade restrictions and standard ECU kits, suspection, brakes, etc, all at fixed amounts. Also the factories would have to provided any privateers their settings for the electroncis multiple times per year.

The general shift went from letting the teams make the modifications to make compettive what the factorires made for the public use. To forcing the teams to use what the factories made and only allow "uncompetitive" teams to make upgrades based on a concession points system.

And In all this seemed to not make any differnce,.. the cream rises to the top as they say.

kenup283
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by kenup283 »

bikermike wrote:I'd say the showing of the Honda on the roads and in BSB would imply it isn't that good yet.
Honda for some reason always holds back on what they sell to public. You can see this on club racing grids, far more Kawasakis, Yamaha, you name it, than Honda. Its a matter if what you get for money spent in terms of better parts, brakes, suspension, etc. from the dealership. Also I would agree that the new Honda isn't there yet as well.

bikermike
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by bikermike »

kenup283 wrote:
bikermike wrote:I'd say the showing of the Honda on the roads and in BSB would imply it isn't that good yet.
Honda for some reason always holds back on what they sell to public. You can see this on club racing grids, far more Kawasakis, Yamaha, you name it, than Honda. Its a matter if what you get for money spent in terms of better parts, brakes, suspension, etc. from the dealership. Also I would agree that the new Honda isn't there yet as well.
I was thinking about the works teams in BSB and the Roads - Honda haven't done much for club racing since the 600 steelie, but their own bikes are usually pretty special. - for them not to be doing well in WSBK, BSB and the roads suggest there is a common denominator between them

Also Honda road bikes tend to be over-built for racing - there's a lot more you need to throw away

Agree with your points on DORNA, how do you establish an identity for the series especially now MotoGP has gone 4-stroke, it's quite hard to do the old F1 v Touring Cars analogy quite so well as road bikes look too much like racebikes. maybe they need to keep lights/mirrors etc on. And carry luggage... :mrgreen:

Vmax666
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

I tend to look at super stock to see how competitive standard road bikes are
And I can’t remember the last time I saw a Honda doing well with plenty of entries
BMW always seem to go well on the circuits and the roads
Dorna maybe need to see it as a feeder series to MotoGP to get some interest from Spain and Italy for the younger riders as not all riders graduating from moto2 make the grade in MotoGP and historically plenty of good riders came from superbike backgrounds

kenup283
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by kenup283 »

Superstock still has a very high allowable limit on price of the bike allowed. At 33,000 EUR it is still over double the price point most of the manufactures compete at for customers in the market

So with rules that restrict suspension, brake, gearing, simple engine work, you name it, what you are comparing in Superstock are which manufactures put the most kit and make avaible for sale (not necessarily find customers for) their bikes in their highest state of tune versus those who want to make compromises on those things trying to actually find customers for larger number of their bikes on the road.

So it is not surprising to see the boutique manufactures as I wil call them excel in SSTK. It’s a class made for them.


Here’s the list of currently homologated motorcycles, you won’t find difference between SBK and SSTK because 33,000 EUR is already too high, nevermind 40,000EUR limit for SBK.

http://www.fim-live.com/en/library/down ... o_cache/1/

Vmax666
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

Unfortunately all the manufacturers have a speced up version made for racing which does spoil things slightly
But race replica sales including superbike/super stock are falling so maybe a. Time to re assess what bikes are being raced
The super stock class is being dropped from wsbk next year so maybe dumbing down of the superbike is next in line

In the past private teams seemed to be able to buy over the counter racing machines and go out and be competitive. Now unless it’s a well funded works bike they have no chance. Only ducati have a private team doing well all others struggle to get within 20 secs of the leaders

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Fingernails
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Fingernails »

The general situation of WSBK has been covered, so I'll just talk about my personal interest.

I follow the WSBK races on television, but only through setting up my set-top box to record them, and I watch the recordings when I notice that they're there. Hence I stay away from this part of the forum in case I get races spoiled. Which can happen easily as I don't know the calendar and may not even be aware that there has been a race for which there hasn't yet been highlights broadcast in the UK or that I haven't noticed the recording yet.

The motorcycle racing series that I follow in various styles are: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3, BSB, and WSBK. To me that is already a heck a lot of racing to watch. On top of that I'll watch the F1 and Formula E car racing series as well. F1 live-ish, and Formula E through set-top box recording as per WSBK.

Of the motorcycle racing series I watch, I would say that currently WSBK is the least exciting. That's not inherent to the formula, but is due to the competitiveness of teams and riders meaning that Rea is having an easy trip to the championship. The same might be said of MotoGP, but I find that there are more exciting races (both in number and degree of excitement) in MotoGP than WSBK. Eeven if a Marquez championship has been a foregone conclusion since I can't remember when.

Currently I plan to attend a race or races at Donington next year. The choice of which races will be affected by interest in the series, cost, and whether my work has sent me overseas at various times. At present BSB is way ahead of WSBK in that order.

Vmax666
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

I watch all forms of motorcycle racing.
Mx unfortunately for me has gone to much like super cross. Having outdoor tracks laid out with countless jumps mimicking super cross is not for me. Love watching super cross but the two should be different. Circuits like Namur should be brought back
Trials is great to watch once but after that watching riders doing the impossible becomes normal. Went to Sheffield once and saw a pushbike trials demo and although I thought the motorbike were great seeing what was done on a pushbike trials was amazing
MotoGP. Like all the races Dorna have done well there
Wsbk. Needs a re think on the bikes side of things not which days to run races.
F1 love all the tech hate the racing. I think teams should be able to buy their chassis from whomever they want not have to make their own

But maybe I am just getting old and looking back through rose tinted glasses

Vmax666
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

Having watched BSB today and being critical of the new 3 race format in WSBK for next year maybe I am wrong as I looked forward to the BSB triple header so could be a good thing for WSBK
I hope Honda come up with something for next year as both Kawasaki and ducati will have new models so the gap will only grow

Elton
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Elton »

Watching glorious WSBK racing was what got me into motorcycling 20 years ago. These days if i can be bothered watching I'm usually asleep halfway through.
WSBK is dying fast because Dorna have allowed Kawasaki to spend a MotoGP level budget on the development of their electronics. It's a ridiculous situation when Kawasaki are allowed to run that level of aftermarket traction control in what is supposed to be a production series. It wouldn't even be allowed in MotoGP anymore! To be fair Ducati probably have a similar spend, but their base motorcycle is no longer competitive enough. It might be if they were allowed to run their proper 1300cc engine, but the rules are incapable of accommodating it for some daft reason.

To me WSBK needs to do two things. First all the capacity restrictions should be adjusted and allowed for far more regularly, and a proper parity system introduced that incorporates a combination of success ballast/inlet restrictors/rev limits. I want to see the most awesome street bikes on the racetrack - including 1300cc twins. By sticking to the 1200cc limit for twins WSBK has forced Ducati to build a 4 cylinder bike to compete, which is a shame as it's reduced the variety of engines on the grid. Basically if a manufacturer starts selling 1200cc V4 sports bikes in large numbers to customers, then I want to see that bike raced, not barred due to outdated tech regs that perhaps don't reflect the market anymore - as has happened repeatedly in WSBK since it was first introduced. Parity can be maintained with a proper system, and then we get to have our cake and eat it too. The best, most current street bikes being raced, and close racing to go with it. And I don't mind that the best bike ends up being handicapped in order to keep the racing close - I still know its the best bike and it probably still wins the title as it doesn't get handicapped unless it's winning races.

Secondly all aftermarket electronics and on the fly ECU tuning must be outlawed completely. The bike runs the electronics it comes stock with on the showroom floor and that's it, no further software or hardware development allowed. World Superstock is so much closer and better to watch than WSBK for that reason, and it stops a particular manufacturer being able to dominate by just throwing stacks of cash at software engineers. Yes, manufacturers will probably start releasing bikes with more complex electronics but that's fine. Homologation numbers could easily be raised to ensure factories don't start building super limited number GP machines with lights to get around the rules.

WSBK has to do something or there's no way they'll attract new audiences the way i got hooked 20 odd years ago with such a boring product, and it will just go into a tailspin as sponsors and viewers dwindle. As a starting point they should just rename World Superstock as 'WSBK' and do away with the current top category completely. Who cares if they're a second or two a lap slower, the bikes are still missiles and the racing is far better. Won't be long before electric bikes are far superior anyway, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

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Mikesbytes
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Mikesbytes »

1300cc Ducati's are permitted to race in ASBK. While being a more modest race series, it seems that the extra 100cc doesn't make a huge difference.

I'm seeing the issue in 2 parts;
1. Kawasaki is too fast due to;
1.1 Having the best rider
1.2 Having the most support
Both 1.1 & 1.2 are due to having a large budget
2. Honda, MV, BMW, Yamaha (to a lessor extent) and privateers are too slow due to;
2.1 Insufficient support
2.2 A lack of budget
In the case of Honda and Yamaha the spend more money on their 6 hour than they spend on an entire season at WSBK. This exhibits that they are not seeing value in WSBK, an example being that on manufacturer wasn't even interested in putting the electronics/software from the 6 hour bike on the WSBK bike, despite the team wanting it.

Note: I left Ducati out of the above as I'm seeing them as being about where WSBK should be, ie everyone else is too fast or too slow

We have seen in MotoGP that unifying the electronics has made the racing closer and there have been those who proposed that for WSBK. Requiring them to use the same electronics/software as the street machine is an interesting idea. Thinking the idea thru, there isn't a lot that stops them putting the race software + the street software on the same chip, making it user selectable. They would probably have to add some additional sensors to the street machine
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Elton
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Elton »

Near 50 year old Troy Bayliss finished 3rd in the ASBK title on the 1300 Duke after a long hiatus. I watched a few of the races and I reckon a younger TB would have won the title, he just faded later in races a few times and made mistakes when he got tired. I reckon the 1300 in WSBK would have made them a lot more competitive.

As far as electronics go, if the bike comes with a 'race' map stock that's fine. They'd be allowed to use the buttons to configure their preferred setup and get telemetry and so forth as long as it's something the bike comes with standard. But that's light years from what they're doing now. And increasing the electronic capabilites of the stock bikes would make the bikes cost more. Meaning less units get sold and less bikes built which could mean they don't meet homologation requirements. No manufacturer can afford to build thousands of expensive bikes that don't sell just to meet homologation numbers so it's all a balance as it should be. I really don't understand why aftermarket electronics are allowed in WSBK at all. BSB runs NO traction control and the racing is terrific.

bikermike
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by bikermike »

traction control is probably more advanced on road bikes than superbikes - the irony for a production series is that in BSB you are effectively back-dating the bikes so they *don't* reflect the market.

as for Ducati, they have always had a capacity advantage and built bikes to it. If they've got it wrong this development cycle I'm not sure it proves anything. Don't forget that WSBK was pretty much a 916 showcase through the 90s and 00s. The difference is that factory bikes weren't *that* much further ahead of the (large number of) privateers.

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JanBros
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by JanBros »

Elton wrote:I reckon the 1300 in WSBK would have made them a lot more competitive.
the current Panigale lacks nothing compard to the Kwak, engine-wise. it does not need 100cc extra to be competitive.

All they had to do to win the championship was bribe Rea :idea:
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bikermike
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by bikermike »

The one rule they need to bring is "no northern Irishmen whose names begin with R"...

Mike

Vmax666
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

The more variables there is on any bike the more it costs to employ people to get the most from it
Does bsb have fly by wire or is that not permitted as I am sure they still have laptops coupled up to them on the grid.
Should Kawasaki be penalised just because they are successful. A few years ago they were amongst the slower teams in the paddock
Perhaps limiting the number of people in the pits would help
Stock engines maybe
But I do think unlimited electronics is bad for the series. If MotoGP is dumbed down then so should wsbk unless they use stock electronics

Elton
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Elton »

bikermike wrote:traction control is probably more advanced on road bikes than superbikes
BSB yes, WSBK definitely not!

I agree with your point about BSB spec ECUs actually making the bikes not reflect the market though. That's why electronics should be homologated.

Electronics is definitely the main factor ruining the racing in WSBK. My beef with Ducati not being allowed to run the 1300cc bike is more of a philosophical argument where I think every effort should be made to get what is currently a manufacturers flagship sports bike on the grid, using a parity formula to make it even. That also leaves more room to adjust the parity regs as the season progresses, if a manufacturer dominates 10 races in a row or something.

The last race of the season had Rea finishing ahead of 3 Ducatis so I take the point about Rea himself doing an incredible job. But i think on even machinery Davies is pretty close to Rea, while Sykes is not. If Davies or Melandri were Johnny's teammate this year Kawasaki could have won virtually every race.

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Fingernails
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Fingernails »

Just saw the latest WSBK round. I didn't find it exciting.

Vmax666
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

Just read Tom Sykes to smr bmw
Didn’t see that one coming
Thought smr were going to stick with laverda but I guess bmw have had their say

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