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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A recent article in Sport Rider magazine highlighted the difficulty that HRC America (or whatever it is officially called) had in campaigning bikes in the AMA because of HRC Japan's reluctance to let them modify what they wanted to make the bikes go faster. Reading between the lines, it appeared that HRC Japan strictly controlled parts availability, testing,...even how and where weight would be added to their very expensive leased bikes...all from Japan.

Last year in MotoGP, in spite of fielding a platoon of riders on a platoon of very, very fast bikes...HRC ended up being first loser. If you remove the exceptional Rossi out of the equation, I suspect the other difficulty lies in how HRC wants to either micro manage or overcontrol every facet of their operation...from long distance. Rossi complained about it. Biaggi complained about it. Edwards complained about it. Etc. IMHO, this type of corporate strategic thinking allows smaller teams, with smaller budgets, to get inside HRC's decision circle...and beat them when the odds would seem to suggest otherwise.

So the question is...will HRC continue "business as usual" this year in MotoGP and risk Yamaha (or even another team) beating them...or do you think some heads rolled in Japan during the off season, and things will be different this year?
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (998R)

"Business as usual"
HRC has operated like this for many years, and it won't change easily.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (998R)

Honda wants a Japanese world champion. There's only going to be one chance for the first. Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawi would like the same think. HRC does what Honda tells them to do right or wrong. They want a plug and play bike that "anyone" can win on. You're looking at a crowded country with almost no usable land mass, and more proper race tracks than 95% of the rest of the world.

They were running 500GP bikes in their national series. Grooming riders for the world stage. It was supposed to be Katoh, but now it looks like it's Tamada.

Yes, Honda can blind themselves to reality. Look at the path they took with the 500's several times, or the effort that went into the NR bikes. So yes they'll turn their backs on Colin, or dump Valentino.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As with any large and successful organization, group-think eventually becomes a substantial problem.

Running small, autonomous satellite teams would be interesting. Seemed to work for Ducati in WSBK over the past few years but they're going the Honda route this season as well. Factory gets the goodies and they run their show their way. Not sure if it's better for the factory but it's better for everyone else when there's less centralization, methinks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (Just Riding Along)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Just Riding Along »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">So yes they'll turn their backs on Colin, or dump Valentino. </TD></TR></TABLE>
Colin and Rossi already dumped honda

I think HRC's issue is they try to solve their problems by throwing more money at them. The 'universal fast bike' is a myth, nobody who has won a GP title (500 or otherwise) has done it without spending a lot of time getting the bike set up for their riding style. Sure a bike can be good for anyone to ride, but it wont be great, which is what it takes to win titles.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (998R)

Who can blame Honda for wanting to micro-manage a program that they've spent millions on? I know I'd want control.

The RC211V is easily the best motorcycle on the track, but how much better than the other bikes does it have to be to beat Rossi? 5% better? 10%? If you're honda you're trying to overcome the greatest roadgoing motorcycle talent the world has ever seen. I'm not sure any company, not even Honda, is capable of overcoming that talent with the engineering and money.

How's Honda doin' in Motocross without that Carmichael kid? Think building the perfect 450R is going to steal that series away? Not likely.

Why is it the title of "Best Streetbike" changes hands so often? First Honda's, then Kawasaki's, then Yamaha's, then Kawasaki's again, and now Suzuki. Know why? No riders. It's engineers competeing with engineers.

My take on all of this is Honda will not win another championship untill Rossi and Carmichael have retired (or go back to Big Red). But when that happens, the effort engineers at Honda have put in trying to beat those guys will pay off in spades. The next generation Honda's are going to be unbelieveable because of who they're designed to compete with. Honda needs to continue business as usual. It's ging to pay off in the long run.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (Dezmo)

All the factories throw money at Motogp.

It's not news that Honda tends to listen to the engineer's brilliant ideas over the riders more conservative requests. Read up, or try to find the movie about what the riders first thought of the RCV, it was un-rideable.

As for AM-Honda modding their lease bikes it's also well know that Honda hates to see bikes beside the track in a puddle of oil. The normal result of pushing the limit. I'm sure they blow a ton of motors on the dyno, and on the test track far from prying eyes. I'd guess that HRC is always going to err on the cautious side for production based classes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (Rocket51)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Rocket51 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">

Why is it the title of "Best Streetbike" changes hands so often? First Honda's, then Kawasaki's, then Yamaha's, then Kawasaki's again, and now Suzuki. Know why? No riders. It's engineers competeing with engineers.</TD></TR></TABLE>


Who can complain with the kind of trickle down effect we get for our street bikes these days?

That K5 GSXR is a mean ass machine, but who could say you went wrong by purchasing last years R1?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (Just Riding Along)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Just Riding Along »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">As for AM-Honda modding their lease bikes it's also well know that Honda hates to see bikes beside the track in a puddle of oil. The normal result of pushing the limit. I'm sure they blow a ton of motors on the dyno, and on the test track far from prying eyes. I'd guess that HRC is always going to err on the cautious side for production based classes.</TD></TR></TABLE>
Yeah, that's why all those 2nd year RC51 WSB racebikes ended up DNF'ing, due to 'electrical' problems that spewed oil
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (Just Riding Along)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Just Riding Along »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">
They were running 500GP bikes in their national series. Grooming riders for the world stage. It was supposed to be Katoh, but now it looks like it's Tamada.
</TD></TR></TABLE>
It's true they were the last to kill their 500 national championship, but that was in the mid 90's, as I recall. England, Germany, Italy, and America(to a certain extent in F1 guise) all ran 500GP national series in the 70's and 80's as well.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (998R)

Mid-90's I think is when they sunk the 2-strokes in All Japan. Haga maybe was the first of the new.

Right about when all the talk of 4-stroke GP bikes started bubbling up.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (Just Riding Along)

Honda, kinell, I could tell you a thing or two about em boys and girls. Did you know that Honda differs from all the others when it comes to their racing effort, it’s paid for out of their R&D budget and the money doesn’t come from the profit but from a % of the annual turnover. As a comparison, Yamaha’s racing is paid from the PR budget, I think.

Now, Honda R&D devolved competition developments to a racing department we all know as HRC, which alone is responsible for the R&D of the racing and competition machines. HRC supply and oversee Honda’s top-level teams. HRC is also used for the further development of Japanese engineers, who normally after a short period of 3 – 4 years return to Honda R&D, not the racing R&D, to put their knowledge and experience gained to greater use.

Honda spends millions developing race bikes, the RC45 and SP being a point in question. GP goes without saying.

998R To answer your question, I think Honda will plough on regardless even if they still think it’s the bike not the rider. Even if all the Honda GP riders fall over themselves to beat Rossi.

Besides Moto GP I think Honda’s top priority is the Fireblade, being developed here in the UK. Honda is throwing money at this project and I’m trying to work out why they’re doing it here in BSB rather than WSBK.

I think it’s a matter of competition and until this years WSBK the BSB is/was the place to be. I also think that Suzuki’s world wide success is ringing the alarm bells in the house of Honda, that’s why I can see the BSB developed Blade being let loose as the official WSBK entry next year. That’s why I think Honda keep at arms length with teams like Ten Kate…..They will take the glory if it comes but the will stay away if things go pear shaped. Another bit of my theory comes from the BSB, Paul Bird, Monstermob team with three riders including Jeremy McWilliams. The official Honda web site had that news on their site and yet they have an official HRC team. Honda’s desperate for success with the Blade and Birdy does everything to the max and Honda knows they could upset the HRC effort.

Who’s going to ride for Honda next year…who knows? BUT, once again Suzuki has groomed Kagayama in the BSB and now look what he’s doing in WSBK. BSB Honda have Kiyonary and it must be said he wasn’t doing all that well but picked it up near the end of last year. Now he’s looking the dogs nads and I think he will be the man.

Thinking about it, Honda hasn’t really had a mainstream superbike run at the top of WSBK. When I say mainstream I don’t include the RC45 or SP. You know what I mean, the R1 or GSXR type machine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (Harvey T.)

What was the last mainstream bike that won a WSB title anyways? And don't say 916 or any other Ducati. They're not mainstream.

Is there even a website for WSB anymore? All my links are broken.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (Harvey T.)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Harvey T. »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Besides Moto GP I think Honda’s top priority is the Fireblade, being developed here in the UK. Honda is throwing money at this project and I’m trying to work out why they’re doing it here in BSB rather than WSBK.
</TD></TR></TABLE>
I think the simplest answer is a long standing tradition, dealings, and possible contract issues, with Michelin. They can run on Michelins in BSB and should be competitive. As compared to running in AMA where it seems all tracks are Dunlop Tracks. Though it would seem foolish, it does smack of the kind of corporate pride and 'honor' they've displayed in the past.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (stk0308)

I’ve thought about the tire issue and of course Pirelli rules the waves in WSBK and I think I’m right in saying the Pirelli thing comes to the end this year????
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: HRC Strategic Thinking... (Harvey T.)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Harvey T. »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I’ve thought about the tire issue and of course Pirelli rules the waves in WSBK and I think I’m right in saying the Pirelli thing comes to the end this year???? </TD></TR></TABLE>
You know, I can't recall right now whether it's this year or next. It can't be more than another 2 years, unless the re-up the contract.
 
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