How About Some Halo Bike Spec-Sheet Racing?

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With the Honda RC213V-S debuting at Catalunya last week, much has already been said about Big Red’s road-going GP bike…especially in terms of how it compares to other halo bike motorcycles that have been 0r currently are on the market.

So, in the interest of exploring solely the most basic attributes from a motorcycle’s technical specification sheet, we have compiled a spreadsheet to see how the Honda RC213V-S stacks up against its most analogous street bikes.

As such, we have compiled the horsepower, dry weight, and cost of the the Ducati Desmosedici RR, Ducati 1199 Superleggera, Kawasaki Ninja H2R, MV Agusta F4 RC, EBR 1190RS, and Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycles — you can see the easy-to-read chart (after the jump), and make your own comparisons to the RC213V-S.


We’ll let you draw your own inferences in the comments section, but first here are a few notes on the chart:

To aid the eye, we have highlighted the top bikes in each metric. You’ll also see that the the Kawasaki Ninja H2R gets three red squares, since its supercharged 1,000cc engine obviously skews some figures with its 300+ horsepower.

We figured it would be best to give the H2R the credit its due, but also highlight the runners-up, since most people will be keen to benchmark the Honda RC213V-S against the other machines.

Where applicable, we quoted weight and power figures that include a halo bike’s “race kit” being installed. To us, this is the most pragmatic approach, and it is based on the theory that owners would almost certainly install these kits to get the most out of their machines, even if doing so means they are no longer road legal.

We have also rounded everything to the closest whole number. Asphalt & Rubber being an American site, we used the figures American readers are most familiar with, horsepower, lbs•ft, and pounds, for power, torque, and weight measurements.

For engine power spec, we are using American horsepower, converted from quoted kilowatt figures. We did this because direct horsepower to horsepower numbers from the OEMs are misleading, since some manufacturers use “metric horsepower” numbers, which read higher and are primarily for tax purposes and confusing the general public.

Since a kilowatt is a kilowatt across all borders, this seemed the safest metric to use, with 1 kW equalling  1.34 hp. Because of the conversion used and the principle of significant figures, we erred on rounding to whole numbers, though none of the rounding changed anything with it comes to basic comparison.

We applied the same methodology to weight, converting kilograms to pounds. Unfortunately, Kawasaki and Yamaha do not list dry weights for the H2R and R1, so we had to make our best guesses, based on fuel tank size and the weight of fuel per liter.

We are confident that these numbers are correct, give or take 5 lbs, and while not pin-point accurate, they fairly cast the affected motorcycles in the proper light for this comparison.

Lastly, the torque numbers came from converting into the the European-dominant Netwon-meter into the American-friendly lbs•ft measurement.

It should be noted though that the power to weight ratio is in the more popular horsepower to kilogram ratio, so as to illustrate the all important 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. Just to keep things fun, and readers on their toes…

As for the inclusion of the Yamaha YZF-R1, while by no means a halo bike, it serves a reminder of what is available on the market for the masses, and thus anchors our conversation in some sort of reality, as we talk about motorcycles that cost an order of magnitude(s) more.

Of course, any analysis like this one should come with the warning that simple weights and powers are not the end-all be-all of motorcycle comparison — if that were the case, then bike reviews would surely be unnecessary.

However, when you consider the purpose in the marketplace of building a halo bike — the attempt to show-off what one’s company can achieve, or to build the ultimate physical embodiment of what a designer’s or engineer’s mind can imagine — hitting specific technical benchmarks goes beyond simple performance, and instead becomes a resume requirement for truly being impressive.

Source: Ducati, EBR, Honda, Kawasaki, MV Agusta, & Yamaha