Out Of Focus And Badly Lit: David Emmett's Photos From The Valencia MotoGP Test

Compare and contrast: Suzuki's chassis provides outstanding handling and turning

Honda's super stiff 2015 RC213V. Incredible braking and turning

Michele Pirro's Ducati GP14: Stiff, excellent stability in braking, but turning, not so much...

The NGM Forward team tested Kayaba suspension ...

... Stefan Bradl was not at all impressed, and told reporters he did not want to waste any more time testing it ...

... in the end, it will come down to money. Will Forward take money from Kayaba, or pay for Ohlins?

The Forward Yamaha top yoke and Magneti Marelli spec dashboard

A young Australian rider with Cristian Gabarrini? How do you think that will turn out?

More power for Nicky Hayden from the RC213V-RS, but he'd still take even more

The Aprilia is stunning. Slow, but stunning

Spot the exhaust. Yamaha tested a new slash-cut pipe at Valencia

Ah, there it is. It was straight through and LOUD. Meant to help with engine response

Every racing series should have a rider called Maverick

The biggest visible difference between the 2014 and 2015 RC213V is in the air intake

The 2014 bike is an oval basking shark-style opening

The 2015 bike has a pinch in the middle, making it more of a lip formation

Put lipstick on that and I would definitely kiss it

For comparison, meet the Suzuki's unkissable mouth

Best thing about testing? Getting up close and personal with the most amazing motorcycles in the world

The 2015 RC213V

Dashboard, complete with blinkenlights. The analog rev counter means this is Pedrosa's bike

Attention to detail: Movistar TV Carles Perez pointed out to me that even the TV camera is beautifully integrated on the bike

Two Honda Open bikes: Laverty's RCV1000R...

... and Nicky Hayden's RC213V-RS

Scott Redding's main focus was finding his position on the bike. That meant playing with lots of foam and tank pads


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Lovely centerfolds!

With them not ridden and fairings on they are Sears undergarment ad to Playboy, but thanks for those two 'Penthouse' caliber photos.

When can I get a 'naked bike' just post-apex and lower thigh, upper elbow, and almost-shoulder down on the curbing? I would rush to get some uninterrupted personal time immediately.

Have you noticed the Italians are much more open to sharing their stuff than the Japanese? I remember enjoying wine and "hams" in the Ducati garage, then looking over webbing and poles at their counterparts. 'Whatchagot underthem fairings darlin?'

Kissable mouth? Kissing is not necessary when you can hop right out there on the super-soft tire...they are ready to hit the pace!

Thanks for more off season dry spell porn, keep it coming!

It's a useful technique for complex parts that would normally be difficult to lay up and create the tooling for. A lightweight aluminum 'core' can be wrapped in carbon to achieve a greater strength to weight ratio than plain aluminum while also allowing you to vacuum bag the part instead of having to use a female mould and inflatable inner mould. When Formula 1 started migrating to plastic suspension it was not uncommon for the smaller teams to wrap steel or aluminum as a stop gap and money saving measure. It would also allow the axle blocks, pivot point and shock mount to be machined into the aluminum core rather than cast or bonded into a purely carbon swingarm. Another benefit is that it's relatively easy to CNC a new swingarm core and wrap it whereas new tooling for even a small change in a fully carbon part can take weeks, something that you may recall from the Stoner and Rossi days at Ducati when changes were much needed and requested but always very slow to make their way down the pipeline.

This still leaves you with the difficult properties of carbon in a application where tuned flex is key, something that Ducati grappled with for years in both frames and swingarms and that other teams seem to be avoiding altogether, at least publicly anyway. I was just curious to know if Ducati had finally found a carbon solution that they were happy with.

Wow, they actually CUT an existing frame to change the flex. Then WOW #2 welded it back in and gave it to Marco? Wild.

Thanks for the picture. I love these centerfolds. Anyone else keep realizing how much engine and how little else comprises these bikes? A 250 horsepower engine with thin metal straps around it to hook wheels, handlebars and foot rests on.


These pictures are MUCH better than Scott's action photos.

What is that odd little link joining the swingarm pivot area to the gearbox, on the Forward Yamaha?

I am also a little puzzled by the dual speed sensors on the front wheel of the Forward bike. Redundancy? Two totally separate processes that each need the speed data?