Photo: Don Empey
The Canadian Superbike series has a new class for next year, aimed at amateur racers on entry-level sportbikes.
Called the Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike class, the move was tipped last week when CSBK announced two races at the CSBK season-ending double-header at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, testing the new format.
While CSBK has been running a Kawasaki Ninja 300 spec series for the past couple years, and before that the Honda CBR250 and CBR125 spec series, the new series will be open to other bikes. It’s not a complete wild west scenario; machines must be approved by CSBK rulemakers, with minimum weights and maximum power outputs. Racers must also use approved aftermarket parts and tires.
Already, there are similar race series running around eastern Canada, with riders aboard everything from the current Honda CBR500R to the Yamaha R3 to the aging Kawasaki Ninja 250. Expect the lineup in the CSBK series to include these bikes and most other machines in this displacement range.
See CSBK’s official press release below:
Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike for CSBK in 2018
Next year’s Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship series will include a new class for small displacement production street machines, Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike. This National series will be aimed at Amateur racers, aged 15 and above, aboard lightly modified OEM models, motorcycles and equipment approved by the CSBK Series.
The new category will use rules based on existing CSBK standards utilizing minimum weights and maximum power outputs, as measured on the official series Dynojet Dyno. The new class will also use an Approved Equipment List, limiting competitors to racing parts permitted by the CSBK Series. All competitors will compete with spec Dunlop tires, as do all competitors on the Mopar CSBK tour.
The purpose of this structure is to limit costs and modifications, and place the National Series emphasis on rider talent and development. Various specific cycle parts, including engine control units, front suspension kits and rear shocks, will be mandated through the Approved Equipment List (AEL).
Details of the AEL will be released this fall, following discussions with suppliers.
The bikes expected to make up the grid for the new Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike category include the KTM 390 singles, Honda 250 and 300 CBR singles, Honda’s 500 twin, Yamaha’s 300cc R3 twin, and the Kawasaki Ninja 250 and 300 models. This category is established in some regions of Canada and the U.S.A., including Mopar Express Lane Lightweight at the RACE SuperSeries, as well as a similar division started in Europe in support of the World Superbike Championship this year.
“We are really encouraged by the interest shown in these smaller machines,” explained Fred Benjamin, Technical Director of CSBK. “We anticipate some teething issues with the new class, and some small adjustments might be required in the technical guidelines, but we think this category will produce some exciting racing and help develop the next generation of Canadian road racing talent.”
The new category’s structure will be based on the existing Kawasaki Ninja 300 spec Championship, as introduced at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2015. This category, for near-stock twin-cylinder Kawasaki street machines, has run with ten races per season over the past two years.
The Kawasaki will serve as the “index” bike for the class, establishing the relative parameters for the new rules prior to the start of the first season of Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike in 2018.
East coast ace Brandon Pemberton took the inaugural Kawasaki Ninja 300 spec National Title in 2016, and a new Champ will be crowned in the final events of the Kawasaki National Championship at C.T.M.P. on August 20.
Currently, the class limits for the Kawasaki Ninja 300 spec series include a minimum weight of 340 pounds measured with all remaining fluids immediately post race, and a maximum output of 38 horsepower as measure on the Dynojet Dyno at each venue post race. Officials anticipate some tweaking of the Technical Guidelines will be required during the early events with the new National category.