If you thought $60K for a Ducati or $70K for a Kawasaki H2R was steep, Honda would like you to know that they've seen that, and raised it a chunk or two. Honda's is all in at $184,000 - and if you're Stateside you're not even going to get "the good kit" - you get limited to a paltry 101hp and 66ft/lbs of torque.
While the rest of the world basks in their plus 200hp race kit, carbon fiber RC's - the US versions will miss the mark by more than 50%.
The long rumored release of the RC finally marks a slight departure from Honda's mantra of being the safest company around (read- if we make something that goes too fast - then people might think we're not safe enough) . Since the Blackbird faded into memory Honda has more or less steered clear of the horsepower and speed wars. They've avoided the Hayabusa, the ZX-14 or any machine that might flirt with the 186mph top speed limit that cropped up in 2001.
GP success seems to be turning the tide, but at a price.
Today Honda also released their 2016 CRF lineup. You could have 21 CRF450Rs and a helmet for the price of one RC213V-S.
Details, photos and the launch video below...
Honda today confirmed that the revolutionary RC213V-S is to be sold as a premium 2016 model, with a limited number set to be made available to U.S. customers. Every sport bike enthusiast has dreamt of climbing aboard a MotoGP™ machine and experiencing firsthand these bikes’ exceptional engineering and performance, but with rare exceptions, only top-echelon racers have had that opportunity—until now. With the RC213V-S, a fortunate few will have the chance to purchase what is essentially a pure MotoGP weapon, with only minimal changes for a street application.
Originally unveiled in prototype form at Italy’s EICMA show last November, the RC213V-S is based on the RC213V that Marc Marquez rode to the last two MotoGP world championships, and is closer to a MotoGP bike than any road-going model ever offered to the public. “Ever since the modern four-stroke era of MotoGP began, fans have demanded a road-going version of Honda’s legendary RCV,” said Lee Edmunds, Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications at American Honda. “With Honda’s dominance in recent years, that call has become unrelenting, so we’re excited to announce the RC213V-S. This motorcycle reflects the same attention to detail and precision in assembly found in the factory machine. It’s an amazing bike that is sure to be a hit with a select group of U.S. customers.”
In addition to confirming the prototype-derived RC213V-S, the announcement included news in the production-based realm of motocross bikes, with the updated 2016 CRF450R and CRF250R. The CRF150R returns for 2016 as well.
Setting a new benchmark for performance in production road bikes, the groundbreaking RC213V-S was developed with close collaboration between Honda’s Motorcycle R&D Center and HRC, and is painstakingly manufactured in an exclusive workshop in the Kumamoto factory, using premium materials and production methods that are atypical for production motorcycles.
Like the RC213V upon which it is based, the RC213V-S is powered by a compact 90º V4 999cc engine with titanium connecting rods and a sand-cast aluminum crankcase. Mass on the lightweight machine is highly centralized, and it’s race-derived features include an under-seat fuel tank and carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic fairing. Among the components inherited directly from the race bike are the swingarm, slipper clutch, magnesium Marchesini wheels (17 inch size for the RC213V-S), pressurized Öhlins fork and adjustable footrests and foot controls, as well as most of the Brembo brake components. In recent years, MotoGP has ushered in huge advances in the area of electronic rider aids, and this is reflected in the RC213V-S, which boasts throttle-by-wire, selectable power modes, engine-brake control and traction control, with position-detection technology developed through Honda’s ASIMO project.
• Color: HRC Tricolor, Carbon Fiber
• Price: $184,000
• Availability: Reservations for this limited-production model will be taken exclusively through the official model website: www.RC213V-S.com beginning at 3:00 p.m. PST on July 12, 2015
Click here to view images: www.RC213V-S.com
RC213V-S is the road-going version of RC213V.
With RC213V, ease of handling is needed to win. Thoroughly-increased mass centralization and heavily-reduced friction losses were two goals in increasing performance levels as high as possible.
For MotoGP bikes, when it comes to manufacturing something so different to a regular production bike, the following points are very important:
Component weight reduction and processing accuracy
High level of technical proficiency during manufacture. RC213V-S shares these two factors with RC213V, also adopting the latter’s control technology.
RC213V is customized according to its rider and race course, only being equipped with the parts needed to win. RC213V-S however is for public roads, so we had to make some changes and additions to create a roadworthy bike. While RC-213V-S is mostly identical to RC213V, the following modifications had to be made:
Pneumatic valves were replaced with coil springs (although the camshaft gear train remains the same). The seamless gearbox was also replaced with a regular road-going one. These parts are more durable for long term use and were adopted from the readily available RCV1000R open category racing bike.
To meet road laws, RC213V-S is equipped with head/taillights, side mirrors, speedometer, muffler with catalytic converter, license plate holder, horn, etc.
RC213V-S gets upgrades for practicality. Tires, brake discs and pads are new, while the bike’s steering ratio is now wider. Extra equipment includes Honda’s Smart Key, a starter motor and parking stand.
We’ve also created a sports kit for racing on closed circuits.
With RC213V-S, we set out to recreate RC213V’s handling for use on public roads. We made sure that each component differs from mass-produced items in their materials, surface treatment and manufacture to improve rigidity and strength while reducing weight – just like RC213V. Each part is also processed by hand and machined to the same specifications as RC213V – the highest possible.
A completed RC213V’s packaging is centered around thorough mass centralization that aims to take performance to the limit.
Not only with race bikes but in any Supersport class, the reduction of inertia figures, that is, increasing mass centralization, greatly influences the dynamics of a completed bike. A bike’s inertia figures are mostly influenced by its weight and category, but there are two ways to reduce them: lower the weight of components located far from the bike’s center of gravity, or relocate them to be closer.
RC213V-S’s packaging mirrors that of RC213V. This includes body component materials and production processes.
While we needed to equip RC213V-S with a bigger battery and other electronics to meet road laws and improve practicality, these components were located as close to the bike’s center of gravity as possible, reducing inertia and improving dynamics.
The dedicated sports kit available for closed circuit racing does even better, matching RC213V’s inertia values altogether.
RC213V’s aluminum frame boasts high torsional rigidity, ensuring engine power gets to the ground properly. Increasing torsional rigidity usually means a jump in weight, but with RC213V, torsional rigidity is only increased in the areas where it’s really needed. Thin reinforcing plates improve rigidity in other areas where it’s lacking, resulting in a lightweight frame.
Each and every frame component is ultimately aligned carefully by hand, with a dedicated welder performing the necessary TIG welding. The result is a process that, while requiring a large number of welds, ensures high accuracy and welding quality.
RC213V-S adopts these same materials and manufacturing processes.
Its body is fastened together using bolts machined from titanium alloy, further reducing weight. The bolts themselves are coated in molybdenum grease for improved axial stabilization, and are hand tightened without using an impact wrench to torque specifications different from those used for steel bolts.
In developing RC213V’s powertrain, our aim was to create a motorcycle engine with MotoGP winning potential.
To this end, we set ourselves the following two major goals:
Achieve high enough power output to enable the speeds needed for MotoGP
Make the unit compact – as small as the 800cc engine that fits on the RC212V frame
To meet these goals as well as MotoGP regulations, we adopted a 1,000cc, 90° V4 engine. High power output is achieved using a 360° crank phase angle, improving charging efficiency via favorable exhaust pulsing from the cylinders’ firing timing. The 90° V4 layout also maximizes output through reduced friction – it reduces mechanical losses by omitting the harmonic balancer, has a smaller number of crank journals (3) compared to an inline four cylinder engine, and has a sealed crankcase design to reduce pumping losses.
For compactness, the V4 layout enables a shorter crankshaft and therefore shorter engine, while we also worked on ensuring banking angles and reducing the bike’s projected frontal area. The engine’s V angle of 90° theoretically eliminates any primary vibration, negating the need for a harmonic balancer and allowing further reductions in engine length. In addition, the crankshaft, main shaft and counter shaft are arranged in a triangular formation, shortening the engine again. These modifications allow a 1000cc engine to fit within the dimensions of the 800cc unit fitted to RC212V.
This design also keeps secondary vibrations low, meaning no special attention needed to specifically reduce them. This concerted weight reduction effort contributes greatly to the packaging goal of maximum performance via thorough mass centralization, while also making use of uneven cylinder firing to improve traction performance.
The RC213V-S engine features all of the above specifications, but with modified RPM for output characteristics better suited to public roads. It also uses a gear-based timing system for superior valve actuation accuracy at high RPM – just as with RC213V. However, the valve closing mechanism was changed to a coil spring system for more realistic durability and easier maintenance in day-to-day running. Similar concerns see the seamless transmission used in RC213V replaced with a conventional gearbox.
The bike that earned six wins in the 2015 AMA Supercross series and finished on the podium at every round takes another step forward for next model year, with updates aimed at improving handling and traction. To enhance stability on the CRF450R, the fork is 5mm longer, while the rear suspension gets a new link and spring, as well as revised shock settings. The diameter of the chain roller has been reduced by 4mm to 34mm.
• Color: Red
• Price: $8,699
• Availability: July 2015
Click here to view images: http://powersports.honda.com/2016/crf450r.asp
The motorcycle that took five of the top ten places in the 2015 250SX East final points standings gets even better for the 2016 model year, thanks to a series of changes aimed at increasing horsepower and improving handling. Among the engine updates are higher compression, increased cam lift, titanium exhaust valves, new valve springs, and updates to the cylinder-head porting, piston shape and connecting-rod shape. In addition, the air-intake tube has been changed, while the exhaust system gets larger outlet diameters for improved breathing and a new header-pipe resonator for improved power output. Updates to the fuel-injection mapping have also been incorporated, and the radiators are enlarged for improved cooling. Additionally, the fork length has been extended by 5mm to improve stability, and the chain-roller diameter has been reduced from 38mm to 34. Given these improvements and its record of great handling and proven reliability, the CRF250R is sure to remain a top choice choice for professional and privateer motocross racers.
• Color: Red
• Price: $7,599
• Availability: September 2015
Click here to view images: http://powersports.honda.com/2016/crf250r.aspx
Packing high performance and Honda technology into the industry’s only four-stroke mini racer, the CRF150R gives younger riders a head start when it comes to motocross racing. Boasting race-tuned Showa front and rear suspension, a Unicam® engine (based on those of the CRF450R and CRF250R), a track-designed chassis and precision braking, this competition-ready machine is available in two versions to suit a wide variety of riders: the CRF150R and the CRF150R Expert, which has larger-diameter wheels, a higher seat and a longer swingarm.
• Color: Red
o CRF150R: $4,990
o CRF150R Expert: $5,140
• Availability: August 2015
Click here to view images: http://powersports.honda.com/2016/crf150r.aspx
BE A RESPONSIBLE RIDER: Remember, always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing whenever you ride. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Inspect your motorcycle before riding, read your owner’s manual and obey the law. Never use the street as a racetrack. Honda CRF/R models are designed exclusively for off-road operator-only use in organized, closed-course racing events. Whenever you ride off-road, follow the “Tread Lightly” guidelines, and always keep on established trails in approved riding areas. Use common sense, keep your riding area clean, and respect the rights of others when you ride. Always obtain written permission before riding on private lands, and obey all the laws and regulations governing your riding areas.