We all have read a fairytale or a two and then listened to many more, and there always were monster and giants, both angels and demons. We all grew up to be motorcyclists and thereby saving those child like ideas within. Honda, the behemoth of two wheeler industry, the big boss if you would like to call it, has for more than a decade been the centre of the theories about a mythical creature, a monster, a giant, that should, in essence has the power to change the way we have perceived the motorcycling world and set a new benchmark for the world.
From the early days of the Honda V5 MotoGP bike, there have been rumours of a Honda MotoGP replica for the streets, aiming to be the most race spec bike ever to grace the public roads. However, the rumours remained what they were, only rumours. The rumours came up every year or two and died just the way they did. Chances are high that, during the times in early to mid 2000's when the superbike industry was growing Honda had decided to charter slowly in the design of the race replica bike, especially when Honda had shifted to a V4 engine in MotoGP, and then there was the financial meltdown of the 2008 which resulted in the stark fall in the sales of superbikes, meaning Honda had to again put the Race Replica project in the back burner. However, Ducati had beaten Honda in launching the first ever, proper race replica motorcycle for the street's and it was a $72000 masterpiece that might just have been one of the most beautiful motorcycles of all time and it instantly become an Iconic model.
Come 2014, Kawasaki pulled the cat out of the hat and presented Japan's first true blow on the Superbike segment in years, the supercharged (literally) spectacular twins in the Ninja H2 and the Ninja H2R. The new breed of the Kawasaki Ninja's taking the niche flagship of the now Hyperbike segment were the answers to the European dominance in the segment with the bikes like BMW S1000RR HP2 and the Ducati Panigale 1199 R. With the super exclusive ultra expensive niche bike segment seeing a growth it was high time that Honda showed of its ace in the market, and it was time the mythical race replica V4 motorcycle from Honda arrived.
The EICMA 2014 witnessed the arrival of the RC213V-S from Honda for the first time and stamped legality of the rumours that had been in the air since a decade, the V4 race replica was here after all.
At the time of the preview not much was known about the bike, however, just before the 2015 Catalunya GP, the MotoGP Legend and Honda Test Rider Casey Stoner brought the final production ready RC213V-S out for a lap in from of the spectator strength of well over 1 lakh MotoGP lovers and the bike was launched at a staggering price of $184000 that translate roughly into INR 1.18 crore, and whichever way you see, THAT is a lot of money.
Going further towards Europe, the RC213V-S will cost an even more mind numbingly outrageous €188,ooo sticker price. And, if you happen to have this sort of money lying around in your living room then you would have to register on a special website in order to buy an RC213V-S and the rocess will open on July 16th.
The ultra exclusive bike will see each unit being hand-built at Honda’s Kumamoto factory, and the assembly is understood to have a frequency of one bike per day, which translates to the fact that we are looking at a production run of less than 300 units. The 2016 Honda RC213V-S will be available in two colours: the HRC Tricolour or whole carbon out in nature carbon fiber. Both colours have carbon fiber fairings, and come with coil spring valves (not pneumatic valves, like on the race bikes). Other changes from the racing machines include the gearbox, tires, brakes, and maximum steering angle. As far as electronics go, there are five rider modes, a sophisticated traction control system, along with engine braking control, a quickshifter, and an inertial measurement unit (IMU).
Honda is claiming weight of the RC213V-S scales at 170kg dry weight (188kg wet in Europe, 190kg wet in the USA), which doesn't make it the lightest featherweight around, since the Ducati 1199 Superleggera weighs 155kg dry and 178kg wet. For the more track centric riders, Honda is offering a “Sport Kit” that will make sure that the RC213V-S becomes even closer spec to the racing machines. The Sport Kit includes a new ECU, revised ram-air tubes, and prototype grade a racing exhaust system. This kit drops the dry weight to 165kg (177kg wet), however, the availability of this sport kit will vary globally as US market is not going to receive it and the US market spec Honda RC213V-S will be tuned for a strangely low 101hp at 8,000 rpm and 89Nm of torque. Further towards Europe and Australia, the RC213V-S will still be a comparatively malnourished and disappointing 157hp at the 11,000 rpm, but with the sports kit installed, that figure will get bumped to over 210hp at 13,000 rpm. Peak torque is set at 101 Nm at 10,500 rpm, while the sports kit lifting that figure to over 117Nm.
When someone purchases the motorcycle, it will have to be stored indoors, in a controlled environment. It also must be serviced by specially certified Honda dealerships, who will have the necessary training and tools to service the high-maintenance race replica street bike. The heart of the RC213V-S is a compact 90º V4 999cc engine, which features titanium connecting rods and a sand-cast aluminum crankcase. Like on the MotoGP bike, the fuel tank is situated under the rider’s seat, which is shrouded by the bike’s carbon fiber bodywork. Other items straight from the MotoGP bike are the swingarm, slipper clutch, magnesium Marchesini wheels (17″ inches in size), pressurized Öhlins forks, adjustable footrests and foot controls, as well as most of the Brembo brake components (steel rotors instead of carbon).
Below is the Lap of Honour by Casey Stoner as he rode the RC213V-S in front of 1.5 lakh spectators before Catalan GP!!