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The telemetry system tested on Jamie Hacking's Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R750 Superbike during tire tests at Daytona earlier this month did not communicate with a pitside computer via satellite, despite an internet website's claim to the contrary.
The system actually sent a radio signal from a small antennae mounted on the tailsection of the motorcycle to a larger receiving antennae mounted on a light pole along pit lane at Daytona.
"I watched the thing on the computer and it was sending the data in real time, with no interruptions," said Hacking's Crew Chief, Chris Weidl on December 20. "But it wasn't bouncing a signal off a satellite."
Weidl also commented on the same website's fictitious reports that Suzuki was experimenting with traction control, citing a "disc" and "caliper" mounted on the chain side of the rear wheel. "It's a Hall-effect wheel speed sensor," said Weidl. "The sensor reads a spinning metal plate."
In photos widely posted on the internet, the "disc" is clearly positioned too close to the sprocket for a "caliper" to fit around it, and there are no brake pad marks on the "disc." Which did not deter the website reporters from posting the news of an important technical breakthrough.
"We read this stuff on the internet and it's just hilarious," continued Weidl. "They just make this stuff up. We know we don't have traction control or satellite communications. They don't ask us because we'll tell them the straight stuff just like I'm telling you and that's not exciting enough for them."
Experiments to date with traction control on motorcycles have failed because having a computerized system interrupt power in the midst of a rear-wheel slide often results in a violent highside.