The Honda RCV1000R has been designed for MotoGP’s new 2014 rules that will allow non-factory teams to run bikes to slightly different specification than the works teams.
Under the open class rules entrants have access to 12 engines (rather than five) for the season, but they must all run the same Magneti Marelli electronics and have a larger 6.3-gallon fuel tank.
Unlike the factory Honda RC213V, this “production” version Honda does not have a seamless shift gearbox or pneumatically operated valves. It’s thought the engine will produce 235 bhp. The bike will run Ohlins suspension and Nissin brakes.
There is no official confirmation from Honda on the exact price of RCV1000R, but experts have been estimating you’re going to need at least $1.6 million to get yourself on one for the 2014 MotoGP season.
So far, four have been sold with Scott Redding and the Gresini Honda team running this Honda production racer in 2014, along with Karel Abraham and Cardion AB. The Power Electronics Aspar team has also confirmed it will be running a pair of RCV1000Rs in 2014, one for Nick Hayden and a second for Hiroshi Aoyama.
Following the last round of the 2013 MotoGP season at the Valencia circuit, in Spain, both Hayden and Aoyama got to experience their first test session on their new RCV1000Rs.
The American rider managed to get more than 70 laps of testing in with a best time of 1m 32.576s, which was more than two seconds off the pace set in practice by current MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez.
However, it is still early days for the new Honda production racer and Hayden said after the test session: “This is a new project and there is a long road ahead, but that's what makes it so interesting. I really enjoyed my first contact with the bike. There is a lot to learn and I need to build a relationship with the mechanics, but I am really happy with today for a first shakedown.”
“The team has helped me a lot and I had a lot of engineers around me all day. We can see how much work there is to do, but the base is solid. We couldn't have had better conditions to ride in today. It would have been nice to finish with some stronger lap times but overall we're happy.”