To recover acceleration, the RR model is given titanium con-rods designed by Austrian specialists Pankl. Each rod is 102 grams (just under 1/4 pound) lighter than the steel rod it replaces. This reduces crankshaft polar moment (flywheel effect) by 5 percent. If these seem like small changes, consider that Sykes is leaving the team at the end of this season. The steady reduction in acceleration brought about by rules changes has made his riding style less and less usable. In a pure Superbike manner, Sykes brakes late and hard, gets the bike turned early, and then uses its acceleration to fire himself out of the corner. But the less acceleration a bike has, the more its rider must turn to a corner-speed style, as Freddie Spencer did with the Honda NS500 in 1983.