Taylormade Carbon2 – Life Outside the Moto2 Box

07/10/2013 @ 7:44 pm, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS


David spent some lines of text yesterday talking about the lack of chassis innovation in the Moto2 Championship — a series whose spec-engine rules were supposed to be a playground for chassis engineers. As we know now, Moto2 has become a race of common denominators, with twin-spar aluminum frames ruling the day.

Company’s like Vyrus have threatened to enter Moto2 with their very stylish Vyrus 986 M2 race bike, with its hub-center steering design; but as David pointed out, the work involved to train racers for the new inputs these machines provide is perhaps the bigger boulder to carry when compared to developing the motorcycles themselves.

That doesn’t mean that innovation is lacking though, as we bring you another intriguing design, this time one built right here in sunny California: the Taylormade Carbon2.

An eye-catching motorcycle, if for no other reason than its carbon fiber monocoque chassis, the Taylormade Carbon2 is an attempt to bring some fresh ideas to an otherwise extremely conservative sector of an already conservative industry. Developed by Paul Taylor and designer John Keogh, the Carbon2 has some interesting design elements at its core.

For starters, the radiator is in the tail section, and draws air from the front of the motorcycle (much like the 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc). This allows the front cross-section of the Carbon2 to only have to be as wide as the engine (dropping the added width of the chassis helps in this regard as well), and also allows for less turbulent air to pass through the radiator fins.

Below the seat, and at the Cg of the machine, Taylormade has positioned the fuel cell vertically, so as to minimize handling changes during fuel consumption. The swingarm is made to be super-stiff, and of course is made from carbon fiber as well.

Up front is a fork tube and wishbone configuration, which BMW owners might find to be familiar design element, as the dampening duties are handled by the conventional fork tubes. Taylormade says this design allows for the Carbon2 to give very similar feedback to the rider as a conventionally race bike.

“In a class as ultra competitive as Moto2 the chance of an advantage has got to be of interest. That’s what we’re here to prove,” says Paul Taylor. “Moto2 was introduced as a prototype class using a supplied Honda CBR 600 engine to limit costs, but with complete freedom for chassis design. As designers, this was a very exciting prospect as top level racing had become exclusively based around modified production bikes.”

“However, I’ve been disappointed in the way Moto2 has developed. It may be the best racing in Grand Prix, but the bikes do not have an ounce of distinction between them. Of course, the racing community is innately conservative, but we hope to prove to teams that thinking “outside the box”, combined with rigorous testing and development, can deliver a competitive advantage.”

The Taylormade Carbon2 will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed tomorrow, but the real question will be whether any Moto2 teams will take the gamble on the company’s intriguing design. As always, time will tell.







Source: Taylormade

  • Brandon

    Interesting, butt, ugly. Even in racing looks count for something. If they rework the aesthetics I think they might have something people will give a second look at.

  • Don

    I too crave for innovation in chassis design however the harsh reality is that racing at this level is pretty much just a business.

  • RJ

    I see Sir Alan has had a go on it. Can’t wait for his write up…

  • Norm G.

    omg, I just threw up in my mouth a lil’ bit.

  • jon

    This looks innovative, not too attractive but I can’t say I think that matters. Still as I understand it – some of the main things to be garnered from using the twin-spar aluminium frame are cost effectiveness, and being able to effectively adjust and refine stiffness.

    With such a complex and inherently stiff material as a casing this seems it would be very hard to do. Also moto 2 riders tend to crash frequently – and this looks like a very expensive and laborious bike to crash and repair. Running changes in testing to gearing etc. would also be slowed down by an inaccessible engine.

    The article also doesn’t mention any distinct advantages – normally carbon is weight saving – is this bike actually any lighter? With a minimum weight ballast it seems potentially irrelevant.

    I’m all for bringing in more innovation but the Vyrus/hub centre steering seemed more appropriate – a big change in layout to produce a fundamentally different solution.

  • There is no real weight savings advantage, since Moto2 has a minimum weight that is easily achieved with twin-spar designs.

    Adjustability and cost of replacement is a huge factor in Moto2, where the game really is one of millimeters, and dollars (euros) are scarce.

    What some don’t realize is looks do play a factor on race day. Sponsors are very vocal about the design and look of the bike and team. I heard a fun story about a chassis provider who had to change its intake because the sponsors didn’t think it looked good, despite being functionally the most perfect design.

    Makes you wonder what the show is all about, huh?

  • fish

    In motorcycle racing, major changes involving new tech require massive changes to riding styles that have been developed over decades of racing motorbikes. If a frame manufacturer designs a carbon frame or a stem-less steering assembly, this may make absolute sense concerning all variables on paper, but it will change the way information is delivered to the rider. The long term cost ( crashing included), along with the time required for the rider and technical staff to get used to the new tech, are not worth it in the current economic situation. Combine that with spec tires, where frames are developed around tires and not the other way around, and you have a bad combination for experimental development. There is no short term return on time and/or money investment into experimental GP frame development. Short term gain is what EVERYONE is looking for, at the moment, no matter what industry you are looking at. That means that Vyrus and Taylormade’s dollars, on paper, don’t match the potential success of their design.

  • froryde

    I wish them all the success in the world just to prove that it could be done.

  • froryde
  • Gildas

    The radiator is at the back, that leaves a huge scope of aero possibilities on the lower front fairing (think 125 GP at a mimimum) that is not being exploited here.

  • Shawn

    It’s nice to see golf club manufacturers branching out into other industries. ;)

  • meatspin

    i think a motorcycle should also be nice to look at. This doesnt look good. Also , why does it have an arrow can if taylormade markets their own exhaust systems too? It just doesnt make sense.

  • Joe

    I don’t mind the looks, but you have to wonder how it would crash?

  • @meatspin: Good point, Taylor is an exhaust guy, right? And he buys the Arrow. I’m so confused.

    On looks alone, the Pontiac Aztek wins.

  • monkeyfumi

    “For starters, the radiator is in the tail section, and draws air from the front of the motorcycle (much like the 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc).”
    Yes, but John Britten did it first, 20 years ago. His bike actually raced (and won) in a world championship too.

  • Stanford Crane

    Congrats Paul! Yes innovation always draws critics, but if it didn’t you’d know you would have missed the mark. Keep moving forward. Some clever paint will do wonders for those giving style points. As for the race, they don’t count, lol. Just make it fast.

  • paulus

    it’s an answer to a question already answered by cheaper, more proven solutions.
    nice try… f’ugly bike.

  • irksome

    So w/ spec engines, spec tires and, I assume, spec electronics, what’s left for variables besides chassis and aerodynamics? I’d assume a radically decreased front profile would make for a marked advantage. Assuming the design works.

    As to ugly, I find pretty much every new bike to be godawful. At least this thing has some curves, rather than looking like a Transformers reject. I must be old; I haven’t liked the looks of a new bike since the MG v11.

  • Westward

    Maybe, Dorna should allow unlimited testing to teams that introduce innovative engineering and design. Once they are considered up to speed, then the usual restrictions apply.

    I think Britten was definitely on to something, and surprised the majors manufacturers have not yet capitalised on his ideas enough to expand on. I guess he was too ahead of his time…

  • buellracerx

    +1 Stanford Crane! Great job Paul!

    A few distinct advantages:

    1) mass distribution – though the total mass must remain constant, WHERE it is distributed about the chassis plays a huge role in handling

    2) aero – as with any design, this one will evolve and be optimized. the rear rad is very helpful in this regard

    3) tunability – with the proper FEA tool AND the expertise to build the model, composites offer a virtual playground for structural tuning. only limiting factors here are $$ (time, analyst salary, FEA license, computing power) and imagination…unfortunately, the latter often becomes the limiting factor

  • As someone whose followed the development of the series quite a bit I only have a couple of issues here – Taylormades carbon work is junk, ask anyone whose owned one of there under body kits for any length of time – also it doesn’t handle impacts very well compared to steel, if you drop the bike especially in gravel your race is over.

    Also the intake is too big, draft someone and that gaping hole in the front will be much less effective and a small team being able to afford top level draft / pass ecu tuning is unlikely. The hollow pass through stem is nice though but the overall engineering and look is a step down on bottpower, my favorite underdog.

    As far as looks, sponsors pay big to be at the front – while ugly bikes are harder to pimp out for cash upfront, if they are out front the money will flow in.

  • Norm G.

    re: “Yes, but John Britten did it first, 20 years ago.”

    in more recent history, benelli’s 900 tornado went to production with an underseat radiator. ironically goddard’s race kit employed a traditional front mounted set-up.

  • Grant Madden

    PT you clever devil.It is very Brittenish and, like the Britten,it deserves a good paint job.If Paul says it’s good it will be really clever.If you can mold or produce carbon fiber components easily and they are structurally sound then whats the problem.Most modern bikes are covered in the stuff anyway but it’s only held on with titanium screws and fasteners which make a lie of the cost thing.No mater what, it will be interesting and good to follow.Maybe electric could be the way in the future,no?