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A fully modified winning Formula Extreame sportbike like this Erion Racing CBR926 Honda was 1-second slower around a race track than a factory Honda SP-2 Superbike in 2002, yet the AMA wanted it to be detune if it raced in their Superbike class beginning in 2003. While in the Extreme class got even faster with overbores to 1150cc and up, continuing to steal glory from the premier Superbike class! Now for 2004 the Open Extream bikes will be eliminated altogether. Go figure.


PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 18, 2003) -- The AMA Pro Racing Board of Directors has ratified technical rules for the 2004 AMA Superbike Championship season and have approved, but not released a preliminary set of rules for support classes including Supersport, Superstock and Formula Xtreme. A refinement to the 2004 class structure has also been approved but not releases as of yet..

Here are the principal tecnnical regulations for AMA Superbike:

Fuel injection throttle bodies:
Multi-cylinders – Restricted to stock throttle bodies and air intake boxes.
Twin-cylinders – In addition to the stock throttle bodies, one alternate, AMA-approved throttle body type/set is permitted as well as aftermarket air intake boxes.
Engine modifications:
Multi-cylinders – Limited modifications are permitted but such items as stock camshaft lift, stock valve sizes and lightly-modified stock crankshafts are required.
Twin-cylinders – The same limited modifications as multi-cylinders are permitted except for the following items:
o Valve sizes and material are unrestricted.
o Camshafts are unrestricted.
Multi-cylinders – In addition to the stock set of gear ratios, one alternate, AMA-approved set of ratios is permitted. Primary drive ratios must remain stock.
Twin-cylinders – The same rules as multi cylinders apply.
Multi-cylinders – Limited modifications to the stock frame are permitted such as gusseting for additional strength.
Twin-cylinders – The same rules as multi-cylinders apply.
Minimum weight:
Multi-cylinders – The minimum total motorcycle weight (less fuel) is 370 lbs.
Twin-cylinders – The same 370 lbs. minimum weight applies.

Scott Hollingsworth, AMA Pro Racing CEO is confident the new technical rules will help achieve the objectives of continuing to deliver close competition and quality entertainment, maintaining adequate control of costs, and encouraging increased participation from major motorcycle manufacturers. “With the input of all major stakeholders, we have created a set of rules that will provide the ideal marketing platform for continued growth,” said Hollingsworth. “The United States represents the world’s most important motorcycle market and we’ve opened up the door for more companies to use motorcycle racing as a means to promote their products.”

Development of the final AMA Superbike rules included measures taken to improve parity among the two primary engine configurations. “Keeping the twins competitive and opening the door for increased manufacturer participation was a primary goal for 2004,” said Hollingsworth. “We expect performance of the next generation multi-cylinder models to advance even further and it’s imperative that we adjust the rules structure to account for this ongoing development. We have created an environment that provides opportunity for all manufacturers to showcase their products and remain legitimately competitive.”

AMA Pro Racing Changes Road Race Class Structure AGAIN for 2004! Tries to eliminate one class fiasco, creates 2 more in its place.
AMA Press Release - PICKERINGTON, Ohio, April 21, 2003: Reflecting the changing motorcycle marketplace, needs of the manufacturers, benefit to racers and the interests of fans, AMA Pro Racing has revised its class structure for the AMA U.S. Superbike Championship. The new class structure will be implemented beginning with the next racing season.

“The task of developing an all-new class structure is an extraordinarily complex process and it is impossible to satisfy everyone,” said Scott Hollingsworth, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. “Our primary objectives are to deliver the best possible show to our fans while focusing on the market development of professional motorcycle racing in the United States.”

The new classes include Superbike, Supersport, Formula Xtreme and Superstock and are outlined as follows:
Superbike: 900cc-1000cc four-stroke, any number of cylinders.
Supersport: 600cc four-stroke, twin and four cylinders.
Formula Xtreme: 600cc four-stroke, four cylinders; 750cc four-stroke, twin cylinders;
250cc-330cc two-stroke. All highly modified.
Superstock: 750cc-1000cc four-stroke, four cylinders; up to 1350cc air-cooled twin cylinders

This class structure has been approved by the AMA Pro Racing Board of Directors for 2004 season implementation. Technical rules within this class structure are subject to a 30-day public comment period upon publication and all AMA Pro Racing credential holders are invited to submit comments for consideration. New technical rules are expected to be issued in early May.

The AMA Superbike Rules Fiasco for 2003?
October 2002: The 2003 racing season will see SBK World Superbike switching to its new 1000cc rules formula for all production superbikes of 2, 3 and 4 cylinders. It's a rule that may or may not have been justified, in that Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga would probably have won the 2000 World Championship on Yamaha's R7 750cc 4 cylinder Superbike had Nori not been disqualified from the last race in the season while leading the Championship. Yamaha, in turn, withdrew from the WSB Championship in 2001, leaving it to the domination of the 1000cc twins of Ducati and Honda who fielded the best developed bikes with the world's best riders. While over in the Kawasaki and Suzuki factory camps the other two manufacturers lost interest in development and their bikes, with not nearly as competitive riders, could no longer get on the podium. That and the fact the World Championship race tracks are usually newer, faster GP caliber tracks where the bigger 1000cc bikes did have an advantage in speed.

SBK World Superbike saw the writing on the wall: the Japanese manufacturers with 750cc Superbike were bailing on the WSB Championship and to keep the series from turning into a 1000cc twins class, they needed to let in 1000cc fours which were readily available production bikes from he Japanese manufactures, and privateer teams could much more affordably turn them into somewhat competitive race bikes for about $50,000 a pop, compared to buying a front line factory Ducati or Honda V-Twin.Over in America where highly modified 1000cc fours are used in the AMA 's popular Formula Extreame class, the big fours run
lap times about a 1-second a lap slower than the highly developed Superbike when weekend lap times are compared at an AMA Nationals. So SBK has also included an air restrictor plate regulation in World Superbike rules, placing a set size hole in a particular engine configuration's induction system to regulate air flow as needed to keep the different twins, triples and fours as equal as possible in performance.

The British Superbike Championship adopted the straight 1000cc rule formula for all cylinder bikes this 2002 race season, and teams fielding bikes like the Yamaha R1s and Suzuki GSXR1000s are highly competitive. But they still didn't get to win many races against the two top British Ducati teams with the top British riders on factory Ducati superbikes. The best riders on the best developed factory supported bikes will always win in and series.

On the other hand in America, the tracks are generally older, narrower and tighter (not up to GP standards). And the 750cc 4 cylinder machines in the AMA National Superbike Championship fielded by American Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki and have remained highly competitive in the hands of top riders like Matt Mladin and Aaron Yates, Anthony Gobert and Eric Bostrom. While the 2-year old Ducati 1000cc twins ridden here by riders at the end of their careers were hardly podium contenders. Especially against American Honda's latest 1000cc SP2 twins ridden by their premier riders Nicky Hayden, Yvon Duhamel and Kurtis Roberts.

The 1000cc Formula Extreame Class is highly popular in America because 3 of the Japanese manufacturers, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda offer top selling 1000cc class fours that their satellite teams race. Plus Yamaha and Honda don't have 750cc fours to sell in America. The Formula Extreame class is also one of the AMA's most popular classes, both for fanappeal, entry fees and television money, so they don't want to follow SBK World Superbike and combine 1000cc fours into the Superbike class. So no one at the AMA wants to kill off the Formula Extreame Class by combining it with Superbike.

Which here in lies the AMA's dillema: how not to kill Formula Extreame yet let 1000cc fours into the Superbike class? The people involved in the AMA's professional racing rules committee just won't bite the bullet and dump Formula Extreame to combine it with Superbike. Or go ahead and adopt the new SBK restrictor rules to keep all the bikes equal on a world basis. Instead, the AMA
wants to keep Formula Extreame as it is with fully modified 1000cc fours. And somehow they think placing engine modification restrictions (like stock cams and valve trains, etc, which they can't declide) on the 1000cc fours to be included in the Superbike class will help differenciate the fours cylinders in Superbike between those in Formula Extreame.

However, they (the AMA) have been too stupid to comprehend that fully modified Extreame bikes are already slower than Superbike, and restricting the new 1000cc four cylinder Superbike with stock valve trains and other components is a formula for mechanical disaster in professional class racing, as well as making the bikes less competitive against the factory 1000cc V-Twin Superbike than they already are.

Compounding this whole AMA fiasco is that we are into the month of October, just months away from the start of the new 2003 race season, and the AMA still not has released its engine rules for the 2003 season. But the American factory distributor and support teams needed to have their 2003 rider, budget and development testing programs in place back in August. None one knows what the rules are for 2003, what type of bikes they'll be racing, and if they'll have time to test and develop them their new bikes before Daytona. If the AMA had only adopted the new SBK rules which were published a year ago, everyone would have known months ago what to plan for in 2003. And we might hope to still see AMA Superbike racing with SBK bikes at Laguna Seca. Now that is highly unlikely.

American Yamaha has already been forced to announce they will not be returning to AMA Superbike in 2003, and instead they will just compete in Formula Extreame through the Graves Motorsports Yamaha support team. Yoshimura Suzuki just might do the same if they can't build full-on GSXR1000cc Superbike. The AMA Superbike Class will probably be turning into a Honda SP-2 V-Twin parade with their top riders Kurtis Roberts, Miguel Duhamel and Ben Bostrom. Poor Eric Bostrom on the lone Kawasaki ZX7 Superbike won't stand a chance.

The AMA has proved over and over again over the past 20 years an Amateur based organization with employees on fixed salaries, with no financial incentive attached to their job performance, have no business running professional racing in America.

Addendum 10/13/02: In speaking to AMA Formula Exreame race team owner Chuck Graves, Chuck tells us that the AMA is expected to make an announcement this week that the current AMA Superbike rules will not change much for 2003, staying at the old formula 1000cc twins and 750cc fours in anticipation of all the Japanese manufacturers having all new 1000cc e four cylinder production sportbikes bikes for 2004 when the Superbike displacement rules isn AMA will follow suit.

New SBK World SuperbikeTechnical Regulations Get it Right
12/20/02: The technical regulations governing air-restrictor sizes, numbers and positions for the 2003 SBK World Superbike class have been altered by the Superbike Commission. Four-cylinder, 1000cc machines will be affected by the ruling in 2003, with all engine formats included in the new regs for 2004 Superbike racing should get even closer after the adoption of air restrictors across all engine formats in 2004

According to a press release distributed on 20 December 2002, the adoption of air restrictors in the SBK
class has been altered to put the restrictors directly in the path of the engine inlet ports, downstream of the
fuel injector or carburettor bodies. The wording of the new regulation is as follows:
The Superbike Commission, composed of Messrs. Claude Danis (FIM), Paolo Alberto Flammini (SBK
International), Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) and Giulio Bardi (Team representative), has unanimously
decided to introduce the following modifications to the Road Racing World Championship Regulations for
Superbike (application as from 1.1.2003 only for 4-cylinder 1000cc machines):

Art. Restrictors
1) All the air feeding the engine must pass through the air restrictor(s).
2) If the air restrictor is NOT included in the throttle body as homologated by the FIM, the air restrictor must
be located somewhere between the throttle valve at the throttle body and the cylinder head (not including
the cylinder head itself). The air restrictor must have a round aperture with a diameter no larger than 50 mm
for 2- cylinder engines (as from 2004) and 32.5 mm for 4- cylinder engines and must be of non-deforming
metal or metal alloy with a thickness of at least 3 mm (It is necessary to check its diameter on two (or more)
3) If the air restrictor is included in the throttle body as homologated by the FIM, the shape of the restrictor
may be oval, but the area of the aperture must be precisely the same as for a round restrictor, as mentioned
NB. This modification also applies for the Endurance World Championship.
For the 2004 season new rules govern the homologation regs.
Art. 2.9: FIM Homologation Procedure for Superbike, Supersport, Stocksport and Superproduction:
New rules will apply as from 1.1.2004. Complete text available on the FIM website:, News, latest news/press releases.

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Editor's Comments on the
new 2004 AMA Class Changes

April 21, 2003: As we commented on this editirial page back in October 2002, the AMA had created a redundency for 2003 by having both a 1000cc Superbike class and a conflicting Open Extreame class (which actually has teams like Corona Suzuki this year boring their GSXR1000 out to 1150cc! Now in just 6 months they have come back and proposed all new roadracing classes for 2004 that eliminate big bore Formula Extreame bikes altogether, and creating 2 new, very stupid class that are guaranteed to kill off the popular 750cc class sportbikes.

The logic of AMA making Superbike the premier, fastest class to replace Formula Extreame Open for 2004, certainly makes since.

And Supersport 600cc is the most competive class with all the Japanese manufacturers campaigning the 600cc 4-cylinders. But it makes no sense to include 600cc twins in this class as no such bike comes close to being competitive. Plus this class needs to be called Superstock since it is similar to 750-Open Superstock where modifications are restricted. Unlike World Supersport 600cc where engines are mildly modified with higher performance cams and pistons

The proposed new Formula Extreame Class is a disaster mixing so many different types and displacements of bikes. Top speeds and cornering speeds will vary greatly between the different types of bikes, creating havoc on the track and dangerous passing situations. Plus, this catch-all class will only attract privateer teams without the budget or experience to build the "All Highly Modified" bikes. Expect lots of blown engines.

And Superstock 750cc -1000cc / 1350cc Twins - PLEASE! What stock Moto Guzi twin or 750cc four is going to run with the '03 Suzuki GSXR1000 or the newer Kawasaki and Honda 1000's 4's expected this fall? This class nees to be just 750cc to protect and support the manufacturer's 750cc model bikes.

Official AMA Press Release

2003 AMA Superbike
Rules Are Finalized

PICKERINGTON, Ohio, Oct. 15th, 2002: The 2003 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship willmark an exciting period of transition for America's premier motorcycle road-racing series. Beginning next March in the season kickoff at Daytona International Speedway, 1000cc multi-cylinder Superbikes will race side-by-side with 1000cc twins and 750cc-based multi-cylinder machines. AMA Pro Racing first proposed this new formula in June to reflect the changing motorcycle marketplace and provide opportunity for more teams to compete in the series. A public comment period resulted in one major change to the proposed rules. Traditional 750cc four-cylinder machines now will be allowed 2 millimeters of cylinder overbore for a displacement close to 800cc in an effort to keep existing 750 Superbikes competitive in the period of transition to the new specifications.

"It's always tough to find the proper balance when implementing a new racing formula, especially in a series that means so much to so many," said Scott Hollingsworth, AMA Pro Racing CEO. "Our technical staff came very close to hitting the mark in the original proposal, and after the public comment period I'm confident that we've struck a good balance that allows a wide variety of racing machinery to be on equal footing."

"We are trying to put the best racing product on the track for the benefit of fans and teams," said Merrill Vanderslice, AMA Pro Racing director of competition. "Our goal is to have close competition in 2003, and we will consider minor adjustments to the rules as needed to balance competition."

Vanderslice added that the rules package also addresses the changing market, as many new motorcycles are expected to be eligible for competition in 2004 under this AMA Superbike formula.

In an effort to establish a global technical specification for Superbike racing, AMA Pro Racing met with other national governing bodies and the technical arm of the FIM. Although a consensus could not be reached at this time, AMA Pro Racing remains hopeful that a single specification can be achieved in the future. More details concerning the technical specifications for the 2003 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship can be found at AMA Pro Racing will be releasing other 2003 road-racing rules in the coming weeks. AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for professional motorcycle sport in the United States.

        Only approved motorcycles are permitted in AMA Superbike competition. AMA Pro Racing will accept homologation applications only from motorcycle manufacturers or their distributors.
1. Allowable engine displacements and basic homologation requirements:
A.  551cc- 750cc four-stroke, four cylinders:
Engines with displacements originally within this range may have cylinder bore increased by a maximum of 2mm, with the resulting displacement not to exceed 800cc.  Stroke must remain stock. Homologation requirements will remain the same as current (2002) Superbike
requirements, including street certification in an FIM member country and a minimum number of units imported into the US for sale.
B. 551cc - 900cc four-stroke, three cylinders:
551cc - 1000cc four-stroke, twin cylinders:
Homologation requirements will remain the same as current (2002) Superbike requirements.
C. 901cc- 1000cc four-stroke, three or more cylinders: This is a new displacement category offered as an option beginning with the 2003
season. Homologation requirements include street certification in the U.S. and a higher
minimum number of imported units relative to current Superbike requirements.
2. Weight: Minimum weight for all superbikes will be increased to 370 pounds from the
current 355 pounds.
3. Other major technical regulations: Except for the items previously noted, 750cc four cylinders, 900cc three cylinders and 1000cc twin cylinders will be subject to all current (2002) Superbike technical regulations for the 2003 season. 1000cc equipment with three or more cylinders will be subject to the following
major technical regulations:
A. Frames must be stock except for the addition of strengthening gussets and the removal or relocation of accessory brackets (same as current rules).
B. Aftermarket forks, shocks and swingarms will be permitted. Forks/shocks will be subject to claiming rules (same as current rules).
C. Aftermarket wheels (except carbon composite) will be permitted.  Rear wheel maximum width is 6.25" (same as current rules).
D. Aftermarket brakes (except carbon composite) will be permitted (sameas current rules).
E. Aftermarket fairings and body work will be permitted (same as current rules).
F. Cylinder heads may be ported and machined, but altering of valve angles will not be permitted.
G. Aftermarket valves, springs, retainers and other valve-train components will be permitted.  Valves must be stock size and same basic material as original equipment.
H. Aftermarket camshafts will be permitted, but cam lift and resulting valve lift must be no greater than stock.
I.  Stock cylinders and cases must be retained.  Machining will bepermitted (same as current rules).
J. Aftermarket pistons, rings, pins and connecting rods will be permitted (same as current rules).
K. Stock crankshaft must be retained.  The only allowable modifications are balancing, polishing of bearing surfaces and attachment of accessory drives.
L. Homologated transmission gear sets (one optional set of ratios per approved model) will be permitted.  Optional sets will be price-controlled and must be available to any legitimate AMA Superbike competitor.
M. Aftermarket, stock-type (wet type cannot be changed to dry type) clutches with back-torque limiting characteristics will be permitted.
N. Homologated fuel-injection throttle-body assemblies (one optional type per approved model) and aftermarket air boxes will be permitted.  Modifications to throttle bodies will not be permitted.  Optional throttle bodies will be price-controlled and must be available to any legitimate AMA Superbike competitor.
O. Aftermarket ignition systems will be permitted (same as currentrules).
P.  Charging systems and starters will not be required (same as currentrules).
Q. Aftermarket exhaust systems will be permitted (same as current rules).