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Honda Unveils RCV1000R MotoGP Production Racer in Valencia

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Testing for the 2014 MotoGP championship series begins on Monday immediately after the conclusion of the final round of the 2013 series at Valencia. Nicky Hayden, among others, will swing his leg over the new Honda production racer, the RCV1000R, on Monday for the first time. Honda unveiled the new bike earlier today, and two machines will be on hand for the testing next week.

There will be some sharing involved during the testing, because three riders are already identified to ride the RCV1000R next year, including Hayden (Team Aspar), Karel Abraham (Cardion AB) and rookie Scott Redding (Gresini). Team Aspar is still looking to sign a teammate for Hayden, who will also campaign the production Honda racer in next year’s “Open class”.

Honda says the RCV1000R, which has been tested extensively by former champion Casey Stoner, has the same chassis as the full factory RC213V raced by Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. It features the same 90 degree v-4 engine architecture and makes “more than” 230 hp at 16,000 rpm. The Open machine does not have the pneumatic valves found in the factory bike, nor will it have a seamless gear box (also found on the factory bike).

The Open class bikes do have some advantages versus the factory bikes, however, including their ability to carry 20% more fuel during a race, and each rider is allowed 12 engines per year (versus 5 for factory riders).

It will be interesting to see how competitive the lap times are from the new machine next week.

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53 Comments

  1. Alan Olivier says:

    How about a cameo appearance for Stoner on an RCV 1000R at the opening race in Qatar. It should set the benchmark for the rest of the season for the team and their full time riders to work with. He (Stoner) can always double as the standby rider for the rest of the season in case a replacement is needed. It would be good to have that type of talent available on tap. Personally I think stoner will easily manage a top eight finish if not better…. wouldn’t that be an upset… just a thought.

  2. Dave says:

    From another article about this bike:

    “Armed with testing data from tests this year at Motegi with its new test rider – former World Champion Casey Stoner – the production racer was only .3 of a second slower a lap than the factory prototype on the same day, same tire and the same rider (Stoner). When using the softer tire that will be available to the Open class next year, Stoner was just .17 of a second slower on the RCV1000R.”

    We are talking about the last guy to win on the “evil” Ducati, but if his times are anything to go by, this is the most competitive bike available to anyone who is not on a Factory Honda or Jorge Lorenzo himself.

    • Dave says:

      No times from the new or Factory Honda (other than Bradl) yet but here are test times from Day 1 of 2014 testing. Yamaha on top with Rossi very close to Jorge. 3 Ducatis within 1 second of the Yamahas.

      1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’31.257
      2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’31.350
      3. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP 1’31.751
      4. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing 1’31.925
      5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’31.943
      6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Ducati Team 1’32.054

      • Dave says:

        More- Hondas in there now & Hayden going slow:
        Po. Name TeamGap First
        1MARQUEZ M.Repsol Honda Team1:30.536
        2LORENZO J.Yamaha Factory Racing+0.232
        3PEDROSA D.Repsol Honda Team+0.412
        4BRADL S.LCR Honda MotoGP+0.454
        5BAUTISTA A.GO&FUN Honda Gresini+0.672
        6SMITH B.Monster Yamaha Tech 3+0.861
        7ROSSI V.Yamaha Factory Racing+0.878
        8DOVIZIOSO A.Ducati Team+1.125
        9ESPARGARO P.Monster Yamaha Tech 3+1.300
        10IANNONE A.Pramac Racing+1.308
        11CRUTCHLOW C.Ducati Team+1.578
        12PIRRO M.Ducati Test Team+1.937
        13HAYDEN N.Power Electronics Aspar+2.040

  3. tori zimbalis says:

    This is exactly how its supposed to be done….a manufacturer gets to highlight its great achievements at winning and prunes its weapon slightly for the non factory teams…this in turn will lead to showroom interest and the prelude to more exiting production models to follow along these lines….

    we need the other manufactures to follow suit and offer similar machines…

    some smaller displacement models make sense too…I’d love to see moto2 become factory based 500cc 4t…and production models to follow…moto 3 is already close to that objective

    good stuff

    • Dave says:

      There was talk of making all GP classes a spec cylinder/valvetrain, locking all dimensions so that there would be 250cc single, 500cc twin, and 1k cc 4’s, all with exactly the same cylinder and valve dimensions.

  4. Michael H says:

    Oh sure, nobody complains about the beak on THIS bike.

  5. Philip says:

    Will the open class bikes have to roll on the same tires as the full factory bikes? Will there be more or less options in tires overall next year?

  6. Neil says:

    It’s a chance for Honda to develop their product and test things. They still test engines, frame configurations, all kinds of parts. They get to use 12 engines and 6 liters of fuel. They can test in a live environment the difference between one valve train and another, one transmission and another. They can tear down and engine and test wear and tear. If anything we can blame the TV for not showing us more of the other battles on track. They could easily show us a split screen. By the way, the new Kawasaki scooter looks nice. I also like the Yamaha twin and triple naked bikes. http://www.motorcyclenews.com/upload/300874/images/yamaha-mt-09-sr.jpg
    http://www.motorcyclenews.com/upload/300895/images/mt-07-2.jpg

  7. chun says:

    isn’t suzuki supposed to be in this fight next year?

  8. MGNorge says:

    One thing all these Hondas swarming around the track does is put Honda in all the viewer’s faces. I’m sure Honda is expecting some payback from the showroom floor, especially when a certain expected super sport bike hits!If I was in that market it would certainly help get my juices flowing!

  9. Need For Speed says:

    Why hasn’t anybody stated the obvious? Put the damn thing into production. Other than lights, just like it is. 90 Day Warranty. With economies of scale, I bet they could list it for $25,000. People have already gotten used to $15K for a liter bike. At this level of performance (and street cred!), alot of people would caugh up the extra 10 grand. Plus, this bike needs no aftermarket accessories. It would kill the HP4, 1199R, etc.

    • VLJ says:

      Probably the suspension and brakes alone cost more than an entire CBR1000RR. Then there’s that whole EPA emissions thing, not to mention those loud, open pipes. Also, this motor is only designed to survive x-amount of races, which would make for some seriously unhappy buyers who don’t have another motor handy to drop into the chassis the moment the thing gives up the ghost.

      • Dave says:

        The Ducati Desmodicci wasn’t exactly a high demand piece. Honda confirmed that there was a V4 production street superbike on the way. Open bikes are already too fast, I’ rather see them return to their roots and make smaller displacement premium bikes, similar to what Triumph does with the D675. Not the most power, the *right* power.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Why hasn’t anybody stated the obvious?”

      because Honda themselves already have. they said they are going to produce a special. full stop, not to be confused with HOMOLOGATION.

  10. sl says:

    Why not make two simultaneous races. Moto gp, and spec class. Similar to grand am racing. You could even get crazy and add bonus points to specs for evey gp bike they place ahead of. Even if my idea sucks, it can’t be worse than field fillers that have no chance if being competitive. They can barely be considered “also rans”.

    • VLJ says:

      Yep. Nothing is more kissing-your-sister meh than seeing the MotoGP promoters celebrating the top CRT finisher with an extra place on the podium. What an ugly, cynical joke.

      • sl says:

        It would atleast give us a reason to acknowledge their existence. No one said give them a podium, just a realistic goal.

        • Dave says:

          Crt’s were more competitive than other backmarkers had been historically. In that 500cc days the leaders would lap far more riders than they do now. Riders who complained about lapping them weren’t acknowledging that before that had that problem, there were only about a dozen bikes on the starting line.

          A better reason for not having a “top-crt” rider on the podium is to protect the more highly invested factory efforts that are embarrassed for finishing behind crt’s.

  11. Brian says:

    I think Nicky will at least have fun fighting for 2nd tier results rather than fighting for 9th or 10th place.
    It should be a good time for him, and for fans at the races watching the close mid-pack battles.

    • VLJ says:

      Nicky will start each race knowing he has nothing for the three factory Hondas (Bradl’s is considered factory-spec), the two factory Yamahas, and the two Tech 3 Yamahas. Short of attrition, he starts each race with an eighth-place finish, at best. One of these years Ducati will get their act together again, and they’re running, what, four factory-spec bikes? Aprilia lost Gigi, but they still have a decent bike, and they’re looking to step things up in MotoGP, starting in two years. Meanwhile, Suzuki is set to return next year with a full factory effort.

      By my math, guys like Nicky on the “customer” bikes will soon need a whole lot of luck even to get a sniff of the top ten. It’s down to whether Ducati stays in their way; if they can, then your top ten finishers are already slotted, and the satellite guys will have next-to-no chance of running with the second-tier pack.

      • Jim says:

        I would love to race at this level, on anything. You need to get some perspective other than from your easy-chair.

        • VLJ says:

          I’m not talking about you or myself, I’m talking about the teams and sponsors. They aren’t sitting in their easy chairs, spectating. They have a vested interest in this, and I can’t see the payoff for consistently struggling to finish twelth.

          • Paul says:

            Absolutely. An open class team is still a pretty expensive proposition. All the teams need sponsors and sponsors and TV networks don’t like a non-competitive field. The days of privateers racing out of the backs of vans is long gone.

            The production bikes help maintain the status quo for now but could very likely be a prelude to 2017 when the current agreement with the MSMA expires adn a lot of things could change.

      • Brian says:

        Bradl is not typically consistent, so you never know. for the 2 tech 3’s, Smith was a rookie and his performance next year is still going to be a question. Pol is not a Marquez, so we’ll see if he has the Smith results next year. and Gresini, who knows if Bautista runs with it or crashes into someone. I think Nicky will be higher than barely a top 10. I think Ducati will only be running 3 factory spec. Hernandez is going to ride a “works” bike.

        • VLJ says:

          Bradl is inconsistent, but not to the extent that he’s ever much of a threat to finish outside the top eight, much less the top ten. Bautista on the Gresini Honda will always finish ahead of the satellite guys, assuming he finishes at all.

          I don’t know about you, but I consider the “second tier” to be those guys who aren’t fighting for the podium yet who are always ahead of everyone else. Most weekends, your podium involves the Three Amigos, with Rossi occasionally crashing the party. Next, you’ve got the fading Crutchlow, along with Bautista and Bradl. Those are your first two tiers: a total of seven riders. Short of someone crashing out or otherwise running into serious trouble, Bradley Smith and the woebegone Ducati jockeys rarely intrude on that fight for fourth through seventh. No one on a satellite bike even comes a’ knockin’, and that will be Nicky’s fate.

          • Brian says:

            yeah, we’ll see how it goes. Of course Crutchlow on a Ducati may not be the same as the Tech 3 Crutchlow. and Stoner was fairly happy with this bike in testing. I’m only hoping for the best for a few more to fight in the 2nd tier pack, and wondering who is going to be teammate with Hayden.

      • “Nicky will start each race knowing he has nothing…”

        We will see about that, won’t we? Every rider/team combo will be unique. But Casey Stoner is said to have been just 0.3 seconds off the factory bike lap time on this bike. The current Ducati hasn’t been within 1 second a lap from the front with ANY rider on it, including one of the all-time greats. So, I imagine, we will see…

      • FD says:

        Thought Bautista’s Honda was factory spec as well.

    • Glen says:

      DOn’t forget the non-factories get MORE GAS! More Gas = More Power. Some,not all,tracks will reward more power.

      • Dave says:

        And more than twice as many engines. As long as the season is, it is not inconceivable that these could wind up with a power advantage since they’re pretty much disposable. They have to be at least as powerful as the Aprilia CRT, right?

  12. VLJ says:

    Never quite understood the whole satellite-team concept. What’s in it for these guys? For the riders, sure, it’s (hopefully, but not always) a paycheck. But the team owners and sponsors? Teams using bikes like these are barely sniffing around the periphery of the occasional top ten finish, so how are they profiting by being out there? This isn’t even Tech 3 Yamaha or LCR Honda-level machinery. Guys on these “customer” bikes not only have zero chance of winning, they have zero chance of being competitive on a dry track.

    Who enjoys racing when their race is over before it’s even begun? I mean, besides the Chicago Cubs.

    • uberboxer says:

      wow! that was the most obtuse backhand to the Cubs I’ve ever seen…..poor Cubbies, no love, but well played!

    • Pablo says:

      “Guys on these “customer” bikes not only have zero chance of winning, they have zero chance of being competitive on a dry track.”
      Not if Bautista takes out a couple of the front runners. “To finish first, first you must finish”.

      • VLJ says:

        If Bautista goes Bautista on a couple of the frontrunners, great, Nicky may finish seventh instead of ninth, assuming the Ducatis remain nothing but gorgeous red tugboats.

    • Dave says:

      Perhaps the problem is the language. If the whole thing was simply MOTOGP and all the bikes in the field were called MOTOGP, no matter what, then there would just be a dance of ability and speed, the way there is in moto2.

      O also think it would be good to remove the differentiator between “factory” and “satellite teams and force the participating all riders on their equipment equally.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The teams are probably happy just to be a part of top-tier motorcycle racing and would work for peanuts if they had to. (I hear many of them DO work for peanuts.) The sponsors of said teams are likewise happy to be a part of top-tier motorcycle racing as well. It gets there name in front of an enthusiastic audience, which probably has a very measurable effect in MotoGP crazy Europe.

      The deepest pockets get the best riders and teams and thus the most exposure, just like any other advertising medium. If you have a brand related to motorsports performance like Repsol, then podium finishes are probably an extremely important part of your sponsorship strategy as losing dilutes the value of your brand. If you are not a performance product manufacturer, then the podium likely doesn’t matter as much since it is just the exposure you want. That’s my theory anyway.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The teams are probably happy just to be a part of top-tier motorcycle racing and would work for peanuts if they had to. (I hear many of them DO work for peanuts.)

        which considering the sport and monies involved, this ultimately has the knock-on-effect of someone DYING for peanuts.

        what we’ve got here is an ethical conundrum… (strother martin voice)

  13. Blackcayman says:

    Giddy-up

    I hope Nicky can hang up front on it…

  14. Norm G. says:

    push 2,000 of these off on their dealer network at $250 grand a pop and they’re all set for Worl’ Soup.

    FISTPUMP…!!!

  15. Yoda from Idaho says:

    No need for speed here