After years of failed rumors about a V5-powered Honda street bike, this year we finally got confirmation that a true MotoGP-inspired machine would become available to the general public. The yet unnamed machine, which many are calling the Honda RC213, will have a 1,000cc V4 motor that will be based off the Honda RC213V MotoGP race bike.
A homologation special that will be produced in just enough quantities to meet WSBK regulations, the Honda RC123 street bike is not to be confused with the production racer variant that will be coming to MotoGP in 2014. That bike, essentially an RC213V without the pneumatic valves, seamless gearbox, and other trick bits, will cost in the neighborhood of €1,000,000 to buy.
However, according to an interview by Costa Mouzouris on CMG Online (a good read, check it out), the V4 street bike will cost significantly less. Talking to Dave Hancock, Honda Motor Europe’s Head of Product Planning & Business Development, the MotoGP “inspired” street bike will run in the neighborhood of £70,000-£80,000 or $110,000 to $125,000.
A stiff price to pay for a motorcycle, but Honda seems certain that collectors and wealthy individuals will scoop up the limited edition motorcycle with plenty of enthusiasm. Sure to dominate in World Superbike, if the Japanese company chooses to go racing with it in the premier production class, In many ways the Honda RC213 street bike is the Japanese company’s nuclear option to the changing MotoGP landscape, which HRC recently has been fighting tooth and nail.
Upset with rules like the CRT class, spec-ECU, rev limits, etc., Honda has been in a staring contest with Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta over the future of the series. Threatening to leave MotoGP if certain rules are implemented, Honda was said to be ready to pack up its toys and move into WSBK with renewed vigor.
A bike like the RC213 would be a game-changer in World Superbike, and its release is just as much a wet dream for two-wheeled gear heads as it is a warning shot to Dorna. With the RC213 street bike in its back pocket, Honda had a credible threat to use with Dorna in regards to leaving MotoGP — a move that would strand the premier class with only two OEMs, we might add.
The punch-back on that move however may be the recent news that Dorna will run both MotoGP and WSBK, which effectively gives Honda no quarter to run to. With Dorna controlling both series, a monopoly has been created at the top-level of international road racing, which means that any OEM wishing to race on an international level with its road bikes is going to have to do so at the mercy of the Spanish media company.
A thought like that could be the death knell for the Honda RC213 street bike project, but as of yet, the V4 superbike appears to be full-speed ahead. Two-wheeled politics at its finest, stay tuned moto fans.
Source: CMG Online