MotoGP » Honda explains standard ECU agreement

"This is what we always insisted was the key point for Honda" - Livio Suppo.

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March 21, 2014 1:01 PM

Translation. Dorna have called our bluff and we folded.

Why? Certainly not because of any "development" opportunity whitewash. If you believe that then Valentino Rossi is really the Easter Bunny, lord Lucans mystery love child and Willy Wonka all rolled into one.

Honda are staying because there's no way they don't want the brand exposure across the planet that MotoGP provides. It's all about the marketing and promotion folks, and that's all there is to it. This waffle is just their attempt to make their total reverse and climb down look a bit less of an embarrassment. They pushed too hard and made one dire threat too many and finally they've been stood up to. And not before time.

Maybe now Dorna have finally caught on they'll actually start enforcing and making rules that look after MotoGP racing properly. I hope so.

Deano B

March 21, 2014 1:01 PM

"One minute Honda was threatening to quit if MotoGP made a single ECU compulsory, the next a rule is unanimously passed to make the Dorna hardware and software mandatory for all."

Looks like Dorna has called Honda's bluff. They are now back -pedalling now by saying they were "mis-undertood"

Get back in line Honda!!!


March 21, 2014 1:03 PM

In English that all means ...

"In this game of chicken, we blinked first.
They called our bluff, which caught us totally off guard, so we're going to have to come up with a damage control excuse ... because lets face it, this is the only place we make the best bike. In the real world where customers buy them, well we can't really hold a candle to the other manufacturers, despite our overall market position"


March 21, 2014 1:08 PM

In the meantime.... Honda get 2 seasons grace to employ all of those massive resources to develop their 2016 machine to have every possible thought and idea tried and tested, and to think outside the box to find workarounds to gain a small advantage here and there... Especially work arounds that will enable them to keep a secret or two.

By 2016 the most likely outcome is that Honda will have a winning bike so not much will have changed. Except that Dorna are better equipped to try to keep Hondas resource advantage to a lot less than it is now and more freedom to make tech rule changes and restrictions.


March 21, 2014 1:29 PM
Last Edited 103 days ago


A control ECU is coming into force for 2016, however each manufacturer can spend millions on developing software for this "control ECU" as long as they share it. Am I right? So in reality there is no point in this "control ECU" because honda, yamaha and ducati will stick to their own software because 1) they have spent the money on development, 2) their own software will be tailored for their own bikes, 3) such software will be used on their own roadbikes. The only time I can see others using each others software is when one of the manufacturers come up with a silver bullet. All privateer teams may experiment with others software but will ultimately use what their factory counterparts use and what they are instructed to use.

The whole point of this control ECU was for cost saving no? But reading this article suggests otherwise.


March 21, 2014 1:49 PM

Still, no-one has explained the licensing rules yet. If the manufacturers develop their own software, but make it available for the other manufacturers, the critical element is "on what terms"?

e.g. Software provided by Ducati.
1. Copyright is assigned to Magneti Marelli. MM licenses other teams to use the software for MotoGP racing efforts. Then, MM integrates the software seamlessly into its software package, and includes it (or its derivatives) in any commercially available version of its ECU for racing or road use. Ducati is paid no royalty for its IP, and in fact can no longer use it other than under the terms MM now decides.


2. Copyright is retained by Ducati, and the software is licensed to MM with limited rights to sublicense. Ducati owns the software provided. Other manufacturers can use the software under the terms of their licence, but cannot copy or produce derivative works unless they enter into seperate licensing arrangements with Ducati.


3. Various combination


March 21, 2014 1:49 PM

@ rbr46

You REALLY think that any of this bespoke, racing specific electronics is going to filter down to road bikes? Er.... No.

Where's the corner specific data settings for every road on the planet going to come from, that suit every rider and every condition? Etc., etc.

Road bikes have solutions that are already more than will ever be needed. If you get more it'll be due to more marketing dept meets gullible punter than stuff anyone actually needs.

Years ago I think Bike Magazine ran a data logger on a one litre sports bike to find out just how much of its power and performance was used by a very good professional rider on the road. I can't recall all the details but recall that for something like over 90% of the time the typical power use was around 40bhp or less!

You really think a road rider needs switchable power maps and other such gimmicks, let alone corner by corner settings?

Look at something like Yamahas MT-07. That has more performance than the vast majority of

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