For all you MotoGP fans,

I'll be posting some interesting facts about MotoGP over the close season.

Today it's MotoGP engines.

This season there's Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha. With different engine configurations.

The bikes used in MotoGP are purpose-built racing bikes - 'prototypes' - which are not available for purchase by the general public and cannot be legally ridden on public roads. A maximum of seven engines may be used by each permanent contracted rider for all the scheduled races of the season.

The maximum engine displacement permitted is 1000cc with a maximum of four cylinders and maximum bore of 81 mm.

MotoGP bikes use pneumatic valves instead of spring valves. MotoGP bikes engine revs up to 16, 000rpm, piston travels up and down 250 times per second!

Now the individual parts

Camshaft, valves, pistons, and crankshaft - these are essentially the same parts as on your road bike, but in this case every possible technique has been used to extract maximum performance under the extreme conditions of the racetrack.

Camshaft and crankshaft are made from steel, like those in commercial bike engines. The difference is that, instead of being made from metal poured into a mould, these parts are machined from blocks of forged steel. This ensures the highest possible precision, for the best combination of lightness and strength. The pistons are made from lightweight, forged aluminium, machined from aluminium ingots to give robustness and light weight.

The front-running MotoGP bikes have seamless transmissions, which allow super-slick clutchless shifting. The bikes have over 40 sensors that gather data, such as suspension travel, brake and exhaust temperature, steering angle even tyre pressures! When the bikes come in after a race or practice session, all the information is then downloaded and analyzed. So adjustments can be made to get the best out of man and machine.

Interesting stuff behind the scenes!

- Roland Potter