They say that form follows function. If that is the case then the Honda RC213V-S is the ultimate expression of a road going superbike. Based on the mechanical approach of a MotoGP bike, the Honda design places the emphasis not on outright power but on its dynamic qualities. Honda engineers said they wanted to create the best handling roadgoing motorcycle in the world.
Every aspect of the bike holds a level of finish and detail that is seldom seen in production motorcycles. For example, if you look closely the cable guides mounted on the upper front of the airbox cover are carbon fibre. In fact, all of the body-work and fairings are made from carbon fibre. Which compliments the finest grades of aluminum, magnesium, and titanium used for the engine block and internals, crankcase, con-rods, external fittings et al..
Sometimes it is hard to get an accurate appraisal of high-end machinery because people being people, well, they are easily influenced. The journalists and riders who have ridden the bike report that Honda met its goal. Perhaps more interesting is the reaction of experienced Isle of Man TT racer Bruce Anstey.
With just one sighting lap on his Valvoline Racing/Padgetts team Honda CBR1000RR, Bruce Anstey took the RC213V-S out to record an average speed of 127.071mph over the famed TT course . His top speed was 193.4mph. The following day Bruce went out again on the RC213V-S to record an speed average of 128.98mph.
So the bike is fast. What did he think of its handling? According to reports Bruce said that the RC213V-S’s low center of gravity and frame geometry, when compared to the race-prepared CBR1000RR, made the RC213V-S feel small and more “nimble”.
Nonetheless there was a problem with the RC213V-S’s gearbox. Anstey found it too slow for the TT and reckoned he lost time through slow shifts. Whether this was a software or hardware probelm was not reported.
Kudos to Clive Padgett for lending Bruce the RC213S-V, prepared for the TT with K-Tech forks and rear shock (because Padgetts are most familiar the K-Tech), different wheels, and modified to stand up to the rigors of the course.
My thanks to A.Hakim of Honda BigBike Indonesia for showing me the RC213V-S in Jakarta and answering my questions. He, too, is a fortunate man since he has ridden the RC213V-S, in his case around the Sentul Circuit near Jakarta.