Tom's Tech Treasures: A Close-Up View Of The MotoGP Bikes At The Jerez Test - Part 2

Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. After every race, will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.

Clutch cable on the Honda RC213V
David Emmett: Honda are one of the only factories to still use cable-operated clutches rather than hydraulic clutches. Cable clutches are lighter, simpler, and given that the clutch is only used once during the race (at the start), any benefits a hydraulic clutch might have are barely a factor.

Ducati GP19 (Alvaro Bautista) with the parallelogram torque arm system
David Emmett: For a full explanation of what Ducati might be trying to achieve with this, read Peter Bom's full analysis.


Suzuki GSX-RR (Sylvain Guintoli) with a front brake lever sensor

Andrea Iannone’s RS-GP, note the brake pedal not hidden behind the chassis as before.

Rear tire temperature sensors on the Yamaha YZR-M1

Behind the Yamaha YZR-M1 fairing

2019 Honda RC213V

Ducati GP19 chassis

Velcro on Marc Marquez’ RC213V seat

Ducati’s salad box, almost open!

Ducati’s tail aero

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I'm really curious as to why so many are obsessed with asking if KTM will switch to an aluminum frame. I find this question frustrating because in an engineering situation like this there are a nearly infinite number of ways to get to a similar end point. KTM has a zillion years of experience working with the steel frame. Just as Ducati has a zillion years with desmodromic valves. Most of the time the best way to solve a problem is to use what you know and leverage it.

It would (to my eye) be monumentally stupid for KTM to try and use an aluminum frame especially as they have zero experience. They would just be putting their faith blindly in what everyone else is doing. You see this in business all the time where an organization tries to just copy what a competitor is doing rather than focusing on their internal know how. I've said it before and I still believe that KTM will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. These first years have been tough trying to set up the program, limited data sources with only one team + test rider, not having access to a top rider (i mean no offense to the tremendous work of PE and BS) but only mean to highlight that they have never been consistently fast in MotoGP.

I think with Tech 3 and a top test rider will go an extremely long way to KTM closing the gap. Personally, I really hope that they do because id love to see a little more diversity brought into the championship. If KTM was able to show it's possible to be successful with a different process it might give other teams confidence to experiment a little more. At least with something radical.

As always thank you for all your work David. Super excited to read about the upcoming test! 

There are outsourced aluminum frame technical assists, we can see them be of big help. Not so for steel trellis. There is a feel offerred by aluminum that is not possible via steel, just qualitatively different "tuning fork" subtleties that matter. Aluminum is more consistent than the steel amongst "same" frames. Steel offers much more feedback information to ones' feet on the pegs. However, the whole bike isn't singing in harmony with it.

If they ran Ohlins suspension I bet they would be changing to aluminum. With WP it may look more daunting for now.

I like having varied formulas on the grid. This one however, may not be fated to surpass mid pack pace.

and we should never forget that a certain Casey Stoner won one championship and a lot of races on the Ducati trellis before they caved to popular opinion. Had Gigi been at Ducati in Casey's day who knows how many championship Casey & Gigi could have won on a STEEL TRELLIS frame! So I agree, lets hope KTM stick to their guns as providing a different path via steel trellis, WP, etc they may finally open up some of the uber conservativism in MotoGP.

don't forget, even Casey mentioned the lack of consistency of the steel trellis frame. i remember he said that he never felt 2 identical frames. or something like that.

Even Casey Stoner when still racing on Ducati said that Carbon frame makes every bike is unique and even with the same setting the feeling on bike 1 is different from bike 2. With current training and qualification format it makes more complicated if 2 bikes behaves differently

The pictures alone are well worth the supporter's subscription. And help us get through the "off" season.