Usually, our blog posts dive right into the story of the bikes, or the technical details of battery technology. This post will start with an introduction, that is made out of respect for the rider of the machine that we are going to show.
2018 is turning out to be an amazing year in motorcycle racing. From MotoGP to World Superbike, to American Flat Track, we are fortunate to bear witness to one of the most exciting seasons of racing in decades- many would say that this is the greatest season in history.
We are also seeing some really remarkable athletes deciding that 2018 will be their last year as competitive motorcycle racers. In MotoGP, the retirement of Dani Pedrosa is a massive development.
Perhaps a larger development is the retirement of Kenan Sofuoglu from the World Supersport championship. In short, Kenan will go into the history books as the most dominant rider that the championship has ever seen. This is not in question. No rider in history has remained at the front of this class for as long; no rider has raced as hard, and with as much passion; no rider in the history of this class compares to Kenan.
Unfortunately, much like Dani Pedrosa, injuries had simply taken too much of a toll on him, and he has decided to hang up his leathers.
Now, we have supported Kenan's teams over the last 6-7 years, but we have never posted pictures of what is under the skin of these bikes- until today. These pictures were taken at Imola several years ago.
The hardware is certainly impressive, and clearly this bike worked very, very well. While it is a far ways from a Superbike, it is still equipped with some very impressive hardware, and is capable of serious lap times.
Starting with the cockpit- this bike runs a full MOTEC system, starting with the dash. Obligatory Aviorace switchgear, and loom are present. Ohlins damper mounted to a stock triple clamp, and Andreani/Ohlins fork cartridges.
Here you can see the data cable running overhead in the pit box, connected to the dash/datalogger.
While not very popular in the US, Valtermoto billet parts are very well established in the World Championship. Kenan's bikes make use of clip-ons, rear sets, levers, and other parts as allowed under the somewhat restrictive rules.
The above image looks much more like a superbike, without all of the titanium and aluminum fasteners, and a few details. You can see the extensive use of carbon fiber frame and swingarm protectors along with the Aviorace wiring loom, GB Racing engine protection, Febur cooling pipes, and so on.
Dont let anyone tell you that "World Supersport bikes are not legit. There are sensors everywhere. While this stuff seems normal for a superbike in 2018, this was not the case in 2012, and certainly not in Supersport.
The brains of the operation sit under the seat. MOTEC M130, a full complement of related hardware, and the Aviorace loom.
What maybe is not obvious here- aside from all of the hardware- is just how much work went in to making all of this work. I dont know how many hours went into this build, but it certainly wasnt built in a day. Because all of this has to be done within the confines of the standard chassis, and a restrictive rulebook, it seems all the more impressive.
2019 will certainly be a different feel to the World Supersport Championship without Kenan Sofuoglu. Surely the racing will be great- as it always is- but there will be something missing.
Safe travels, Kenan.