Blogs

At the EICMA show in Milan, Italy last month, Marzocchi introduced its semi-active suspension system. The company plans to offer the system in the near future as an OEM fitment as well as aftermarket versions of the electronic forks and shocks. The Marzocchi semi-active suspension shares characteristics with both Ducati…

In the current issue of the magazine, my article covers in detail the semi-active suspension systems recently introduced by Ducati and BMW, along with a brief primer on active suspension. While semi-active or adaptive systems have become more prevalent in the motorcycle industry in recent years there has been little…
At the final Grand Prix event of the year, Yamaha traditionally holds a press briefing and discloses some information about that year's YZR-M1 machine and its development. This year was no different, and at the recent Valencia round Kouichi Tsuji, MotoGP Group Leader and YZR-M1 Project Leader, gave this year's…
Quite often when the subject of gearing comes up, many riders and tuners talk about anti-squat at the same time. Gearing and anti-squat are related, and when you change gearing you may also have to make a chassis change to keep anti-squat characteristics the same. When your bike is accelerating,…

As with any setup decisions made at the track, it's nice to have some data to look at to confirm what the rider is saying or even make a change with no input required. A rider may say that he needs taller final gearing after a session, but with some…
In the latest issue of Inside Motorcycles, my article discusses some of the advantages of changing your motorcycle's final-drive gearing. This can make a significant difference, especially on late-model sportbikes that are equipped with tall gearing and very close-ratio gearboxes. For track-day riders and racers, there are some additional subtleties…
Another data channel that shows a significant amount of information about the rider's habits - and is easily generated in almost any data acquisition system - is braking G. This channel shows actual deceleration in units of g, as opposed to brake pressure, which shows what's happening at the lever…

One of the more useful channels to look at when using data to improve your riding is lean angle. This channel can show some interesting detail about what’s happening on the track, and it’s easy to visualize what is actually going on from looking at the data in graphical format.…
Over the last few weeks, several people have asked about the tire's contact patch, and how it plays a role in trail - especially given that the tire is constantly deforming and the contact patch is very much a dynamic feature itself. As most riders know, tires play a huge…
In my last couple of blogs, I've talked about trail and how it changes as a motorcycle moves about on its suspension or leans into a corner. Trail gives a motorcycle its steering characteristics; in general, more trail is better for stability while less makes steering easier. Combining what we…

In my previous blog, I talked about how rake and trail change as the motorcycle's suspension moves through its travel. But I also alluded to the fact that trail changes as the motorcycle leans from side to side. This is something non-intuitive, but a very real factor that must be…
In two conversations I had this week, the topic of dynamic geometry came up, and how trail changes as the motorcycle pitches and leans its way around the racetrack. In the first conversation, I was talking with Bernie Broderick about his and his son Javelin's adventures at the Barber Motorsports…
In the current issue of Inside Motorcycles, I wrote about the 2012 MotoGP bikes and touched on chatter and chassis flex. I addressed chatter in my previous blog, and will go into more detail about chassis flex here. Chassis designers have long known that some flex is a good thing…

The poor weather caused the start of race two at Donington in 1988 to be delayed, and FIM officials made it clear to Tardozzi that as long as he finished close to Lucchinelli on track, he would be the overall victor.  However things started badly for Bimota, Tardozzi loosing most…
If you've watched any MotoGP races this year, or read any reports, you'll know that many riders and teams are struggling with chatter. Repsol Honda riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa are the most vocal, and it's enough of an issue for them that Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo leads the…
At Donington Park in England in the spring of 1988, a brand new series made its debut, based partly on World Championship TT-F1 standards, partly on AMA Superbike guidelines, and centered on the popular Anglo American Match Race series.  The Donington midlands venue, recently fully revamped, was one of the…

One of the new features on the updated 2012 BMW S1000RR is a "best lap in progress" function as part of the onboard lap timer. By comparing distance and time at intervals, the lap timer can determine if elapsed time to that point on the track is better or worse…
In my article in the current issue of Inside Motorcycles ("Computing Speed II," April/May 2012), I briefly discuss measuring wheel speed and calculating slip as part of a data acquisition system. "Slip" is a broad-meaning term and a difficult parameter to quantify accurately, and I thought it deserved some more…
Twenty Five years ago, the newly invented Superbike World Championship opened up at Donington Park in England, with an event that few involved fully understood in terms of structure and rules, but few can argue with from a 2012 perspective.  If it’s important to start a new series off with…

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