Motorcycles

How much of a MotoGP winner does the $184,000 RC213V-S buy?

The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish
The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish
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The riding position diagram of the Honda RC213V-S
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The riding position diagram of the Honda RC213V-S
European comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S, RC213V-S (Sports Kit)
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European comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S, RC213V-S (Sports Kit)
French comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S, RC213V-S (Sports Kit) – in France, a maximum 100 hp limit has been in force for road-legal motorcycles since 1985
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French comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S, RC213V-S (Sports Kit) – in France, a maximum 100 hp limit has been in force for road-legal motorcycles since 1985
Japanese comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S, RC213V-S (Sports Kit)
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Japanese comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S, RC213V-S (Sports Kit)
USA comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S (the Sports Kit is not officially available in the USA)
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USA comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S (the Sports Kit is not officially available in the USA)
Australian comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S, RC213V-S (Sports Kit)
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Australian comparative specs for RC213V, RC213V-S, RC213V-S (Sports Kit)
Forged magnesium wheels by Marchesini with Bridgestone RS10 tires – the RC213V-S uses 17-inch wheels, instead of the 16.5 of the RC213V
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Forged magnesium wheels by Marchesini with Bridgestone RS10 tires – the RC213V-S uses 17-inch wheels, instead of the 16.5 of the RC213V
LED rear light and license plate holder with indicators look out of place on the tail of an RC213V-S
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LED rear light and license plate holder with indicators look out of place on the tail of an RC213V-S
This frame body diagram could well belong to the RC213V
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This frame body diagram could well belong to the RC213V
The swingarm of the RC213V-S is made of press-formed aluminum TIG welded with cross-section machines parts
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The swingarm of the RC213V-S is made of press-formed aluminum TIG welded with cross-section machines parts
The TTX25 Ohlins fork is equipped with dust seals in order to operate safely in public roads
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The TTX25 Ohlins fork is equipped with dust seals in order to operate safely in public roads
The Ohlins TTX36 shock absorber has a specially made preload adjuster for the RC213V-S model (it is visible right above the peg)
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The Ohlins TTX36 shock absorber has a specially made preload adjuster for the RC213V-S model (it is visible right above the peg)
Forged magnesium wheels by Marchesini with Bridgestone RS10 tires – the RC213V-S uses 17-inch wheels, instead of the 16.5 of the RC213V
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Forged magnesium wheels by Marchesini with Bridgestone RS10 tires – the RC213V-S uses 17-inch wheels, instead of the 16.5 of the RC213V
The RC213V-S uses the same rotary steering stabilizer as the RCV1000R – it is adjustable for a wide range of uses
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The RC213V-S uses the same rotary steering stabilizer as the RCV1000R – it is adjustable for a wide range of uses
Exploded view of the fairing parts on the RC213V-S
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Exploded view of the fairing parts on the RC213V-S
The RC213V-S engine from the right side
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The RC213V-S engine from the right side
The RC213V-S engine from the left side
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The RC213V-S engine from the left side
Rendering of the crankshaft, conrods and pistons of the RC213V-S
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Rendering of the crankshaft, conrods and pistons of the RC213V-S
The camshaft gear train of the RC213V-S
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The camshaft gear train of the RC213V-S
Machined nickel-chrome molybdenum steel ensures high strength and precision for accurate gear-shifting on the RC213V-S
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Machined nickel-chrome molybdenum steel ensures high strength and precision for accurate gear-shifting on the RC213V-S
The RC213V-S has inherited the exhaust layout of the RC213V
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The RC213V-S has inherited the exhaust layout of the RC213V
The RC213V-S has a color TFT screen display with several different views – this is the Street Mode, with information useful for road use
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The RC213V-S has a color TFT screen display with several different views – this is the Street Mode, with information useful for road use
This is the Circuit Mode of the display, adding lap time, number oflaps and difference from the best lap to the Street View information
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This is the Circuit Mode of the display, adding lap time, number oflaps and difference from the best lap to the Street View information
In Mechanic Mode the display shows numerical values for tachometer, gear position, grip opening, throttle opening, watertemperature, oil temperature, oil pressure and battery voltage
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In Mechanic Mode the display shows numerical values for tachometer, gear position, grip opening, throttle opening, watertemperature, oil temperature, oil pressure and battery voltage
The RC213V-S uses LED headlights – the Sports Kit replaces them with a carbon fiber ram-air scoop
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The RC213V-S uses LED headlights – the Sports Kit replaces them with a carbon fiber ram-air scoop
Honda has equipped the RC213V-S with a Smart Key that turns on the ignition when the key comes into range
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Honda has equipped the RC213V-S with a Smart Key that turns on the ignition when the key comes into range
The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish
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The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish
The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish
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The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish
The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish
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The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish
Honda used bar-end mirrors on the RC213V-S so that the top yolk wouldn't need redesigning or replacing
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Honda used bar-end mirrors on the RC213V-S so that the top yolk wouldn't need redesigning or replacing
The performance curves of the RC213V-S for its three different mappings – Level 1 is the full power map, Level 2 has smoother throttle control and acceleration, while Level 3 is even smoother than 2
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The performance curves of the RC213V-S for its three different mappings – Level 1 is the full power map, Level 2 has smoother throttle control and acceleration, while Level 3 is even smoother than 2
The Throttle-by-Wire (TBW) system configuration – APS is the Accelerator Position Sensor and is placed inside the right twist grip
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The Throttle-by-Wire (TBW) system configuration – APS is the Accelerator Position Sensor and is placed inside the right twist grip
The RC213V-S uses two fuel injectors per cylinder, a layout inherited from the RC213V
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The RC213V-S uses two fuel injectors per cylinder, a layout inherited from the RC213V
Throttle body diagram of the RC213V-S
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Throttle body diagram of the RC213V-S
Explanatory diagram of the slipper cancellation mechanism that is used to enable starting the engine from the rear wheel with the engine starter or a push start
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Explanatory diagram of the slipper cancellation mechanism that is used to enable starting the engine from the rear wheel with the engine starter or a push start
Diagram detailing the function of the slipper clutch mechanism on the RC213V-S
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Diagram detailing the function of the slipper clutch mechanism on the RC213V-S
Cross-section of the cassette-type six-speed gearbox of the RC213V-S
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Cross-section of the cassette-type six-speed gearbox of the RC213V-S
Performance chart of the RC213V-S
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Performance chart of the RC213V-S
The RC213V-S has a fuel tank with the same shape but a little smaller than that of the RC213V, manually made by press-formed aluminum sheets
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The RC213V-S has a fuel tank with the same shape but a little smaller than that of the RC213V, manually made by press-formed aluminum sheets
This diagram of the crankshaft shows how Honda has worked at making the engine as compact as possible, by lowering the relative position of the cylinders
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This diagram of the crankshaft shows how Honda has worked at making the engine as compact as possible, by lowering the relative position of the cylinders
The water pump is powered from the exhaust camshaft of the front cylinder bank, eliminating the need for a separate driving mechanism – as the pump is set close to the radiator, hoses can be considerably shorter as well
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The water pump is powered from the exhaust camshaft of the front cylinder bank, eliminating the need for a separate driving mechanism – as the pump is set close to the radiator, hoses can be considerably shorter as well
The gear train that drives the camshafts incorporates 10 gears
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The gear train that drives the camshafts incorporates 10 gears
Cross-section of the RC2313V-S cylinder head and its breathing layout (blue for intakes, red for exhausts)
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Cross-section of the RC2313V-S cylinder head and its breathing layout (blue for intakes, red for exhausts)
This diagram depicts the adjustable footpegs of the RC213V-S – for more accurate and stable movement, the levers are equipped with bearings
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This diagram depicts the adjustable footpegs of the RC213V-S – for more accurate and stable movement, the levers are equipped with bearings
This graph explains the positioning of the RC213V_S with regards to the yaw and roll inertia
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This graph explains the positioning of the RC213V_S with regards to the yaw and roll inertia
A simple diagram with the main parts of the RC213VS
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A simple diagram with the main parts of the RC213VS
The road-legal exhaust of the RC213V-S follows the shape of the RC213V racing item, but incorporates two large expansion chambers (for noise control) and two catalytic converters (for emission control)
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The road-legal exhaust of the RC213V-S follows the shape of the RC213V racing item, but incorporates two large expansion chambers (for noise control) and two catalytic converters (for emission control)

Hondalaunched the online pre-ordering platform for the RC213V-S on July 13, and inless than two months the whole production run of 213 bikes has been sold out. Withthe bike’s full spec sheet in hand we take a closer look at what is on offerfrom Honda’s road-legal MotoGP replica.

Ever sincethe official unveiling of the RC213V-S, the Internet is rife with arguments comparingthe steep price tag against the down-to-earth performance figures that Honda released.Especially in the US market, where emission and noise norms limit theroad-going RC213V-S to just 101 hp (75 kW), analogies with output numbersoffered by typical off-the-shelf 600 cc Supersports were inevitable. In Japan,the country where this MotoGP replica was born, only a measly 70 hp (52.2 kW) makeit to the rear tire without the Sports Kit.

FromHonda’s perspective the RC213V-S is not about dollar-to-power correlations. Theworld’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer decided to offer a unique opportunityto experience first-hand how MotoGP riders race the RC213V to victories. Honda didthis with a motorcycle tuned for legal use on public roads and was provenright; its collectible race replica sold out almost one month before the orderingperiod would officially expire in September 30.

The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish
The RC213V-S can be ordered in either the Tricolor option or an unpainted carbon fiber finish

Themotorcycle is hand-built at an exclusive workshop set up inside the Kumamoto factoryin Japan. The personnel working on the RC213V-S have gone through specialtraining and the manufacturing time required is enormous by modern productionstandards: one motorcycle per day. This is an inevitable reality when full-timewelders have to manually fabricate each frame, swingarm and fuel tank, beforeevery nut and bolt on the motorcycle has to be tightened to the specifiedtorque by hand, without the use of inaccurate power tools.

As a racingmachine, the RC213V has been designed with a different philosophy compared to atypical production model. The target is mass concentration as a means of reducingthe moment of inertia. Compact and lightweight, the bike has to be as maneuverableas possible while handling 270+ hp (201.4 kW), and this holy purpose pushesengineering far from any standard production logic. Material tolerances are calculateddown to the minimum, weight is dictated only by FIM’s rule book, and the onlything that matters is lapping faster than the competition. You won’t even findanti-corrosion treatment on the RCV’s metals; it’s useless in racing, besides whoin his right mind would ever expect this bike to be parked outside?

TheRC213V-S is not simply "based" on the RC213V; it is essentially the same bike,minus those parts that couldn’t possibly stand in a commercially-availablepackage. The seamless transmission is the most obvious; we’re talking about agame-changing piece of engineering whose inner workings are known to a handfulof people with exclusive access to HRC’s top-secret labs. Rumored to cost over US$500,000,it still is a technological advantage for Honda since its introduction in 2011,as its main competitors have just started catching up. During MotoGP raceweekends it is tended by special HRC engineers in total secrecy – not even the riders'engineers are allowed to watch. We cannot imagine Honda adding this to aproduction bike yet – even if we disregard any pricing notions.

The RC213V-S engine from the right side
The RC213V-S engine from the right side

The samegoes for the pneumatic valves, an expensive and difficult-to-service systemthat was understandably discarded for a conventional coil spring system,retaining though the cam gear train. Given that the S-version engine is limitedto just 12,000 rpm, there is no actual need for a mechanism that is meant toprovide accurate valve operation at very high rotation rates.

Afterremoving these two features from the RC213V, we arrive at the spec level of theopen category RCV1000R that costs around $1.6 million to the customer teamsthat use it. This is essentially the motorcycle that Nicky Hayden was racing lastyear.

Complianceto road-going norms also means removing the carbon disc brakes. Until theyreach their operating temperature, they just don’t work. If it rains, you’d bebetter off with standard steel discs covered in butter. In their place Hondahas opted for the very same Brembo steel kit that the factory RCVs run on wetraces. The complete braking system, down to the trick brake pads, isn’t cheapeither.

Theremaining 90-degree 999 cc V4 engine is essentially the same compact unit usedon the RC213V. The difference in power output is down to the electronicmanagement, which limits the revs to 12,000 rpm (the US model is further limitedto 101 hp by means of an 8,000 rpm cap) and of course the engine’s constrictedbreathing: exhausts with catalytic converters and a LED lighting structure inplace of the ram-air intakes of the racing bike.

This frame body diagram could well belong to the RC213V
This frame body diagram could well belong to the RC213V

The frame,swingarm and suspension of the S-model are almost identical to those of theRC213V. The aluminum twin spar frame with variable thickness carries severaladjustability features to the road-legal version, although the ride heightadjusting rod for the swingarm is only part of the Sports Kit. The Ohlinssuspension, TTX25 forks and TTX36 shock absorber are the same MotoGP-specparts we'd see on the RC213V. They only differ in the dust seals added to theforks for road use, and a preload adjuster designed exclusively for the RC213V-Srear shock.

The resultis a motorcycle with a curb weight of 190 kg (418 lb) with all its requiredroad-going equipment and a full tank of gas. Get rid of the lights, indicators,mirrors, license plate holders and heavy exhausts with huge expansion chambersand catalytic converters to see the total curb weight drop down to 177 kg (390lb).

The Sports Kit thatcompletes the transformation from a road-legal replica to a full-on track racerincludes a host of parts that return the motorcycle closer to its MotoGP roots.The main part of the kit is the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that unleashes215 hp (160 kW) at 13,000 rpm; that's 2,000 rpm higher than the maximumhorsepower mark of the road-legal version. The set of free-breathing exhaustssure helps a lot in this direction. The sportier side of the RC213V-S is complementedby a logger that records data in real time and combines it with GPS input toprovide an analytic overview of how the motorcycle was ridden.

Part of the SportsKit is also a load sensor-type quickshifter in place of the road-going switch type.The racing part is adjustable for shift operating load in five levels and iscombined with an inverse shifting drum that comes straight off the RC213V.

Other notable partsof this extra kit include a ram air intake made of carbon fiber-reinforcedplastic that replaces the lights at the nose of the fairing, a connecting rodfor the rear suspension that allows for ride height adjustments, a set withthree drive (15,16,17 teeth) and six driven (40 to 45 teeth) final transmission sprockets, aremote control unit for the front brake lever, special Brembo racing brakepads, plus a number of tidbits like plugs and plastic guards.

This graph explains the positioning of the RC213V_S with regards to the yaw and roll inertia
This graph explains the positioning of the RC213V_S with regards to the yaw and roll inertia

Thesport-kitted RC213V-S is no more street-worthy, but at last it now looks like aproper racer with over 215 hp for 177 kg curb weight. We can only try toimagine these performance figures on a bike that has achieved optimal mass concentration,sporting an inertial mass lower than that of 600 cc production Supersports.Adorned with components that no Superbike has ever dreamt of, we can get a pictureof just how unique this MotoGP replica actually is.

Honestly, wecan't think of someone forking out all that money for one, only to avoid theextra 6-7 percent for the Sports Kit. The bike’s road legal status sounds morelike a complimentary feature, but it is also what chokes its performance. Itwas unavoidable trying to constrain within stingy emission and sound levels aV4 that had never before found itself in the same sentence with the word "road."Just as we haven’t seen all that many Ducati Desmosedici RRs in the streetsduring the last decade, we probably won’t see often an RC213V-S commuting in a busyavenue. They’ll all be at home fully kitted, shining and anxiously waiting forthe next track day.

It’s notevery day that a motorcycle with two recent MotoGP titles under its belt (2013and 2014 by Marc Marquez) goes on sale to the public. With the high productioncosts it entails, the tall price tag was more or less expected. There is nocontemporary yardstick to measure its value against; it’s one of a kind. Ifthere is one tangible fact about the RC213V-S, it’s that it sold out in 50 days,hinting that Honda could have probably charged more and still people would havebought it.

In MotoGPterms, the RC213V-S is nowhere near the factory RC213V. It is actually similarto the RCV1000R production racer that Nicky Hayden could hardly ride into thetop ten; and he’s a former World Champion. Yet for us mortals, this would be theabsolutely closest to riding a factory Honda MotoGP racer – most would lust for a rideon it, even in its most restricted form.

Don't miss out on a visit to our gallery section, for a large collection of technical drawings and images of the RC213V-S.

In Honda's latest video, the Project Leaders of the RC213V-S explain its creation process.

RC213V-S Interview with the Engineers 〜Concept〜

Enjoy Casey Stoner as he rides and reviews the motorcycle.

Stoner with RC213V-S

Source: Honda

3 comments
gizmowiz
A much cheaper alternative is the LS-218 which will blow it away: http://www.gizmag.com/lightning-ls218-review-ls-218/36470/
Catweazle
"A much cheaper alternative is the LS-218 which will blow it away" Who wants a superbike that sounds like a deranged electric shaver? Far more amusement can be had from a 210 BHP Superbike championship replica Fireblade that can be had for around £14,000.
gizmowiz
Who wants a loud obnoxious vibrating gas engine when you can have super quiet, super smooth, super fast--nothing touches the LS-218 as it beat ALL gas bikes two years straight in the Pikes Peak race.
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