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How close to production bikes were the late 90s Superbikes?

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Hi all,


I have recently been watching old clips of BSB races from 1999 and 2000, with Hodgson,Walker,Reynolds,Bayliss and Hayden. The racing is fantastic, and it was at a time where a BSB rider could enter the very popular WSBK rounds, and be competitive, if not win outright.


With the current state of WSBK and Kawasaki domination with electronics rumoured to be more sophisticated than current MotoGP bikes, I've been curious just how far away from production spec the Superbikes would have been in the late 90s, from the Foggy-era on to the early 00s. This goes for BSB and WSBK.


I think it's madness for WSBK to be dropping the Superstock class from next year, and adding yet more Superbike races. It seems BSB have the rules just about right in terms of machine specs, and its regular for a different manufacturer to finish in the first 5 positions.


I can't help thinking that reducing the spec of WSBK to a more Superstock level would greatly increase the racing, and get more manufacturers involved.


I just wondered if the large gap between WSBK spec machines and production bikes have always been a world away from each other, or if this is something that has developed over the last decade or two.

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