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Combined Rider and Bike Weight Limit for Moto GP: What do you think?

A new rule in Moto GP that would require the bike/rider combination to meet a minimum weight is gaining momentum with the likes of Valentino Rossi and Marco Simoncelli, two of the bigger riders, pushing it for next year. What do you think?

Dani Pedrosa is one of the smaller riders, and he has nearly 50 pounds’ weight advantage versus the largest riders he competes against. Everyone admits this is an advantage on acceleration out of corners, and with regard to fuel consumption. Nicky Hayden also claims that heavier riders wear out tires more quickly.

Pedrosa counters that his size puts him at a disadvantage when it comes to braking and mid-corner traction.

We think the biggest issue is fuel consumption, which is restricted in Moto GP, of course, and requires larger riders to tune their bikes more conservatively in order to finish races. Give us your thoughts.


  1. Comment and vote Here. Let MotoGP Technical Director Mike Webb herar what the fans have to say.

  2. Adding weight to a smaller guys bike is a double negative for him. shouldn’t the larger guy have more strength? so then you want not only to add weight to the smaller guys bike but you want to throw also poor handling and more troublesome direction changes for him… Does he win every race? no… quit crying and go race.
    Racing is great, don’t mess it up with a bunch of non sense rules.

    He who crosses the finish line first wins. No Judging. Simple.

    JC racing

  3. someone says:

    If you think your weight is a disadvantage, you should seriously consider this ……… lose weight. By proposing a rule change because someone is lighter and shorter is almost like complaining that my rival has a faster bike and this gives him an advantage, so the authority should do something to make his bike slower.

    • Bomber says:

      Its not a case of losing weight you tarzer, do you think Rossi is carrying access fat!! It is purely down the physical size which equates to weight. When you are in a sport where power to weight is 90% of everything, and then they go and reduce cc (probably driven by Honda at the time), there should be some form of governance. I can imagine the frustration riding at top level giving it all and knowing that the midget has the advantage (regardless in which camp or bike he is on). Did you see the way Padroza flew past Lorenzo in Jerez, Estoril and Losail, that my friend was not just the power of Honda.

  4. Bomber says:

    What a pleasure if the rule does materialize, use to race in a local series where I would get clobbered by chaps half my weight who had no talent. Same holds for gp. A midget on a 999s would out accelerate heavier chaps on 1098Rs’! And midgets on 1098R could not be touched.

  5. Ferb says:

    For those complaining about not wanting ballast added to the bikes, guess what? They already do. The change involves adding the rider’s weight to the equation. This is a good idea. This will result in allowing talented riders of all sizes the opportunity to compete, not just the guys 5’4″/120lbs or less. It will allow more opportunity which I would think everyone would be ok with.

    It’s not going to limit anything, except maybe the advantage that the little guys have. I for one don’t want to see the sport breed a generation of lilliputian riders. Let’s give all talented riders the opportunity.

  6. Greg says:

    I agree with the intent of the equalized weight, but feel that it can still be advantageous to lighter riders by allowing them to improve the handling (by proper weight placement), increase performance (by allowing HD parts), and/or lower costs (less exotic materials). I would much rather they get rid of traction control.

  7. Norm G. says:

    sorry guys, if any of you are for this new rule (may i suggest) it’s because you are not in possession of all the facts. you’re over simplifying. you’re stopping just short of the ACTUAL answer. human nature this, so you can be forgiven. however (comma) the reality is vehicle dynamics of motorbikes are markedly DIFFERENT from automobiles. in the rush to spare ourselves the “mental energy”, we can’t be so quick to mix our apples and oranges (again, human nature). while yes, all the same laws of physics apply, there are however ADDITIONAL ones that you’re failing to account for. if success is your goal (and i universally assume that it is)…? you don’t get to “punch out at 5”. there’s more thinking (ie. work) to be done.

  8. CFP says:

    I can’t believe this idea is even being entertained. Should there be a maximum height for NBA players? Should David Knight be dissallowed from competing in hard enduros because of his height advantage? Should Ricky Carmichael have his trophies stripped because his diminutive size helped him get holeshots. Ridiculous.

  9. marko says:

    totally agree, can’t believe this rule isn’t already in place!

  10. Rick Soloway says:

    F=MA, or A=F/M. This equalization rule has been needed for years. with the technical precision being executed now days, it is only logical to eliminate this variable. F1 has long had the rule for that reason. why should pigmies (and i am one) have such an advantage? top level racing is a manufacturers’ commercial venture, unlike basketball and football, which are team ventures.

    Comments on other comments:
    -yes they do it in horse racing for exactly the same reason: to level the playing field. The response that this is done by “the racing moguls to randomize the results” is too funny. yeah, the man is trying to keep us down!

    -the comments suggesting that “they just relax all the rules” will lead to “he who has the most money will win it all”. in other words, Honda will blow everyone else away and all the other manufacturers will just quit. bye bye motogp. the rules makers are doing a great job keeping Ducati, Honda, and Yamaha interested and competitive, and fostering fantastic racing. if the worldwide economy hadn’t gone in the dumper, the fields would likely be larger and Kawasaki and Suzuki would have had more $ to perhaps stay more competitive.

  11. Mark Orr says:

    Not as straightforward as F1 for example. The movement of rider weight is part of riding. So if it was equal total weight there would be a disadvantage for lighter riders having a heavier bike and having less body mass to move it from corner to corner. I would say, give the heavier riders more gas based on a computed scale. And add a factored weight (say 30%) to equalize.. fine tune as necessary.

  12. Richard says:

    Makes perfect sense to me. I’m surprised there’s discussion. Horsepower to weight is much more critical in motorcycle racing than in any other motorsport. Even the playing field so the winners are determined by rider skill and manufacturer ability. Isn’t that what its all about anyway?

  13. alan says:

    dont do that rule; I like gsf’s post. it’s moto gp not ama racing. Let them spend themselves crazy, let’s see more innovation and not more rules.

  14. frostbite says:

    Why the hell don’t we just have IDENTICAL ROBOTS on IDENTICAL Machinery – C’MON, REALLY !!!

  15. Dave says:

    I’m not in favor of it. You know if Dani was winning all the races I’d say something but he hasn’t. I don’t want to see ballast on bikes. That’s ridiculous. It’s a sport which favors smaller riders anyway. What someone lacks in competetive size they can make up for in ability. Remember Aaron Yates at 6’1″? Yeah, he played 2nd fiddle to Mladin for years…maybe it was his size, maybe not as talented but whatever. I don’t want to start having them add weight to bikes…that’s dumb.

  16. glenn wilson says:

    I’m not very good looking and have the IQ of a coke bottle, so does that give me one lap head start?
    Big guy’s play contact sport and little guy’s play quarterback, race horses and motorcycles.

  17. Dave says:

    Even the playing field and eliminate electronic controls – then see how the leaderboard changes!!

  18. takehikes says:

    In all forms of racing no matter what….lighter is faster.

  19. hasty says:

    Full out unrestricted prototypes may be interesting but will produce one offs of little possible development. I think Moto GP manufacturers should have several formats that they race and choose their tracks where they apply them. This would mean after a manufacturer sets their platform they choose the races they run under different levels of restriction, perhaps 3 levels from a minimum number of races at level 1 with field levelling restrictions, a certain minimum number of races less restricted and then a race or two with almost no restrictions. This woud make it interesting who shows up where running what and would allow for some more experimental trickle down for street.

  20. Martin says:

    Surely this will be a huge advantage to the lighter guys? They will need to add weight to make the limit – the engines and trannys will be able to be made stronger and they will get more races out of each engine before being forced to swap over. They will be able to push harder in qualifying and racing knowing their engines will take it. I just can not see an upside to this rule.

  21. Ian Danby says:

    Sounds like an appropriate idea…
    QUESTION: If the little guys have to add weight but it’s still to their advantage to locate that weight strategically, to enhance handling on their machine, does this lead to the suggestion of yet another rule to mitigate the first?

    Whadyathink? – Ian Danby

  22. MC Gunter says:

    rule rule everywhere a rule, f#ckin’ up the competition breakin’ the OEM.
    Do this, don’t do that; can’t you read the rule?
    Less is more.
    The discussion should be about reducing restrictions, not imposing more limits.
    Rossi is the only reason this is even a topic.

    • Mick says:

      I’m all for that. Keep it simple. Limit the materials used. No crazy expensive materials. No other restrictions other than something that has a pulse and weighs at least 100 pounds has to be aboard. I they want to strap a monkey onto a turbine engined bike and ride the thing by remote control I’m good with that.

      Then comes silly season and Bobo jumps ship to some electric rig because the whine of the turbine give him the runs.

  23. Mick says:

    I feel that a combined bike and rider weight limit is fitting. Given the rules mandating obsolete engine technology, I feel that it’s the next logical step.

    As the rules eventually mandate steam engines and then horse drawn “motorcycles” the rule will make more and more sense. They might as well get started now.

    I wonder if they will start mandating retro tracks too. It would be interesting to see how the racing attire industry responds to board tracks with some sort of anti-splinter technology. It could spawn a new armor technology for the military and law enforcement sector.

  24. JPJ says:

    This is done in throughbred racing, to level the competitive advantage.

    • clasqm says:

      Thoroughbred racing is not a sport, it is an excuse to gamble. By making horses carry extra weight, the racing moguls try to randomize the results, keeping the punters happily throwing away the family paycheck. This has nothing whatsoever to do with bike racing.

  25. gsf1200 says:

    If a guy has to go through life at 110 lbs, let him have an advantage somewhere! Motogp is supposed to be prototype racing. Get rid of all the stupid rules and let them RACE! I hate races that are won by fuel mileage or low pit times. That is not RACING!