Supersport 300 Class Added to WorldSBK Series From 2017

The FIM and Dorna have agreed on a new entry class for the World Superbike championship. A Supersport 300 championship has been created to house the burgeoning market of lightweight sports machines, such as the Yamaha YZF-R3 and the KTM RC390.

The concept for the class came about after consultation with manufacturers. Motorcycle manufacturers have seen sales of 600cc supersports bikes plummeting, while sales of lightweight machines have been booming. More and more manufacturers have been entering the class, though each with slightly different machines and different engine capacities.

That presents the series with its first major challenge: balancing different motorcycle concepts against one another, while still ensuring that racing remains affordable. For 2017, four machines have been homologated: the Yamaha YZF-R3, the KTM RC390, the Honda CBR500R (previously raced in the European Junior Cup) and the Kawasaki Ninja 300, one of the first bikes to be launched in the segment.

Performance balancing the concepts will initially be done via minimum weights and maximum revs, with adjustments made by agreement in the Superbike Commission, the governing body of the series. In keeping with previous performance balancing concepts, such a decision is only likely to be taken if one bike is either obviously dominating or lagging severely behind.

The bikes to be raced must remain very close to stock. The engines and frames must remain virtually unaltered, with only the removal of secondary throttle valves permitted. Electronics must be either the stock kit fitted, or a separate, homologated race kit from the manufacturer, or a Dorna-provided special Supersport kit. Datalogging is severely limited, as are changes to the suspension. Exhaust may be changed, but must retain the same number of silencers in the same position as on the road bike.

Although personal anecdotes bear no relation to real data, I noticed a very large number of Yamaha YZR-R3s in Germany, when I traveled to the Austria and Brno rounds of MotoGP by motorcycle. It felt like it was the second most common bike I came across, after BMW's ubiquitous GS. 

Below is the announcement from Dorna, plus a link to the current set of regulations:


New FIM Supersport 300 World Championship Set to Begin in 2017

FIM and Dorna WSBK Organisation announce the creation of the WorldSSP 300 Championship for 2017

This new production-based platform is designed to be the new beginner class for the WorldSBK Championship, feeding the higher categories with new talents in the near future. This class will be a perfect window for the various manufacturers to showcase their new range of lightweight 300 sport bikes that are emerging in the marketplace. The category is devoted to building rider potential and discovering new talents worldwide, with a minimum rider entry age of 15.

“This new platform will be the perfect environment for developing future talent,” said Vito Ippolito, President of FIM. “The intention of WorldSSP 300 is to create a benchmark for National Championships to follow. We want to offer an environment that is regulated and relatively equal in which future talent can grow, and where manufacturers can accompany young riders as they take their first steps towards stardom.”

“The focus is to have an affordable Series for these young competitors,” said Javier Alonso, WorldSBK Executive Director. “There has been great interest for low-capacity motorcycles in this sport and the new WorldSSP 300 class strives to offer that. It will be promoted by Manufacturers as an easily accessible championship, the best possible platform to grow future stars where Manufacturers can accompany riders from an early age and as they progress through their career.

A full list of the provisional Technical Regulations for the WorldSSP 300 Championship can be found here.

 

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Comments

Interesting move, I like it. These bikes are pretty awesome.

Total votes: 112

HELL YA!!!!

So glad WSBK is a growing series! I've really enjoyed my videopass this year and with other GP folks entering next year, it's going to be tantalizing!

One thing I hope WSBK gets is a pit lane reporter too. 

Total votes: 112

The powers that be have certainly got it right in M3GP, the most spectacular event in any two wheeled format on any two wheeled tarmac racing weekend. Moto3 makes the rest look dull.The concept is a great idea, but seems to lack an understanding of equal strokes for equal folks.

The Kawasaki is a 296cc single, the KTM, a 373cc single, the CBR 500 was a twin cylinder 490 something cc bike when still available in this country and the Yamaha, well its the first I've heard of it. I suspect its a 290 something cc single. How do they reconcile parity? Ippolito's 'relatively equal' statement is relatively stupid. Any fool and his dog will pick a 500cc twin sport orientated bike over a 300cc purpose built single of similar uniform technology, being OHC 4 valve per pot liquid cooled 4 stroke. Witness the decimation of the 2 stroke 500 by the 5 cylinder HRC 1000cc 4 stroke back then, (under correction), it was so long ago.

Make no mistake, I love the little sportsers and the simplicity of the idea, but the announcement is premature, it is as daft as CRT was in GP.

Each manufacturer is hell bent on breaking into a perceived unfullfilled market niche, but this endeavour should not have ramifications on the youngsters entering the sport. Manufacturer's wishing to participate should be pulled into line.

My 2 cents: 81mm bore across all classes MGP and SBK. Capacity: 250 singles, 500 twins and 1000 fours across all classes.

This way players like Ducati will be forced to run 1000cc fours in SBK which they are perfectly capable of. They can even ressurect and compete using the brilliant 250 and 500 Desmo singles and twins of the Taglioni mentallty, 21st century refined. The Japanese manufacturers will be forced to think outside their 600cc niche market and the little guys can join in the fun at entry level.

The rest is survival of the fittest and the cream of teams and riders will rise to the top along with much needed legitimacy.

The rest will be the devil in the homologation detail, ECU and sundry sensor and cencorship.

All slow down and you will get where you want to be, right on time.

 

 

Total votes: 130

CBR500: 50hp/191kg wet 260hp/ton

RC390: 43hp/~140kg dry (10L tank so maybe 150kg wet?) 285hp/ton

Not as simple a choice as it seems.

Also the Ninja 300 is a twin, not a single. And the article clearly states parity will be achieved by limited modifications and rev and weight limits.

Total votes: 111

The ninja is a parallel twin engine. I really don't get the inclusion of the 500. Doesn't honda have a cbr300?

Total votes: 114

is incorrect - the European Junior Cup was running the CBR500R, which is how it was referenced. My mistake.

Total votes: 110

they're going release all new cbr250rr 2 cylinder. but for indonesian market only atleast until mid 2017 if i'm not wrong. throttle-by-wire, 3 engine map. a little bit overkill for that market.

Total votes: 111

Please specify your country. The R3 is an up and coming bike out here at CVMA at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Desert Center California. Yes a kid on the RC390 set a lap record last round, but there was an R3 on his tail. I test rode the Graves R3 last spring and was a blast and fast.

Total votes: 97

How sad, but inevitable.  600's are amzing pieces of technology and an absolute joy to ride - for small distances.  I now ride a VFR800 - much better. 

You voted 4. Total votes: 115

 Hope in the future that Dorna gets together with the factories and sets up for say 325 twins and 350 singles with set minimum weights.

I'd be at the dealer yesterday for a  sub 350lb, 50hp street ripper with a decent suspension!

Total votes: 111

Will these replace the 600's or run in addition to them?  Don't think I'd be sad to see the 600's go, and woud be positively overjoyed to see them out of Moto2.

Total votes: 119

Looks to be in addition. And I am very unhappy about the Euro regulations colliding with the economic downturn to dwindle the Middleweight catagory. Moti2 is a stagnant formula, agreed, but 600's are the ESSENCE of the sportbike. And increasingly as performance advances. Litre bikes used to have 130hp and needed no rider aids. Now they are 170hp and unrideable w/o them. Without any sweetness. It is unthinkable to me that we would not be having these nimble machines! Yes, I am in the camp that prefers a 750 ish bike as just right, or a race spec 600.

Britain leaves the EU, Trump is a viable USA candidate, and 600's might go away? What the heck is going on around here?!

Ok. I like Moto4 classes. Just allow for clip ons, those bars are for cruising. And Honda gets a 500 twin here? That better get a restrictor plate. Club racing has seen a swell in this class secondary to the economy slumping. I sure hope to see us all back out there on 600's soon enough - that is where the best experience is.

Total votes: 107

If the class is for 300cc supersport motorcycles, how is it that Honda has homologated its CBR 500 R?  It that a typo? I know that Honda does have a 300 in Thailand, so I am a bit surprised. Can you clarify this please. Thanks in advance.

Total votes: 110

Honda just launched a new CBR 250 in Asia which will no doubt get a 300 version.

Total votes: 119

I know they disapered with Japanese license system changes but I still wish we could see the return of modern versions of the gorgeous ZXR400's, NC30, GSXR 400's and FZR's.

They were briliant track bikes, always close racing and amazing to ride in pouring rain on full wets.

Please Kawasaki, 2018 ZX4R, my deposit is waiting. 

 

Total votes: 105

Although not a track bike, I once did a testdrive on a Bandit 400 for a buddy of mine, some 10yrs ago.
Owning a ZX6R at the time I was pleasantly surprised how it rode & handled!

Total votes: 117

I call these mini bikes, and out here on the west coast racing with the AFM we've seen the mini bike classes swel. It started when Kawi gave us the new Ninja 240, but it really swelled when the Ninja 300 came out. Now add in the Yamaha R3 and RC390 and the mini bike grids are bigger than the 600 class. There's lots of reasons for this swing. Cost is the main one. You can do a whole season of racing on 2 fronts, and 3 rear tires. Regards to Hondas 500. That bike has a really low RPM like 9000 redline, where as the ninja goes to 14k. HP = Torque x the square root of rpm. 

Total votes: 100

I think many people seem to be missing the point here.  The big attraction is that road going customers like and value the lightweight class bikes and are voting with their wallets.  Highly specialized supersport 600s are so far removed from their all arounder beginnings, are expensive to insure and boring to ride at street legal speeds that few want them anymore.  I love my ZX6R track bike, but watch as the Ninja 300, R3 and RC390 fly out of the dealerships and onto the track with me.  

Kawasaki, Honda, KTM, Yamaha and others see high profit margins in these 1/3 liter machines, so of course they want to promote the sporting prowess.  Riders who own one (or disire to!) want to imagine themselves achieving racing glory when watching the pros battle it out.  Bring on the new class in WSBK and give young racers a platform that can transfer from club to national to international level.  I don't see any Moto3 machines for sale at the dealerships in the US!

Total votes: 133

Go look for the specs on them. The standard bearer was the Ninja 300 as a benchmark. There are Cup series at several national levels. The 250 Honda is heavy and underpowered such that it is not possible to be competitive. The KTM 390 single competes and is more race worthy in Superstock form, and has also produced a solid Cup series. The Yamaha is a bit stronger than the others. It is hard to get parity amongst these, and the Honda 500 is a closer fit. Which shouldn't be a point of pride of course.

The parts of the world where the market is swelling is after the small displacement bikes. They are primary transportation as well as a focus of cultural interest. The profit margin on them is much higher. The 600's make little money for the manus.

Our tracks - they are big for Moto4. Kart tracks are more interesting to me w that scale of a machine. But this is the bridge class, and does provide for a need from minis to Moto3. I just don't see myself following it much outside of highlight film.

If you want the stats on these bikes I can gather them here. The "CBR" 250 isn't even in the same class really. Here is all but the KTM.

http://www.bikewale.com/m/expert-reviews/yamaha-yzfr3-vs-kawasaki-ninja-...

Another w the "CBR" 300 and RC390

http://www.cycleworld.com/2015/05/18/four-affordable-sub-400cc-entry-lev...

Total votes: 119

I guess we all need to slow down and wait for some clarity relative to tech spec pertaining to the new class, I for one am 100% for it.

Shrinking economies worldwide and money printing, negative interest rates et al demand a new angle. Smaller capacity, lower production costs and non-shifting goal posts year in and year out is where the sport needs to go. Propping up the 0.01% at the expense of the 99.09% is counter productive.

Show me a fancier of the sport that would not love to see a level playing field across all classes of the playing field, be it SBK or GP and I will show you a pig with wings.

Total votes: 101