Motorcycle racing series change their rules all the time. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. And sometimes, they just leave you scratching your head.
This year, the World Superbike Racing championship announced new rules designed to make a stronger link between its racebikes and the production models they’re based on. This includes mandating 17-inch wheels, but also the use of fake headlight stickers.
This isn’t a new idea. NASCAR introduced the same fake headlight regulation years ago, also to make its racecars resemble stock vehicles.
On the one hand, we do understand why manufacturers would want their racebikes to look like the regular models. After all, they are in the business to sell motorcycles, not to race them. And headlight shapes are one of the first things people notice.
But it does look silly. We haven’t seen the 2013 WSBK version of the BMW S1000RR but we can imagine how its asymmetric headlight stickers would look. For WSBK teams the new rule also takes away space that would otherwise have been used for sponsors.