Aprilia, Honda and Suzuki assume ride height devices are irrelevant for production bikes
From next season, MotoGP will no longer allow the use of the front ride height device, citing safety concerns. Ducati, who pioneered its introduction, weren’t happy at all, but the rest of the series’ manufacturers feel it was the right solution – with their technical directors even claiming they’re not relevant enough to road bikes.
On the part of Aprilia, Romano Albesiano pointed out that these types of solutions are far from the market of mass-produced bicycles and therefore the idea is to avoid them: “Our general opinion on these devices is to ban them all as soon as possible.” It’s just a complication; this is something that will never reach production bikes. It’s something related to the rules that prevent the manufacture of proper height adjusters. We introduced the front puncture device, just to get started, but our philosophy is to avoid this type of development which we believe is not useful for production bikes.
At Honda, Takeo Yokoyama clarified that the manufacturer had studied the possibility of the ride height device reaching production motorcycles and concluded that it would not, and therefore chose to vote to ban them from MotoGP: “We have always discussed within MSMA with the six manufacturers. I think it’s only normal that when you have six builders – which is a lot – everyone can have different opinions. Even about the rear height device, the issue was put on the table by the organization [Dorna] and we had an honest discussion. In our case at Honda we did some studies and thought this wouldn’t be implemented on road bikes in the future – which, in fact, is a big reason why HRC is in the competition. So on our side we decided to vote for its ban as proposed by the organizer. And at that moment, it was decided. I think the way the process was conducted was fair enough. As Honda, we always stick to our philosophy, and one of the aspects is whether or not it is possible to implement it on road bikes. So that was it.
Ken Kawauchi (Suzuki) reinforced the idea and said: “One of the goals of our presence in MotoGP is to improve production bikes. Right now this technology is too far removed from production bikes, so it doesn’t make much sense to improve it.