Moto2: What is a Moto2 Bike and How does the New Moto2 Class Work?

With the first race of Moto2 in the books at Qatar the season is officially underway.  I started getting emails from readers asking what this new Moto2 class is all about and what is so different about the bikes.  I will give everyone a brief rundown of the class and the bikes hopefully to shed some light on the new class for everyone.

Moto2

The Moto2 class was announced in December 2008 to officially replace the now obsolete 250cc two stroke class as of the 2010 season.  The Moto2 name is to keep the prestige of a prototype level of racing and the little brother to MotoGP.

The Moto2 class was created for two reasons.  The number one reason was the costs associated to the 250cc class.  The 250cc bike contracts alone were upwards of 1.2 million Euros just for the bikes which doesn’t include team, riders, or other expenses.  The primary reason for the high price in 250′s was mainly that Aprilia had the one of the leading competitive bike packages.  Teams would pay this high price to remain competitive on the grid while Aprilia was raking in the profits.

The new Moto2 bike and team cost is estimated to be as follows according to Asphalt & Rubber

  • €17,250 registration deposit for each rider in the team
  • €70,000 (Suter) – €145,000 (RSV) for the Moto2 race bike sans motor
  • €90,000 to lease and maintain the Honda 600cc quasi-prototype motor, adding on a €20,000 bond if a team believes the motor is not within spec, which is forfeited if the motor is determined to be in proper tune
  • €400,000 maintenance costs and mechanic salaries for the Moto2 bike for the season (Suter states you can purchase and maintain their bike for €400k/season)
  • €90,000 in engine leasing and maintenance costs per season
  • €40,000 for Dunlop tires: 12 tires per weekend, 204 tires for the season
  • €3,500 for a 2D datalogger, which is used on all of the bikes

The second reason for switching from 250cc two stoke to 600cc four stroke is the direct relation to current motorcycles on the street.  As the 250cc class was something no one could relate to anymore as it is no longer sold and manufactures are distancing themselves from two stoke technology because of emissions standards around the world.  So now the Moto2 bikes are using more off the shelf technology which helps to reduce costs and maybe be translated to the consumer market.

Moto2 Motorcycles

The Moto2 motorcycle is the perfect balance between prototype and off the shelf components.  The power plant and electronics is all supplied by the organizer and the chassis and suspension is all uniquely designed.  This allows everyone to have the same power package but it remains up to the teams and chassis builders in order to make the bike handle and be competitive.

The 600cc, four-stroke motors will be provided by Honda and have a maximum speed of 16,000 rpm. Adherence to these boundaries will be monitored and controlled by an electronic system, supplied by the FIM´s designated organiser.

Electronic systems themselves will be more limited than those currently permitted in 250cc, which has seen select factories bringing in traction control in recent years. Moto2 rules will allow for data loggers, ECU and timing transponders supplied by the organiser, with a maximum total cost of the ECU´s components set at 650 euros. No other electronic control, nor datalogging systems, will be present on the bikes.

Moto2 will use standard options in terms of engine and electronics, but will continue the 250cc series´ pursuit of developmental excellence with the running of a prototype chassis -free from limitation. No production bike parts will be permitted for the frame, swing arm, fuel tank, seat and cowling, meaning that these aspects of the machine will also be left to the manufacturer and designers´ discretion.  The Moto2 chasis is selected from up to 15 different manufactures each with its own unique design.

Carbon brakes like those used in MotoGP will not be a part of the 600cc class, part of the cost-reducing philosophy of the new series. A list from the FIM, detailing outlawed `non-conventional´ materials and manufacturing methods, will be issued in the future, although in most cases a standard of iron-based and aluminium alloys has been put in place.

Let us know what you think of the new class?  So far the new class has provided a lot of excitement with passing, thrills, and close racing.

Source | MotoGP.com , Asphalt & Rubber

  • Bernie Hasenhindl

    Some great reasons for this new class. Driver ability seems all that more critical, as a fairly level playing field bikewise makes for some close exciting racing. When a race simply becomes a parade of big dollars the fans are left a little cold. Will this class always be powered by Honda?

    Great racing, keep it up!

  • http://www.cycleaddicts.net Sixx

    Makes perfect sense. Especially from a consumer/market share point, it brings the old adage to mind “win a race on Sunday and sell a bike on Monday”.

  • Kyle

    lovin the moto2 class, fastastic action so far, but droppin the 250′s :( dammn carbon footprint….. come to N.Ireland we’ve still got plenty of 250 action goin on!

  • ejard

    in my country (malaysia) our bike still expensive especially SB.. hope wt this moto2 will open our minister heart to reduce the price n tax so our young rider can enjoy this big bike..not only kapcai or scoot.. i will give full support to moto2 coz i luv 600

  • Jeff M

    I really love the smells, sound and action of 2 stroke road racing. Still miss Kenny Roberts on a 500cc 2 stroke. Times change, bikes evolve, Greenies get their way. Maybe I’m a dinosaur. Call me nostalgic. I do love the close racing of the new Moto2 class. Hope it stays that way.

    Jeff M
    Sacramento, CA

  • Dave Newington

    Why call it moto 2 when the same adaptions could have been made to existing “Supersports” at leat that way we would have different chassis and engines
    Dave N

  • Grant Morley

    Great exciting new field. I love watching it. would be good to see all other brand motorcycles be able to put there bikes in and make this field more competitive, it will be good to see Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Ducati etc all putting there own bikes out there. Will make for good watching and better bikes in the future. Will this ever happen?

  • Robert .S

    I have a 600rr most of the bikes on group rides are 1000 ‘s & rest 600′s Some of the new parts for 600′s should start showing up. I seen some nice suspension set ups. Should be some tight racing.