VIRGIN BMW | #03 Finally! Right before the race. Suzuka 8hours Endurance Challenge Blog

#03 Finally! Right before the race.

  • 掲載日/2010年07月25日【Suzuka 8hours Endurance Challenge Blog】
  • Text & Photo / Masanao NITTA (Tras) Japanese >>

Go for it ‘Team Tras’!

In 2008 the Tras team challenged successfully the Motegi 7h Endurance race with the HP2 Sport. In 2009 the team faced a new challenge: The Motegi Race with the HP2 Megamoto. While ranking 1st for a while an engine trouble forced the team to retire from the race. Then in 2010 the Tras team has returned to the Suzuka 8h Endurance Race, where they fought many past challenges with BMW motorcycles.

The stock bike has incredible potential.
…and that many challenges to solve.

After completing the Suzuka 300km Road Race we identified the next task for out S1000RR.

With the appearance of the S1000RR it is possible for the first time unleash as much as 190hp with the flick of a switch in a commercial bike. With that unknown force hitting the Bridgestone tires, the MotoGP technology worked into them generates limitless grip under the full load. However the body and the suspension apparently cannot keep up with the high power and the high grip. To make sure this bike will not leave half of its parts behind upon turning up the throttle, the excellence of Tras comes into play: We need to develop parts fit for the job!

At speeds over 280km/h and power over 190hp, a theory-grounded exterior cladding is essential. Carbon reinforced cowlings are stiffer and offers more optimal wind cutting properties. Additionally the seat cowl and seat rail designed by Tras reduce vibration of the body, of course using only the best materials.

■ Test at Suzuka

First of all we test the strengthened swing arm built by Superbuild. The impression of our no. 1 rider Takashi Toda is favourable, but still the machine vibrates when setting direction in the corner. The comment of our second rider Hayato Takada, who is riding a BMW on a racecourse for the first time: “The vibration of the bike is too big to go for a time attack.” The impression of rider no. 3 Eiji Saito is the same.

During the afternoon tests, we decided to change the worrying front fork and the parts around the seat (the Tras made parts are not attached for the tests of this day). And now for something completely different; the riders are going about adjusting the detailed settings for the suspension: Despite this being the first encounter with this bike, Hayato Takada gives optimal guidance and puzzles out the settings.

Nitta:“This guy is incredible!”
Muto:“Yes he is! If you are missing a part for example, he goes around the circuit and borrows exactly the right one for you. That is how experienced he is. He knows everyone. And you wouldn’t think he is 33 with that calm he shows.”

That same Takada later set out for a time attack. On that bike for the first time he storms in at the 2’16” level. With the tests giving us good hints for our settings, this day leaves us with the best feeling so far.

The S1000RR Suzuka 8tai machine in the bright Tras Yellow. With limited testing, we used our riding time to adjust the bike for the race.

After their ride the three of them all say the same: ‘The seat is high and hard. This makes it hard for us to ride. Can you lower it and make it softer?’

Nitta: “That is structurally impossible to change!”

Saying so, by the next test I found a way to answer their request. In the process a beautiful cowl with a lower the seat emerged.

The murmur inside me: “Even though I had created that with MotoGP technology…”

Team director Muto likes to take the riders perspective. After this discussion with the riders he came to me: ‘Nitta-san, couldn’t you lower the seat height?’ More work again…

■ Last test: Rain

Exchanging the CPU and the full exhaust system with the Akrapovic version the aerodynamic cladding produced by Tras is attached. Finally the 8tai bike is going to race Suzuka. Under a downpour of rain we give our undivided attention to the test using the rain settings. Although we could not test the aerodynamics of the cladding, the rain settings are as good as perfect. Again one step closer.

So now the next step is the real Suzuka 8hours race! S1000RR owners, BMW fans and anyone interested, please come to Suzuka on Sunday 25th to follow the S1000RR in the Tras yellow! If you cannot come to the race, wish ‘Tras & G-Tribe + 8810R’ good luck!

S1000RR Suzuka 8hours version

  • JB Magtan
  • Brembo Caliper Brakes (front and rear)
  • ZCOO Pads
  • Showa Front suspension from Hayato Takada
  • Elf Oil
  • Superbuild Swingarm
  • Beater 24l Aluminium Tank for S1000RR
  • Engine & Radiator are standard commercial versions.
Now many stickers will be added to the bike. It looks like a standard bike still, but actually all the cladding parts are Tras made specials.
Nobuatsu Aoki from the Yoshimura Suzuki Team comes by and checks out our machine. Getting a bit nervous, I explained a lot about all the carbon parts. Nobuatsu-san says with good reason: “The carbon is beautiful!” It is because these things happen, that I just can’t stop challenging this kind of projects.
With the seat rail changed, the auxiliary document housing had to be removed and a new skinnier housing had to be fit under the lower seat.)
The full exhaust from Akropovic is light… and so cool!
The carbon frame cover is deliberately coated with a clear finishing paint, giving it a unique pearskin touch to show the uniqueness of Tras. It emphasizes the brilliance and the eeriness as well as the strength of the carbon material.
The stock front fork has been replaced by a special one from Hayato Takada.
We also replaced the cowl stay and the air duct. The weight was reduced to half!
With a custom stem the bike gets all the more racy.
Thanks to exchanging the muffler and the CPU the output characteristics of the power are milder. This increased curve stability during rain rides. “For rain riding the DTC is vital”, say the three riders unanimously! Yes, this year we will challenge the 8hours with DTC on. On the market probably only the S1000RR allows for settings prepared for wet or dry roads so no highside occurs.
The riders discuss the bikes behaviour. Since the last test, their gestures have become gentler. I believe they are discussing detailed settings. Takada-san is to the right, Saito-san to the left.
This is basically how the bike will look at Suzuka 8hours. There might be some refinements.
This is our team of three riders: In the middle no. 1: Takashi Toda (representing G-Tribe). To the right no. 2: Hayato Takada. No. 3: Rider Training instructor and MSP representative Eiji Saito. With his training on the MSP course, he has acquired a lot of skills, which make him a confident contenstant for the race.
Masanao Nitta
President of Tras Masanao Nitta develops, designs and sells prepreg carbon parts. He guides his group of Carbon Shokunin with an always-playful heart and is always ready for new challenges. Getting the best out of the carbon ‘material of dreams’, Tras develops high quality parts at world-class level. As a BMW owner himself he rides a R100 Roadster, R1200RT and a HP2 Megamoto (Motegi Version). As part of new challenges and to improve its technical capabilities, Tras continues to challenge races like the Suzuka 8hours in 2006 and Motegi 7hours in 2008. Every year Tras not only develops new cowl parts for racing bikes, but also challenges new value adding projects.