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MotoGP 2014 Suzuki Prototype

This is what is believed to be the Suzuki prototype for their 2014 MotoGP bike, looks pretty nice and I look forward to seeing how it performs!

New Suzuki MotoGP bike?

Taken from http://www.cycleworld.com/2012/05/22/spied-2014-suzuki-motogp-prototype/ and written by Kevin Cameron.

Insiders tell us this is a prototype for Suzuki’s return to MotoGP in 2014. The project was, we are told, “hot for a while” and then cooled off. Now, with these photos from a test earlier this month at Sugo Circuit in Japan, it clearly has momentum again.

What have we here? We see from the exhaust pipes that this is a transverse inline-Four, just like all GSX-Rs. That is a departure from Suzuki’s V-Four GSV-R MotoGP architecture. While the usual pipe arrangement for a flat-crank inline-Four is 4-into-2-into-1, this bike has two long-taper megaphones, each connecting to a pair of cylinders. That suggests this engine does not have a flat crank but instead is fitted with a 90-degree “crossplane” crank shown by Yamaha’s engineer Masao Furusawa to improve grip.

A Japanese informant said, “New Suzuki MotoGP racer is certainly inline-Four. It is not, however, normal inline. When guess from exhaust sound, kind same as YZR-M1.” All the other trappings of MotoGP are present: top-level Brembo calipers and carbon discs, Öhlins suspension, plus carbon-fiber bodywork.

What else do we see? We see a radically forward rider position, and that the engine’s cylinder block is inclined forward, perhaps as much as 30 degrees. This moves the intake throttle bodies to where they need to be in the airbox. As the rider accelerates (note that in one of the cornering photos, he has the throttle pinned, suggesting advanced electronics in use), his face is directly over the steering crown. The fuel tank sits behind a large carbon-intake airbox and consists of a thin forward vertical portion as tall as the airbox, with a long and quite thick “foot,” which effectively forms the rider’s seat. You can see fuel pipes to the injectors entering the front of the airbox. Note also that as the rider accelerates, his butt is three inches clear of the two-inch-thick seatback pad, further underscoring the far-forward rider position.

What has happened here is that as the engineers have sought to lower the placement of the fuel toward the machine/rider center of mass, putting most of it under the seat, fuel mass has moved rearward. If the front tire is not to become unweighted during off-corner acceleration, something else must compensate by being moved forward. And not only that, each year, as tire grip is increased, more power may be applied without wheelspin, increasing the tendency to lift the front.

Under the rider’s hands are bulbous ducts leading from the chin intake in the fairing nose, through the chassis sides and into the engine airbox. Although a rear-wheel starter can be seen in the garage shot, there is Suzuki’s usual round “starter door” in the right side of the fairing, through which a starter dog can spin the crank if the slipper-clutch setting is too soft to permit rear-wheel starting.

2014 Suzuki MotoGP Prototype

It’s hard to see what is going on with the airflow to the two radiators. At first, the “covers” between them and the front tire look solid, like carbon fabric. But they could also be stone shields. In one photo, the upper cover has come loose and moved forward along one edge, as if there were pressure behind it. If solid, it would be a first in ducting ram air from above the tire to the front faces of the radiators. Airflow behind the front tire is always disturbed, providing poor pressure to push it through the radiators. This is part of the reason radiators are as big as they are. Four large hot-air exit slots are provided in the fairing sides.

And when I look at where the cylinder head must be, it might suggest the upper radiator is U-shaped to make clearance for it. Suzuki did this during the early 1980s to move its disc-valve RG engines farther forward.

Recently on the Italian website GPone.com, journalist David Emmett asked Suzuki racing technical director Shinichi Sahara if the company will change to an inline-Four. Sahara replied that they will “stay faithful to our engine layout.” And in a Peter McLaren story from this past February, veteran Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki said he “rode it last week” at Ryuyo.

Conflicting information? Not at all. It is normal for manufacturers to build and test multiple prototypes before determining which is most promising. Veteran tuner Eraldo Ferracci has told of testing endless prototypes when he was at Benelli—and most were not produced.

There is also another possibility here: Suzuki is known for making multiple uses of projects, so an inline-Four MotoGP prototype could also gather information useful in design of next-generation GSX-Rs. Could such a machine also be the foundation for a production-based CRT bike? Might Suzuki build the MotoGP equivalent of a production racer in the spirit of Yamaha’s TZs of the 1970s?

It’s a guessing game, and we enjoy it. We shall have the pleasure of anticipation.

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      Assessing your surroundings:

Situational awareness, it’s one of the more critical skills that is needed in a motorcyclists repertoire. 

You need to be aware of the road condition, bike condition, weather, small animals, children, cars and other users on the road, police cars, surrounding foliage, the lay of the road, camber, road signs and grip and so on and so forth. The list is endless, the fact that you can sit in a car and pretty much just turn the wheel and worry about a very limited number of changing conditions means that when you are on a bike, your brain needs to be functioning at 110% all the time, every time.

You need to be able to read the traffic ahead and around you so that you know what they are going to do before they do it, and though that sounds impossible, it is indeed very achievable to a certain extent.

As detailed in http://www.abbiss.co.nz you can chase the vanishing point, now what is the vanishing point? In a very brief description, the vanishing point is where the two points of the road converge in front of you to where you can see no further. The vanishing point can help to tell you how the following corner goes so that you can adjust your speed correctly.

There are the lines that you take that will be ever changing because as you may be aware, the road surface is constantly changing, whether it be small or large rocks lying straight in your path, or a slick of oil or diesel mid corner, or road kill etc…

You need to be thinking of your body position as you are setting yourself up for each set into braking and cornering and where your head will be going around the corner.

All in all, there are a million things to be thinking about when you are riding. Now when you first start to ride, it is very difficult to think about many of those things for the first time, especially if you are teaching yourself to ride. I remeber getting very overwhelmed trying to factor in just a few of those things at a time, and having many a near miss because of other drivers actions, where at the end of the day, even though they are in the wrong, they don’t pay with their life, where you are much more likely to end up loosing.

How do you learn to factor in all of these ever changing conditions as you ride? Well what I have learnt is to practice everything till if becomes a habit, in an emergency situation we are almost always going to revert to the most basic of all habits to try and keep ourselves alive, unfortunately for us when we start out our habits tend to stray to the side of grabbing a handful of front brake or throttling off mid-corner or target fixating into a bank. None of those options are good and will more than likely get you killed or at best make the situation far worse than it should be.

Practice, practice, practice. Your lines into corners, your body position – making sure to keep it relaxed with a minimal amount of grip or pressure on the bars, being actively aware of how your bike performs and what it’s limits are, emergency braking and gymkhana are also very good skills to practice, and the more you practice, the more it will become habit, and when you are in one of those situations, you will have a much higher survival rate.

Learning to read the traffic takes a fair amount of time and learning to trust your instincts. Drivers often change lanes without warning and never bother to indicate, in face when I see drivers indicating I feel like giving them the thumbs up to tell them thank you, but I think that they think that I am being sarcastic so never bother. Learning to pick up on drivers heads moving and their tyre position is a key skill to learn, also look at the surrounding traffic because more often than not, it is what is causing them to do something stupid. You should always be looking as far ahead as you possibly can and keeping an eye on everything else with your peripheral vision.

Also, positioning yourself around the cars makes a huge difference. Can they see you? Are you in a position that if they change lanes, they will knock you off? What I try to do is get past each car beside me, and make them take notice of me so that there is less of a chance of not being seen, which usually includes riding up past their window and ahead of them so that they no longer become a problem and I can focus on what is ahead of me.

I will carry on about this another time as I fear that if I make it any longer, it will then be classed as a book.

Matt

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