2013 SBK Rules: fake headlights and pit stops

Dailies, Import -


The first changes to SBK following Dorna being put in charge of the series? Emphasizing its bikes’ basis in production machines. We already saw some teams running them this summer, but for 2013, all bikes will need to sport tacky fake headlights. Pit stops are also making a return, albeit without refueling; wheel sizes are growing to 17 inches; weights for twins and fours are now even and starting grids are being re-arranged.


For those casual fans struggling to follow along at home, the evil Spaniards at Dorna are now running both MotoGP and SBK. Cue much hand wringing from journalists over what that means. The best piece written so far is from Mat Oxley, who sums it all up thusly:

“[This]…is the most significant happening in motorcycle racing since World Superbike’s launch a quarter of a century ago.

“Dorna have forged ahead with their moves to make MotoGP more affordable. Inevitably, this means making it slower. Now that they run WSB as well, they can move WSB rules in the same direction. If Dorna make the right moves, both championships will have bigger grids.”

So onto the rules. Fake headlights = NASCAR; a clear visual connection between race and road. Tacky, but not a bad idea for race on Sunday, sell on Monday types.

17-inch wheels? Again, a closer connection to the tires run by production bikes is probably a good thing.

Brake lever covers? Expect to see these become commonplace on the road, first with guys obsessed with looking just like their favorite racers, then with everyone else once they realize the benefits come a crash or an impact with a car’s wing mirror.

Pit stops? It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. Without the benefits of adding fuel, sacrificing major time in the pits isn’t going to be a commonplace occurrence.

Taillights? More safety is always good, especially in bad weather.

Equal weights for twins and fours? Now that’s going to be controversial. The FIM has long been accused of favoritism towards Ducati and the rule coincides with the 1199 entering the series. Yes, there’s a provision for additional weight being added should twins gain an unfair advantage, but 1,200cc v-twins vs 999cc fours all at 165kg? That’s going to rile the feathers of every other factory and team; Ducati is now the only factory running a twin in the series.

  • Sentinel

    The fake headlights just kill it for me, what a pathetic charade….

    • http://www.faster-faster.com fasterfaster

      A pair of decals ruins the whole event for you? These bikes have been covered with hideous decals since the dawn of racing.

      • Christopher Bibbs

        You clearly haven’t watched enough old races. There were very few decals on the bikes or the riders in the 60′s and 70′s.

        • Ben

          Back then it was a lot cheaper to run a race team, so you didn’t need as many outside sponsors. Teams were also sponsored by cigarette companies with nearly unlimited budgets.

          In today’s economy its a bit of an ask to get given several million dollars so that you can ride around in circles on a motorcycle.

      • Sentinel

        I guess you didn’t notice, but these are not sponsor decals, they are a condescending slap in the face of intellect. A despicable marketing ploy, attempting to fool and manipulate people into seeing and believing in a lie. The whole principal of deception behind it is sickening and degrading. This organization has really turned to shit!

    • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

      I thought the decals look pretty good. Every time I see them they don’t even look fake. I wonder how many people would really have known if they hadn’t been outright told that they’re fake…

      • Sentinel

        See my reply above ^.

  • Daan

    I hope the twins become dominant again, I’d love a replacement for my ageing sp1.

    • PenguinScotty

      Well, if Honda is really going to stick with their stuff, we might see a new VFE400/750R. Which would be cool because i really like the V4s.

      I wish KTM would get into WSBK with the RC8, but i doubt they’d be competitive at this time. There definitely is a lack of Twins now. Well, has been most of the time, really.

  • NewOldSchool

    I remember the first time I walked into a dealer in 2002 and saw an all black Honda RC51 RVT1000.

    *Homer Simpson doughnut noise*

    • Jon B.


    • Ben

      I remember the first time I heard one. It made this deep rumble in the pit of my stomach before my ears even picked it up. The bike rolled up to the red light where I was standing at the crosswalk, A red/silver one with Akro highmounts on it. The girl in the saddle looked fantastic, but it was probably the bike skewing my rose colored view. The light turned green and the thunder of the RC51 surging away made me weak in the knees.

      • NewOldSchool

        I worked at this place a while back and the shop down the street had a guy with an RC51, red black and silver with some aftermarket cans. You could hear the cadence that thing had from down the block.

        He always stopped at the light on the corner and I stared out the window at the thing till he blasted off again.

        That is one bike I have to own for a bit before I die.

  • smoke4ndmears

    I think the pitstops are for rain tire switching only. Could be wrong. You also forgot to mention the new qualifying format.

    • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

      Yeah, exactly. Next year they won’t red flag the race when it rains…just leave it up to the riders and teams if they want to come in. Sounds good to me.

      And as for the decals, the Kawi this year didn’t look too bad with them.

      • tomwito

        If that’s all it’s for I’m cool with it. But mandatory pit stops suck otherwise. Totally ruins the race.

  • PenguinScotty

    Decals- Eh, i find it stupid, quite personally. A sticker isn’t going to make me believe that it’s based off a road bike. Stupid idea by them.

    The weight reduction might actually entice KTM to come into the game, but we’ll see how that goes. Ducati will have a ball again, i would say, but then again, it may take a year for the Panigale to get there.

    Wheels is a good idea, but i don’t think the normal spectator would really care if it stayed as is.

    Pit stops would be nice, but no refueling? What? So you come in and get a drink bottle change? I’ll have to read up on that to figure out what they are smoking on that one.

    Thanks for the info. I’m rather worried what’ll happen with WSBK and MotoGP in the next few years…

  • circuitsports

    The thing I like about the decals is it makes it easier for me to follow the teams more than pretending they are street bikes.

    Nascars are based on the same cots platform not a unique manufacturer derived one and the body isnt a race version of reality its an aero version of made up.

    The 17 inch wheels hopefully lead to better race tires

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Should be interesting to see how it all pans out. Though, NASCAR isn’t much of a “feeder class” to F1.

  • zato1414

    Brake lever covers…sooner or later we will have roll bars and a stunt double in case we crash.

    • NewOldSchool

      Yes, because saving these kinds of crashes from happening is totally not worth the judgement riders with lever guards will receive from people with your attitude.

      35 Seconds in:

  • twinsrule

    RC-51′s and TLR’s are coming back baby! (Maybe now they can actually make these lighter with some power.)