For the longest time Ducati was the only brand with winglets on their MotoGP bikes, but now they’re popping up like mushrooms. Yamaha‘s machinery has been sporting them most of this season, and now Honda just tested six, yes six of them, on Marquez’ bike in the Jerez test that took place yesterday.

Additionally, the Grand Prix Commission is preparing to vote on a proposal regulating aerodynamic devices.

So, with all this in mind, MO-faithful, are winglets the future of MotoGP aerodynamic technology, or are they like chicken nuggets, an abomination, conceived by engineers needing to justify their existence and foisted on a trusting public, while having no natural place on a MotoGP bike?

  • kenneth_moore

    I vote for rocket fins on the back, preferably with red lights that resemble an afterburner exhaust.

  • Chris Kallfelz

    Ask the stop watch…The stopwatch never lies…

  • spiff

    They have no value for street riding, so I vote to get rid of them. Racing is suppose to improve what the public gets (USD forks, traction control, etc). One cannot benefit from the down force on public streets so I say let it go.

    • Gruf Rude

      If value to street riders is part of the deal, I’d like to see fairings actually provide wind/weather protection and REAL aerodynamic benefit. Right now, the ‘look’ of faired sportbikes is due to artificial FIM rules that require exposed front wheels and cut-away sides – and are ridiculously ‘dirty’ aerodynamically.
      The old ‘dust-bin’ fairings were slick enough to allow really high speeds with a LOT less power and fuel consumption. Trouble was, they were unstable, but allowing development/innovation might overcome those problems. As a sport-touring rider, I would like a well-developed fairing that doubled my fuel mileage and kept me reasonably dry . . .

    • Racing Enthusiast

      Racing is its own world – it has no need for any connection to what happens on the street.

      But if street practicality really matters in sports, Olympic athletes should wear office attire. The women’s hurdles, in skirt suits and heels, could really improve, uh, something, right…

      • spiff

        You have a right to your opinion, but the foot wear thing? Nike is the biggest shoe company in the world. They make a lot of shoes people want to wear, and they are used by Olympic athletes. Kind of like I want to ride a motorcycle. If I am taking what you say correctly they should stop making motorcycles, and we should race minivans and delivery trucks. I’m lost, please help.

        • Racing Enthusiast

          Does F1 (Or, at the other end, SCCA Formula Vee) look like anything in the parking lot? No. There’s no reason why they should. I want to see mind bending hardware that’s not seen anywhere else.

          I think it would do MotoGP a lot of good to distance themselves from production machinery. There’s already Superbike and Supersport for a production connection.

          • spiff

            I understand your take, but money will go out of control. We will all watch machines race each other with a human on board to push the correct button. We will get bored. That is what happened to F1. They put it back in drivers hands, and have done well with it. Motogp is doing the same thing with the unified software.
            Now add Aerodynamics? Motorcycles are going to react totally different than a car, especially in turns. There us a ton of r&d possible. Manufacturers that are already concerned about cost (including those thinking about joining the sport) should spend money on technology that they have zero opportunity to recoup their investment? Remember, this will not have any value to the retail market.
            Something else to consider is that auto manufacturers also have alot more money, and a bigger audience/sponsorship draw. I just see it as an apple and oranges thing.

            Also, Nike is the biggest shoe company in the world, by like a lot. They sell sneakers and warm up suits, not office attire.

          • Racing Enthusiast

            Do you really think that this is the first time they’ve paid attention to aerodynamics? Or that they haven’t been using wind tunnels and CFD work already? Since when does the added fuel efficiency not add any value to the retail market?

            I already know the answers…

            What does any of this have to do with “Push button racing” or “Unified software”?

            Also know the answers to that as well..

            The size of the manufacturer means nothing – the size of the sponsorship packages mean everything. Some of the best F1 constructors have no retail or street connection at all, unless it is through contract R&D work (Done for the lower performance market).

            But back to the Nike thing – did they get big by selling street shoes that looked just like the rest of the market, or by making them the most sporting ones available?

            I’m well aware of the differences in vehicle dynamics as it applies to aerodynamics. Right now, all they can do to help is prevent wheelies. Ideally, the wings should lift the bike through the turns, thus making higher G turns less dependent on traction. Take it to its logical extreme, and you have ground elevation airplane racing. I’m not worried about that happening.

          • spiff

            🙂 You’re getting all work up. If we were to continue this pissing match I’d need more beer. I’m out.

          • Racing Enthusiast

            Yes, I’m passionate about the subject, but I’d hate to be responsible for any motorcycle enthusiast’s beer deficiency.

          • spiff

            Yeah, if this were a school yard we would be obligated to start hanging out. Lol

  • Old MOron

    If Honda persists with three winglets on either side, they need paint their bikes red and adorn them with the Iron Cross.

  • schizuki

    It’s part of the Red Bull sponsorship.

  • bigus brainus

    I couldn’t get myself around any race track without embarrassing myself, but I sure wish that all rider aids like launch control, wheelie control, ABS, traction control, etc. would be banned from racing. Bring rider talent back to fore.

    • DickRuble

      Agreed; Frame, Engine, Wheels and that’s it. Brakes optional. No gimmicks. Too much/uncontrollable power (the usual argument for power management systems)? Reduce engine size (and weight), or learn to control it.

      • Gruf Rude

        Sounds like flat track . . .

  • CookedDragon

    It’s the pinnacle of racing, let them experiment and learn and if they are pointless then the manufacturers will stop using them.

  • fzrider

    They look cool. And would be a good place to put turn signals.

    How about wings on the back to stop spinning the rear tire? Anybody remember the Jim Hall Chaparral race cars.

  • John B.

    Someday technology will advance to the point where motorcycles operate themselves and the rider becomes the rider aid. A few years after that, the rider will become superfluous to racing motorcycles. AI will replace us altogether. That’s the trajectory anyway.

    • DickRuble

      Camel racing has shown the way. They no longer use riders/jockeys but small robots.

    • Vrooom

      You’re skipping the ballast stage John.

    • DKing

      It’s almost there. Yamaha is trying it already…

  • Alexander Pityuk

    Winglets -> More speed -> More drama – > More ratings -> More money. Period.

    • spiff

      More speed doesn’t mean more drama. The introduction of aerodynamics will cost more money. Also the faster you go you can expect to have less racing lines available. It will evolve into follow the leader.

      • spiff

        I just reread this and wanted to add. The out right speed may not be as much of the problem as the areo push could be. That is what limited the racing lines in NASCAR. They have found a better racing product since they addressed the areo push. Yeah, NASCAR has other issues as well, BLAH BLAH BLAH, haters gonna hate. Also, they are talking about the wings creating turbulence for the following rider. This will kill a draft. Maybe better for racing, maybe not. The concern I would have is that unsettling a bikes areo at these sppeds with such a limited contact patch may be dangerous. At the end of the day the technology will not improve street bikes. I would rather see the dollars spent in areas that improve the racing product as well as the production bikes.

  • ducatirdr

    They are ugly and just for that reason alone deserve to be banned. UCI has done its job on keeping bicycles looking like bicycles as technology morphed their shape. Same thought should be in rules for MotoGP.

    • Racing Enthusiast

      The UCI’s neanderthals should all be lined up and shot.

  • i guess rossi went back on his word not using the wings because their ugly. seems to have done him good last weekend.

  • Buzz

    I think all aero regs should be removed. The current aero regs keep the bikes in Old-timey-ville aerodynamically. I’d like to see where the design would go and see how it would apply to the street. (As long as they don’t end up looking like a Vision!)

  • Gary

    It is a time-tested, proven sequence of events. 1) They will be hated. 2) They will be seen fitted to race-winning bikes. 3) They will be adopted by all other race teams. 4) They will be adopted by street squids everywhere, even though they offer no benefit to everyday riders. Same as it ever was.

  • JMDonald

    Winglets schwinglets. Anything goes.

  • JoMeyer

    They’ll probably test the hell out of them this season. They aren’t big enough to give real assistance – I think, not having any data – but they are probably big enough to provide info through hidden censors. Next progession is to actually make it part of the fairing – based on optimum use from the collected data.

  • spiff

    Marquez showed concern about them hacking a rider up during a crash.

  • The_Fast_and_Furious_Gunrunner

    I never understood F1 and MotoGP denying teams the opportunity to experiment. The leading bodies in motorsports should allow for unlimited testing and spending.

  • Rick Vera

    Where’s the option to vote “I don’t have enough information to have an opinion worth a damn?” That’s me.

    Do we have any empirical data stating its effectiveness? If so and it is indeed effective, what are the boundary conditions of its effectiveness, like speed, roll/pitch, etc., and the extent of its effectiveness, either increasing newtons of downforce or decreasing the coefficient of drag?

  • Barry_Allen

    Watching the race on BT Sport on the 24th, the announcers mentioned that winglets are BANNED next year.