From: Chris Peake - President Cafe Racer Club of SA .....--... Road Racings Engine End Case Rules Clarified By M.A
on 06/02/2008 at 04:12 PM
The minutes of the road race commission meeting from 12 & 13 May 2007, which Phil Tainton chaired (available on MA's website), recorded two recommendations (1) RR664 which was to permit the fitment of after market engine end covers "providing the thickness is the same or greater than the original, and are made of aluminium". The stated rationale "Some competitors are replacing original covers with units made from composite resin or other inferior quality material"; and (2) RR665 to permit the fitment of engine end case protectors. Both rules were recommended as additional items which MAY be altered on Supersport and Superbike machines. Somehow or other through the machinations of beauracracy this has turned into a draconian implementation requiring mandatory fitment to all modern 4 stroke road racing motorcycles where the engine case protrudes beyond the frame rail. Most modern machines having no lower frame rail, this is puzzling to say the least. Equally interesting is that there is no such clarification available on MA's website. Perhaps its time to take a deep breath, one step back and say "It looks like someone made a mistake in the way that this recommendation was implemented and instead of trying to patch it up we need to withdraw this rule and apply it in the manner intended" That is, if you change an engine end case the replacement must be of at least equal quality and strength as the original, and if you want to fit additional protection, that is permitted so long as it uses at least two of the existing mounting holes.
the section of the rule you find puzzling came in part from, I believe, the latest wording used by the FIM for the mandatory fitment of heavy duty engine case ends. So they must be mistaken about modern motorcycles not having lower frame rails as well. As far as I know from the last time I looked nearly every motorcycle that is built primarily with the potential of going racing has some sort of lower frame rails, apart from some v-twin machines. The real intent of the rule / rules relating to end cases / covers wasn't there just for when someone might change these parts, it was there so new parts would need to be fitted if the standard items weren't adequate to stop fluid leaks if and when a crash occurred even if that wasn't explained. I can understand why some people would not like this rule to be enforced given that it will cost money and some hassle to make it happen depending on what bike you race, but if you take a step back and think of how many secondary crashes and potential injuries it will stop from happening then any reasonable person would support rider safety over any such inconvenience I would imagine.
The clarification written by the Road Race Commission explaining the intent of the rules will be added to the ASC series Sup regs and will assist everyone in the running of the series. These rules though aren't just for the ASC they are for all road racing of modern and I believe post classic types of machinery.
The views and opinions expressed in these pages are strictly those of the authors and cannot be taken to represent the views and opinions of Formula Xtreme Promotions Pty Ltd or the Australasian Superbike Company Pty Ltd (Ausco).