Production and Homologation Rules, helping or hurting 34 years later?

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10/20/2019 9:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/20/2019 9:11 AM

Would Works Bikes bring an F1 / MotoGP type mystique back to the sport? Was the concept to keep the smaller manufacturer's from having to compete in an arms race?

The Homologation rule requiring 400 bikes was made when the sales were as much as 10 times more than they are today.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

10/20/2019 9:18 AM

MXGP has works bikes. Anyone can enter. They are not Factory like the bikes that bought in the rule, but they are allowed to do what they want.. all you would get in AMA is factory SX bikes now . Its an expense that adds nothing to the show.

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10/20/2019 9:36 AM

philG wrote:

MXGP has works bikes. Anyone can enter. They are not Factory like the bikes that bought in the rule, but they are allowed to do what they want.. all you would get in AMA is factory SX bikes now . Its an expense that adds nothing to the show.

So why the rules?

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

10/20/2019 11:10 AM

The AMA 400 unit homo rule really sucks balls. Of course the AMA claims they have nothing to do with Pro racing...

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10/20/2019 11:11 AM

maybe because of 500 2t.
after all in mid 80's we saw every day something new in technology but that only lasted until late 80's.

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10/20/2019 2:42 PM

If you know what to look for when you walk around in the mxgp pits you can se some pretty trick stuff.

A couple of years ago Honda ran a head om the 450 where the exhaust came out on the other side of the frame tube. So a totally different head than stock.

The yzf250 also ran billet blocks with built in electric starter at the time.

The european bikes are true works bikes but they never get the same hype as the old mid 80 hondas.

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10/20/2019 3:16 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/20/2019 3:17 PM

It would be cool to see a 180 pound 125 with carbon fiber everywhere... No way in heck I'd ever buy one...but it would be cool to see nonetheless.

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10/20/2019 3:22 PM

This sport can't afford an open development works bike structure. A single MotoGP bike is estimated to be worth more than the entire yearly race budget of some moto teams. MotoGP and F1 count their viewership and fan base in the hundreds of millions, around 400 million each. The amount of money spent on those series compared to ours isn't on the same plane of existence. We need a production rule so a fast local guy can buy a bike and fill the gate at his local pro national. Those series suffer from nothing of the sort.

Not to mention the parity issues that come with the development structure of F1. Right now the fastest guy could hop on any bike and with some work win. That is absolutely not true in F1 or MotoGP. The more money you spend the more competitive you are, this sport needs the opposite.

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10/20/2019 3:51 PM

I doubt there would be any takers even if works bikes were allowed in AMA SX/MX, even the MXGP "works" bikes are production based. AMA SX/MX production rule came into effect in the mid 80s, back then we were all buying two 125, two 250s and two 500s every year...you'd walk into the honda dealer and there would be a hundred CR80s lined up. Those days made works bikes possible and desireable, but those days are are long gone.

Full works like you see in MotoGP are halo products, Marc Marquez and the works Honda are more about selling a bazillion 50cc Honda scooters in developing markets than they are about selling any CBR1000s.

If anything, maybe they should open it up to ebikes since I'm sure we will all be reading the shootouts on the 450 "E" in a few years...

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10/20/2019 4:11 PM

no ones winning in the US on non full factory 250,

might look production but thats about it

bending the rules would be common place.

even the riders meantion about being on a competitive bike.

450s even up a bit, but put one of the top guys on a stock one and watch him drop in places.

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10/20/2019 4:49 PM

I thought the homologation rule was 200 units, not 400.

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10/20/2019 5:18 PM

Hannah said years ago that there was nothing "production" about a professional racers "production based" race bike......
Whole thing has been complete bullshit since 01/01/86. The AMA could give two fucks about you, your racing, your rights...... Just keep them dues coming in. Absolute joke of an officiating body.......... They couldn't count there own balls twice in a row, and have the same answer both times.

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10/20/2019 8:04 PM

BikeGuy321 wrote:

It would be cool to see a 180 pound 125 with carbon fiber everywhere... No way in heck I'd ever buy one...but it would be cool to see nonetheless.

Why 180? Why not 167?

https://dirtbikemagazine.com/two-stroke-tuesday-on-the-line-racing-cr125r/

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10/20/2019 8:53 PM

Went and listened to Gary Jones on the Whiskey show. After listening to the things he and his father did to bikes in the non-production era, i am convinced that the production rule has ran it’s course and should be eliminated. Frankly, it isn’t accomplishing the purpose of leveling the field and is to some extent stagnating development, IMHO. The privateers can’t afford many of the things the well financed team can so it really isn’t doing much other than creating an illusion of parity across the field.

Let’s either go to a true production rule. (I.e. nothing other than tuning) or just eliminate it. I favor the latter.

P.s. listen to the Gary Jones pod cast. Very interesting piece of history.

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I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train

10/21/2019 12:43 AM

Some of you guys may not know this, or those old enough to remember....here are the facts.
At the time and this is before the rule change, factory bikes were light years ahead of production bikes.
They had up pipes, long travel suspension and water cooling long before those changes made to production bikes.
When the production rule came into effect, that gap closed almost over night.
So, imho, we as consumers are very fortunate to be able to purchase bikes that with a few mods can compete at a professional level.
There is no way a privateer could compete or afford to purchase specialty factory parts, that's even if that was an option.
I think the rule is a good thing for us non-factory riders.

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10/21/2019 12:55 AM

dkg wrote:

Went and listened to Gary Jones on the Whiskey show. After listening to the things he and his father did to bikes in the non-production era, i am convinced that the production rule has ran it’s course and should be eliminated. Frankly, it isn’t accomplishing the purpose of leveling the field and is to some extent stagnating development, IMHO. The privateers can’t afford many of the things the well financed team can so it really isn’t doing much other than creating an illusion of parity across the field.

Let’s either go to a true production rule. (I.e. nothing other than tuning) or just eliminate it. I favor the latter.

P.s. listen to the Gary Jones pod cast. Very interesting piece of history.

Although the rule isn't full on production, it's something.
Removing it would only create an even bigger gap between factory and privateer bikes.
Another thing, most factory development wouldn't make it to production bikes and waht we could by off the showroom floor would become dated, years behind what the factory pros are riding.
I think i'd be a mistake.

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10/21/2019 1:51 AM

MXGP being factory allows the manufacturers to develop new bikes in the field.. KTM 2020 factory bikes will essentially be what we buy in 2021.. the fact that this is controlled means we get real development of what we get to buy, not bikes that are a million miles away.. look at factory Honda from the early 80's and then look at what POS the production bikes were.. its only by making the teams race what we race, that you get true development.

In GP's you can get a 450FE and stick A kit suspension in it, get Volleberg to do the motor, and a GET ECU and you are there , near enough. Factory finishing of engine parts and coatings and the like are all available. You just need ££.. but not like you did in the old days.

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10/21/2019 6:35 AM

the biggest impact is chassis; on one hand, you have to produce a chassis that is rigid enough for SX duties, but yet still pliable enough for the avg joe to ride. some teams will add gussets (TLD KTM does frequently with their 250F, for example) and other bits here and there to stiffen them up. if we were still on true factory bikes, then I'm sure we'd see two totally different chassis options for SX vs MX.

for the end consumer, it's only made it better. go back and read reviews of bikes in the mid-to-late 80s; it was basically anything honda, then everything else. that gap has closed dramatically, whether induced exclusively by racing is an argument to be had, but it's certainly had a positive change.

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10/21/2019 7:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/21/2019 7:17 AM

So production rules may have helped consumers and privateers. Both are debatable, manufacturer's must choose whether to upgrade to bring sales (hello Suzuki) and Privateers are a questionable part of the big show.

E-bikes are coming, and likely auto clutch/ transmission will likely evolve to keep the ICE bikes competitive. All of this so called "development" is over rated ideas poached from the auto industry and 50 years old. Water cooling, electric start, fuel injection, disc brakes whoopee!

The Homo rule IMO is far more detrimental, keeping manufacturer's from taking steps forward. Perhaps a number like 20 would make more sense and bring innovation and small manufacturer's into the sport. There needs to be a "Mulligan" to allow exceptions for developing new models without bringing them to production immediately.

The Homo rule does prevent Bespoke models like the 167 lb. Carbon Fiber CR125 as listed above from being raced when they would likely be affordable for many. Time to look at the weight rules also. The world has changed with Cad/Cam design and 3D printing since these rules were developed.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

10/21/2019 7:38 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

So production rules may have helped consumers and privateers. Both are debatable, manufacturer's must choose whether to upgrade to bring sales (hello Suzuki) and Privateers are a questionable part of the big show.

E-bikes are coming, and likely auto clutch/ transmission will likely evolve to keep the ICE bikes competitive. All of this so called "development" is over rated ideas poached from the auto industry and 50 years old. Water cooling, electric start, fuel injection, disc brakes whoopee!

The Homo rule IMO is far more detrimental, keeping manufacturer's from taking steps forward. Perhaps a number like 20 would make more sense and bring innovation and small manufacturer's into the sport. There needs to be a "Mulligan" to allow exceptions for developing new models without bringing them to production immediately.

The Homo rule does prevent Bespoke models like the 167 lb. Carbon Fiber CR125 as listed above from being raced when they would likely be affordable for many. Time to look at the weight rules also. The world has changed with Cad/Cam design and 3D printing since these rules were developed.

But having a weight rule where the bikes are not needing to be full of Ti to reach it, keeps costs down . And light bikes break.

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10/21/2019 8:00 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/21/2019 8:04 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

Would Works Bikes bring an F1 / MotoGP type mystique back to the sport? Was the concept to keep the smaller manufacturer's from having to compete in an arms race?

The Homologation rule requiring 400 bikes was made when the sales were as much as 10 times more than they are today.

I've always thought a % of bikes manufactured should be the homologation rule instead of the flat "400".

Ex: Honda produces tens of thousands of bikes a year. TM does not. Why should each one be subject to the same homologation number for manufacturing? It rewards the big and punishes the small which only hurts the sport. Not only on a professional level but a local level as well. It deters small manufacturers from entering a market. Many people will avoid buying a bike to race locally that isn't raced professionally whether they intend to race professionally or not.

Just choose a percentage. I don't know production numbers but lets say Honda produces 10,000 2020 450's. 400 is only 4% of their production line. If TM produces 1,000 2020 450's that's 40% of their production line. How is this still considered fair for a rule that was supposed to make things "fair"?

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10/21/2019 8:06 AM

aFACEdismembered wrote:

I've always thought a % of bikes manufactured should be the homologation rule instead of the flat "400".

Ex: Honda produces tens of thousands of bikes a year. TM does not. Why should each one be subject to the same homologation number for manufacturing? It rewards the big and punishes the small which only hurts the sport. Not only on a professional level but a local level as well. It deters small manufacturers from entering a market. Many people will avoid buying a bike to race locally that isn't raced professionally whether they intend to race professionally or not.

Just choose a percentage. I don't know production numbers but lets say Honda produces 10,000 2020 450's. 400 is only 4% of their production line. If TM produces 1,000 2020 450's that's 40% of their production line. How is this still considered fair for a rule that was supposed to make things "fair"?

The AMA isn't interested in fairness, is it? Take the unfair advantage the 4st's get with more cc's as a good example.

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10/21/2019 8:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/21/2019 8:49 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

So production rules may have helped consumers and privateers. Both are debatable, manufacturer's must choose whether to upgrade to bring sales (hello Suzuki) and Privateers are a questionable part of the big show.

E-bikes are coming, and likely auto clutch/ transmission will likely evolve to keep the ICE bikes competitive. All of this so called "development" is over rated ideas poached from the auto industry and 50 years old. Water cooling, electric start, fuel injection, disc brakes whoopee!

The Homo rule IMO is far more detrimental, keeping manufacturer's from taking steps forward. Perhaps a number like 20 would make more sense and bring innovation and small manufacturer's into the sport. There needs to be a "Mulligan" to allow exceptions for developing new models without bringing them to production immediately.

The Homo rule does prevent Bespoke models like the 167 lb. Carbon Fiber CR125 as listed above from being raced when they would likely be affordable for many. Time to look at the weight rules also. The world has changed with Cad/Cam design and 3D printing since these rules were developed.

philG wrote:

But having a weight rule where the bikes are not needing to be full of Ti to reach it, keeps costs down . And light bikes break.

It's well established since the Suzuki's of Decoster and Robert that a light bike is a better bike. The weight rule has not encouraged anything new in the last 40 years, and there was quite a while when teams were not on the limit. That is not the case today for team Austria. The consumer's and race teams can decide what is too expensive and what is too fragile.



http://www.mxworksbike.com/

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

10/21/2019 9:01 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

So production rules may have helped consumers and privateers. Both are debatable, manufacturer's must choose whether to upgrade to bring sales (hello Suzuki) and Privateers are a questionable part of the big show.

E-bikes are coming, and likely auto clutch/ transmission will likely evolve to keep the ICE bikes competitive. All of this so called "development" is over rated ideas poached from the auto industry and 50 years old. Water cooling, electric start, fuel injection, disc brakes whoopee!

The Homo rule IMO is far more detrimental, keeping manufacturer's from taking steps forward. Perhaps a number like 20 would make more sense and bring innovation and small manufacturer's into the sport. There needs to be a "Mulligan" to allow exceptions for developing new models without bringing them to production immediately.

The Homo rule does prevent Bespoke models like the 167 lb. Carbon Fiber CR125 as listed above from being raced when they would likely be affordable for many. Time to look at the weight rules also. The world has changed with Cad/Cam design and 3D printing since these rules were developed.

philG wrote:

But having a weight rule where the bikes are not needing to be full of Ti to reach it, keeps costs down . And light bikes break.

Johnny Depp wrote:

It's well established since the Suzuki's of Decoster and Robert that a light bike is a better bike. The weight rule has not encouraged anything new in the last 40 years, and there was quite a while when teams were not on the limit. That is not the case today for team Austria. The consumer's and race teams can decide what is too expensive and what is too fragile.



http://www.mxworksbike.com/

what got passed on from the exotic works bikes?

your saying all we,ve got is auto hand me downs

even during the period of unlimited works bikes.

so how is the rule bad?

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10/21/2019 9:22 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/21/2019 11:26 AM

philG wrote:

But having a weight rule where the bikes are not needing to be full of Ti to reach it, keeps costs down . And light bikes break.

Johnny Depp wrote:

It's well established since the Suzuki's of Decoster and Robert that a light bike is a better bike. The weight rule has not encouraged anything new in the last 40 years, and there was quite a while when teams were not on the limit. That is not the case today for team Austria. The consumer's and race teams can decide what is too expensive and what is too fragile.



http://www.mxworksbike.com/

tttrailhunter wrote:

what got passed on from the exotic works bikes?

your saying all we,ve got is auto hand me downs

even during the period of unlimited works bikes.

so how is the rule bad?

Those bikes from '72 were at the top of the development mountain. Yes much was learned with Works Bikes and Prototypes. The rule is bad because that is now so discouraged.

It's not too hard to look at automotive and see what's next. CVT's and 9/10 speed transmissions with dual clutches. Variable Valve train. Direct injection. The "development" is right in front of the industry and if we loosen up the rule book some of it may come to production sooner.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart