October 22, 2019 By Miguel C. Bichara Photos by Randy Silva-Netto

MotoGP for the Street: Riding the Most Expensive Honda Motorcycle on Philippine Soil

Have you ever been called to test the most expensive motorcycle in the Phils? I have! It was great honor to be given the rare opportunity to be the first Filipino to ever track test this 2016 Honda RC213V-S. This is a street legal “MotoGP” bike and incidentally, also “the only one” in the Phils. Track test was done at the Batangas Racing Circuit.

As mentioned, this is also the most expensive motorcycle I ever threw my hands on and used on a track. Handling is very 250cc like. So flickable, so agile and very stable. Such a superb piece of Japanese Machinery. Best handling bike I have ever ridden, hands down!. Quality and workmanship of this particular bike is direct from its MotoGP efforts.

It’s powered by a 999cc, 90 degree V4 motor with titanium connecting rods. Mass is so centralized and has features like Under the seat fuel tank, Carbon fiber fairings from head to tail, trickled with titanium nuts and bolts all around. Not mentioning, the top of the shelf TTX Ohlins suspension front and rear, Brembo brakes and Forged magnesium wheels.

To give you a little history of this kind of Machine or where its based from,..this is the same bike the current MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez won his 2013 and 2014 MotoGP titles on. Few years later, Honda HRC in Kumamoto, Japan came out with this “hand built” Street Legal MotoGP bike in 2016 for 150 lucky owners. It’s not every day that a motorcycle with two recent MotoGP Titles under its belt goes on sale to the public. With the high production costs it entails, the very tall price tag was more or less expected.

The frame, swingarm and suspension of this S Model are almost Identical to those of the RC213V MotoGP machine. This street legal bike weighs about 190kg with all the required road going equipment and a full tank of gas. But, get rid of the lights, indicators, Mirrors, Licence plate brackets and that heavy stock exhaust with its built in catalytic and you will see the weight drop easily to 170 plus kgs.

Let’s talk about the power. This bike came over into our Philippine shores stock and in super restricted form. A Race Kit is included once you buy a bike as expensive and as track focused as this. Though the Race Kit has not been installed during my track test. Why? It’s an expensive well crafted, blue printed, hand built engine and HRC Japan wants the owner to fully comply with its break-in requirements before the actual race kit is installed by HRC Honda Japan technicians. This Race Kit completes the transformation from a road going replica to a full blown track race bike which draws closer to its MotoGP Roots. Ok, the main part of the kit which was shown to me was all packed neatly in a big Aluminium case which looked like it was made by famous luggage company -Rimowa…but made by HRC as well. Race Kit was packed in a very expensive looking case which was slightly bigger than our Balikbayan box.

The Race kit contained the main part which was the Race ECU – Electronic Control Unit that unleashes 215hp at 13,000rpm and that’s 2,000rpm higher than the maximum horsepower mark in street legal trim. Other notable parts shown to me were Carbon Ram air intake that replaces the lights of the nose of the fairing, adding more air intake. A connecting rod/lever for the rear suspension that allows ride height adjustments, a set of 3 counter-shaft sprockets in 15, 16, 17 teeth and 6 rear sprockets from size 40-45 teeth too. A remote control unit for the front brake lever, several compounds of Brembo racing brake pads and of course a full titanium race exhaust with a race air filter to match.

Sadly, as mentioned, when I tested the bike, it didn’t throw off the actual horsepower I was expecting. The Japanese technician at the track informed me that when the bike is fully broken in, they will have to import another qualified race HRC Technician to install the race kit and tune the bike via its Race ECU, only then, they will call me again for another tracktest with its full race tuned 215hp set up. I am going to wait for that call.

Nonetheless, though the bike’s ECU was limited to 7,000rpm only instead of 13,000 maximum limit, I was still able to get the feel of the bike in a slower sense of things. Brakes were brick wall strong, handling was not 600cc but more 250cc like from this liter MotoGP package. BRC is known to be a bumpy racetrack and the bike just stayed on the path I directed the bike to go. Just like the saying “like it was on rails”. It’s simply very telepathic with rider commands it to do. Simply amazing feeling!! Was extremely stable. But then again at 7,000rpm…I just threw the bike around from side to side to test the actual handling and not the outright speed as the bike was in restricted Break in mode. The sound the bike makes at a restricted 7,000rpm with its stock exhaust is very intoxicating , what more in its derestricted full power race mode. I was wanting to push but again the ECU simply kept reminding me and restricting my desire to pin the throttle to the rev limit.

This bike handled like no other liter bike I have ever tested for obvious reasons. Looking at every piece of equipment on the bike is simply a work of Japanese precision and work of art. Nothing comes close to the degree of perfection these Japanese HRC Technicians put into these kind of hand built production lines. There really is no contemporary yardstick to measure the value against.,it’s one of a kind.

I wish to thank Wheeltek Honchos Roscoe Odulio and Bobby Orbe for giving me first crack in testing this beautiful and very, very, very expensive street legal MotoGP race machinery.

 

I will wait for that call once the race kit is installed. Then you will get a much better in-depth review of the actual 215hp performance of this E180,000 Euro price tag work of art!

 

Is it worth owning? Definitely YES!

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