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MotoGP Goes Back to 1,000cc in 2012

It seems like we just moved to 800cc from 990cc, doesn’t it? The FIM Grand Prix Commission announced today that during the 2012 series, MotoGP engine capacities may be increased up to 1,000cc. At that time, the bikes will be limited to a maximum of four cylinders, and bore measurement shall be a maximum of 81mm (for a four-cylinder engine).

Further details will be announced later, but these initial specifications were provided to allow manufacturers and other MotoGP teams to begin development work.

Why change back to a larger capacity? Good question. I suppose the 600cc class is perhaps too close, displacement-wise, to the current 800cc MotoGP class, and undoubtedly the reasons for moving to 800cc in the first place (including improved safety) have proven invalid.

The upshot of the displacement increase will be a change back to the older style of riding (“point and shoot”) rather than the “250cc style” (higher corner speeds) currently employed with the 800cc machines. Who benefits? Riders like Nicky Hayden, who won his championship aboard a 990cc bike, and prefers the “point and shoot” style of riding.

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MD Readers Respond:

  • very impressive stuff from BMW for bench racing, but to me the most impressive engines on the akrapovic dyno look like the ZX-14 and hayabusa engines that deliver ~175hp at under 10,000 rpm.

    package either of those engines in a bike halfway between a literbike and a ZX-14/haybusa in weight, give it real world ergos and windprotection, and that’s a bike to lust after.   Harry

  • I was just reading the article on the new BMW’s HP and Torque. I’m not
    a expert, but doesn’t the HP and Torque curve HAVE to cross at 5252 RPM? – Ben

  • I was just checking out your post about the S1000RR dyno. I was impressed as I’m sure most are, but doing the math the numbers don’t make sense. HP and torque cross paths at 12,000 or so RPM, not 5252 as expected. Also, the recorded torque of 105 lb/ft at 10k RPM should make 199 HP at the same rpm. Am I missing something?   James
  • Always enjoy reading
    Why bother with the regulatory nonsense of limiting to four cylinders, even setting the bore? What nonsense! Isn’t racing meant to be all about proving new technology and designs, which then filter through to production models? Isn’t that the grand excuse why motorsports even still exists in our climate-changing world? So why not allow machines with twenty-five cylinders and bore / stroke ratios with unheard of dimensions? If it can prove a winning design so be it. Instead, I feel someone’s protecting their vested interests against any truly innovative approach.   Phil

  • With the new decision to move back to the 1000 cc’s in 2012, I would like to know if the American company MotoCzysz could be a possible contender. Inquiring minds would like to know. That would be one heck of a hot story. Make some calls!   Rico
  • Let’s be quite honest Dirck, Real men don’t ride anything smaller than 1000cc so regardless of the realities of racing don’t let’s waste all the investment in the machines that don’t mean anything to the people that make it all worth while.
    That doesn’t include me I’m afraid, I ride a Silverwing.   Ian

  • Quite possibly, 1000cc is not the optimal engine size for best lap times.
    Quite possibly, point and shoot is not the quickest way around the tracks.
    Perhaps we’ll see some engine switching from 800cc to 1000cc and vice versa, now that the 800cc’s have been largely developed, to suite the specified track. I.E., some tracks may be better suited for 1000cc while some tracks may see better times w/ the 800cc. To further illustrate the point, imagine 2000cc’s being allowed; clearly, these bikes wouldn’t even be as fast as 600cc machines.
    As much as I like Hayden, perhaps he didn’t necessarily win due to his ‘style’ as much as Rossi lost due to bike & tire failure.   Matt

  • This is indeed great news for Nicky Hayden as well as other non-jockey sized riders. Hopefully this will end the era of size discrimination in MOTOGP. On the current bikes there is an obvious competitive advantage to the lighter-smaller riders. Light weight will still have its advantages, but with the 1000cc bikes it will be offset by an increased need for strength and endurance. Vale will undoubtedly still shine, but how Stoner and Pedrosa will adapt is questionable. Jorge may be in danger of highsiding himself into orbit, but I am betting on him adapting well. Ben Spies ought to do very well.   Steve
  • Wil MotoCzysz resesitate the “stillborn” C1 to contest the MotoGP in 2012?   Kevin
  • And perhaps allows the bikes developing the most power a better chance of being up toward the front rather than relying more on rider finesse? We seem to have some riders in MotoGP today who seem to be able at will to pull out win after win no matter what they ride.   Rick