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Rider Aids...in or out [message #271903] Wed, 08 August 2012 23:54 Go to next message
Kermit is currently offline  Kermit   United Kingdom
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(22) Giacomo Agostini

Rider Aids on Race bikes - Want or Do not want?[ 10 votes ]
1. MotoGP - introduce Std ecu like F1 and ban the aids 9 / 90%
2. MotoGP - keep the bespoke ECU's and ALL rider aids 1 / 10%
3. Not fussed eitherway 0 / 0%

So interest in MotoGP is wanning as its getting to the point of only 4 bikes capable of winning and some say this might be down to the riders. I'm differnt and beleive its the electronics which are doing the damage partly as only the top teams can tune their electronic aids to the nth degree to extract the extra performance on the edge.

5 or 6 years ago Formula 1 was in a similar situation with TC and launch control (and admitedly some other things) were leading to boring races and it wasn't clever aero tweaks or engineering developments that would win a race but all too often whose TC was better than the others. Some say in 2005 (allededly) when FIA banned launch control at a time when teams still had their own unique ECU's that Beneton cheated and still had software code present in their ECU (but hidden from FIA) that performed lauch control duties. Benneton won the championship that year. After that FIA decided to allow LC and TC again as they realised they couldn't police a ban. Roll on another year or so and FIA teamed up with McLaren and Microsoft to produce a standard ECU for 2008 which still can do plenty of clever things but hidding rule infringing software code from FIA is not one them.

So in 2008 partly as a cost cutting measure and partly as FIA realised joe public (and a fair proporation of the drivers) didn't want races to be decided by electronic gizmos and software engineers the standardised ECU for F1 cars was introduced - Did the cars go slower? of course not Grin

These stabdard ECU are still boxes of tricks that can do 100's of things besides measure out fuel and ingition timing which of course the teams can program to do what they want within the rules but as they're supplied by FIA, FIA can check the programing isn't doing anything naughty.

A few years later on the back of some other changes F1 is quite resurgent and while costs might not have been reduced as much as would have been hoped, it has helped reduce the costs to a more sustainable level.

MotoGP however retains these costly devices, deprives the public and riders of seeing who is consistanly over the course of a race is the best with their throttle control and 6th sense in their arse. Keeping TC, AW and LC simply because its "the future" seems daft to me given MotoGP's revenue stream is probably not even 10 or 20% of what F1's has and it struggled to meet the costs think

BOLLOX I say.

If Honda et al want TC, anti wheelie, launch control for the masses then develop it within WSB but remove it from MotoGP as this is one easy way to cut some sizeable costs, liven up the racing and introduce one extra major difference between WSB bikes and MotoGP bikes which seem to be closer than ever in spec.

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this thinking so I'm creating a poll although feel free to comment as well as vote.

* Assume when voting that rider aids within WSB are retained and can still be used by the manufacturers to develop things the 99.9% of us who can't control a throttle or brakes safely 100% of the time might benefit from Grin

btw Here's a link on McLarens website about F1's standard ecu.

[Updated on: Thu, 09 August 2012 16:01]

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Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271905 is a reply to message #271903] Thu, 09 August 2012 00:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
GIZZY BEAR is currently offline  GIZZY BEAR   United Kingdom
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(14) Eddie Lawson
Rider aids Thumb Down .

I don't even like that crap on my car, removes all sense and feeling of where the edge of grip is in my opinion, so i definatly wouldn't buy a bike with it on.

The rider controling it is where its at for me, i'd realy like to see where JL stands with out it, if you stand track side he realy does lean hevily on the traction control.

bear Grin

[Updated on: Thu, 09 August 2012 00:35]

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Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271909 is a reply to message #271905] Thu, 09 August 2012 09:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pipe is currently offline  Pipe   United Kingdom
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(22) Giacomo Agostini
GIZZY BEAR wrote on Thu, 09 August 2012 00:33
Rider aids Thumb Down .

I don't even like that crap on my car, removes all sense and feeling of where the edge of grip is in my opinion, so i definatly wouldn't buy a bike with it on.

The rider controling it is where its at for me, i'd realy like to see where JL stands with out it, if you stand track side he realy does lean hevily on the traction control.

bear Grin


+1, same goes for Stoner

[Updated on: Thu, 09 August 2012 09:34]

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Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271910 is a reply to message #271909] Thu, 09 August 2012 10:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
GIZZY BEAR is currently offline  GIZZY BEAR   United Kingdom
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(14) Eddie Lawson
Stonners bike never misses a beat mate.


bear Grin
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271914 is a reply to message #271909] Thu, 09 August 2012 12:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ondablade   Ireland
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(15) Kenny Roberts
I'm not necessarily totally anti, in that for example a high functioning ABS seems to have the ability to eliminate quite a few falls. Against that it's not a problem to live without it.

It's pretty clear the stuff running in racing doesn't help the racing - what with running lean, reducing performance to make the race distance on the permitted amount of fuel and the like. On the other hand it seems to become a necessity if you want to run bikes producing much more than about 180HP.

I'm for this sort of reason not sure it's that Honda and the like are driving it, as that the current bike formula and fuel regulations require it to be competitive. They have not been for example in all that much of a rush to apply these systems to road bikes, and because of the BHP issue it's not even all that clear what they might or might not in reality bring to the average rider.

At another level it's not that clear either what they bring in terms of useful developments to reduce emissions, improve fuel economy and the like. As in if racing runs with fuel limits then it's anyway going to force the development of engines that are fundamentally more fuel efficient all of the time - that won't disturb the racing by switching in and out.

Maybe there's an area where they contribute by optimising stuff like fuel mixtures and ignition timing curves, detecting knocking and so on, but the trouble is that (a) it's so hard to know what these systems can really add, and (b) they are so intertwined with all sorts of non essential functions that it's hard to figure.

Another major issue that's become highly evident in cars is that fancy electronics sharply reduce local serviceability/repairability, increase obsolescence and lead to forced write offs for very lightly damaged cars because of the extortionate costs of spares which inevitably are only available from the maker. i.e. they have an anti-competitive effect.

The latter issue bothers me. Much like the VR/factory Yam debate it's hard not to conclude that the use of electronics is not being pitched to maximise the commercial interest of the factory and not for the good of the customer - with blingy superficially attractive 'nice' to have functionality that actually adds little of solid benefit for the customer.

But sucks him/her into the above trap...

One major issue i think in eliminating a lot of the stuff from racing is the question of whether or not the unthinking 'more is always better' part of the fan base would for example swallow a return to 180 - 200bhp bikes with minimal electronics - bikes that would lap much more slowly than at present.

I'd personally be in favour of something like a grown up version of the formula running in the 125/250 class, but there's a lot of hoary old politically correct arguments that would (with lots of spluttering into beers) be wheeled out to oppose it. (like how can GPs top class not be faster than last year/WSB/xyz etc)

i.e. we almost never think through the implications of what we think we want - and that applies to both the punters and the bigger vested interests. All of whom are playing a selfish, irresponsible and unthinking game of 'me me me'.

What we end up with is largely accidental - whatever half assed compromise ends up emerging. We like to rationalise the result afterwards so that we can pretend we're rational beings, but don't ever make the mistake of thinking that humanity is capable of delivering an integrated and thought through strategy on anything.

It's not.

We're so blinded by ego/selfishness that we're not even conscious of what we're driving ourselves into most of the time..

Ancient Chinese proverb - 'better hope your greatest wish never comes true....'

[Updated on: Thu, 09 August 2012 13:40]

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Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271926 is a reply to message #271903] Thu, 09 August 2012 15:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kakugo is currently offline  Kakugo   Italy
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(18) Geoff Duke
I think Ian may be on to something here.
Very lean mixtures and advanced ignition systems have already started to trickle down into everyday bikes.
Surprisingly enough, not in sportsbikes (probably because slighter richer mixtures help them to be more tameable on the road), but on ordinary road going bikes. The BMW-Rotax parallel twin was the first bike to run on a very lean A/F ratio, followed by their boxers. The new water cooled boxer will allow for leaner mixtures than the old air/oil cooled Hexhead and Camhead models. The first Japanese bike to follow the same path was the Kawasaki 650cc parallel twin. Very lean mixtures are a pretty recent development in bikes and still have much untapped potential: the obvious benefit is cutting fuel consumption without compromising performances: the BMW F800GS has astounding fuel consumption (I personally calculated 24,5 km/l after an extensive road test in all conditions).
Interestingly enough the tech doesn't seem to stem directly from MotoGP but from Ricardo Engineering, which has very strong ties with BMW. Honda, always very strong on rich A/F mixtures which made their bikes a bit of a porker, only recently started implementing leaner A/F ratios.
Rider aids are not bad per se. They are in fact the cheapest solution to difficult engineering challenges, challenges probably only Honda and Yamaha have the cash and the tech to partially address through other means. And the tech part is still debatable since the motorcycling industry hasn't got the same extensive know-how base the car industry. Just to give an example all present prototype bikes bar the Honda's run on Magneti Marelli Marvel 4 ECU's. That's because the tech base is so restricted.
Recently we've seen the Indians making headway in Moto3 with Mahindra and KTM (owned at 49% by Bajaj). However unless the silly sole engine supplier rule is lifted from Moto2 they are pretty much stuck there because they lack the experience to build multi-cylinder engines. Allowing the Indians to test their mettle and hone their skills in Moto2 by opening up engine supply (like was done in the All-Japan Moto2 championship) would help tremendously in expanding the tech base. In fact I dare to say the Moto3 format needs to be implemented in Moto2 ASAP because until now it has only been an overpriced Super Sport 600 championship.
Anyone knows when Honda's contract expires? Wink
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271932 is a reply to message #271926] Thu, 09 August 2012 19:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gearbox is currently offline  Gearbox   United Kingdom
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(15) Kenny Roberts
I think without aids would be good. This has been implemented in BSB and the racing is very close. Not as many crashes as predicted and the cost of competition has come down. Very healthy grids with various teams being competitive.

I believe that the top level riders can ride without the devices and still finish at the front as they are naturly gifted. Stoner for example was always reputerd to have his electronic aids rturned down very low
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271936 is a reply to message #271910] Thu, 09 August 2012 22:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pipe is currently offline  Pipe   Netherlands
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(22) Giacomo Agostini
GIZZY BEAR wrote on Thu, 09 August 2012 10:44
Stonners bike never misses a beat mate.


bear Grin


Rain drenched Donny, Friday 2008 .... spluttering like **** on full throttle
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271937 is a reply to message #271932] Thu, 09 August 2012 22:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kermit is currently offline  Kermit   United Kingdom
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(22) Giacomo Agostini
Hang on a minute, whats with all this talk of lean mixture being good or bad, thats another topic in itself (although I don't mind it in here Grin ) but the introduction of a standard ECU doesn't undermine if Dorna or the manufacurers want to pursue that "green" route with fueling and lean mixtures. A standard ECU is fundamentally just like any one of the Honda/Yamahas/Ducatis current ECU's in their bikes in that it can carry out all the same tasks so if you want to play around with leaning mixures, variable ignition curse, hydrolic tappet control etc.. it still can.

What they can't do is if for example a rule to ban TC was introduced is link any engine trickery such as leaning the fuel in such a way that wheel spin is reduced. If their programmers did that on a standard ECU they'd be fools as Donra's own ecu boffins will know the standard and sealed (except for software coding) ECU inside and will regularly check the code in much the same way as they check fuel samples or engine displacement. If they interpret that the code is TC by the backdoor it wouldn't take long for the word "cheat" to be bandered about and no manufacturer can afford to be labeled with that never mind the consequences of delibrate cheating.

Its not like F1 engines engineers aren't pretty good at looking after their fuel given how many 10th's of a second each extra KG of fuel slows them so there's nothign standard ECU's can't do other than hide "special" code from the scrutineers who at present have no access (and probably wouldn't know how) to current bespoke ECU's.

[Updated on: Thu, 09 August 2012 22:31]

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Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271938 is a reply to message #271936] Thu, 09 August 2012 22:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pipe is currently offline  Pipe   Netherlands
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(22) Giacomo Agostini
RE Kaks, post ...

Something i have learned very recently is the power to lean mxture to rideabiliy ratio ... via the RS.

It's true and something i have never been exposed to ..

Its very significant on a two stroke and less controlable. The leaner you burn, the more uncontrolable but massive power gains you get .. but as you drop octane and lead out of the equation, the this becomes even more of a challenge. With lead and high octane the broader the scope but green fuels are limiting the operating window.

With fuel injection on four strokes, much is possible with electronics but on 2 strokes your limited byt he intrinsic mechanics.

[Updated on: Thu, 09 August 2012 22:42]

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Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271939 is a reply to message #271938] Thu, 09 August 2012 22:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gearbox is currently offline  Gearbox   United Kingdom
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(15) Kenny Roberts
Can you not have a control ecu that just allows changes to the mixture and the timing? Simple stuff?
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271940 is a reply to message #271939] Fri, 10 August 2012 00:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ondablade   Ireland
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(15) Kenny Roberts
Mixture makes a big difference to ability to find traction - it mattered on two stroke MX bikes too for that reason.

The bit i don't like about mixture issues is that modern bikes tend to be set up much leaner than is ideal for rideability, getting smoothly off a closed throttle and the like. But then (on the 929 anyway) if you set it up so that it was optimised for power the fuel consumption got really heavy.

Which to my mind is an argument for more fundamental engine development - in that using fancy electronics to force engines leaner than they properly run at just destroys the riding experience.

There's technically absolutely no reason GB not to limit the control functions in an ECU to whatever you like - although i suspect electronics play a big part in enabling very high power outputs from engines that still run cleanly at low revs - and don't go pop.

No problem though, in that what's needed is i'm sure well known.

The issue as before seems more likely to be a matter of wading through the vested interests and the must always go faster prejudices of the fan base to get agreement on something vaguely rational.

I've a sneaking feeling that at least the top few quick guys are routinely riding in a zone where the bike is both drifting and spinning a little most of the time. That it's used more as a sort of top limiter that doesn't really kick in unless the rider badly overdoes it. Like when Stoner got the drop on Lorenzo (who probably overdid it and had the traction sharply cut his power) out of the last turn at Laguna the other week.

Said Jorge demonstrated just how important traction control can be on modern high HP bikes a couple of years ago (also at Laguna) when he made a practice start, didn't knock it down a gear as he ran into turn 1 and so didn't switch the traction control back in - the thing lofted him instantly into orbit the moment he rolled it on (despite his presumably being at fairly low RPM)....

[Updated on: Fri, 10 August 2012 00:26]

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Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271947 is a reply to message #271903] Fri, 10 August 2012 10:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kakugo is currently offline  Kakugo   Italy
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(18) Geoff Duke
Interestingly enough Nakamoto-san recently gave an interview about rider aids on the past year RC213V.
To simplify things (or possibly mislead the opposition) he said traction control was set between 10 and 20 not specified units.
Stoner run at 10 (lowest setting), Dovizioso at 20 and Pedrosa between 13 and 17 according to track conditions.
He also said Stoner helped Honda "immensely" in developing rider aids for the RC213V. Curiously enough James Toseland was the chap who helped Ducati develop traction control and then moved on to Honda where again he was instrumental in developing a proper traction control system for the Ten Kate 1000RR.
This may hint at the fact Ducati has invested heavily and early in the technology, possibly because of their close connections with Magneti Marelli which has loads of experience in driver aids for car racing.
Dovizioso's performances on the M1 this year may also hint at the fact Yamaha has the best electronic package of the lot. Yamaha uses Magneti Marelli electronics (partly because their racing department is first class and partly because of various intricate deals between FIAT and Toyota, the parent groups) so the plot thickens.

On the issue of lean A-F ratios. I personally found the F800GS a very pleasant bike to ride. The F650GS, which BMW markets as an easier, friendlier bike, runs a slightly richer A-F mixture, as given away by higher fuel consumption (again personally tested) and is a completely inoffensive bike with very tame (almost sluggish) power delivery.
It would be interesting to see what the trend is in dirt racing right now: fuel injection is starting to "trickle down" in MX and enduro (Honda CRF250R, Husqvarna TE/TC250R etc) but I have zero idea how it affects fueling...
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #271949 is a reply to message #271947] Fri, 10 August 2012 11:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ondablade   Ireland
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(15) Kenny Roberts
I'm not close enough to have any feeling as to how fuel injection is regarded in MX there days Kak, but they have been very slow to adopt it which may suggests a certain amount of caution - probably no surprise since throttle feel is so important.

Against that big cylinders seem to gain most from it - it allows the running of inlets too big to give enough air speed for proper carburation at small openings with carburettors. (the key enabler of modern high output V twins) Guessing, but weight, packaging and the need for more electrical power may be issues too. Not to mention that it needs some sort of ECU, which might bring opportunities to control other stuff to do with engine characteristics, but again more weight and power needed.
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #272106 is a reply to message #271949] Wed, 15 August 2012 23:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pipe is currently offline  Pipe   Netherlands
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(22) Giacomo Agostini
You lot need to get a Fireblade of the 08 onwards variety,non ABS, hook a set of slicks to it and go do some track days Laugh Laugh Laugh

If you then need rider aids to make you enjoy the experience any more or even make you faster than you are without them ... please report back and tell me why Tongue Wink Laugh
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #272109 is a reply to message #272106] Thu, 16 August 2012 01:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
andy_scouser is currently offline  andy_scouser   United Kingdom
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(16) Barry Sheene
Pipe wrote on Wed, 15 August 2012 23:10
You lot need to get a Fireblade of the 08 onwards variety,non ABS, hook a set of slicks to it and go do some track days Laugh Laugh Laugh

If you then need rider aids to make you enjoy the experience any more or even make you faster than you are without them ... please report back and tell me why Tongue Wink Laugh



Ok, funnily enough I have just been discussing the purchase of track fairings for my blade.
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #272111 is a reply to message #272109] Thu, 16 August 2012 01:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ondablade   Ireland
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(15) Kenny Roberts
Perhaps another way of putting it is that the quick guys run with the traction control set so that they effectively don't use it in normal riding - but so that it kicks in in the event they screw up.

The resulting safety net won't necessarily make the bike much quicker, but it might just make it a lot easier for the rider to run closer to the absolute limit...
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #272113 is a reply to message #272111] Thu, 16 August 2012 10:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pipe is currently offline  Pipe   United Kingdom
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(22) Giacomo Agostini
ondablade wrote on Thu, 16 August 2012 01:34
Perhaps another way of putting it is that the quick guys run with the traction control set so that they effectively don't use it in normal riding - but so that it kicks in in the event they screw up.

The resulting safety net won't necessarily make the bike much quicker, but it might just make it a lot easier for the rider to run closer to the absolute limit...


I can appreciate that but unless your racing who wants to ride at their/the absolute limit think
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #272114 is a reply to message #272113] Thu, 16 August 2012 12:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ondablade   Ireland
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(15) Kenny Roberts
Maybe a GP rider? The rest of us no...
Re: Rider Aids...in or out [message #272116 is a reply to message #272114] Thu, 16 August 2012 16:19 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Gearbox is currently offline  Gearbox   United Kingdom
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(15) Kenny Roberts
Once Audi get fully involved, they will be running Diesels to get round the fuel consumption thing. Grin
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