Honda RC213V-S in Detail

Honda RC213V-S
Honda RC213V-S

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.

Honda RC213V-S Top Yoke
Honda RC213V-S Top Yoke

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..

Honda RC213V-S LHD rearset
Honda RC213V-S LHD rearset (surely that should be LFT, Left Foot)

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.

RC213V-S Drawing
RC213V-S Drawing


Who lives at the bottom of the garden?

Indonesian Orb Weaver spider Argiope appensa
Indonesian Orb Weaver spider Argiope appensa

A real beauty. According to Wikipedia this type of Orb Weaver spider is typically found in Hawaii. This lady keeps watch amongst the plants outside our office in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia.

There is no explanation for why the spider’s body is bright yellow. Generally spiders do not signal venomosity through coloration. I am unclear as to whether this spider would offer a serious bite to a human. Certainly spiders of the genus Argiope will bite in self-defense, their venom known as argiotoxin, a class of polyamine.

I found the diagonal zigzag pattern of the spider’s web stabilimentum most intriguing. Who is it for? The spider, prey, or other low flying animals? What does it do? Reflect UV, attract mates, stabilize the web in high winds? And why is it that particular pattern?

Perhaps the spider enjoys the aesthetic quality of a well made web. After watching it ebb and flow under a light early morning breeze, I know I do. It is one of the classic designs of the natural world.

Hot, Fast, Noisy, and Stinky

As human civilisation arcs towards the Singularity, A.I. progresses with deep neural networks refined through reinforcement learning, and we detect consciousness in animals outside the primates…. Why in the name of all that is reasoned would a man love something as uncompromisingly retrograde as a motorcycle? Aren’t they uncomfortable, dangerous, loud enough for legal action, a combustible cocktail of hot fluids, mass and velocity that can scorch, stain, scar and mess you up?

Dangerous to the point of insanity. In fact, dangerous to the pointy-end, way beyond the reasoning of a sane man. Motorcycles just are.

That’s why your first love’s parents didn’t like you. They saw that gleam in your eye. Instinctively they knew you were no good for their daughter in the same way she was instinctively drawn to the man. The man with bike. The sort of man you’d keep your daughter from meeting.

For men embraced by Immortality, a bike proves they are right. Until they aren’t.

For men of an age that feels like circulating soap suds about to plunge down the bath hole, a bike proves they still have it. Not gout, a menage of veneral diseases, or intractable arthritis. The means. The energy. The life. Even if that means little more than owning an ignition key.

For men embraced by the Grim Reaper, a bike offers an happy ending. Yes, like the Ancient Greeks said, a heroic death is a good death. And heroic is any speed above the ton, and any ride that catches some air.

Hot, Noisy, Stinky...
Hot, Fast, Noisy, and Stinky – The Ducati Desmosedici RR

We get older but not necessarily wiser. Oh yes, wise enough to stop crashing. Those old crashes are beginning to haunt our bones anyway. Running is for young limbs or limbs that haven’t crashed (or hauled too many rucksacks too far, but I digress.) Stiff in the morning doesn’t have the meaning it used to have back in the day.

Think you have recovered from puberty? Neuroscience concludes that men’s brains don’t mature until twenty-five years old. And by that time it is too late to re-write bad habits and poor judgement brought on by surplus testesterone. Ways of being, ingrained over more than one decade.

At ten years old, you liked the idea of speed. At fifteen you liked the feeling. By twenty-five years old you’d go out of your way for speed; bikes, parachutes, base jumping, and as many “off-piste adventures” you could fit in before being caught.

And now, do you feel like you know better? In charge of that testersterone? Facial hair proves otherwise.

Hot, fast, noisy, and stinky. Fuck, I really love bikes.