A return of the production racer to the Grand Prix Championship, Honda’s RC213V-derived race bike for private teams is seen by many as a welcomed alternative to the current CRT formula. Based off the V4-powered bike that HRC’s factory and satellite teams race in MotoGP, Honda’s new RC-whatever-it’s-called is a slightly watered-down version of its true prototype progenitor, and comes with the distinction of being a purchased machine, rather than a lease from HRC.

Talking to MotoGP.com, HRC Executive Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto explains that the project is behind on its development schedule by about a month (paddock chatter says Big Red had to scramble a bit to formulate the production racer in order to appease Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta) though the machine should still be ready in time for the 2014 season, as HRC hopes to catch back up in its development.

Discussing the features that will, and will not, come on the Honda RC production racer, the most notable differences between the bike and the Honda RC213V are the lack of pneumatic valves and a seamless-shift gearbox. The prior guarantees that the production racer will be short on revs compared to its prototype counterpart, while the latter suggests a tenth of a second or two in slower lap times are certain tracks.

Per the CRT rules, the production racer will have 24 liters of fuel, which could help the bike achieve similar power figures to the RC213V, though that will depend on how much tuning HRC does to the machine. As it stands now, Nakamoto-san says the V4 engine is still being dyno’d by HRC, and will move onto the next phase of development once Honda has achieved its power and reliability benchmarks.

While the engine differences have been known for some time, it is interesting to hear that Honda will fit Nissin brakes and Showa suspension to its production racer, calling the bike an “ideal platform” for the two brands, which is not entirely surprising as both companies are owned by Honda Motor Corp, though does nothing to help the positioning of Nissin and Showa against Brembo and Öhlins.

In this regard, Nakamoto is perhaps unintentionally fueling the perception that Nissin and Showa are inferior products compared to their European counterparts — a perception that is shown in the component choices made by a vast majority of teams in motorcycle racing. While Brembo and Öhlins may dominate the GP paddock if for no other reason than the massively conservative nature of motorcycle teams, it is worth mentioning the tremendous amount of data both companies have when it comes to racing motorbikes — a formidable advantage, to say the least.

Once the Honda production racer hits the tarmac and begins testing, expect there to be much said about the fastest motorcycle money can buy. We expect the same sort of excitement will occur for its consumer-oriented street bike version as well, but that’s a completely different story.

Source: MotoGP.com; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • I think the Nissin/Showa combo makes perfect sense. With Bradl and Bautista both using the brakes, plus Bautista using the Showa forks, it’s a no-brainer for Honda to pursue those components on a privateer/customer bike. That’s just good business sense.

  • 2ndclass

    Yeah, having a few more guys out there racking up more track and race data with the expectation that they won’t be as competitive as the satellites actually sounds like a pretty canny move.

  • GeddyT

    Not to mention these are purchased bikes. Any team that purchases them can just bolt Brembo and Ohlins components on if they want.

  • Phil

    Anything has to be better than we currently have ?

  • Joey Wilson

    I really like Nakamoto-san. Of course the ‘turnkey’ RC will be a bit shy of the Repsol rides, but the depth of his BS can be a hoot coming from an HRC principal.

    I always laugh thinking of his response when asked how Stoner joining the Repsol team had changed the dynamic in their garage: his response (paraphrased) was along the lines of ‘other rider(s) can’t complain bike slow’, after the hair-raising riding clinics Stoner was capable of right off the bat. And the idea he was moved to tears (again, not very HRC-like), offering CS a seat if and when he ever wanted to come back, tells me a lot.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    Ridiculous idea, dumb enough to work: why not just release it now and let whoever wants to go racing with it have at it? Let the R&D be on the someone elses dime.

    I’m betting a half baked RC213V derived bike would still crush the other CRT offerings. …because in the end you’re not releasing something that will beat your factory bike and your target is the CRT field. Therefore, release the kraken!

  • Autolegend

    Hope Yamaha joins this club and the CRT will finally die. Nothing has annoyed me more than watching these useless bikes.

  • sideswipeasaurus

    GeddyT has it right. These are just the components delivered with the PURCHASED bike. They can Ebay those and the run what everyone else is if they care too. Not mentioned in this article is that even though the sold RCValike will qualify for 24L of fuel as the CRT’s Nakamoto said it will not come with a 24L fuel tank. He says 20L is enough and the bike cannot carry that much fuel. He may be speaking sideways a little and that Honda doesn’t want those bikes running the full 24L and accompanying ECU tweaks that might help. I wonder if an enterprising team could fabricate such a fuel cell for it to try or is the form constraints of the RCV limiting them to do so? Will be interested. Reminding me of the NSR500V2. Will probably see similar comparable results to the full up bike.

    JoeyWilson-Dude. This article has FA to do with Stoner. If you’ll notice he’s not even racing bikes let alone Hondas, let alone MotoGP anymore. Please keep your fan fapping to the bathroom with the door closed.

  • proudAmerican

    On an unrelated note, can I get a copy of the picture at the top of this story in fold-out, centerfold style?

    Amazing how a piece of machinery can be so beautiful!!

  • You can, contact Scott!


    Tell him A&R sent you, so he’ll have to buy me lunch next week.

  • CTK

    O man I would love to buy the Nissin/Showa parts off of this. “Ninja 650R… MotoGP suspension and brakes… $5000 OBO”

  • Joey Wilson

    Appreciate your input, sideswipe, always nice to get expert advice from someone with hands-on experience.