FIM Superbike World Championship 2014 Rules: Price Limits and EVO Class Announced

The FIM has announced the new rules for the 2014 World Superbike championship, including price caps, engine limits and the new EVO class. Here follows the press release from the FIM.

FIM Superbike World Championship 2014 Rules

Following various meetings between the FIM, Dorna and the MSMA, a new framework has been put in place for the progressive application of the new Superbike rules. The new rules are aimed at reducing costs for the motorcycle and its components.

1. The rules changes for the 2014 FIM Superbike World Championship season will be as follows:

  • A limited number of engines (eight) per rider/per season.
  • A limited number of gear ratios.
  • A price cap on the brakes.
  • A price cap on the suspensions.

2. In order to ensure that there are a sufficient number of riders with competitive motorcycles on the grid, the MSMA has agreed to provide, on request, a complete motorcycle package at a fixed prize, for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The motorcycle packages supplied will be the same as those used by the manufacturer and will receive certain updates and maintenance from the manufacturers during the season.

3. Under the new rules, there will be a sub-category known as the EVO class. This class will follow the FIM Superbike technical regulations for all chassis, suspension and brake components. On the engine and electronics side, however, these motorcycles will follow the present FIM Superstock rules. The price cap on brakes and suspensions will be the same as Superbike.

More details about the EVO technical rules will be available on the FIM Website shortly.

A draft of the new technical rules will be published on the FIM website by 26 August.


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What is this nonsense about classes within classes? Whatever happened to having the same rules for all competitors? It is just very weak of the FIM and Dorna to appease the MSMA cartel with a rules package geared to letting them outspend private teams. This means that factory or factory-backed teams will win all the races and who cares about the poor-folks class. Either force the MSMA, who can spend more money, to fill the grid or make rules that offer private teams the chance of being competitive and see how big the grids will grow. Even the name of the sub-class "evo" is misleading. Why not just call it the "untouchables" or the "also-ran" class?

Finally, someone grasps how the spec-rules and limited rules thing actually benefits those currently at the top.

All the agreement on engine limits, ratio limits, etc. represents is an agreement among the powers that be to cut their own spending while at the same time making it more difficult for outsiders to challenge them.

Evo is probably not about creating a technological caste system; instead, the sanctioning body will be evolving the rules concept. The chassis will be superbike, but the engines will be performance-balanced superstock.

Evo is probably a bargaining chip like CRT. If the factories don't get their act together on engine and chassis regulations, Dorna will drop the Evo bomb and take over the series. In MotoGP, Ezpeleta is reluctant to drop the CRT bomb b/c CRT is so obviously inferior to factory prototype racing in its current form. Evo, on the other hand, is not obviously terrible, and most fans will not understand what has really been lost with Evo. Furthermore, if Ezpeleta plans to implement a backdoor rev limit in MotoGP, SBK will be differentiated (for the MSMA) by adopting BoP engines as the sanctioning model. Since BoP is cheap, it forces factory racing budgets in to MotoGP. To make matters worse for lover's of the current format, the national series will almost certainly be pushing Dorna and the FIM to adopt BoP regulations. BSB invented the SBK/SStk hybrid Evo concept. AMA already uses a form of Evo (called Daytona Sportbike) for 600cc competition. I believe IDM uses Evo-style rules as well.

Evo is a big storm cloud on the SBK horizon, but it is definitely NOT a creampuff caste system for the current MSMA. Performance-balancing would allow Dorna to include more manufacturers like KTM, MV Agusta and EBR (Hero). The MSMA would not enjoy sharing the spotlight.

The FIM might as well have not bothered with this press release.

What is the number of gear ratios allowed?
What is the price cap number on brakes and suspension?
What is the price at which MSMA is gonna sell the bikes at?
How many upgrades in a season?

This framework of regulations have been known to everyone for a long time...Without the specifics this is a useless press release....

Whats the point of the EVO class if there are no spec electronics or engine development restrictions for the entire class?

Even now teams can run a full Superstock bike in the Superbike class if they choose. That's exactly what Grillini BMW and Pedercini Kawasaki do now which is why they figure nowhere in the WSB class!

EVO class made sense in BSB because of the Motec spec electronics for all the bikes and other restrictions. Without that the EVO class rules are pointless.

All it will do is have a few teams circulating at the back trying as hard as they can (a la CRT - actually even CRT class made more sense in a prototype championship!). Dorna wont even have a EVO class championship or podium and some poor rider will be standing in Parc Ferme as the "Top EVO class bike" embarrassed and wondering what the hell he and his team are doing there if they are not getting a podium spot!

such rules are ridiculous in MotoGP and evenmore in SBK.And as I was reading the comments : it hit me ! Dorna's idea in MotoGP 2 years ago was the good one, except they implemented it totaly wrong.

CRT is definitly the right way to go. let me explain : one rulebook for everyone, and there are 2 kind's of teams : MSMA and "the others". but instead of MSMA claiming engines from CRT teams like in MotoGP, the "others" should be able to claim engines/frames/suspension/whatever ... from the MSMA-teams at very reasonable prices (for example a front suspension at the cost of standard Ohlins superbike suspension, an engine for what it costs a private team to have an engine built by a known respected tuner like Ten Kate). MSMA teams will stop spending all the money they can on technology only available to them, because after the 1st race, it will be available to others. They'll thinck twice before walking the thin line of the rulebook etc ... because all the money will only deliver a 1 race advantage. It will level the playfield totaly. MSMA teams will limit themselves to what "the others" do : getting the most out off standard or off the shelf parts. MSMA teams will probably still have the upperhand because they can pay the personel to get the most out of the bike, but at least the bikes will be similar thoughout the entire grid.

and if the MSMA don't like it, well see ya ! and then we can go back to what we (or at least I want) : teams racing because they just love it, and not factories racing because they thinck it's good R&D, or good advertising or whatever : but racing for the racing and good races are not on there list.

..and missing a trick.

We need to get back to local wild card riders for increased interest, and this won't happen if rules across ALL national SBK competition are different.

WTF are Dorna playing at? Have they talked to BSB, AMA, Ze germans, Eyeties and Aussies?

Oh..and good luck trying to make the stock internals of 8 engines last 30 odd races and practice..
There'll be bits of piston, rings and valves everywhere..
It'll be carnage as oil is dumped, riders crash and TV schedules aborted due to the clean-up.

A must read for anyone who's bothered from a man who knows..

I said read it suckers..

A limited number of engines (eight) per rider/per season.
- Superbikes use lots of (cheap) engines as they are based on mass produced engines for the road, not for racing. 8 engines is just a barrier to entry.
A limited number of gear ratios.
- this is just plain silly. Gears are very, very cheap, certainly cheaper than dyno and porting work to plug a hole in the torque curve.
A price cap on the brakes.
- get tenders and offer a catalogue. Teams pick from a fixed price catalogue.
A price cap on the suspensions.
- get tenders and offer a catalogue. Teams pick from a fixed price catalogue.

What is it with Dorna and stupid rules?

Tailor rules so that you don't have to build highly tuned high horsepower engines.
Limit the wiring loom and tyre width and the revs.

I really do not know what Dorna and FIM are up to. In the history of press releases this most go down as the most pathetic since it does not explain anything. When Dorna took over World Superbike, I thought it will have some vision and therefore make a proper and viable differentiation between World Superbike and MotoGP. But it turns out that nothing clear has been achieved and Dorna and the FIM look like they are exploring a dark room and in the process are tripping over many obstacles. I just cannot understand the point of the above press release.

It would just be great to say to hell with MotoGP and make Superbike racing based on the production model which anyone can buy from a showroom. Riders can have their own mechanics to work for more power and these mechanics should have nothing to do with factories. All racing should be privateer based and by not involving manufacturers in racing, sanity will prevail. Otherwise verbal gymnastics are all that will happen in the various racing categories and costs will just get pushed up and make the cost cutting exercises meaningless.

was to have a series in which people could buy a bike from a dealer, put the best the aftermarket had available on it and go racing. That led to much faster street bikes, as the factories saw that series as a means to improve their brand profile by having the fastest bike in the showroom. There was even a minimum availability rule for a race part to be homologated. Lately, the organizers saw it as a way to challenge MotoGP and sent the costs through the roof, hence the dwindling grids. If they manage to make it half as affordable as it once was, we might see many more teams interested. Superstock came up because people could not afford to race superbikes and, if you look at it, those bikes are what the initial idea was.

Those so eager to castigate the curent leadership of the FIM and/or Dorna over the steadily declining grids in the Superbike World Championship have clearly not been paying attention to this championship for the past 10 years or so. If you want to apportion blame, direct it toward Maurizio and Paolo Flammini.

Although these two would have you believe they started the Superbike World Championship, that is not the case at all. The championship was instigated by American Steve McLaughlin working with New Zealand-based Madison Group and its subsidiary Global Sports & Entertainment. It was these people who got the original rules approved by the FIM in 1987 and the series eventually got underway in 1988.

The Flamminis' support for the championship extended to cancelling the round scheduled for Misano in 1988 (and one at Brno) and, with some deft back-hand moves, helped put the series into a state of collapse so that at the start of 1989, they could step forth as the 'saviours' of the Superbike World Championship.

Over the years they made quite a few wrong turns and allowed the regulations to drift further and further 'up-market' (read expensive) in their desire to challenge the World Grand Prix Championship series.

Starting around 2001, there was considerable discussion between the Japanese manufacturers and the Flamminis with a view to having an across-the-board 1000cc displacement limit, with crankshafts and con-rods having to be as per the homologated production model and price limits for kit parts which had to be available to all teams. The fours were to run intake restrictors and the twins were unrestricted.

This was to have come into effect in 2003. However, the Flamminis abruptly dropped the stock crankshaft/connecting rod rule as well as the agreed price limits for race kits and the Japanese, with one exception, walked away. Through the Alstare team, Suzuki ran a pair of intake restricted GSX-R1000s and with a huge amount of effort, got the 1000cc four close to winning, Gregorio Lavilla scoring seven podiums sometimes missing out on wins by a few tenths of a second.

That year (2003) also saw the Flamminis allow an uncompetitive MotoGP bike to race as a Superbike. There are those who like to characterise Ducati as 'cheats' but Ducati has always abided by the rules. However, somehow a motorcycle with no production base was allowed into the Superbike World Championship - the three cylinder Foggy Petronas.

Perhaps the Italian brothers required 'grid fillers' after infuriating the Japanese, as there were only around 23 starters in most of the races, with the exception of Brands Hatch which had almost 30 bikes on the grid - thanks to Wild Cards.

By the end of 2003 Suzuki had some ideas on how to further improve the intake-restricted GSX-R1000 for 2004 - and suddenly the intake restrictors for four cylinder bikes were abolished, so Suzuki withdrew! It had done no work on an un-restricted GSX-R1000 engine for Superbike racing. So in 2004 Dutch dealers Ten Kate Honda stepped into Superbike racing with the CBR1000. But still there were only 23-25 bikes on the grid - including the 'illegal' Petronas triple.

In 2005, Suzuki returned and Troy Corser won Suzuki its only world crown in this class.

There were more entries that year too, with up to 30 bikes on the grid at some rounds, but by 2007 they were struggling to have 23 bikes lining up, and so it has gone on as the teams have been allowed to move further and further away from the original regulations - not even having to run strictly silhouette body work, fuel tanks under the seat (yeah, we all now the Proddie bikes have those!) and who really knows how stock the frames are...

But with CRT (the modern TT Formula One class) in MotoGP, there is no need for a me-too sort-of-Production based class.

If Superbike is to continue, it needs to get back to its roots and be based closely on the showroom bikes, or it is game over.

So it is no surprise that Dorna, and the new FIM leadership, is working to save the class from years of Flammini silliness.

So please, all those bashing the FIM and Dorna, fall on your swords, or write letters of apology.

However, it seems Dorna aren't managing the future to follow this direction either, sadly, focusing on entirely the wrong things and, again, permitting the mmsa to retain hierarchy control over the series.

To my mind there should be no manufacturer teams in superbikes- they have built the production bike, their job is done. It seems though Dorna is making rules so that the things that remain are the very things to ensure privateers cannot compete. Insanity.

Regardless of the "idea" of Superbike racing's roots, the fact is that the first two titles were won by a homologation special of which 4,782 were manufactured worldwide over the course of four years. And after you got one of these bikes, you had to go try to get the HRC kit that actually made it go fast. Bike that anyone could go into a showroom and buy - my ass.

After that, well, I would have LOVED to have seen someone go try to buy the bits that were on Roche's 851. They might still be laughing in Bologna had someone tried that.

Fantasies aside, the bikes at the sharp end of the Superbike grid always have been far more factory racer than modified streetbike.

I think the difference in the past decade is that, when MotoGP went four-stroke, we could mentally make a more direct comparison between WSBK machines and GP bikes. Hypothetically, there's no reason Yamaha couldn't make a WSBK-legal M1, right?

Great thinking, poor execution.
First thing to address, the price limit. I think its a fantastic idea, when implemented properly. This unfortunately isnt the correct use of it. You cant just price cap 2 components (suspension and brakes), when you're trying to the cost of participation (the actual racing) down so that teams can afford to get to the track and promote. You need to cap the cost of the entire package, wheels, suspension, electronics, bodywork, custom parts (for the initial build) and etc. Figure, $75k per bike, for everything minus expendables (tires, brake pads, chains & sprockets) and replacement of broken parts and would be a good jumping off point. Im sure this wouldnt affect many teams but those top tier teams can now put that money they're not spending on the bike into: riders salaries, hospitality, transport (15 rounds all around the world has to be expensive) and the like..
Second thing to address, the engine limits. Im all for a more robust engine with good performance, but you know what that means? Teams will spend $ testing what they can do to prolong the life of the engine and with this allocation limit you get teams frantically swapping out engines during the weekend, riders not doing burnouts & wheelies at the end of races, and a lot of worry if your allocation will make it to the end of the season (which is what leads to spending the $ on making the engines more durable).
Heres the thing, street engines are already pretty awesome, and almost nothing that the teams/factories learn here is going to help. So why not make this easy, there are 15 rounds, you get 15 engines. Either that or no limit on engines and include that cost in the price cap (which would be idea #1 for me. Are you going to spend $20k on 20 engines to do 30 races or are you going to spend $5k on 5 engines and put the money towards electronics and chassis development).
Next item, rules not being equal throughout the race on track. As mentioned earlier, superstock riders can enter the sbk class now if they want, they just finish mid-back of the pack, only now we're glorifying them for doing so which is so today's "everyone gets a ribbon" society. I LOVE what the BSB has done, they tried EVO for a season and said "Okay, thats the new superbike." And the racing is still fantastic... (for the record another user mentioned daytona sportbike being similar to EVO here in the US, its not. Its more akin to WSS.) Locking this in for 3 years is dumb. I said during the STK1000 race at silverstone "all Dorna has to do is say "STK1000 is the new SBK, same rules, same tires." Would love to see same race distance (i love the sprint race everyone's cut throat every lap) but we'd need 4 races a weekend and the schedule is probably a little tight for that. Im all for bringing BSB EVO/superbike rules to the WSBK grid, it just needs to be done in the correct manner.
As a side note to that, it would be fantastic to see the WSBK class have rules inline with the national SBK classes (that said the National SBK classes should fall in line with WSBK, not the other way around, but since BSB has already give a nice path to go down, I think their lead should be followed to get WSBK and national SBK to align. I think you'll see more wild cards come in and try their hand at the WSBK grid when the show comes to town).

If you read the rulebooks, you'll find that BSB is not using the EVO concept from 2010, and you'll find that DSB is definitely not WSS.

They should forget this idea and tell the manufacturers - here are the rules, if you don't want to participate, we'll understand and move forward without you.
SBK will be lightly modified motos that anyone with the cash can actually purchase at a dealership. If you want to play by making special bikes, no problem. Just make X number minimum, priced at X per example and sell 'em at the dealership, road legal for anyone to purchase. Noisy exhaust systems and real racing tires should be allowed as racetrack modifications but not much more than this. A reasonable claiming rule should keep any sneaky "factory specials" out of the mix.
Would the bike makers stay out? Only if they all did as nobody would want their rival to dominate the series. If they're all in with homologated special-editions that anyone with the cash can buy, who is the loser? They can include all the electronic trickery they like and lose money on every one of 'em...but as long as there are enough to go around at the specified price, NO PROBLEM. Any losses on the sales can be chalked up to advertising/promotion - and the racer/consumer is the beneficiary.

Sorry to repost but I would really like some input on this
I'm not sure why motorcycle manufacturers spend so much money on engineering, wind tunnel testing, etc on MotoGP bikes and then build a street bike that has little to do with the gained knowledge. Not to mention it doesn't seem very cost effective and a missed marketing opportunity. Honda has found that its important to run the RC213V exhaust with a 4 into 2 on a V 4 engin, while the CBR 1000 runs a 4 into 1 on an inline 4. Yamaha R1 with its two bug eyed air intakes and a 4 into 2 exhaust doesn't take advantage of the R&D put into the M1's centered air intake and 4 into 1. And the Suzuki bike Randy De Puniet has been testing has nothing to do with the current or future GSXR 1000.
I personally would love to be able to buy a R1 that was basically a tuned down street version of the M1. Beef up the metal thicknesses where needed, replace titainium with aluminum, carbon fiber with plastic, the high end electronics with a more standard street bike version, swap Brembo for Yamaha brakes, replace the outsorced exhaust and wheels with inhouse pipes and rims etc.
if Kawasaki and Suzuki knew that the MotoGP bike they were going to develop was the high end version of the street bike they'd be making next year that seems a much more attractive investment instead of the current situation where in addition to spending millions making a 1000cc street bike you spend tens of millions making a MotoGP bike.
And the 600cc street bikes would again be a scaled down version of the MotoGP / 1000cc bikes.
WSBK could run its series on the street bike versions. AMA would start producing more riders that would move up to WSBK & MotoGP
And factory replica bikes would be everywhere, loaded with sponsors stickers, which sponsors would love.
It would certainly beat the hell out of Yamaha changing their paint scheme and calling it a new bike.

Factories learn more general things in MotoGP. They learn about software strategies, controlling fuel consumption, providing good throttle response at partial throttle openings, and a few other things about vehicle dynamics. They also learn about engine efficiency, reducing friction and improving combustion. They also learn lessons about reliability.

All those lessons are not specifically transferrable to a particular road bike, but they are transferrable at the design stage for a range of road bikes. Racing a V4 doesn't teach Honda how to build an inline four, but it does mean that when they design the combustion chamber for the CBR1000RR, they have a lot of data from racing on making that combustion chamber efficient.

The reason Honda don't build a V4 sports bike is much more mundane. Building a V4 is much more expensive, as you have twice the parts in your cylinder head (2 cams, 2 cam drives, etc). Given the price bracket Honda are aiming at with the CBR and the declining sport bike market, it's too hard to get a decent return on the investment. The V4 Honda will produce (probably in 2015 now, rather than 2014), will be priced high, and only available in very small quantities. 

The reason you can't buy an M1 rep is similar to the reason Honda aren't building a V4 at the moment. However, I suspect we are on the verge of a resurgence of the "homologation specials" - though whether they will be built to race or not is another question. Though the sport bike market is declining all over the world, the hard core that remains are more willing to spend larger sums on their bikes. So we could see a few high end, low quantity sport bikes from a few manufacturers. This, I should add, is just a hunch, and based on the very thinnest of rumor and gossip.

"We could see a few high end, low quantity sport bikes from a few manufacturers. This, I should add, is just a hunch, and based on the very thinnest of rumor and gossip."

Funny - similar rumors and gossip are circulating on this edge of North America.

What this would mean for WSBK, of course, is that the more restricted the rules package is, the more power shifts to the manufacturers who are willing to build such machines.

The 750cc era homologation specials gave power to the manufacturers. However, several manufacturers complained bitterly about the 750cc regulations. The cost of building 500 units was prohibitive and the cost of road homologation and emissions compliance was prohibitive and wasteful. If WSBK returns to road-going homologation specials, the regulations will be changed to limit branding power.

The homologation special rumors could refer to race-only homologation specials. WTCC and WRC, for instance, are both race-only production cars, built from kit parts. The manufacturers occasionally build road-going derivations of their race cars, but they are not actually used in competition.

Despite the rumors about homologation specials, they are fighting against several factors, imo. Road-going homologations would be more valuable if branded as 1000cc GP replicas, and race-only homologations are basically just budget CRT bikes. I think budget CRT bikes is more likely.

One way or another, GP and SBK must stop cannibalizing one another. Perhaps the easiest solution is to make SBKs 3-cylinders, and make GP bikes 4-cylinders. It's not like the Triumph or the MV sound bad.

Not a terrible suggestion. I hear Benelli is coming out with a triple as well ...

I don't know what David is hearing, but the whispers I hear are road-going bikes priced into the stratosphere, relative to "normal" market pricing. To that target audience, it makes absolutely no difference whether they write a check for $15,000 or $35,000 for a bike. They want something that is totally bad-ass. And the stuff that would make an excellent factory homologation special is the same stuff that would make a bike attractive to that audience.

From a manu's POV, as long as all they are changing is suspension, electronics, brakes, etc., from an existing production and road-certified machine, there's no additional road certification cost. It would be easy to see, say, a CBR1000RR with full Superbike Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes and HRC kit electronics and trick swingarm and adjustable triple clamps and aftermarket wheels, etc., in the showroom, and as long as the reflectors are in the same spot as the standard CBR1000RR and the engine and exhaust are the same, there shouldn't be any additional certification required. Mostly all they care about is emissions here in the U.S.

p.s. And if you really wanted to road-certify a true racebike disguised as a streetbike, you could do that pretty cheaply in the right country, right, Petronas?

Dorna are probably trying to move the factory teams out of WSBK or to turn them into umbrella organizations who compete in name only. The MSMA wanted to withdraw the factory teams at the beginning of the 1000cc era. The sticking point was that both MotoGP and 1000cc WSBK were to have equal subscription and promotion from the FIM and the MSMA. The MSMA were prepared to prepare kits and factory-support as an umbrella organization. The Flamminis demanded factory teams like during the 750cc era. As TheBaron explained, they forced manufacturers back into WSBK by loosening the technical regulations and adopting a high-performance control tire, but the Japanese factories refused to use the factory nomenclature. Ducati seemed content with the Flamminis vision for WSBK, but they soon realized that WSBK success didn't equate with 999 sales.

Increased competitiveness is on the docket, but sales is the driving force. Production racing (bike and car) is based on the notion of parity b/c parity is a better marketing platform and it allows for direct sales revenues. FIA GT3, for instance, allows some manufacturers like Ferrari, Audi, and McLaren to sell upwards of 50 units per season. Since many GT3 cars retail for over €300,000 and the private teams need service contracts and parts, the manufacturers can generate €20M-€25M in revenues per season, which is more than enough to cover the salaries and capital costs of the racing department. If the engines have long service intervals, the machines can be used for endurance racing. Perhaps this part of the motivation behind the 8 engine rule for WSBK 2014.

"Ducati pulled their factory team out of Superbikes in 2010 and in 2011 a Ducati won the title with Carlos Checa.”

That "paddock insider" must not have been allowed into the Althea Racing paddock or didn't recognize all of the Ducati factory technicians and executives sitting in Checa's garage on race weekend ...

p.s. Neil Hodgson's Super Jump is one of the best time wasters ever and the greatest contribution that Bennetts will ever make to our culture.

For all the criticism of Dorna/Mr E. I doubt that any of his presentations to the new owners included a simple proposal to do what he wanted and the teams would follow. The Flamini/Dorna conflict that emerged over two very similar series has now been laid to rest and some clear water has appeared between the series that is easy to explain/understand to/by new fans (as is needed).

The Bennetts opinion makes a lot of sense, both in marketing and financial terms. The manufacturers will want to see their bikes doing well and they can provide support/R&D etc. at a relatively low cost - the main cost for running the team being covered by others. A few million on engine R&D that also benefits the product line is lot easier to justify to a Board, and if that frees-up some budget for a MGP foray then we will all be happy.