Speculation on Honda's performance in the Sepang tests leads to questions about the clutch being used in the RC212V
It's being called 'Clutchgate' and is the result of Honda's outstanding performance in pre-season testing, leading to mass-media speculation that this is due HRC utilising the DCT clutch on the RC212V.
Honda have clearly dominated leading all the test sessions at Sepang and at a record pace. The speculation arose from Sportmediaset who questioned whether HRC were dancing around the rule books and using the dual clutch technology taken from the Honda VFR1200 on the RC212V.
The rumour was denied by HRC vice-president, Shuhei Nakamoto but he admitted that there was a 'secret clutch' in the RC212V ridden by Stoner, Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Simoncelli.
In short the transmission system works by utilising dual clutches, with one operating the 1st, 2rd and 5th gears and the second operating the 2nd, 4th and 6th gears. The DCT means that the clutches are able to switch between gears a lot quicker.
The likelihood of Honda's speed over the pre-season test sessions is arguably down to the manufacturer finding a GP bike akin to the 2005/2006 years of the 990 era that is rideable and being pushed to the limit by the three talented riders of the factory team, as well as Marco Simoncelli. Ultimately it looks like Honda have found their Rossi-killer, even if it means sending three hunters after the wounded lion.
UPDATE: Honda may be running some variation on the Xtrac IGS (Instantaneous Gearchange System). Dual clutches, as in Honda’s DCT box, are banned in MotoGP (regulation 2.4.2) but the regs are too specific. They ban “twin clutch” gearboxes, while the Xtrac IGS is a single-clutch set-up that still allows two gears to be selected simultaneously and shifted instantly with no let-up in power. So while it does exactly the same thing as a dual clutch box, it would be legal under MotoGP regs.
Honda and Xtrac are no strangers either – in Indycar racing Honda supplies engines and uses Xtrac gearboxes. Not sure if the Indycar gearbox is IGS, but Xtrac say they’ve been race-testing IGS since 2009. Since Honda has admitted they’ve got a clever gearbox (Shuei Nakamoto apparently said: “It’s true we have something new on the transmission” and that it allows faster gear changes), it’s got to be something along the lines of IGS.
this is pre season testing....they can fit what they like...its testing...not racing
....if they show up at Qatar in March tooled up with DCT then they'll be made to sit at the front where teacher can keep an eye on em!
Posted: 25/02/2011 at 22:10
Posted: 25/02/2011 at 22:15
I agree with Ted to a extent put it would be better to do that sort of thing away from the eyes of the world and cheaper to do it on a normal prodution factory testing day with normal looking bike and test riders.
Anyway back to the point;
Dual clutch like you'd find in the VFR or cars in the VW group like the Golf,Seat,Veyron as they have two geared shafts and two clutches-one clutch for each shaft. These have benifits but are very expensive,big,heavy,Dead feelin it character and a pig in maintaining also generally real world use.
From the little info of the pic this is more like a Single clutch twin shaft unit similar to what u'd find on a Fiat Dualogic/selespeed,BMW SMG,Lambo Egear,Gumpert apollo,Pagni Zonda R/Huayra and many racing cars. These are lighter,simpler,cheaper,better for packaging and maintaining also feel/character but still can have faults.
So no they ain't cheating they just been clever and read the book- This will benifit road bikes greatly. I think racing should be about forward thinking and new ways,not putting up brick walls on paths which currently happens now and for many years.
Many great designs have been done in racing by thinking of new ways which would benifit production versions on what they would and wouldn't be based on (many have been banned by racing gov body's). Unfortunatly some have havn't come to light but some have eventually made it with, NO help thanks to the Gov's regs or racing body's.
Now from what i would guess, If i was in that job thinking about it why not look at the past for ideas? Most people would have heard about Honda's V-tec engine system but some won't or understand it. The V-tec is a actuator that changes the cam profile (low/high lift)at a given rev range by a 'pin' pushing the cam/system to the other profile while the engine is still running. This system sound crude but its very small,simple,light (only one cam and running gear needed),cheap,can handle speed,temperatures also lots of power.
Now what if you used a similar idea for the gearbox but just update the idea for this application and chuck in a slick quickshifter and engine management (Which is already in,so add a programme for it) for extra security/reliablity and it would be simple,light and easy. I should be hired by Honda.
I like the picture of Honda giving a playful 2finger salute to the Gov reg's behind closed doors. I'm guessing Ducati will have a usual Italian hissy fit and complain crying (because they didn't do it first) to the Gov body until they ban that design too.
Posted: 26/02/2011 at 10:41
HRC can use what they like in testing, surely this is the entire point of testing. Let's see what happens when we all get to Qatar though shall we.
18 days to go
Posted: 28/02/2011 at 10:03
Posted: 01/03/2011 at 15:31
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