20. August 2012
The Suzuki team responsible for developing and preparing racing bikes for the motocross world championship has released photos from its facilities in Lommel. There, in cooperation with racers Clément Desalle and Tanel Leok, they’re doing pre-season work on the dynamometer and then on the track for the Suzuki RM-Z racing bike so that during the year the fewest possible modifications or changes are needed.
Roy Matheson, one of the five technicians on the team, says: “We do most of our set-up for the engine during pre-season. The riders generally don’t like to change too much once they have an engine characteristic they’re happy with. If we have any issues during the year, or we have any development parts that have come over early from Japan for pre-season testing for next year, then we go to the dyno and then to the track.”
So the Akrapovič exhaust system ends up on the dynamometer twice before it hits the track—first during development of the exhaust system at the Akrapovič factory, and then again in the Belgian workshop.
“The inertia chassis dyno measures horsepower and torque of the engine,” says Matheson, an expert in fuel injection and engine settings, explaining how the entire bike is tested at the workshop. “It will run an engine from the bottom of the curve up to the very top rpm and measures the horsepower corresponding to how the engine picks up. We attach a full bike to the machine and change the rear wheel for a road tire for best grip. We use it mainly for finding combinations and refining set-up. It is a chassis dyno, not an engine unit. We’re able to assess the bike as a full package with all the engine parts together; such as FI setting, exhaust performance, throttle body, airbox, fuel, etc. From there we can work on combinations.”
Then, together with Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 team members Clément Desalle and Tanel Leok, there’s testing the good old-fashioned way—on the track. Despite all the modern technology, the racer is still the one who has to feel good on the bike so he can push it to the limit and achieve the best results. “A chassis dyno is a big investment but it will never give you the exact, precise result that you want. You have to get out on the track and keep that in mind,” adds Roy.
Clément Desalle currently holds second place in the overall MX1 standings, and Tanel Leok eighth. There are still four grand prix races before the end of the championship: Great Britain, Benelux, Europe, and Germany.
Photo: Suzuki Racing