The price of a Top Class engine ranges between €200 000 and €250 000. Renting a complete motorbike can cost up to 2 million euros per season per rider for a satellite team. This would give them access to the two motorbikes they need for each competitor, as well as the improvements that are developed, but not any spare parts. Factory motorbikes, on the other hand, usually have a total cost of 3 million euros, which requires a significantly higher budget for teams that want to have one.
To give you an idea of the high costs involved, the electronics of a MotoGP motorbike can cost more than €100 000 with the sensors, cables, and panels, with the latter alone costing €2500. No electronic part costs less than €1000.
The brakes are also expensive, but the cost is not quite as high. The FIM has capped the price of the front brake kit at €70 000 (excluding taxes), including three pairs of calipers, three cylinders, 10 carbon discs, and 28 pads. If a team needs more pieces to complete the season, they have to buy them separately.
A crash is no joke. A soft impact where the bike is dragged on one of its sides for a few meters usually involves a cost of between €15 000 and €20 000 to repair covers, footrests, levers, the rear brake, or other elements that may be damaged. A hard fall where the motorbike flips over can mean a €100 000 expense to fix tyres, brake discs, suspension, radiator, and sensors. But even this is better than an impact that could damage the critical parts of the motorbike. If there is damage to the swingarm, chassis, internal electronics, fuel tank, or the engine, repairs can easily rise to the tune of half a million euros.
The cost of a Moto3 motorbike
In the lower category in which our Monlau Repsol team riders compete, we find the lowest prices, although these are equally important. An engine for one of these machines can cost the manufacturer up to €12 000, although teams that decide to rent one can pay up to €60 000 not including taxes or transportation. This package includes six engines, two throttle bodies, and two complete gearboxes.
A complete Moto3 motorbike without an engine, switchboard, or transponders can cost a maximum of €85 000
Parts, travel, personnel, supplies ... A GP involves huge costs, which are divided between the organization, teams, sponsors, and collaborators. One of the highest and most necessary costs is the tyres. MotoGP motorbikes have specific wheels for each circuit, with compounds created exclusively for the competition. To supply tyres to all the MotoGP teams, Michelin has to spend more than 1.2 million euros on each GP. This expense includes the wheels themselves and the technical and assistance personnel.
The carbon fibre which is used to make fairings and a large number of components costs around €2 per 100g, without taking into account the necessary treatment. Steel, in comparison, only costs €0.2 per 100g, and if we look at plastics the price is even lower. Other materials are even more expensive, for example the magnesium used in the rims. Each rim made of this material has a total price of €4000.
Travel costs are around €1200 for each member of the MotoGP team for each GP. This means an expense of almost €700 000 for a team of 30 people in a season of 19 races. This is without taking into account that the team leader, riders, and managers might travel in a higher class.
The hospitality staff are also key to the event, and account for an expense of more than €600 000 per season, not including the cost of transport, vehicles, and other items. If we add all these items together, the cost is over 2 million euros.
With these prices, the Honda RC213V-S, the road adaptation of the motorbike that Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa rode in 2015, is cheap in comparison. This limited edition machine costs €190 000 plus €12 000 for the circuit adaptation kit. For it to be so "cheap" for us, we have to do without some of the extras we can see in MotoGP, such as a seamless gearbox, carbon brake pads, pneumatic valves, etc.