Yamaha Australia Look to Introduce R3 Race Series

The Yamaha R3 came late to the entry level sportsbike party, but upon its arrival placed itself at the head of the pack. And now in Australia at least, Yamaha are trying to reinforce its credentials with a new one make race series featuring the R3. It looks set to follow a similar formula that KTM uses in the UK and USA where it sells race ready bikes at discounted prices.

The race ready bike is set to be sold for around $7,500 AUD. That will include race glass, rearsets, full race exhaust system, lowered clip-ons and upgraded forks and rear shock. Given that the Yamaha R3 retails for $6,999 in standard form, that’s incredible value – around $3,600 of freebies according to Yamaha.

The series is aimed at younger riders and those looking to get into racing that are hoping to do so in a cost effective manner. And while the $7,500 price tag is extremely tempting, riders will need to commit to race at most of the rounds for the season.

One make race series aren’t anything new, but they’ve had a bit of a resurgence lately with the competition in the learner market. While the KTM RC390 is the go to bike in the US and UK, the Ninja 300 has had a one model series in Australia and Canada – however in those series, riders provide their own bike and modify it to be race ready.

Given that Yamaha seems quite serious about becoming the premier Japanese motorcycle brand, we may see a similar series take off in other western markets, too. For those interested in competing in the proposed Australian series, contact Yamaha directly at [email protected].

Race kitted R3

Final Details of MotoAmerica KTM RC390 Cup Released

AMA and MotoAmerica, in conjunction with KTM Motosports have finally released the details for the brand new national junior competition that will run alongside many of the MotoAmerica races for 2015. There aren’t too many surprises in the details as it appears that the MotoAmerica KTM RC390 Cup will closely mimic the series that’s starting in the UK this year as well.

A couple of major points to look note are that the bikes will not be street legal. No mechanical modifications will be allowed to the bikes and any servicing to the engine will only be permitted by KTM’s trackside partner HMC Racing. The specifications of the series and the bikes are as follows:

  • The RC Cup Series is for riders between the ages of 14 and 22.
  • All participants must hold an AMA Superstock Limited license.
  • The 2015 KTM RC 390 Cup racebikes are designed for competition (not street-legal) and have been prepared by KTM with more than 40 PowerParts and other enhancements to increase performance.
  • Features include:
    • Fully adjustable WP Racing Fork
    • Fully adjustable WP Racing Rear Shock with high/low speed compression and rebound damping, adjustable preload and adjustable shock length
    • Titanium Akrapovic Exhaust
    • Racing Windshield, Tail Fairing and Belly Pan
    • RC8 R-style Throttle Assembly
    • CNC-machined Racing Foldable Levers
    • CNC-machined Racing Rear Sets
  • Each KTM RC Cup racebike has been dyno-tested and tuned to 38 hp. To maintain competitive parity, the engine is sealed and may only be serviced by KTM’s trackside partner HMC Racing.
  • Street-legal RC 390s will not qualify for participation in the MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup Series. They will, however, be allowed in regional club events.
  • KTM HMC will provide the following services: a semi-truck offering hospitality for participants; technicians; and parts for purchase via a trackside service program.
  • KTM HMC technicians will provide a safety check prior to each race and help MotoAmerica regulate validity of all machines to maintain parity throughout the series.
  • KTM HMC Superbike racer Chris Fillmore will attend each event and offer guidance to participants.
  • KTM will offer a contingency platform with the following payout structure:
    • 1st – $500
    • 2nd – $400
    • 3rd – $300
    • 4th – $200
    • 5th – $100
  • RC Cup racebikes will be priced at $9,999. Pre-ordering runs from January 19 to February 15, with delivery to dealers mid-April.
  • To order a KTM RC Cup racebike, a rider must visit a participating KTM dealership, provide a refundable $1,000 deposit and a copy of his or her AMA Road Racing Superstock Limited license or license application.
  • KTM RC Cup racebikes will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The cost for a machine is $9,999 so while it’s not as cheap as it could be (or perhaps many were hoping for), it needs to be remembered that this will be a national series for young riders looking to get a start in the sport and motorsport has never been a cheap pursuit.

That said, we’re wondering perhaps if it would have been better to follow Australia’s example with their FXNinja 300 series that began last year. Using a street legal Ninja 300 as the basis for the series, participants are allowed limited modifications (no change to engines, replacement shocks allowed, minor changes to forks allowed) which helps keep costs down. As the bikes can be street legal, it’s easy for entrants to find crashed Ninja 300’s written off for insurance purposes and save thousands of dollars on the machine alone.

Also released was the schedule for the KTM RC390 series which is as follows:

May 29-31: Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
June 12-14: Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala.
June 26-28: Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah
July 17-19: Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif. (World Superbike support race; one race only)
Sept. 11-13: New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, N.J.

For those keen on entering, bikes will be available in limited quantities for pre-order from January 19th to February 15th and will be delivered to dealers in mid-April. To request a KTM RC Cup Racebike, a rider will need to visit a participating KTM dealership, provide a refundable $1,000 deposit and provide a copy of their AMA Road Racing Superstock Limited license or license application.


WSBK Look At Entry Level Small Capacity Race Class

In more exciting news for entry level machines, Dorna Sports, the company and governing body behind both MotoGP and the World Superbike Championship has announced the formation of working group to examine a new entry level class for the sport. In a statement from Dorna, it was said that:

The Superbike Commission approved assembly of a working group comprising of any interested machine manufacturers to develop a class structure for an entry level category. The category would be based on the burgeoning Supersport 300 class machinery and would aim to include varied capacities and engine configurations, with the aim to provide a low cost platform to develop new talent.

That burgeoning Supersport category no doubt relates to the Nina 300 and the soon to be released Yamaha R3. Given that statement is rather vague and uses the phrase “varied capacities and engine configurations’, it’s likely that the new KTM RC390 would also be a possibility.

Based on the specifications of the three machines, that would create some parity issues which will no doubt be part of the working group’s focus.  Regardless of what machines may or may not be included in a possible future series, it is fantastic news for young riders around the world where their country’s respective racing associations adopt the WSBK rules and regulations.

It would also be a huge boost for racing in Asia and the subcontinent where smaller capacity bikes are sold in far greater numbers than in the western world. Thailand, Malaysia, India and Indonesia all have a burgeoning sportsbike culture, but due to rules, regulations and pricing, large capacity bikes are either sold in minuscule numbers or not at all.

Should such a series eventuate, young riders would have an achievable international goal to aim for. Here’s hoping it happens and soon. The full regulations for the 2015 year will be available at the FIM website soon.

WSBK Look At Entry Level Small Capacity Race Class