Sometimes we forget that racing for Honda and other manufacturers is all about selling street bikes . . . lots of street bikes. Next year’s MotoGP series will have exotic four-strokes from at least Yamaha and Honda, with others in earlier stages of development.
Two-stroke racing is good racing, but it lacks a direct relationship to street bike technology. Expect manufacturers to pattern street bikes after their GP machines (although the race bikes themselves must be pure prototypes). Ask yourself this. If Valentino Rossi wins the championship next year on a V-5 Honda four-stroke, and television commentators gush about the unique exhaust note every time the 240 horsepower monster flashes by, will Honda put a V-5 engine in a street legal machine for sale to the public? Of course, it will.
Remember, also, that Honda has been developing V-4 technology for years, both in street bikes and race bikes. A V-5 sportbike is a natural for Honda. If its MotoGP race machine succeeds, expect one on your dealer’s floor in roughly 2004.