2014 World Superbike Rule ChangesLast month, Bimota announced its partnership with Alstare Racing. The Italian motorcycle company had its eyes on entering the 2014 World Superbike Championship with its BB3, but didn’t make the cut due to the homologation rules at the time.
Previous homologation rules needed 125 motorcycles produced prior to homologation inspection – which Bimota passed – but three other minimum quantities that would be hard to achieve for many manufacturers like Bimota based on the current industry – 500 by June 30, 1000 by December 31, and 2000 by December 31 of the following race year.But based on the current situation in the motorcycle industry and markets worldwide, the FIM has eased the homologation procedure, which was approved by “a majority within the Superbike Commission.” This makes Bimota a possible ninth manufacturer in 2014 World SBK.The rules were basically cut in half; following is the total required motorcycles that need to be produced under the new WSBK homologation rules:• The minimum number of units to start the homologation procedure will be 125. • At the end of the first year of participation, manufacturers will have to reach 250 units. • At the end of the second year of participation, manufacturers will have to reach 1000 units.Speaking of the new rule, the FIM says “The Superbike Commission will follow closely the production plan of each manufacturer in order to control the minimum number of units produced as above and guarantee the fairness of competition.”Bimota may have enough time to make the minimum requirements ahead of the second round of 2014 World Superbike at Motorland Aragon in seven weeks. Due to previous rules, it was forced to miss Phillip Island World SBK.If the Bimota BB3 is homologated, there could possible be nine manufacturers in 2014 World SBK. As of now, eight manufacturers are slated to fill the 2014 World SBK grid: the returning MV Agusta, Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.
This Podcast is also brought to you by the new modular helmet from Schuberth, the C5. The C5 blends safety with light weight and amazing quietness. Visit Schuberth.com for more information.
This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!