2022 WorldSSP300 Championship Standings After Race 4, Assen, The Netherlands

1 Alvaro Diaz Yamaha 70  
2 Marc Garcia Yamaha 62 -8
3 Victor Steeman Kawasaki 46 -24
4 Lennox Lehmann Ktm 46 -24
5 Hugo De Cancellis Kawasaki 44 -26
6 Mirko Gennai Yamaha 44 -26
7 Samuel Di Sora Kawasaki 40 -30
8 Yuta Okaya Kawasaki 40 -30
9 Bruno Ieraci Kawasaki 39 -31
10 Matteo Vannucci Yamaha 22 -48
11 Inigo Iglesias Kawasaki 21 -49
12 Marco Gaggi Yamaha 15 -55
13 Kevin Sabatucci Kawasaki 14 -56
14 Gabriele Mastroluca Yamaha 12 -58
15 Ton Kawakami Yamaha 11 -59
16 Iker Garcia Abella Yamaha 9 -61
17 Ruben Bijman Kawasaki 6 -64
18 Sylvain Markarian Kawasaki 5 -65
19 Petr Svoboda Kawasaki 5 -65
20 Harry Khouri Kawasaki 3 -67
21 Dirk Geiger Kawasaki 3 -67
22 Fenton Seabright Yamaha 2 -68
23 Humberto Maier Yamaha 1 -69
Round Number: 

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Again, how the heck is a lone KTM 390 SINGLE competitive?! 

Bakes my noodle. Still trying to figure out how Blue caught Green a bit ago. Never mind how the Honda 500 couldn't compete. This is a weird class. Aprilia should pop out an RS400 in that same 660 chassis?

I don't think I am understanding some basics about these bikes if the RC390 is thriving. I appreciate it, but don't get it. Can anyone help me out briefly?


I think can, but probably not briefly ;-)

Despite the very different configurations and capacities, these engines have rather similar outputs in standard trim. The 321cc YZF-R3 produces 42 hp @ 10.750 rpm, the 373cc RC390 makes 44 hp @ 9.500 rpm, the 399cc Ninja 400 45 hp @ 10.000 rpm and the 471cc CBR500R 47,5 hp at 8.500 rpm. The KTM single produces similar power because it does more or less the same revs as the twins with a capacity that is somewhere in the middle.

The Honda has the lowest specific output, firstly because it is made to stay within the A2 license limit of 35 kW/48 hp, but it also has the most tame bore and stroke (67,0 x 66,8 mm), so even if that 48hp limit wasn't there, it would never be a high-revving power house. It's made to be flexible and fuel efficient. The other bikes all have proper motorcycle short-stroke engines: Kawasaki 70,0 x 51,8 mm (ratio 1,35), KTM 89 x 60 mm (1,48) and the Yamaha 68,0 x 44,1 (1,54). The R3 engine is basically half a Supersport 600 engine, but slightly stroked and not as highly tuned. From the bore and stroke perspective, it should produce more than half the power an R6 makes, so over 60 hp, but that would require much higher revs and therefore more expensive components.

The biggest difference between these four bikes performance-wise is the weight. The Honda is not used anymore because it is a porker. The other three have wet weights (in road trim) between 160 and 168 kilos, the Honda is a whopping 192 kilos. 

In SS300 trim, the engines produce more power thanks to exhaust and intake mods (and mapping to match), supposedly 50 to maybe 55 hp. In standard trim they are all in a relatively low state of tune; my first bike was a Honda CB400T from 1978, a 395cc air-cooled three-valve twin that produced 43 hp @ 10.000 rpm. That's about the same as the Ninja 400 does!

Apart from all this, SS300 regulations use Balance Of Performance (with revs, weights and maybe throttle openings, not sure about the current state) to make them all equally competitive, sort of. It's actually strange that there aren't more RC390's, because it is by far the narrowest and also the lightest bike, with as mentioned similar power in standard trim. And I've ridden all the bikes, and I think the KTM feels the most like an actual sports bike. Maybe there's less margin for tuning with that 373cc single, but I believe it's also got to do with KTM not being happy about the BOP regulations for their single. Not sure about that though.


Pvalve, huge thanks! This is a great piece of info. Motomutterers are the best.


I kind of enjoy this sort of thing, as you may have guessed ;-)

By the way, I think they should change the name of the class to Sport 400 or something like that. They are not really supersport bikes and they’re not 300’s either…

"Formula 4?"

I would love to have an RC390 with absurd crash protection and no fairings, sorted suspension w good tires to toss all over the kart tracks. Not all bad. Lots of racers have Ohvales for such things. I picked up a Honda NSR50 which was fun but just too small. In the old days there were "pitbike races" that got pretty fun. And caused a few injuries! Anyhoo...

Perhaps the SS300 class is doing its job well enough? Not bad. Will go watch the race this week, gracias!

The KTM RC390 is competitive because of the BoP regulations. It would lack 10-15 horsepower compared to the other bikes, if an older tuning standard, like Supersport, were applied. 

Doesn't mean the KTM is a bad bike, it's just built to be simple, lightweight, and wieldy. It could be much better in street trim, but it needs power/weight balancing to compete in SS300.

It's absolutely true that a 373cc single fundamentally has less potential than a 399cc twin (or even a 321cc twin), when all are being built at the same mechanical and thermal loads, no doubt about that. But actually when they would all compete in standard form, I think the KTM would do very well. It's the lightest and smallest bike, and with similar power. It would probably be a bit more gearing sensitive, having a peakier power curve, but I think it would be competitive. The Kawasaki engine of course has much more potential, but that also depends on the quality of the components that are used. The Yamaha being a good example: it looks very much like half an R6 engine, but its cheaper components won't allow those R6-level revs, and neither the thermal load probably, so it can't be tuned to make half the R6's power.  I don't know what the technical regulations allow, but it's unlikely you can use things like better pistons and rods.

My guess is that the three bikes that are currently used in SS300 would also be on a similar level when ridden in standard form, but like you say, when an older, more free tuning standard would be applied, the Ninja 400 would win easily and the RC390 would have no chance.

The RC390 is the only one that seems a sportbike to me. It is a bit of an odd segment and race class. I get needing beginner standards. Us racing them is a tad odd? 

People used to take basic TZ/RS125s and motor swap either 85cc dirt bike 2 strokes or various dirt bike 4 strokes. I guess "in reality" there just isn't something better than this 300 to 400cc production bike class. The 650 to 700cc Twins is similar. I don't know how well the Yamaha and Kawi handle once the suspension is improved. Hope it is a fun good handling bike. Anyone racing them that can chime in? 

By the way, if you haven't seen it yet, I recommend watching the two Aragon SS300 races. It shows pretty well what that 16-year-old Lennox Lehmann can do on that RC390 while battling the twins, coming from 25th place on the grid (because of a crash in qualifying). I enjoyed it a lot!

Assen race 2 was real 'watch it through your fingers' stuff. Quite how they pretty much all managed to not crash was remarkable and a flowing circuit like Assen will produce races like that more than other tracks, but quite a lot of it was too close for comfort. 

The sole tiny KTM with Lennox Lehmann on it is doing well, admittedly.