MotoGP v World Superbike: Differences Explained

MotorGP is considered to be the Formula 1 of motorcycle racing and is widely regarded as the pinnacle of the sport. Although it may seem unclear at times, there are differences between MotorGP and World Superbike (WSBK). The short answer is that MotorGP bikes are prototypes and are purpose-built for racing, meanwhile WSBK are series production bikes fined tuned specially for racing.
Let’s explore differences between the two.



MotorGP and WSBK conform to different technical regulations and standards when it comes to the construction of each racing bike. These regulations are meant to keep racing fair in the respective classes, however MotorGP benefits from less stringent restrictions compared to WSBK, giving MotorGP more freedom when it comes to engine and chassis construction. The use of lightweight materials such as carbon fibre and titanium are permitted during construction of MotorGP bikes.


WSBK are more restricted in this regard, they need to keep the original chassis and design while the use of titanium and carbon fibre is also limited



MotorGP ruling on this is simple. Constructors are open to design their engines in a manner of their choosing as long as the displacement doesn’t exceed 1,000cc, WSBK bikes also share the dame 1,000cc limit. Although each engine type possess its own advantages of their competitor, the playing field is kept as levelled as possible through competition restrictors.

Tuning restrictions


All tuning and upgrade on MotoGP and WSBK bikes need to adhere to the rules and regulations set out on each respective sport. The difference between the two motorcycles is the great equalizer in Spec ECU (engine control unit). MotorGP has its own onboard electronic and software that goes along with each prototype, while WSBK bikes don’t have standardised software and modifications are very restricted.

You might also like: 8 interesting facts about Formula1​

Simplified look at the differences between MotoGP and WSBK

MotoGP Details WSBK
1000 cc Displacement Min 750 cc / max 1000cc
158kg Minimum Weight 168kg
Prototype (highly modified) Bike type Production based (available in market)
flexibility in chasis design and allowed  Chassis  Original chassis retained

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Published: 02/08/2019