Friday, June 12, 2015

Honda unveil the US$184,000 RC213V-S, a MotoGP bike that you can ride on the street

We're sure 210+ bhp is nice to have in a streetbike, but US$184,000 for the Honda RC213V-S?!?!? Really?? We'd much rather have a Kawasaki H2R, Yamaha R1M, BMW S1000RR, Aprilia RSV4 RF and Ducati Panigale R

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, there were the Honda RC30 and RC45, full-on race-bred exotica, street-legal versions of Honda's World Superbikes racebikes of that time. But, of course, even that wasn't enough for some people, who wanted Honda to do a street version of their MotoGP bike. Now, while there's never really been an NSR500 that you could ride down to the local supermarket back then, it seems that we're moving on to more interesting times. Yes, Honda have finally unveiled a roadgoing version of their RC213V MotoGP bike, the RC213V-S, which you can buy as long as you have US$184,000 lying idle in your bank account. Or 188,000 euros if you live in Europe, or 21.9 million yen if you live in Japan. And just in case you were wondering, the European and Japanese prices are even tax inclusive, so you can't possibly have a reason to complain.

Over the last 15 years, riders like Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez have won MotoGP world championships aboard the Honda RC213V and its closely related predecessors, so we're sure the RC213V-S will certainly be a bit special. As it damn well should be, given the fact that for what the RC213V-S costs, you can buy a Yamaha R1M, BMW S1000RR, Kawasaki H2 / H2R, Ducati Panigale R and Aprilia RSV4 RF, and still have some money left over with which to buy aftermarket exhausts, tyres, suspension components or whatever else that you fancy. So yeah, it really is f***ing ridiculous.

According to Honda, the RC213V-S "has inherited the specifications of the RC213V to thoroughly ensure mass concentration and reduced friction, as well as all key aspects in manufacturing that set the RC213V apart as a MotoGP machine from ordinary mass production models, with overwhelming differences which involve light weight and precise machining of the components, plus superior expert skills required in manufacturing." Changes made to the streetlegal RC213V-S, as compared to the actual MotoGP bike, are relatively minor. The RC213V-S has the MotoGP bike's camshaft gear train structure, but uses a coil spring system in place of the RC213V's pneumatic valves. Also, the MotoGP bike's seamless transmission has been replaced with a conventional 6-speed transmission. And, of course, unlike the MotoGP bike, the RC213V-S is fitted with a headlamp, taillamp, turn indicators, rearview mirrors, horn, speedometer, muffler with a catalyst, license plate holders, a self starter and a side stand etc. The steering angle is less extreme and the RC213V-S rides on Bridgestone RS10 rubber. A kit exclusive for use on closed circuits is offered as an option, though this is not available in the US.

Honda will start taking orders for the RC213V-S from 13th July this year, via a dedicated website. Somehow, however, even if we had the money (which we most certainly don't!), we'd never even think about buying a Honda RC213V-S. It seems to be strangely uninvolved indulgence for the lazy rich enthusiast. It doesn't look very nice and we simply don't understand how or why anyone would want to spend more than six times the price of a Yamaha R1M on getting one of these. Technically, a Kawasaki H2R is so much more interesting that the Honda RC213V-S. And, hell, the Ducati Desmosedici RR MotoGP replica from a few years ago was so much better looking! Of course, we're sure there'll be some who will absolutely love the RC213V-S and will put down a deposit as soon as bookings open next month. More power to you, we say.

2016 Honda RC213V-S: Tech Specs

Engine: Fuel-injected 999cc liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve V4
Power and Torque: 210+ bhp (with the optional track-use-only kit) and 118Nm
Transmission: Dry multiplate clutch, 6-speed constant mesh
Fuel tank capacity: 20 litres
Wheels and tyres: 17-inch (front and rear), 120/70 (front), 190/55 (rear)
Weight: 170kg dry
More details here

Casey Stoner talks about riding the RC213V-S
Casey Stoner rides the new Honda RC213V-S

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