New metal – Honda's RC213V-S wide of the mark

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews' started by Simon, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Simon

    Simon Professional storyteller
    Staff Member Premium

    Mar 25, 2015
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    Almost a decade ago Ducati took the world by storm by unveiling the Desmosedici – a road legal GP bike. And after years of speculation Honda has followed suit with this, the RC213V-S.

    Production is set to be limited to some 300 units, and each bike will be hand-built at Honda’s Kumamoto factory, with the big H predicting that one bike per day will leave the production line.

    The ultra desirable bike will be available in two colour schemes – the Freddie Spencer-inspired red, white and blue HRC Nippon paint or a clear coated finish on the carbon-reinforced fairings.

    The bike may be derived straight from the world of MotoGP, but your £140,000 gets you a customer spec racer, and not the full factory bike as raced by Marquez and Pedrosa. What this means is that there is no seamless shift and no pneumatic valves, instead the RC213V-S uses a conventional gearbox and valve springs, and it gets aluminium crankcases instead of the racer’s magnesium cases. However, Honda claims that 80 per cent of the parts are the same as featured on the race bike and the RC213V-S uses the same swingarm, suspension, wheels and injectors as the racer, and just like the GP bikes the fuel tank is situated under the rider’s seat.

    As far as electronics go, there are five riding modes, a state-of the-art traction control system (a first on a Honda road bike), a quick shifter, adjustable engine braking and adjustable torque control.

    Somewhat underwhelmingly the road-legal 999cc 90º V4 motor only produces 157bhp, but a Sports Kit is included with the bike which raises that figure to 211bhp. The circuit-only kit includes a new ECU, revised air-ram tubes, and a racing exhaust system which reduces weight by 10kg to 160kg. By comparison a Ducati Supperlegera produces 205bhp, and 99lb.ft of torque, a MV F4 RC produces 212bhp and produces 85lb.ft of torque and an R1 produces 197bhp and produces 83lb.ft of torque.

    Potential customers must register on a special website,, which opens on July 13. Once purchased, the bike must be stored indoors in a controlled environment and can only be serviced by specially-trained Honda technicians.

    Honda has had 10 years planning to bring the RC213V-S to the market and it seems like they’ve missed the mark somewhat. It should have been the ultimate showcase of Honda’s ‘can do’ engineering skills.Instead it’s very much a car of ‘what if’. Shame…

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  2. Jonnie_r

    Jonnie_r New Member

    Jun 26, 2015
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    Must admit I was somewhat underwhelmed when I saw the spec., no doubt Honda fans will laud it as an amazing bike, and it should be for 140k.

    Power isn't everything but if Kawasaki can produce the H2 and H2R, as a technology showcase, why does the base RC213 have less power than 10 yo superbike, including its own CBR1000RR?

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