I agree! Supersport should be a venue for the "up and coming" in the sport. That sure isn't the way it looks now and the quickshifters are just another step in the wrong direction. What does a competative 600ss bike cost to build already? Assuming you could even get your hands on the parts of course....
What sucks is that they've raised the bar so high that the cost to enter is HUGE and the payoffs very low. Thats why I liked the 250gp class, with little to no factory involvement it seemed much more like a spec race where rider skill and setup is the name of the game.
Is it that hard for the pro's to use a clutch lever???
I think your right.....kick the factories out of ProRacing rulemaking and set it up so the little guys have at least the appearance of a fighting chance. Let the factories dominate Superbike (where the trick hardware and big name riders belong).
Is this discussion about electric shifters or The unfortunate involvent of money and greed in the racing world.
Shifters are cheaper than that from holeshot. I had one on my zx-11. By the way they are awesome.
As far as the ethics of racing goes, it all comes down to money. The old addage of "win on sunday sell on Monday" still comes into play. It's what fuels the industry and drives the competition to such crazy levels. I was up at road america last year. I watched the privateers trying to chace nicky, miquel, and eric, etc... around the track. I dont think it was because of a lack of talent that they were being lapped (ok well maybe for a few ) but it is a lack of bad timing and not so great luck. Privateers have to work full time jobs, set up thier bikes, train for the race, work the pits, and deal with all the hassles of trying to fix thier parts instead of replacing them.
Sure the pro's have trailors with crews and parts, sure their crew can tear thier motors completly down between race's while they are sitting in thier trailer drinking iced tea and getting a quickie from thier super model girl friend. and sure they may bet some extra special parts that you and I couldnt get with out the help of a nasa engineer.
But the pros were once privateers also. They just happened to have a little better timing for being at the right place at the right time and a little better luck for making the first come true.
I have been involved in roadracing for a couple of years and the problem with most people is they really don't know the whole story as far as pro racing goes. Lets try and put it into simple terms . You play basketball with your buddies and are pretty darn good back in the hood , you decide you want to play pro basketball , you go to a try out and get smoked by a 7' tall 20 year old. Do you complain that he can't use his height to his benefit just because your short?
AMA Pro racing is just that Pro Racing , you don't bring a knife to a gunfight and if you can't win every race as a regional expert you should stay at the regional level. Face the fact that if most people had the same bike as say Eric or Yates they would still be a backmarker moving chicane. If you want to beat them you have to ride well , it is not that impossible to have a bike as fast as theirs you have to be able to ride it. Be happy with where you are at and enjoy riding on the track at what ever level you are at.
To have a front running AMA 600 figure on spending about $30,000 including the price of the bike.
I respect much of what you say there, and agree with it.
So, often I get guys talking about "doing" and AMA event, and I'm like, "Why? Are you winning at the regional level as an expert? You're not ready yet. Wait until you're ready." So many guys just want to get on TV or whatever.
My take on it is that you have a group of riders. Indeed some of them are better and some of them are not as good. The back markers don't count. Anyway, this isn't car racing, so the rider plays a huge role in the program, otherwise, Nicky wouldn't be getting so much money.
Where we disagree is that I believe that there should be a set of rules that apply to everyone. Factory bikes, mine, and yours. If not, then where is the "competition". If you're supposed to have a pistol fight, and someone shows up with a grenade (and a grenade is not in the rules), then it makes the competition a farce.
The first AMA National I was at was in 1988 at Road America. I remember walking along listening to the announcer talk about how the "supersport bikes were like bikes that are available right off the showroom." A guy with his friends was walking by and made the off handed remark, "yeah, with a porting job..." I was a bit taken aback, as I'm a pretty straight shooter.
Needless to say, I found out over the years about the things that I didn't have that others did, and the blatantly illegal things that some guys had that are somewhere today.
I chased Todd and Mike around back in 1993 on no budget. I should have done like some other guys and just tossed a 2mm over bore kit in the bike, I could have got a "Two Brothers" pipe (really it was an HRC head pipe and collecter with a Two Brothers can on it, no legal because exhaust systems were supposed to be homolgized...), and then thrown the HRC black box at it. I might have been able to keep up enough that I would have learned a bit more, got a bit more attention, and blah, blah, blah.
Regardless, the playing field should be about the riders. Indeed, the teams have something to do with it. There is gray area that has to be explioted. I understand that, but the system is so far from anything reasonable that it really needs to be scrapped and have the name changed.
If everyone wants quick shifters and this is the big show, then Superbike should be the avenue.
Bottomline, Jim, you do a great job, and I can appreciate that. Others will whine and say, "Oh, I could do that if I had money..." You've done a great job. How many teams have an AMA Supersport win to their credit? For me, I had some reasonable aspirations, and a whole lot of dedication. My problem was no budget and I was to straight of an arrow to do some of the things that were clearly outside of the boundarys. Again, it might not have changed the result, but I could have been tighter in with the field. But I can say, and really few are able to say it, that I did a complete AMA program as the rider, driver, mechanic, PR guy, etc., etc.
I respect your opinions as you have paid your dues so to speak over the years. The thing most people don't understand is that the factories will always have an advantage until the factories themselves publish tolerance figures or the AMA says this or that is allowable tolerances. The year we won Road America we also finished in the top ten alamost every AMA race but also had a few podiums. At brainerd we had the two fastest bikes on the radar gun and during the race Todd led several times before being braked checked by Miquel going into turn 1. He gathered it up and we finished 3rd. After the race Muzzy was complaing to the officials that our bikes were too fast. They tore us down and found nothing but decided they wanted to take our cylinder head back to ohio to check it. Instaead as laguna was the next weekend they allowed us to seal the motor until laguna. We went to laguna and i think Todd finished 13th. We took the head off and they still couldn't find anything , even having the World Superbike tech chief check it. So they took it and we went to vegas , since we had no cylinder head they lent us a test standard , we did a race valve job and if not for a red flag 2 laps from the end we would have won vegas as we had just taken the lead, the red flag was caused by a rider not even on the track surface who was in last place. Instead since we didn't have fresh tires mounted we finished 3rd , with there cyclinder head. This is to illustrate we had no special parts and we were still able to beat most of the factory bikes at any time and we had the fastest kawasakis during the season compared to kinko's or muzzy who were fully factory supported. Don't sweat the stuff you can't get , just make what you have the best!