Honda has just presented the final version of the RC213V-S at the Spanish GP in Catalunya. After revealing a slightly bodged-up concept at the Milan show in 2014, the glossy, completed road-legal model will go on sale very soon and provide MotoGP for the masses – at a cost of €188,000.
While you don’t necessarily have to brag Neil Spalding levels of MotoGP knowledge to digest the press information, there are pages and pages of technical wordage detailing the changes over Marquez’s pedigree racer. Without writing an eleventeen billion word dossier, here’s the RC213V-S’s essence…
In typical Honda fashion, the power has been seriously culled to a claimed 156bhp. The decrease is, apparently, done through changes to (decreasing) the rpm. Silly horsepower and allowing just as silly humans aboard MotoGP weaponry wouldn’t end nicely, and service intervals also had to be factored into the V-S’s V4 motor. Honda has ditched the pneumatic valve trickery, replacing it with a coil spring system to inherit the gear-driven cam technology.
Seeing as every RC213V rider in the MotoGP paddock has their own gearbox technician to allow the seamless unit to function properly, the technology wouldn’t be suitable for the road – and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the financial implications. Hence, Honda opting for the conventional cog system, which is the same as the RCV1000R customer bike offered to private teams. The V-S still utilises titanium rods, the basic valve system, among other trinkets.
The main changes come – not surprisingly – in the V4 engine department, although a chassis that works for Marquez at Catalunya isn’t going to work for Mikey in Canterbury. According to Honda, the chassis remains largely untouched, but the steering head angle has been relaxed (from 15-degrees to 26-degrees) for obvious stability aids. Wheelbase is 30mm longer than the racer, set at 1,435mm…
You can’t even buy the Öhlins kit used in the GP paddock, so cheaper, more readily available pressurised TTX25 forks sort the front of the V-S, while the rear is sprung by a TTX36 shock. A rotary steering damper sits in front of the forks.
Carbon fairings and a carbon monocoque seat unit – just like the GP bikes – are used for the road and contribute to the 170kg dry weight of the V-S. Carbon brakes certainly wouldn’t work on the highways, so are replaced by steelies. Other chassis morsels include an underseat tank (again, just like the factory racer).
Honda’s own electronics package adorns the RC213V-S and, as you’d expect from a MotoGP-derived steed, the RC uses an IMU (inertial Measurement Unit) as its core. There are three power options in the ride-by-wire controlled arsenal, and how about some ‘Honda Selectable Torque Control’ (HSTC) – 9-levels of traction control? For your coin, you’ll also get four levels of engine braking, a snazzy TFT dash and Honda Smart Key (keyless ignition).
There is a quickshifter, but no auto-blipper – I love Honda’s quote: “With clutch and throttle operations when shifting up now made unnecessary, more pleasant riding is possible.” Yes, yes it will be more pleasant.
Also available for the V-S is an optional ‘Sport’ Kit, which consists of a number of bolt-on goodies and boosts power to ‘more than 210bhp’ and sheds 10 kilos, giving a dry weight of 160g:
ECU (tweaks to fuelling with the additional intake duct and unrestricted exhaust), featuring launch control, smog plates. spark plugs, datalogging capabilities, rear linkage, sprockets, and uprated pads and a span adjuster for the front brake.
How close to Marquez’s bike is the V-S? We’ll never know, given the prototype’s confidentiality. It looks, sounds and seems like it carries the genuine genes and is pretty much guaranteed not to unravel itself into a similar scam to that of Ducati’s Desmosedici. Fancy one? Applications for orders will be accepted on the dedicated website – www.rc213v-s.com – as of July 13th. I’m off to sell my house. And kids.