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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Moto2 And The Honda Spec Engine

We haven’t said much about the new Moto2 category, but it is shaping up to provide some interesting racing when it debuts alongside MotoGP in Qatar in April.

Each team will run the same engine and tires, provided by Honda (an inline 600cc 4-stroke) and Dunlop, respectively. The chassis must be entirely protoype. Frame, swingarm, fuel tank, seat or cowling must be uniquely designed by each race team manufacturer.

Electronic systems will be far simpler than MotoGP. There will be no traction control, for instance.

We will publish another article prior to the opening round in Qatar discussing the riders to watch in Moto2 this year. In the meantime, send us an email with your thoughts about this new class.

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MD Readers Respond:

  • Boring….NASCAR comes to Moto GP, uh Moto 2. Does anyone remember the Ducati WSB championship? I didn’t think so. I’m pretty sure there are other manufacturers that make an inline 600, so why pigeon hole the race teams? Where once we had Yamaha, Aprilia, KTM etc. now we only have Honda. Kudos to Honda though, they get all the GP data and that will certainly help with engine development and leave the other manufacturers out in the cold. One things for sure, the manufacturers championship for moto 2 should be a real nail biter this year.   Jim
  • I think this was by far the most correct decision MOTO GP made putting honda´s engine and Dunlop tires for every team. Not because the provider is HONDA or DUNLOP, but most important is that the teams have the same specs, so I believe we will see a lot of disputes, a big variation of winners and teams, and the championship will be more interesting than MOTO GP itself. The second think is the costs for new teams are much lower, and basically that is the reason why there are more than 37 bikes running at winter tests. More bikes racing, more show for fans…….

    When 500cc two stroke bikes went to 990cc four stroke, the capacity of the engines in generate horsepower increase a lot. Some people say that the last 990cc MOTO GP bike could generate more than 270Hp…… To put all this power on the floor, HONDA, YAMAHA, SUZUKI, KAWASAKI and APRILIA had to invest a lot of money in electronics (traction control, launch control, anti wheeling……etc), and more, to be competitive, and to generate this kind of power, the engines duration is low. This made MOTO GP bikes cost a lot more than 500cc bikes. MOTO GP costs started to look like F1……… That´s why last year there was only 17 bikes on the grid.

    To be frank, this is a tuff decision, but DORNA had to decide:

    A) Or we still maintain MOTO GP look like F1, and the new technologies will be invented to make bikes faster, better, and specially, more electronic, and this decision will cause our death just because the costs will never aloud other companies get in the MOTO GP races

    B) Or we start to make new categories with low costs and good races, to improve public interest in MOTO GP races. And I think Carmelo Espeleta did a nice job!

    I took the liberty to send pictures of myself racing here in Brasil…… Yes!!!!! We have bananas and good motorcycle racing……..

    Best regards, Sérgio

  • Moto2 And The Honda Spec Engine = NASCAR on two wheels!
    It’s gonna be slow, sure it will be cheaper but I don’t think it will be much of a stepping stone to jump on a 800 or soon a 990!!
    If anything do a hopped up anything you want 400cc four stroke, 2-4 cylinders or a v-twin 600cc on spec tires.   Jon

  • The series should provide very equal performance and thus, exciting racing. This is exactly what is needed in a development class, as it will allow the superior racers to rise to the top. It should also encourage some very creative development of the chassis. We may eventually see some new concepts introduced. This technology will also be appropriate for “trickle down” to the street. It would be fun to see a cottage industry build up around the 600cc engines. This is how companies like Bimota got their start.   John
  • The Moto2 bikes can’t hold a candle to the 250’s and it’s a shame, they’ve really downgraded the series. And for what reason, because the 2 strokes aren’t politically correct? MOTORCYCLES AREN’T POLITICALLY CORRECT!!!!

    Honda promised the 600cc spec engine would deliver 150hp, and when they didn’t deliver they said it was a matter of reliability. They said with that “high horsepower”(NSR500 fans please stop laughing) there would be too much maintenance. Ok, so why did they even bid on this project if they couldn’t deliver? Thumbs down, Honda    Chris

  • I’ve lost any interest in motorcycle roadracing I’ve ever had. The biannual tinkering with engine capacities simply removes any possibility of comparing today’s riders with the greats of the past. Bring back 500cc 2-strokes!   Michel
  • Putting everyone on the same motor and tires creates an even playing field, but takes away brand loyalties. This puts the onus squarely on the rider and team to get ahead and grab the imagination of the paying customers/television audience.
    If they can fill the grid with riders that have character and charisma, fans will love this series.   Adrian

  • I still have mixed feelings about this class. I was looking forward to seeing a lot of smaller teams getting into it & doing their own thing. As it looks there are a lot of teams will be in it, but a lot will be using a chassis made by some one else , & not by them. I also was so looking for KR to have a chassis out there, if not a team. I can understand they could not get the funds to have a team, but I would have been making the chassis, & trying to get some of them sold to other teams, & keeping my crew working. I cheer MZ for there last min chance to get into the show, & hope all goes well for them. I also look forward to seeing some close racing from all the teams. I also look forward to the hope to see people like Buell or Czysz to maybe use this class to show their ideas, & show that they work on the world stage. Getting to have the motor as a spec part would seem like a great weight pulled off the shoulders of people that want to prove chassis design. I’m kind of glad that I don’t see the same old factories out there. I think its cool they have their class to battle in. Now this should give something new, where rules are not made, or influenced by the factories, protecting THEIR class. Now if world SBK had a class for smaller companies, with lower numbers of production needed…..hummm.   Todd
  • No traction control, really.
    You have been around long enough to know that there will be some form of engine management/traction control on these bikes.
    It is simply not an option to run a “prototype” racing machine and not utilize all the tech available to you.
    A simple speedometer can provide valuable info to a computer.
    This class will have all the tech of moto GP, just hidden a little better.
    And does anyone really believe that Honda is providing the same engines to everyone?   Brian

  • I am so utterly tired of “spec class racing”.

    Superbikes are 1000cc in line 4’s with Ohlins suspension (BMW, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha), which is the only reason I cheer for the Ducati’s. They may have had the rules bent to their favor, but at least it’s something different. The US 600’s last year was the same except for the guy on the Buell. This year it’s a guy on a Ducati. NASCAR is totally a spec racing class. Formula 1 is essentially a spec racing class. Moto GP has spec tires and fuel. 250GP was all 250 V-twin 2-strokes on spec tires using Ohlins suspension. The only way the car guys can pass somebody is in the pits, and the bike guys are heading that direction.

    It used to be spec racing was for the hobby racer, or those just starting out. While evening the playing field, it eliminates the element of surprise. Everyone has the same level of equipment, the skills are similar, and you wind up with a parade, not a race. Nobody is innovating. The riders robotically thank all their sponsors every time they open their mouths. Is it any wonder that TV ratings are down in every type of televised motorsport? THE RULES HAVE LEGISLATED THE MEDIOCRE … IT’S BORING!

    Moto 2 has a lot to prove to me before I’ll even consider taping it to watch later … let alone schedule my weekend to watch it.   Craig

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