Imagine that a Formula One constructor took its 2012 car, fitted lights, number plates and indicators, then made just a few sensible alterations to the motor so as to make it work better in road conditions and then put it on sale. The stampede of well-heeled F1 fans fighting each other with wheelbarrows full of cash just in order to get in the queue for one would be of epic proportions …
Almost ten years since Ducati effectively did this with its fabled Desmosedici, now Honda has produced its own prototype-racer-for-the-road in the form of the Honda RC213V-S.
Launched during the last MotoGP event at Barcelona the RC213V-S has caused a tsunami of interest the world over and next week Festival of Speed attendees will be able to see this astonishing machine make its UK debut in the hands of Isle of Man TT living legend John McGuinness, current World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli and current MotoGP star Scott Redding who will be hot-footing it to FoS along with Valentino Rossi from Assen, where they will both have raced the day before.
Honda says of the machine: ‘The new Honda RC213V-S is not merely the result of a feedback of technologies created by Honda through its competition in races into a commercially available model, but rather represents a wholly new endeavour to make it possible for a machine developed for competition in MotoGP races to run on public roads.’ The last part of that sentence sums it all up beautifully.
Honda officially began taking orders for the RC213V-S on June 13th. The bike itself runs a 999CC V4 motor which relates closely to the unit that propelled Marc Marquez to the World Championship last year, although the exotic pneumatic valve operation has been replaced with conventional springs and it is reckoned that the complex electronics package will have been toned-down a bit for road use (and to allow owners to operate their machines without the need for a garage-full of technicians) Other than that, what we’re looking at here is the two-wheeled equivalent of an F1 car for the road with 212bhp and a ‘dry’ weight of just 172kg.
That’ll be a ‘wet’ power to weight ratio of 1,121bhp per tonne, then. To make that live for you the LaFerrari’s ‘wet’ figure is 707 …
Suffice to say we’re giddy with anticipation both to see the bike and to learn what Messrs McGuinness and Guintoli have to say about it. Of course, Mr Redding gets to ride something similar in his day job!
What price this technological tour de force for the road? Well it’s academic because the order book is full. However if you must know, those fortunate enough to be on the list for one have forked out something in the region of £150,000 for the privilege. Hopefully, not too many will be kept in storage. If you see one on its side stand by a roadside cafe, do send us a pic!