The debut of the FB Corse bike at Valencia this week is perhaps best described as a moderate success. The three cylinder bike built by Oral Engineering demonstrated that it was reliable and had plenty of potential, though it was still at a very early stage of development. Garry McCoy lapped Valencia at around 1'40, well off the pace but not bad for a shakedown test run without any electronics. So far, the FB Corse has not been admitted to the MotoGP entry list, but a couple more tests should help get the bike ready to be examined again in time for the Jerez round of MotoGP at the beginning of May.
If and when FB Corse makes it into the MotoGP paddock, the good news is that it will pad the grid out from the extremely spartan 17 bikes to a merely sparse 18 machines. The better news, though, is that MotoGP fans will once again get to hear the banshee wail of three cylinder MotoGP machine, one of the most spine-chilling sounds ever to grace a motorcycle race track. The last time MotoGP fans heard a triple was back in 2004, the final year of Aprilia's MotoGP adventure with the fearsome RS3 Cube, remembered by many for the way Colin Edwards' bike caught fire so spectacularly at the Sachsenring. Most impressive of all, though, was the noise it made: A rabid snarl that sounded like the bike would claw your guts open like a polar bear eviscerating seal. If the FB Corse can bring that howl to the grid again, there will be a lot of happy fans indeed.
So what does the FB Corse bike sound like? So far, only a very few people have heard the sound in the flesh, but fortunately, someone who was at Valencia while Garry McCoy was testing the triple had the presence of mind to capture a video of the bike. Shot with a small camera, and played through a simple computer sound system, the recording clearly does not capture the raw intensity of the sound of a MotoGP bike. However, it's all we have so far, and it leaves enough to the imagination to make us hungry for more.
As a comparison for the sound, two more of our favorite-sounding racing motorcycles: The Aprilia RS3 Cube and the breathtaking and ear-shattering Honda 250cc RC166 six cylinder machine. A symphony in metal and megaphones.
FB Corse FB01 triple MotoGP bike:
Aprilia RS3 Cube, 990cc MotoGP bike:
Honda 6 cylinder 250cc RC166:
Thanks to MotoBlog.it for finding the clip.