Thursday, November 5


The world governing body of motorcycle sport is working toward changes in the current World Supersport (WSS) technical regulations aimed at bringing the series closer to national level competition around the world.
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), together with World Supersport Championship promoter Dorna, aims to lower the cost of participation in the series, making it easier for local riders to contest their local rounds on a more competitive basis.
Right from the beginning of World Supersport, the technical regulations allowed much more freedom than either AMA, MA, ACU or MNZ regulations.  In effect, the FIM WSS series was a mini-superbike class, with costs commensurate with that.
Where national series regulations initially mandated the standard camshafts, pistons, connecting rods and electronic control units (ECU), the FIM regulations allowed replacement parts.
Thus, engine life for a WSS machine was much shorter than that for national championship Supersport machines – that is until various national federations allowed more freedom for tuning.  This was mostly due to their lack of either will, or manpower, to enforce stricter rules.
With the WSS regulations about to have price caps adopted for 2016, it will be interesting to see what the various national federations do.
One  of the greatest costs for national level riders is tyres.  The Supersport regulations almost universally mandate the use of 'road-legal' treaded tyres. 
When New Zealand had a Formula II class that allowed 600cc four cylinder four-strokes to participate, tyres were open.  Thus Supersport competitors could run slick tyres on their machines and they reported much greater tyre life from slicks than from treaded tyres.
Of course, allowing slick tyres means riders will also need a spare set of wheels to mount wet weather rubber, but over a season, the cost of a spare set of road wheels will be far less than the thousands currently spent on treaded 'road-legal' rubber.
It will be interesting to see if the FIM addressed that burning issue.