This week was the first time Honda allowed any journalist aboard their new MotoGP monster turned production bike, the RC213V-S. The first of the reviews are going live and it seems as if one single ride has justified the whole thing.
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From Europe’s Michael Neeves at MCN:
A few minutes ago I was ogling the sublime attention to detail – the hand-fabricated chassis, Öhlins gas fork, magnesium wheels and the swathes of flawless carbon fibre. Like me, you’ll probably never be able to afford the RC213V-S, but it is worth the 188,000 Euro (£137,000) asking price when you see what you get for the money, and when you consider that last year’s RCV1000R ‘open’ MotoGP bike cost a million Euros to lease… and another million to run. The RC213V-S certainly looks like a bargain when you think of it in those terms.
Then there’s the handling. It’s not just more agile than a 1000, it makes 600s and 400s seem like lumbering hippos. It turns like a 250cc GP bike and there’s no sense of mass-produced bulk or flab. It’s hand-made, blueprinted perfection – and a bike made to flatter the rider.
And regarding riding the RC213V-S with the Sport Kit, which takes the bike from 159 horsepower to 215.
Now it’s a screaming, ear-piercingly loud MotoGP bike with lights. Its limit is so far away from what a normal rider like me can muster. It’s unreal.
On the standard RC213V-S the electronics are too strangling, but now you’re glad of the nine-stage power control, the anti-wheelie and the chance to knock a fraction off the initial power delivery. The rider aids work smoothly and help you ride very fast, very safely, like the latest R1 and 1299 Panigale.
Don Canet from Cycleworld had this to say:
Having now ridden the RC213V-S on the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, I must admit to harboring serious envy for the affluent few who will soon have one of these very special jewels parked in their garage. Never have I ridden a production sport bike exuding such a high level of chassis precision and control. Every aspect of the rider/bike interface is the epitome of refined performance.
The Sport Kit version offers a genuine taste of riding a modern MotoGP machine. But then again, the only MotoGP bike I’ve personally experienced was the RC211V that Valentino Rossi rode to the 2002 MotoGP world title, and that brief ride took place at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. Rusty recollection or not, I’m a believer.
Motorcycle.com’s Tom Roderick added
What I’ve come to terms with is the person who can afford a $184k motorcycle can also afford to find a way to circumvent Honda’s stonewalling and unlock the full potential of the RCV-S. Having now ridden the Euro spec RC213V-S and its race-kitted counterpart, I’ve also come to understand that horsepower – although important – plays somewhat of a sideshow to the bike’s magic-carpet-ride experience.
The S model isn’t equipped with Honda’s secret seamless transmission, but the attention to detail in the drivetrain is felt in the perfect engagement of the of the quick-shifter grabbing a higher gear in the cassette transmission, the light action of the dry clutch felt at the lever, and the ability of the slipper assist to mask any interference after dropping three gears and dumping the clutch upon entering a fast sweeper.
It’s not until you put the Honda on its side, though, that you begin to appreciate how confidence-inspiring the RCV-S really is. Never before has the term mass-centralization meant as much as when applying the phrase to RC213V-S. The bike’s ability to cope with any hard-braking or cornering situation is well above the skills of most mortal riders. The RCV-S inspires so much confidence you feel as if grand prix road racing may have been your true calling. Upon further reflection you realize you’re barely scratching the surface of a motorcycle with such depth of performance you’ll never mine the entirety of its potential.
After having spent a day aboard the RC213V-S, and if we were to pretend I could actually afford one, was I convinced it’s value is worthy of the price tag? Yes. Not only is it a sublime motorcycle in every sense of motorcycle performance, it’s also something so unique and rare it could command an even greater retail value, and most likely will over the coming years.
Since we weren’t able to make it on this trip, we’re working with Honda to bring you our own thoughts on the Honda RC213V-S in short order.
In the mean time, these three fellas know their supersport bikes and it’s encouraging to see such positive reviews of a bike that seemed so difficult to believe in.