Evotech Performance racing support 2019

The motorcycle racing season is underway. It’s a time when men and women, boys and girls battle it out to win the race. Not just one race but many in order to net the ultimate accolade of being crowned champion and taking home the championship trophy. But there’s more to racing than a rider and his machine. In this blog, the first of a series, Evotech Performance gives a taste of how it is involved with top flight motorcycle racing. And you thought we just made quality accessories for your hard earned road bikes?

May 2019: Tyco BMW Motorrad team

Even before the start of the motorcycle racing season, Evotech Performance is called into action with growing frequency to undertake bespoke engineering work – design and fabrication – for its supported racing teams. These teams race in British Superbike (BSB, Superstock 1000 & Supersport 600) and the awesome road circuit races, such as IoM TT and International North West 200. We even assist some teams running in non-UK championships, but on a lesser scale because there just aren’t enough hours in a day, week or year for this Lincolnshire-based company.

Updated models and new to market machines, new race-spec chassis components and teams changing their brand allegiance mean our work is cut out; not just to get bikes on the grid for the first race of the season but also to help get team bikes ready for pre-season testing… if possible!

Tyco BMW Motorrad is just one of EP’s supported teams. In the tight-knit scene of circuit and international road racing, the team name is well known thanks to the sterling efforts of its owners, father and son Hector and Philp Neill historically known as TAS Racing.

The Northern Ireland controlled team has high hopes for this year’s BSB. It’s two riders, Christian Iddon and Keith Farmer, were fired up and raring to go from the word go with news of an all-new S 1000 RR on which their BSB race bikes are based on. In fact the whole team was more than excited to get their hands dirty in order to race prep the standard 207bhp Bavarian road-going missile into a championship-winning contender. But like most things in life, not everything goes quite to plan.

Late delivery of the motorcycles meant the supply chain of race-specification parts also fell behind, meaning BMW superbike teams across the planet were going to be, in the technical sense, playing catch up. This was the case with Tyco BMW Motorrad and others, who had to run a virtually stock 2019 S 1000 RR at Silverstone National Circuit (19th-21st April), the first of 12 rounds that form the Bennetts British Superbikes championship.

Without the necessary new for 2019 race-spec radiators and oil coolers, we were unable to start let alone complete the usual scans of these and then design, fabricate and test fit the race specification EP radiator and oil cooler guards for what pre-season testing the team could manage and, even worse, the first round of BSB. Instead, we supplied our standard guards – the same off the shelf specification EP accessories, which you, our customers, use to protect your road-going motorcycles – because, believe it or not, the Tyco BMW Motorrad team had to run with the stock S 1000 RR radiator and oil coolers in place.

For those not au fait with superbikes and their performance, they are, shall we say, serious powerhouses. Careful blueprinting (reduction in acceptable mass produced component tolerances to exact design book specification) of engine parts and matching them to ideal fuelling and a racing exhaust can liberate even more engine torque, rpm and, of course, horsepower. More horsepower and consistent running of the engine at, let’s say, flat out racing rpm means more heat is produced.

Engine heat is the biggest thief of engine performance and this is why upper tier superbikes require race-spec high capacity and flow coolers to control the additional heat. Needless to say, the standard coolers had a lot of work to do and the resulting higher race running temperatures effectively mugged the team’s engine performance.

At the second round of BSB (Oulton Park 4-6th May), Tyco again had to make do with standard radiator and oil coolers with EP road-based guards ensuring their protection. Considering the only engine modification to date is the use of Suter clutches and the variable valve timing system locked off, the end result was a very good result with three top-ten results from two races.

By the time you read this, hopefully, we will have had access to the team’s race specification radiator and oil cooler to fabricate EP guards to suit them and other teams competing with the model year 2019 BMW S 1000 RR. In the meantime, we here at Evotech Performance aren’t stood still. We are currently fabricating brake lever protectors for race use with matching bar end weights for the left hand clip-on. For MY19 S 1000 RR road riders, check out all the EP accessories available here.

A race technician’s view – Daryll Young, technician Tyco BMW Motorrad

EP: What are your thoughts on how the 2019 season has started?

DY: “From a team point of view, really well considering how late we got the bikes – we only got the bikes about a week before the first test sessions so we had to skip them. If you look at the results from last weekend at Oulton, Keith managed to get a seventh and eighth and Christian got a sixth, plus we topped the timing sheets in one of the free practices; and that’s all from a bike that is virtually standard. We had only just fitted a factory race tank and Suter clutch and the swingarm is still the standard item as are the coolers. The bike is great as it stands and there’s a lot more to come.”

EP: What challenges have you faced and overcome with the new bikes?

DY: “As well as the points mentioned previously, we aren’t using the variable valve timing at the moment because the race controlled Motec ECU isn’t yet matched to the Motronic management system. The valve timing is effectively electronically locked at an optimum point and left at that. So again, there’s a lot more we can gain with the system up and running.”

EP: How important are EP radiator/oil cooler guards in protecting the bikes from damage.

DY: “Guards are really important. Even at short circuits there’s a chance a stone could get flicked up and, without a guard, your race could be over in an instant. As far as I know we never had to change a radiator or oil cooler last year thanks to the EP guards. Of course, on road circuits like the IoM, having a good radiator or cooler guard is even more necessary because one competitor’s wheel spin can mean another’s retirement from a loose chipping.”

EP: How important is two-way communication with EP on its supported products

DY: “At the end of the day everything has got to fit and work in a real world environment. At the end of the day it’s the team technicians that are under pressure to change an engine between race one and two, although we can do it in an hour and half everything on that bike needs to come off really easily, not be fiddly and fit perfectly and do the job it’s designed to do. It seems the more feedback we give on their products the more ecstatic they become. At the end of the day we need components that work and work well.”

By Dan Rack on 08 May 2019