Well, of course there is a difference between a regular production and a Moto GP motorcycle! FIRSTLY, an average top of the line Moto GP is around 2 million bucks!
But behind that elusive price tag lies the real difference between a Moto GP and a Production Motorcycle. It’s actually interesting to know what exactly goes into putting together a MotoGP superbike and why are they so damn costly….
So, let’s find out…
Each Moto GP bike is unique and we mean each and every motorbike. They’re also completely hand built using the most cutting edge motorcycle technology. If its been invented, there’s a Moto GP that has it! Apart from which, each machine is heavily guarded and only allowed access to race or practice. And each time a superbike is taken out of its hidden place, it is expected to give its best performance. This means specially designed engines that can rev up whenever needed, even if kept cold most of time.
Unique and rare
Production motorbike parts are manufactured in thousands making them more available and affordable for the average Johnny. MotoGP bike parts however, being customised and fine tuned as per individual vehicle, are naturally costlier. The engine cost is a major constituent in the overall price tag of a Moto GP superbike. To give you some idea, the engine for Honda Moto GP is around $220,000.
The right stuff
A Moto GP motorbike is basically made of some of the most expensive stuff that any vehicle on the planet can be made of… A little short of gold and diamonds these bikes sport impressive materials such as titanium, magnesium and carbon fibre.
Comparatively, a pound of carbon fibre costs $10 while a pound of plastic is just a few cents. Average production motorcycles, especially street bikes have plastic bodies and cast iron brake rotors instead of sleek carbon fibre ones.
In fact, the superior metals are the basis of the light but strong, speedy yet sturdy super vehicles.
To tell you guys the truth, there are so many fittings and motorbike applications on Moto GPs that it would be crazy to list them all here. But just to give you a taste, imagine pneumatic valves instead of spring ones and ultra smooth transmissions which make gear shifting feel like slicing through butter. Not to mention the sensors! One Moto GP superbike can have close to 40 sensors, each for a specialised detection function – collecting data on suspension travel, brake and exhaust temperature, steering angle and loads more. This data is collected and analysed post each race or practice session for constant maintenance or improvement. These days many applications are available for production motorbikes as well as in safety gear. But these are add ons and not available with the vehicle, keeping the prices of these motorbikes from skyrocketing.
Short lived components
Components used by Moto GP bikes are race specific and last only a few hours due to the strain they’re put through in extreme racing conditions. Take tires for example. Production bikes use tires which last for thousands of miles owing to different components used in their manufacture. Compared to that, racing bikes use stickier, softer compounds to provide the grip needed to keep the bikes from sliding off the track in the corners. Even though these tires can withstand extremely high temperatures, they have a considerably shorter life spans.
Apart from specialized parts, a bike is still a bike and a lot can be learned by exchanging information between production and racing and vice versa. Fuel consumption is a key issue during Moto GP as bikes are allowed only 20 liters to finish the race. Thus, production technology regarding fuel consumption is very useful for racing. On the other hand, production bikes can learn a lot from electronics technology used in Moto GP bikes. Notable examples are the Honda’s RC213V-S and Yamaha’s YZF-R1M which have borrowed heavily from their Moto GP counterparts.
The good news is that you can now buy a bike that is surprisingly close to a Moto GP machine with best practices being shared. Formula 1 enthusiasts on the other hand have no such luck… not yet, anyway…
We hope this review was useful to you. Do write in and share your thoughts with us on the Moto GP range.