FEATURE: What Honda's road-legal RC213V means for motorsport
Honda are hoping this new bike excites people as the RC51 did in 2001
Tuesday, 20, Nov 2012 02:49
by Ben Wilby
The world of MotoGP is fraught with conflict at the moment, with one of the key issues being Honda'sresistance to many of Dorna's rule changes.
Partly due to their battle with the Spanish media giant, Honda has announced a mouth-watering road-legal version of their MotoGP bike.
This may act as a warning to Dorna and act as Honda's failsafe should things deteriorate too rapidly between the two companies.
If Honda were to leave, following Kawasaki and Suzuki out of the premiere motorbike competition, it would leave only two OEM manufacturers - Ducati and Yamaha.
Considering the success of Honda HRC riders Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner last year, it would be a great loss for the sport.
Honda's recent success in MotoGP - finishing second and third in the overall standings - demonstrates the power of the bike, power that will soon be in the hands of road users.
The RC213V will be produced to allow Honda to enter the World Superbike championships, a competition that requires a certain number of bikes to be sold beforehand.
125 bikes have to be produced and put up for sale before the bike can be entered and 2,000 by the end of the second year - this represents a significant risk from the Japanese company.
Estimates place the equipment at around one million dollars per bike but Honda estimate the cost to the consumer as closer to $100,000 (£62,000)a more manageable but hardly insignificant price.
Despite this Honda is confident that the bike will sell and believe that the power, quality and uniqueness of the finished bike will make the mooted price tag seem a bargain.
The bike will likely lose the pneumatic valves, $500,000 seamless gear box and other racing essentials, but will remain unchanged mechanically.
In a recent interview with CMG, Dave Hancock, head of product planning and business development with Honda Europe discussed how the idea originally occurred.
He was talking to Yosuke Hasegawa, head of the V4 project, about what they could do to generate the excitement some of their old bikes, such as the RC30 and RC51 had produced.
Hancock joked that they should "take the RC213V (MotoGP bike) and put a number plate on it", an idea the company appear to be running with.
Along with the sheer cost of production, the key issue of the WSB ownership could prove a stumbling block for the move.
Dorna's recent purchase of the WSB license has left them in charge of both major franchises and could potentially damage HRC's attempt at bluffing Dorna into introducing less controversial rule changes.
However at the moment Honda seem to going ahead with the plan. Bikers eager to get their hands on this bike but unsure of the price should think of it as an investment - a product that will only become more valuable with age.
The bike is still in the blueprint stage, and is not expected to be released until 2014. We here at MotorbikeTimes are already counting down the days until we can see it in action.
So what do you all think? Anyone drooling over the prospect of owning one already? Let us know in the comments box below or on our community forum.