Wednesday, May 30, 2007

2008 World Superbikes: FIM approve 1200cc engine capacity limit for twins

Bigger twins! The Ducati camp is obviously delighted...

Ducati Superbike racing program Director, Davide Tardozzi has told Speed TV that new FIM regulations pertaining to SBK 2008 have been agreed upon, and are likely to be announced on the coming Sunday, after the Italian MotoGP at Mugello. The FIM have, in principle, agreed to Ducati's demands, and the new rules will allow twin-cylinder engines to go up to 1200cc.

This revised engine capacity for twins in World Superbikes is likely to have a major effect on many manufacturers' plans – BMW, KTM and Aprilia are likely to enter the prestigious series in 2008. Japanese manufacturers, all of whom run 1000cc four-cylinder engines, are likely to be unhappy about this. Alstare Suzuki, for one, are already reported to be thinking about getting out of World Superbikes, and going to MotoGP.

Expect to see a 1098R in 2008, with a 1198cc, World Superbikes-spec engine. It'll be expensive...

On the subject of why Ducati have been pushing for the 1200cc engine capacity limit for twins, Tardozzi says it's because 'That capacity allows us to be on an almost equal level to the Japanese 1000cc four-cylinder machines on the road. The difference in horsepower is around twenty percent. In World Superbikes, the best Japanese fours have about 215bhp, while we have about 194.'

What about electronics though? Aren't Ducati already supposed to have the best electronics in SBK? Says Tardozzi, 'We have the best electronics, but electronics and traction control cannot help you make the rear wheel turn faster. It can control the rear wheel on acceleration, but when you are on a straight, it is only the engine that is making the rear wheel turn – electronics cannot make more horsepower!'

With the new engine capacity for twin-cylinder engines, KTM and BMW may also enter the SBK fray in 2008. Good for the series...

So with the engine capacity for twins going up to 1200cc, what does this mean for the Ducati 1098? Well, expect a homologation special – perhaps called the 1098R – which will actually have a 1198cc engine. As per the new rules, Ducati will have to make at least 1000 units of this bike and offer it for sale on the open market. Of course, despite being hugely expensive, we don't suppose Ducati would have any trouble selling all 1000 units of their World Superbikes-spec 1098. The only thing that remains to be seen is how Japanese manufacturers react to this change...

Also see:
Ducati Desmosedici RR: The most lust-worthy bike in the world!
Bikes: Are there any alternatives to motorcycling...?
Acabion GTBO 70: The world's fastest motorcycle!
V-Roehr 1130: All-American superbike
Sizzler: 2007 Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000
War of the Ninjas: Original ZX-10 vs New ZX-10R
Angelina Jolie on top, Rossi settles for second place

1 comment:

suren said...

yipeee !!! DUCATISTA !!! yahoo ... sorry mr.biaggi , mr.toseland ,and mr.nitrooo nuri !! he he ! ... u guys r just gonna see the sexy exhaust of the ducati all the time next year !! ha ha (evill grin ... ;) )..

and yeah i feel pity fr the present 1098 owners !

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