MotoGP Technology

MotoGP is like Formula One, extremely expensive, high tech and secret. Everyone wants to know what the other guys are doing but unless you're part of the team, you only see the results on the track, the inner workings of the engine and chassis are kept under wraps.

When the allowed engine displacements were reduced from 990cc to 800cc, we were given an unusual opportunity to see inside the technology, up to the minute, state of the art technology could now be explained because it was rendered out of date due to the rewriting of the rules. Luckily, Neil Spalding, who writes about these bikes, was given access by the top teams to all of the inner workings of these machines, with one condition, he couldn't tell us what he had learned until the end of the 2006 season when the rules change took effect.

MotoGP Technology takes you on an in depth tour of every team, examining every engine, every chassis, and follows the subtle and not so subtle changes that took place over time. It explains the reasons for those changes and compares how different machines handle the same problems.

There are separate chapters dealing with clutches, valves, crankshafts, firing order, electronics, chassis, aerodynamics and much more. The valves chapter looks at spring operated, pneumatic and desmodromic valve actuation. The crankshaft chapter has a discussion of the direction of crankshaft rotation and how it affects motorcycle handling. The Big Bang firing sequence and how power pulses affect tire grip is covered in depth. It's a guide for the technically oriented race fan or anyone who wants to understand the motorcycle technology that creates these 250 horsepower, 200 mph machines. Unless you've been spending a lot of time hanging around the MotoGP garages you're sure to learn a lot.

Lots of photos and loads of technical drawings add to the discussion, this is no coffee table book, this is an in depth course in MotoGP.

It's not a book you have to read in one sitting, you can dip in anywhere and learn about a particular team or technology. It's a nice way to cover a lot of technical territory in a short amount of time. It's a very enjoyable book. I recommend it.

Link: MotoGP Technology


  1. OMMAG says

    You know Paul …….. this ability of yours to find great resources and just plain fascinating stuff is going to start costing me more money than I’ve spent on hobbies for decades.

    That’s a good thing BTW ! 😉

  2. says

    I couldn’t find this book in the Kneeslider online bookstore. Can we order it through the ‘Slider?

    Is it safe to assume that all of those secrets (and derivatives) are not applicable to an engine just 190 cc smaller? Based on reading this post, it seems the teams have enough significant changes between the 2 platforms to render any close look at the previous engine useless as it applies to the 800 cc platform. Or, was there some limitation to the amount of information granted to the author?

    Either way, I’d like to pick up the book

  3. kneeslider says

    hoyt, just follow any link in this article or the one on the sidebar, works like the bookstore.

    You get a lot of closeups but there is no actual blueprint, but I have the impression the 800cc engines are all new. There were instances of all new engines from year to year, just within the 990cc rules so if they dropped by 190cc, I figure it’s a clean sheet.