Originally Posted by Trang
So where does this leave Speedbrain?
As Italrally says above, technically Speedbrain is going through the process of getting their bike homologated (although I don't imagine they have built 100 examples yet!)...
The Speedbrain project is a good example of what I've been talking about - essentially it started out as a modified BMW G450X (engine, mainframe and swingarm) so no problem there - once the bike became a Husqvarna of course, things got a bit more interesting - the engine was a Husky (in effect an evolution of the G450X), but the frame was still essentially a G450X frame, with various Speedbrain modifications, plus the incorporation of the Husky style linkage rear suspension/swingarm... a real bitsa, and certainly not what you might call a 'production' bike - only the engine was really any part of the Husky TE449...
However, the ASO have a rule (supplementary to the FIM homologation) that allows anyone on the Elite rider list (and by inference, any team such a rider is associated - which is likely to be a 'factory' concern of some sort) to enter on a machine that only 15 examples have been build/prepared, which is how I'm sure Speedbrain were able to continually develop their bike over the past couple of years without the expense of going into full production...
Certainly it was in ASO's interest to have a manufacturer like BMW (and latterly Husqvarna) in the mix - especially as one of the main reasons for the 450cc max capacity rule change was to encourage more manufacturer and factory teams - so you can see why they allowed a premier operation like Speedbrain (who could attract competitors on the Elite riders' list) to continue with what was essentially a 'prototype' after all?
However, as I understand it, even without the sale of Husqvarna and the apparent disassembly of that brand (for the moment at least) - word has it that Speedbrain had to finally commit to a production bike/specification to continue racing in FIM sanctioned events (politics at play here I'm sure), which is why they are in the process of putting the current bike through actual homologation.
However, I wonder if that too will ultimately all be in vain? - Long/er term, it will be interesting to see which engine Speedbrain end up using, as I can't imagine the supply of that bastard child that was the Kymco 450X/TE449 engine is going to continue all that much longer? Certainly BMW don't want it, and neither I suspect will the re-launched Husqvarna brand later this year... So that just leaves CCM and their GP450 Adventure bike... actually, thinking about it, that might make an interesting rallye bike too!