– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Is MotoGP Too Expensive for Small Manufacturers?

Recent rumors of the financial problems facing several of the smaller MotoGP teams prompt the question of whether MotoGP racing is a viable proposition for any but the very largest motorcycle manufacturers. Aprilia, recently sold to Piaggio after a series of financial problems, looks unlikely to be on the MotoGP grid next year. Team Proton KR and their new, KTM-engined machine are yet to confirm their entry for next year. Other teams have had trouble finding sponsors to help foot the massive bill for a MotoGP season.

With the move to four-stroke prototypes a few years ago, the MotoGP championship (formerly the 500 GP World Championship) became both more and less viable for manufacturers of street motorcycles. More viable, because the performance of a four-stroke racebike can be more easily linked (via marketing) to the performance of a company’s four-stroke streetbikes than could the performance of a two-stroke racebike. Less viable, because the cost of developing and racing four-stroke prototypes is higher than the costs to develop and race the old two-stroke 500s.

This cost increase may be no big deal for a company like Honda – balanced as it is by their ability to run ads linking their RCV MotoGP machine to the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR. Unfortunately, not every motorcycle manufacturer has the resources available to Honda. For a smaller manufacturer like Aprilia, KTM, or even Ducati, the expense of continuous development to build ever-faster bikes, not to mention the expense of travel, rider salaries, and all the other myriad expenses, may eventually become too much to justify.

Problems like this are common in top-level racing; in the automobile world, Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship are both considering proposed rules changes to limit costs. Both these sports have the same problem that MotoGP may have – manufacturers are leaving because they can’t afford to compete, and other manufacturers who haven’t participated before are reluctant to enter the series for fear of these same high costs.

How will MotoGP and the FIM address the cost issue? Over the next few years, we might see restrictions designed to reduce the developement and/or running costs of engines and chassis. Would restrictions like these help or hurt the world’s top motorcycle series? Only time will tell, but at least we can keep an eye on the automotive racing world and see how similar proposals work out for them.

wordscape cheatgun mayhem 2 unblocked games