The MotoGP launch season is still upon us, and now that we have seen the teams and bikes from Ducati, Suzuki, and Yamaha – it is time for Honda to take the wraps off the team its campaigning for its title defense.
Debuting the 2017 Honda RC213V at a press event in Indonesia, not much has changed outwardly for the 240+ horsepower GP bike, though there a subtle differences to be seen, if you look closely and compare it to last year’s bike.
The Repsol Honda fairings cover the biggest change that we know of, as reports from the test tracks confirm that Honda is experimenting with a “big-bang like” firing order on its V4 engine, a change from the “screamer” configuration of last season, which was handful for Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa to manage.
One of the more noticeable changes for 2017 is the partnership with SC Project for the exhaust, which looks very similar to the old Termignoni system, though the pipe bends are now much more rigid, instead of flowing.
Of note, the side pipe is much longer on the SC Project exhaust than on the Termignoni version – a sign perhaps that the big bang engine configuration requires a slightly different exhaust tuning, or that Honda is hunting for power in different parts of the rev-range.
Another subtle change our eye noticed was the fitting of a vented rear brake disc to the #93 bike, a signal perhaps that Marquez is using his rear brake much more than his teammate.
The same can be seen on the 2016 bike photos, so it’s not something new for the current World Champion, but an interesting difference between the two factory Honda riders.
Honda will be looking to make its biggest advancements via electronics this season, though the team still has one more test before it decides on which engine direction to follow. The choice made there will have a drastic effect on the course of the 2017, as well.
With the competition looking outright fierce, Marquez and Pedrosa will have a tough bid for the 2017 MotoGP Championship; however, wise men never bet against the Honda riders – they have proved their detractors wrong on more than one occasion.
Source: Repsol Honda