– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Blata V6: WCM’s Savior?

WCM has had its share of problems in MotoGP. Owner of coveted grid positions for two bikes, WCM has struggled to develop a competitive machine. It’s Yamaha R1-derived motor was initially declared illegal, while its latest design is simply not competitive.

Next year, WCM will debut a machine developed in partnership with the relatively obscure Czech company Blata. Blata, with experience limited to mini-bikes and scooters, is developing from scratch a V6 engine for an all-new MotoGP chassis. To call this project ambitious is quite an understatement.

Aside from taking on the giants of the motorcycling industry, Blata and WCM have chosen an engine configuration rejected by all other engineers developing machines for rival firms. MotoGP rules require machines with six cylinders to carry a 10 kilogram (22 pounds) weight penalty versus four and five cylinder machines. Moreover, next year, MotoGP bikes must achieve greater fuel economy, as fuel tank capacity is being cut by two litres (from the current 24 litre capacity down to 22).

Like the efforts made by Kenny Roberts through his Proton KR team, I suppose you must admire the Blata/WCM venture for its chutzpah. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine this team getting into the top ten next year, much less near the podium. Stranger things have happened, of course, and you have to hope they prove us wrong (at least at one race).

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