Bike Tech – Team Bolliger ZX10R

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I had the opportunity to spend a short time with Team Bolliger Switzerland and review a few of the details on their world championship bike.

I’ve already covered some details on Quick Change Axle Systems and also looked at the GMT94 Yamaha R1 in detail, and it’s nice to see the differences in each team.

Team Bolliger is a world-class endurance racing team out of Switzerland that takes part in the Endurance World Championship, and for a privateer team, they have been very successful over their racing program.

Having spent close to 20 years in the endurance racing world there is much that one can learn from their extensive experience by taking a closer look at their Kawasaki ZX10R.


Left: the complete LH quick change assembly. Right: spring-loaded rotational fender mount with guide.

At the front, they have a rotational fender mount, which is spring loaded to swing the calipers out during front wheel removal. The fender is mounted to both the inner stanchion tubes and under the fork drop-outs.

On the LH side, they have the threaded insert for the axle.

Left: wheel guides with the 2 dips. Right: bushing insert in RH fork.

Attached to the fender mounting structure they have an interesting guide rail system for the front wheel. These rails have 2 dips on them which control the front wheel position during the various stages of the front wheel assembly.

Let me explain:
– The wheel is guided in by riding above these rails until the axle spacers, which are attached to the wheel, meet the first dip. You may notice that the fork drop-out blocks the second dip when it is swung out.
– This first dip is the correct position so that the calipers can be swung into position behind the rotors.
– This frees up the second dip and the wheel can be moved rearwards.
– This threads the rotors into the calipers and positions the wheel correctly so that all is aligned for the axle to be slid in and torqued.

On the RH side, there is a bushing insert that has a tight fit with the front axle.

One thing that I never understood previously is how the teams are able to clamp the axle to the LH fork with a quick change axle setup, and the truth is that they simply don’t.
The axle is only threaded into the RH fork, while it is free to slide inside the LH fork; there must be a small reduction in front end lateral stiffness, but I guess this is small enough to not affect performance.


Complete rear quick change setup.

At the rear, the first thing to note are the custom swing-arm ends for all the bespoke components and mounts. The billet axle ends have been welded onto the swing-arm, which also incorporate the hooks for the rear jack stand.


Bolliger uses a similar setup to GMT94, with a swing-arm mounted rear sprocket and carrier. The sprocket carrier is bolted to the swing-arm with a hollow axle and stays mounted to the swing-arm during wheel swaps.
They have a wedge styled captive sprocket coupling to engage the wheel.
Notice the set-screws above the axle adjuster blocks, which are used to lock the axle position once the chain tension has been set.

Left: wedge style captive sprocket coupling with swing-arm mounted sprocket carrier. Right: externally mounted brake caliper bracket.


The rear caliper and mounting bracket are bolted to the axle adjuster block from the outside, and the caliper sits almost completely under the swing-arm; the brake disc on the rear wheel is extremely wide.
This is done so that the wheel can be inserted from above without any chance of the tire contacting the caliper during quick installation.
The low slung caliper is there to support the wheel on the LH side, in fact, you can see marks inside the caliper where the disc has impacted it during changes.

The entire rear wheel is supported in place between the wedge coupling and caliper via the rotor.

Left: low-slung brake caliper setup. Right: chamfered brake pads.

The pads have been chamfered to help guide the rotor and the pistons in the caliper have magnets in them so that the pads are kept retracted. The same strategy is used at the front.

Bolliger commented that they can make a set of brake pads last an entire race, apart from LeMans where they have to perform one (caliper) change mid-race.

For the fastest pit-stops Bolliger have developed a pneumatically actuated chassis jack. This is essentially a large rod, which is inserted from the LH side which then lifts the front end of the motorcycle.

Left: Dry-break quick fill fuel filler. Right: Pneumatic bike jack.

To finish up, here are a few final pictures of the dash and hand controls. Bolliger has added a few auxiliary switches to their custom billet triple-clamp.
More interesting is the fact that they have retained the OE switch cubes on both sides, where other teams have often switched them out for more race dedicated units with more controls. I guess if it’s ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

Left: OE switch cubes with brake lever adjuster. Right: AUX switches mounted to the billet triple-clamp.

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