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If you’re new to the sport of MotoGP or you’re an existing fan trying to learn more about how MotoGP bikes are manufactured, you might have come across something about the fact that MotoGP bikes do not have batteries. As unbelievable as it may seem, the true answer to this question may surprise you.
MotoGP bikes are manufactured without a battery. Manufacturing MotoGP bikes without a battery allow the power-to-weight ratio of the MotoGP bike to be greatly improved as MotoGP bikes can weigh around 11.02Lbs (5.0kg) less by not including a battery in the design.
MotoGP bikes have a minimum weight restriction of 346.1Lbs (157kg), and ideally, MotoGP bike manufacturers would have the bike weigh as little as possible while pushing out as much power as possible. Since MotoGP bikes do not use batteries, they must resort to other methods for the bike to get started.
The Reason Why MotoGP Bikes Don’t Have Batteries
MotoGP bikes do not have batteries as they are designed to be as light as possible to improve the bike’s power-to-weight ratio. MotoGP bikes use different methods to get started than road bikes, which use an electric starter. Manufacturers must also adhere to certain restrictions and specifications that a MotoGP bike must meet so it is considered legal to be raced.
How A MotoGP Bike Starts Without A Battery
You can’t start a MotoGP bike using an electric starter due to the bike not having a battery. Therefore, a workaround using a mechanical way of starting a MotoGP bike needed to be developed. A few methods have been developed to start a MotoGP bike without an electric starter, including using a roller or push starting the bike.
Using A Roller To Start A MotoGP Bike
This method of starting a MotoGP bike involves putting the bike in gear and putting the bike’s rear wheel against rollers, which use motors to spin the wheel as a means of pushing the bike.
Starting A MotoGP Bike Using Push Start
This method of starting a MotoGP bike is done by the rider pushing the bike forward on the track, and while it is in motion, the rider must jump on and put the bike into gear while the back wheel is moving to push start the bike.
The Differences Between MotoGP Bikes And Road Bikes
Not having a battery in a MotoGP bike is only one thing that sets these apart from your everyday road bike. There are many differences when comparing these two categories of bikes, which include differences in both the design and the performance of the bikes.
Differences In Design Between MotoGP Bikes And Road Bikes
Many things are designed differently for these bikes as they both serve different purposes. Some of the biggest visual design differences are that, unlike road bikes which have headlights, brake lights, indicators, starter motors, mufflers, and side stands, MotoGP bikes do not have any of these included in their design.
Leaving these elements out of the design for a MotoGP bike is done to save on weight to ensure it can be manufactured as light as possible to improve its power-to-weight ratio. Unlike road bikes, however, MotoGP bikes are designed with a rear rain light.
Differences In Performance Between MotoGP And Road Bikes
Although the engines of road bikes and MotoGP bikes are both very similar, they differ when it comes to the overall performance of the bike. The difference in performance is due to the tuning and modifications made to the engines of MotoGP bikes, which allows the MotoGP bikes to outperform road bikes as the engines are tuned to deliver maximum power.
The electronics in a road bike and a MotoGP bike are one of the biggest differences that set one bike apart from the other. The electronics in a road bike control functions such as the electronic suspension, stability control, and ABS. MotoGP bikes do not have these functions, but the electronics are far more advanced, allowing the bike to be well-tuned for track racing.
Differences In Tires Between MotoGP And Road Bikes
A key difference in the design of these two bikes is the type of tires each bike uses. Road bikes have tires with various grooves engraved into them, which is known as the tread. This tread allows road bikes to maintain traction, reducing the risk of tires slipping on wet roads.
MotoGP bikes, however, use smooth, slick tires with no tread. These slick tires allow MotoGP bikes to travel faster than road bikes as they have less traction and, therefore, less resistance between the tires and the road, allowing the bike to move faster than it would have should there have been tread on the tires. These slick tires, however, also require higher temperatures to perform to their fullest.
Differences In Brakes Between MotoGP And Road Bikes
Another important design difference between MotoGP bikes and road bikes is the brakes each bike uses. MotoGP bikes use brakes that work more effectively at higher temperatures. This means that the braking system on MotoGP bikes is less effective at lower temperatures, whereas the brakes of a road bike work just as effectively with lower temperatures, if not slightly better.
Differences In Gearboxes Between MotoGP And Road Bikes
MotoGP bikes use “seamless gearboxes,” allowing a very limited amount of time for two gears to be engaged simultaneously. This allows MotoGP riders to have smoother gear shifts and faster acceleration compared to the design of the gearboxes of road bikes which only allows one gear to be engaged at a time, resulting in slightly longer gear changes and slower acceleration.
Differences In Suspension Between MotoGP And Road Bikes
The suspension of road and MotoGP bikes is essentially the same; however, the suspension used in MotoGP bikes tends to be more lightweight to allow for a better power-to-weight ratio. The suspension on MotoGP bikes also has better hydraulics than road bikes, but in other regards, the suspension for both types of bikes is the same.
Differences In Chassis Between MotoGP And Road Bikes
The body and chassis of both road bikes are the same apart from the material from which they are constructed. To allow for the lightest and strongest build, these parts of the MotoGP bike are made from carbon fiber. Manufacturing these parts from carbon fiber allows the bike’s build to be strong and lightweight, contributing heavily to a much better power-to-weight ratio.
MotoGP bikes do not have a battery as they are designed in such a way that they are as lightweight as possible. The exclusion of a battery means that you cannot start MotoGP bikes using an electric starter and, therefore, must either be started using a roller or push started by the rider.
MotoGP bikes are designed differently from road bikes to allow for the best possible power-to-weight ratio. There are a few aesthetic and design differences that set MotoGP bikes apart from road bikes; however, the biggest differences are the tuning of the electronics, the technology used, and the materials used to manufacture MotoGP, which give it the real edge over road bikes.