After years of speculation and months of anticipation, Honda finally unveiled its MotoGP-derived street bike, the RC213V-S, live on the internet from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya ahead of the weekend’s MotoGP race.
Based on the RC213V competition-only MotoGP bike ridden by Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, Honda considers the new RC213V-S a MotoGP bike you can ride on the street and claims that the model is almost exactl like a MotoGP bike “to the ultimate extent.”
Due to the exclusive nature of the bike, the Honda factory can only build one unit per day and production will cease at the end of 2016. The cost? Get ready for this… 188,000 Euros, which at the moment translates to just under $260,000 Canadian, putting it in a class of its own amongst production motorcycles and elevating it to the financial ranks of supercars.
While Honda developers, engineers and even Pedrosa and Marquez commented repeatedly about how similar the RC213V-S is to the company’s MotoGP bikes, there were several concessions to be made for both maintenance and practicality. The pneumatic valves were changed to a coil spring system, the seamless transmission has been replaced by a conventional setup, the muffler, tires and brakes were changed, and the maximum steering angle was increased. A key ignition, side stand and full lighting system round out the differences.
That being said, the bike will come with five power modes, selectable torque control and selectable engine braking as well as a quickshifter to allow for clutchless shifting.
The engine seems to be nearly identical to the 999 cc V-4 motor used by Open class (non-factory) Honda MotoGP racers including Nicky Hayden. Power has been reduced for street use, but a track-only performance kit is expected to reveal the full potential of the package.
Honda also revealed that all maintenance will need to be done at specially-equipped service locations by specially trained mechanics with specific tools. To get the most out of your $260,000, it’s probably best to heed this advice. Oh, and the company recommends that you keep the bike indoors any time it’s not being ridden. Perhaps the special, lightweight race paint will fade if left outside for too long…
“I enjoy it a lot,” said Marquez at the presentation. “I was able to ride in the mid-corner like MotoGP. It’s really similar to our bike.”