WSBK » Pirelli: Time is right for 17-inch tyre switch

Ten years after it was first discussed, Pirelli says the World Superbike Championship is now ready for the move to larger 17" inch tyres.

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January 26, 2013 11:49 AM


So why not just use 16.5" wheels and tyres on road bikes? There must be a reason why MOTOGP and WSBK have been using them to date!

Ivor Bueb - Unregistered

January 26, 2013 2:28 PM

Race tracks are smoother and have less potholes than most roads.

Larger wheels are more stable and give a more comfy ride for real roads.

Smaller wheels and tires are lighter and so make it easier to turn a bike at high speeds.


January 26, 2013 2:44 PM

we were on the glide path. the street was to eventually evolve to treaded "16 fives". aprilia would've been the first with a special rim set, same as they were with 190/55 on 6" blue OZ's (mille) back in like '99/'00, then more recently with the 200 rear on the V4. lord knows years of homologation has seen us with stock power and torque numbers across the board to justify it. however (comma) the GEC's put paid to all that (damn you GEC...!!! damn you all to HELL...!!!). :rolleyes: we may still see it out of a mfg (read BMW, read Honda RC70) looking for a USP for their kit. note: like the 16" rear on the D16RR, bike world beggars need not apply.

rod99 - Unregistered

January 26, 2013 8:46 PM

WSBK is going to still be fantastic racing for the punters but it's the riders that are going to suffer. There is such a big effort to make a definate visual and technical diference between WSBK and Motogp that the riders will definately feel the kudos drop.
Recently you always had the feeling that the riders could interchange ok, not seemlessly but ok. When the likes of Bayliss can walk away with a Motogp race(by a country mile Valencia Ducati) and then have battles in WSBK it gave all the riders credibility for non experts, potential sponsors etc. Now non expert/punters etc will definately start viewing WSBK riders as second class, not the same legue riders. Sad because we know that is not the case.
It had to be coming because WSBK last year for entertainment value maade Motogp look utter rubbish!

Pizdoff - Unregistered

January 27, 2013 8:14 PM

@ Rod 99

Mini moto could almost make the Moto GP procession look rubbish.

The uncertainty about WSB circuits is just one part of Dorna's clutching at straws by sabotaging WSB agenda.

Oddly enough, the 17 wheel bit is the one bright light. It won't make the WSB races any less close, but it just might help road tyre tech move forward slightly faster. Not 'hold your breath now' difference, but a bonus for ordinary riders.

rod99 - Unregistered

January 28, 2013 3:06 PM

Im not saying they wont keep /tweek regulations to keep the racing close but they are most definately going to do all they can to bring the pace down a few seconds a lap. Hence my comment of Joe Public ending up thinking the class and riders in it are second rate compared to GP's.
All of this because they basically refuse to genuinely bring the costs of gp's down because of manufacturers like Honda insisting on using GP racing for R an D.
Keep them 1000 and ditch the electronics ffs

rod99 - Unregistered

January 28, 2013 3:10 PM

They've develped all the'll ever need electronics wise for the road, bearing in mind 99% of road riders wont even touch the point a breaking in traction.

Gp's Full rototype chassis NO ELECTRONICS

WSB Prod based chassis NO ELECTRONICS

Then you would have full grids and two seperat classes with equal interest.

Jon M - Unregistered

January 29, 2013 9:52 AM

Actually Rod I bet 99% of road riders have lost traction if they ride anything with over 50hp and have ever ridden in the wet... ..but that's another story.

I've just come back from 4 days at Almeria where Pedercini Kawasaki were testing (amongst others)and Tito Rabat put some early laps in on a CBR600.
The superstock ZX10R with treaded tyres was perhaps 2 seconds the WSBK? Rabat went faster than them all on what was effectively a supersport bike with Dunlop slicks.

What I'm trying to say is that modern bikes are fast enough without having to spend a fortune and at a time where money is tight it makes absolute sense for superbikes to better mirror road/stock bikes.
Of course they should keep slicks but I'm 100% in favour of 17 inch wheels and restrictions on non OE electronics and serious tuning.
Piggyback ECU (like a Bazzaz or Power Commander) should be plenty, and a mildy tuned 1000 should still make a reliable 205bhp.

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