You may have seen this image in a PHOTO.GP post a while back, one that wondered what this item is. The label reads Intertechnique Pressure Reducer and at PHOTO.GP we’ve speculated about what exactly this apparatus does when placed atop the Yamaha YZR-M1. We’ve come to refer to it as The Black Box.
The photo above is from 2013, and I’ve been wondering about this item at least since Mugello of last season. But only recently did I take steps to find out just what it is.
The fact is that while I wander up and down pit lane as someone who understands, at least in relation to the level of technology on display in MotoGP, only the basics of how motorcycles work, I frequently see exotic bits of engineering that are utter mysteries to me.
From the cool of Melbourne it was on to the heat and humidity of Malaysia, for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit.
Clare and I arrived into Malaysia on Tuesday evening. For our first two nights we had decided to stay in downtown Kuala Lumpur, and picked a hotel close to the Petronas Towers to give us easy access to the rest of the city.
We had treated ourselves to a room with a Twin Towers view and what a view it was. I think you would struggle to find a better view of the towers anywhere in the city.
After spending Wednesday exploring Kuala Lumpur, we met up with Stephen and Trev who arrived from Melbourne. Trev and Clare stayed in the city for a bit more sightseeing and Stephen and I headed to track to collect our credentials.
I’d not found the heat of downtown Kuala Lumpur to bad, it was hot but I was coping okay. The area of the track was a whole different ball game.
After only three days at home following the Aragon weekend, I was packing my suitcase again and leaving for Australia. The race was still over two weeks away, but I was going for a holiday in Australia with Clare first.
I’ve been to Australia a few times. Clare has family in Sydney and spent some time traveling when she finished university, but on our previous visits neither of us had been to Queensland.
After some deliberation we decided on some time in Brisbane and Cairns before driving to Port Douglas. Port Douglas being a perfect base to visit the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
I can’t decide whether to be elated or disappointed over the Honda RC213V-S prototype, which was debuted this week at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy. On the one hand, the RC213V-S lived up to the hype…literally a MotoGP race bike with lights, mirrors, turn signals, and a license plate.
Rumors of a true MotoGP-derived sport bike from Honda have been circling for several years now (closer to a decade, if you’re a reader of MCN), and the project borrows the ethos found in the Ducati Desmosedici RR project, another exclusive GP-bike-for-the-street motorcycle.
Where Ducati took inspiration from its MotoGP program, kept the basic elements found there, and created an entirely new machine, the Honda RC213V-S prototype is quite the opposite.
Honda has released zero, and I mean zero, information about the RC213V-S project, but it would not surprise me in the least if each bike was an ex-race bike with lights slapped onto it, as it was put out to pasture so-to-speak.
That might be an intriguing proposition, actually, but the point is that for all the delay and mystery around the RC213V-S, it’s surprising that the finished (or near-finished) product is such an obvious one. It borders on being the easy way out of a two-wheeled problem.
Before I begin I would like to apologise to the readers of Asphalt & Rubber for my tardiness in bringing you the Aragon story. When I arrived home from Aragon I went straight on holiday to Australia.
I’m finally sitting down to write this from a bar in Gatwick Airport, as I wait for my flight back to the Isle of Man following the Malaysian race.
Apologies over, back to Aragon.
I’d been looking forward to the Aragon race for most of the year. The track looked great and I’d been able to get a room in a house rented by ace MotoGP photographer Andrew Wheeler. There were several other photographers and journalists staying there, so it had the makings of an excellent weekend.
The circuit at Aragon is out in the middle of nowhere. The closest and most convenient airport for me was Barcelona which was around two and half hour drive away.