Is the Honda RC213V-S the Newest MotoGP-Inspired V-4 Streetbike?
Updated August 19, 2015
Recently, Honda revealed its newest prototype at the EICMA show in Milan, and it put to rest all the inquisitiveness about why the company entered V-4s in the MotoGP instead of its traditional inline-fours. Honda was just testing elements of its prototype of the RC213V-S on the track and seeing how the crowds would react as well. In recent years, Honda has had great success with inline-fours, but it has fallen flat with its efforts with V-4 engines, but the RC213V-S is set to change the company’s proverbial track record.
Motorbike enthusiasts likely remember Honda’s initial V-4 experiences with the NR500 in the late 1970s and early 80s. Although that seems ages ago, that model strove to correct some of the inherent problems with inline-fours. There was a noticeable wobble in the center due to the balance between two 180-degree twins, and that shakiness had the potential to compromise the structure integrity over time and frequently caused leakage in the gaskets. Honda’s NR500 was the first of many V-4-driven models, but it wasn’t until recent years that they began outperforming inline-fours on the racetrack.
The Honda RC213V-S isn’t specifically intended for racing, however; it is meant to be driven on the street, but it has certainly benefitted from its more sporting V-4 predecessors. As a Japanese newspaper recently noted, it specifically has adopted many of the features of the award-winning RC213V, as the model name would suggest. It has simply been optimized to perform well with the stops, starts, and other challenges associated with everyday driving. If you, however, intend to give the Honda RC213V-S a spin about town, be prepared to pay a hefty price for the privilege. The opening price tag is 20 million yen, or approximately $167,000 U.S. dollars.