With the snow disappearing and temperatures warming across the country, it's almost time for a new season of Canadian Superbike racing to get underway. Last year, I worked with Jodi Christie and the Accelerated Technologies/Honda Canada team and detailed much of what we accomplished in previous blogs and the October and December issues of the magazine. This year, Christie will be racing the new Honda CBR1000RR SP model in Superbike along with a CBR600RR in the Sport Bike class, and I will again be helping out with data acquisition.
With less than two weeks before the first event of the MotoGP season, Dorna is set to introduce a new sub-category in the MotoGP class, dubbed Factory 2. It seems unbelievable that this would be the case when the goal for the class, as stated by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, is to have one category and one set of rules as soon as possible, but now it will be even further fragmented and harder to follow.
The April issue of Inside Motorcycles is 80 pages of two-wheeled bliss! You'll find out 2014 Adventure/Dual Sport and Touring Buyers’ Guides, exciting new Kawasaki and Victory model impressions, a story about touring in the hills of Colorado and profiles of champions from the worlds of drag racing and vintage road racing. Throw in a couple of intriguing technical articles and our usual mix of insider columns, news and product reviews, and you've got another killer issue of Inside Motorcycles.
The recent MotoGP test at Sepang, Malaysia, provided the first real chance to see how the new rules for 2014 have changed the structure of the class and how the performance of the various machines compares. Since 2012, the class has been filled out with bikes under the CRT (Claiming Rule Team) clause, which ostensibly meant production-based engines in prototype chassis. However, this year the Claiming Rule has been dropped and a new two-tier structure introduced.
We have been approached twice in the last year by 'Phantom Sponsors' and, I’ll be honest, I just don’t get it. For those who are unaware, my family is made up of racing enthusiasts with a son who is lucky enough to live his dream of racing flat track. As we are also very much a middle-class family, Braden couldn’t race without the generous support of great sponsors.
I need to be careful not to complain too much about the off-season since, for me, it only lasts two months. However, it has only been two weeks since I have been on a motorbike and I am already feeling the need for speed...
In the current issue of the magazine, my article covers the importance of thrust, or actual driving force to the rear wheel, and why it is an important measure. You can find an Excel file to make your own thrust chart (and other helpful downloads) http://www.datamc.org/downloads/">here. Thrust and anti-squat are related because it is driving force at the wheel that for the most part provides the anti-squat tendency.
I have talked several times before about dynamic geometry and how rake and trail change as the motorcycle goes around the racetrack. Under braking, weight is transferred to the front end, compressing the front suspension and decreasing rake and trail measurements. Likewise, weight transfer to the rear under acceleration causes the front suspension to extend and the rear to compress, increasing rake and trail.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, recent advances in tires, chassis and electronics have put more emphasis on corner entry and trail braking rather than corner exits, as this is currently the part of the track where riding skill and technique can make the most difference.
In my previous two blog postings, I have covered the importance of corner entry and the actual mechanics of how to trail brake into a turn and improve that particular skill. This week, I will show some data from a GPS-based lap timer that can be used to keep track of your progress.