Do WSB bikes need fake headlights?

New rule next year - but do you want racers to look like road bikes?

Posted: 2 July 2012
by Visordown

Next year's WSB bikes must carry fake headlight stickers to make them look like their road-going equivalents – and Kawasaki previewed the new look at yesterday's race at Aragon.

The idea is to add to WSB's road bike links and to further distinguish the bikes from the latest breed of CRT MotoGP machines.

However, it means adding meaningless stickers on a large and potentially valuable acreage of prime sponsorship space on the bike's nose, with much of the rest already taken up by the rider's number; not necessarily a good thing when money is already hard to find in international racing.

But the real question is whether fans actually want to see WSB machines looking more like road bikes.

Are we not expected to be clever enough to understand that in converting road-going machines to racers the headlight are removed? Or is it a measure to make it easier to distinguish one manufacturer's machines from another as their shapes get ever more similar?

What do you think? Is it a good move to make WSB bikes closer to road machines, at least in their appearance or would you prefer them to be honest to their racing intentions and leave the headlight stickers well alone?

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Not sure what motorcycles they are trying to make them look like. The ones I see on the road always have the lights switched on. I think keeping the general look of the motorcycles is more important, by time you get past all the sponsorship some grey patches on the front are just a waste of space.

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 10:46

Not sure what motorcycles they are trying to make them look like. The ones I see on the road always have the lights switched on. I think keeping the general look of the motorcycles is more important, by time you get past all the sponsorship some grey patches on the front are just a waste of space.

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 10:53

I had to check it wasn't April 1st. This is truly a stupid and idiotic rule.

It's abundantly clear that my 600RR, while it shares some components with a proper Racebike, is really a million miles away from it. The requirements for a Roadbike and Racebike are totally different.

I don't think fans need fake stick on headlights to distinguish the difference, we're not American and this isn't Nascar...

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 11:22

It's a marketing directive to help with the sales of bikes. You guys obviously know your bikes and it rightly makes no difference to the educated riders like yourselves. But imagine Joe formula 1 man who wants to buy a bike like the one off the telly; it may well make it easier for bikes to be sold if they look very much like the road versions.

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 11:32

I really don't see the point in this. Oh great, it has a sticker of a headlight on it does it look like a road bike?...

No, because road bikes don't have magnesium wheels with a 16.5" front, a tuned 220BHP engine, Ohlins FGR200 forks, etc...

Would make much more sense for Superstock to run this, but Superbike? They're closer to a MotoGP bike than a road bike.

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 11:58

Maybe have them on the Superstock bikes, to distinguish them from the Superbikes...

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 12:01

I actually checked the date of the article to see if it's not April's fools!

Well, apparently someone in WSBK thinks we ARE the fools..

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 13:00

Dammit, now I'm going to have to get a headlight sticker to stick over my black head light cover...

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 13:01

I'm currently looking round (well, torturing myself about buying a new (ish) superbike. The one thing that's turning me off anything new (with the exception of Repsol colours) is ANY type of race replica bike. I really don't want to be a moving advert for Monster thanks.

I think Paul Haines has got it right here, we all know our onions. And it's a stupid rule to us. The man in the street might not see it like that. And they're the ones that the manufacturers are going after. We'll keep buying bikes whatever. We'll just know what we want before we get there...

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 13:34

Look at those headlight stickers as if they were sponsorstickers, since they are. Like this they are advertisements for the roadbikes.

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 15:33

Welcome to the new NASCAR! Next they will have license plate holders.

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 15:46

No, they don't need them. It's stupid and looks ugly. I know when I'm watching WSBK, and how the formula works. And I know when I'm watching MotoGP and I also know the difference between a prototype and a CRT bike.

Posted: 02/07/2012 at 18:38

is this a joke? john mcguinness's bike at the TT was bad enough! bring back production racing then, i wish, that would be better and cheaper!

Posted: 03/07/2012 at 10:03

Oh, so the logic goes something like: "I don't know anything about bikes but I've seen them on the tele and I want one like that..."

Puleeez, the world and your buying public are a little more sophisticated than that!

Posted: 03/07/2012 at 14:14

Your havin a laugh, , , , aren't you, , , , ,really, , , you are, , , go on say it, , , your havin a laugh, , , ,ah. , ,go on,, , , say it's a joke, , , ,ah, , ,ah!!!!!!!

Posted: 03/07/2012 at 14:34

So we are Nascar IQ level fans....thats a pourdy mouth you git there

Posted: 03/07/2012 at 14:36

Speaking as a designer, I often find race bikes to have lost some of their beauty compared to their street versions. The multitude of colours and shapes of the sponsor logos serve to camouflage the lovely forms of the bike. An obvious example that almost entirely loses its identity, "sex-appeal" and design-intent is the S1000RR. In either case, you're still looking at a billboard, whether the manufacturer's fascia design for easier streetbike recognition or yet another sponsor's sticker. I welcome the headlights.

Posted: 03/07/2012 at 17:02

Great idea,it'll be fake indicators and mirrors next.
Where will it stop,dummy pillion passengers?

Posted: 03/07/2012 at 19:04

I'm sick of dummy pillions!

Posted: 04/07/2012 at 02:53

I actually agree with one of the posts further up, think of it as an advert for the front end of the actual bike.

I also think that number plate holders aren't a bad idea either, they could have the riders number on them, or a sponsor.

And finally, mirrors are only bad because the glass breaks in an accident, come up with a super hard super shiny alternative and there is no reason not to have them.. It might stop some racers from constantly looking behind them through nerves when leading.

What I don't understand though is why WSB has got so far from production racing in terms of technical innovation etc. I like the new BSB format, as demonstrated when an effectively Superstock BMW finished ahead of several factory bikes at Knockhill. Scale WSB so it is more like BSB, allow Moto GP to be the development platform, and stop Dorna ruining it.

Sorry for the essay!

Posted: 04/07/2012 at 12:03

is it april the 1st all ready

Posted: 04/07/2012 at 16:25

I actually think the fake headlight stickers look quite smart. But i really don't buy the reason behind it at all.

Posted: 05/07/2012 at 03:23

needs fake indicators and number plate

Posted: 05/07/2012 at 08:51

Mmm i dont agree with this rule, stickers will increase bikes weight.

Posted: 05/07/2012 at 21:50

I don't like it! I don't agree that they will look like road bikes just because they have stickers on them.

Posted: 06/07/2012 at 13:11

Has anybody actually challenged this ridiculous rule? as already said it makes no sense at all, it sounds like its someone trying to keep there job by making up stupid rules..

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 11:57

What utter bollocks. What you really need to make them look more like road bikes is a nice Givi rack with a fucked topbox, a couple of frayed bungees holding it shut, mismatched mirrors and a Starbucks cup jammed down the back of the screen. Or is this just my bike?

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 12:50

And to answer the comments about it making sense to the layman coming in to biking anew, if anyone walks in off the street and buys a thou (and I'm not saying they can't) good fucking luck to them. I think the last thing on their minds will be wether or not the thing looks like the pretty bicycles they saw on the telly, more like how they will stay alive on a 180 BHP missile.

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 12:54

And David Weaver, I am also a designer. Have you any idea how much that space sells for? Get real.

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 12:56

Absolutely not!! This is a rule for the sake of a rule. Next it will be centre stands and GPS!!!
LEAVE WELL ALONE you idiots!!!!!

Posted: 13/07/2012 at 08:45

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