Motor Racing Bike: How’s It Different from a Street Bike
When we talk about motorcycle racing, we typically picture a full-leather suit clad rider, blazing around the racetrack with his machine leaned over at some physics defying angles. That, broadly speaking, is circuit racing for you, with MotoGP being at the very pinnacle of this form of two-wheeler motorsport. Having said that, circuit racing isn’t the only form of racing, and we have other forms of two-wheeler racing too, including rallying, motocross, flat track racing and many more. The two-wheelers for each of these racing categories are either custom built or are modified over a stock donor vehicle to suit the specific requirements of the race. One, however, often wonders as to how these competition spec motor racing machines differ from their production counter parts. Well, the differences are many, and are often defined by the exacting guidelines laid down by the governing body of that specific motorsport event. So the first thing that one needs to understand is that the differences between a racing machine and a similar road-going machine originate primarily from the rules laid down by the controlling body for the sport. In this article, we will broadly discuss the ways in which racing two-wheelers are different to their corresponding production vehicles that we use on an everyday basis.
To start off, as we mentioned above, there are many categories of two-wheeler racing, and the two-wheelers participating in categories such as rallying or motocross are wildly different as compared to the regulation road going motorcycles. To establish a relatable link between the two varieties of machine, however, we’ll restrict this discussion to motorcycle used for circuit racing. This is a good way to explore the differences between the two varieties of two-wheelers, as circuit racing motorcycles are often derivatives of production spec machines.
Now, talking specifically of extreme circuit racing sports, Superbike World Championship (WSBK) motorcycles are based on their respective production motorcycles, and are heavily tuned to make them more suitable for track while following a rigid set of laws. On the other hand, the more extreme MotoGP machines don’t need to have anything in common with production spec motorcycles. The motorcycles participating in this sport are purpose built for the track, and the rules are very flexible to help them go faster around the track.
In the Indian context, the governing body for motorsport is Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), and the rules for various circuit racing classes of two-wheelers are defined by this body. While most of the rules are broadly in line with the international norms for similar categories, there obviously are differences, based on local requirements, vehicle models and practices.