We ride the Honda RC213V-S race replica that’s both astronomically fast and pricey!
For the uninitiated, the Honda RC213V-S isn’t your average performance superbike. It is in fact a hand-built and homologated, street-legal version of the race- and title-winning RC213V MotoGP bike raced by Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
Given its limited production run with less than 200 in existence, seeing 10 units sitting in a pit garage, all ready for a spanking around a track, was a huge treat.
This is a motorcycling ‘Bucket List’ item for many fans and enthusiasts alike, and that’s exactly what transpired during the recent annual press appreciation and gathering Boon Siew Honda held not too long ago. Here’s what we can tell you about this million-Ringgit race replica for the road.
At first glance, the RC213V-S mirrors the RC213V MotoGP racer very closely, retaining much of the race-developed aerodynamic vents, channels and recesses around its carbon fibre body. There are minute differences of course, but the most apparent is the addition of street-legal lights front and aft, not forgetting the license plate holders too.
Those road-ready attributes do little to hide the RC213V-S’ true nature as a precision instrument of aerodynamics and speed. This was immediately evident when we nestled ourselves into the hot seat and came to terms with its racy ergonomics – footrests and controls swept all the way back, handlebar mounted low and forward.
If you ever wondered what it felt like to be Marc Marquez or Dani Pedrosa in their respective ‘offices’, the RC213V-S replicates this perfectly. The experience is made even more authentic should you don full race leathers, gloves, boots and a full-face helmet as we did.
Comfort is perhaps the last thing on anyone’s mind when designing the RC213V-S, but that’s a given for any race bike. What’s surprising here was how intuitively-positioned all the controls felt. Adding a greater sense of occasion here was the large digital instrument screen mounted front and centre displaying all the necessary readouts.
Thumb the electric start button on the right and the RC213V-S’ 999cc V4 heart comes to life easily. This mill is a detuned version of the unit powering MotoGP champion Marquez’s bike, boasting a softened soundtrack and lower headlining figures of 160hp and 102Nm of torque, both managed by a slick six-speed racing gearbox.
Yes, those figures are well down from the actual GP bike’s claimed output of over 235hp, but it still is no slouch when it comes to propelling the RC213V-S’ claimed 170kg dry weight up to speeds. In fact, it does so faster than most 1,000cc production superbikes will.
In standard ‘road’ trim, an electronic limiter governs the RC213V-S’ powertrain, disallowing anyone from revving past 9,000rpm and hitting speeds above 195kph. But by no means is this a deal-breaker considering that this ‘softening’ was all meant to prolong the powertrain’s lifespan for road use.
Oily bits aside, what truly shined during our on-track session was the sharp and nimble the chassis. The presence of top-flight and race-bred hardware, namely Öhlins suspension, Brembo anchors, a slew of clever electronics, plus a pair of sticky tyres, ensured this GP replica handles just as well as the actual GP bike itself.
Even with all that racing hardware, maximsing it to clock in a fast laptime still requires a high degree of skill. This was made clear when both Honda works riders and local prodigies Khairul Idham Pawi and Zaqhwan Zaidi took an RC213V-S each out on track to set blazing personal bests before taking time at guiding us journos.
At this point, the RC213V-S in its standard road trim already sounds like a handful. However, there exists an optional ‘Sports Kit’ that turns things all the way up to 11. This kit not only lightens the bike further by 10kgs, it also sees output boosted to whopping 215hp and over 118Nm, not forgetting the derestricted top speed, rev limit, and exhaust note.
You’re definitely going to need serious skills to tame such a beastly machine with said option, and yet that’s not the most absurd part about this race replica. With all the serious performance it boasts, nothing gets more serious than the astronomical price tag this race replica commands.
In fact, it’s so absurd, the folks at Boon Siew Honda tried hard to shy away from answering this question. Eventually, an insider revealed that collectors will need to fork out close to RM1 million to own one, provided Honda still wants to produce any more RC213V-S than it already has planned of course.
In other words, the RC213V-S not only demands the best of skills to tame it, especially with the optional Sports Kit brimmed, it also warrants a galactic-sized bank account to match. This is perhaps the most expensive adrenaline rush on two wheels that money can – or can’t? – buy.
Call it an overpriced toy for the wealthy if you will, there’s little to smear the lore for speed and performance that this race replica has created, not to mention Honda’s outright race engineering brilliance. Best of all, those lucky enough to own one will also own a slice of motorcycle racing history, and that’s priceless.
Honda RC213V-S Specifications
||999cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-valve V4
||160hp @ 11,000rpm
215hp @ 13,000rpm (Sports Kit)
||102Nm @ 10,500rpm
over 118Nm @ 10,500rpm (Sports Kit)
||6-speed manual + dry multi-plate clutch
||Hand built, twin-spar aluminum
||F: Telescopic Öhlins TTX25 gas forks
R: Pro-Link, Öhlins TTX36
||F: Brembo four-piston calipers, Hydraulic double disc
R: Hydraulic disc
160kg (dry) (Sports Kit)
(Approx. RM1 million)