Honda’s new V4 su­per­bike is tak­ing shape for 2019 un­veil­ing

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page - By Ben Purvis MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

While the new Fire­blade is grab­bing the head­lines right now, Honda’s en­gi­neers are al­ready mov­ing on with a se­cret V4 su­per­bike that’s ex­pected to be un­leashed in 2019. Sched­uled to co­in­cide with Honda’s 70th an­niver­sary, the new bike is planned to be a true V4 ho­molo­ga­tion spe­cial in the vein of the leg­endary RC30 and RC45.

De­tails pub­lished last year gave the first clue to the bike’s de­sign, and showed a cast-alu­minium semi-mono­coque chas­sis like Ducati’s Pani­gale, wrapped around the RC213V-S’S GPderived V4, and de­signed to be cheaper than that bike’s hand-formed beam frame to help meet the €40,000 price cap on WSB ho­molo­ga­tion ma­chines.

Now a whole rash of new patents have emerged to flesh out the Honda project.

Patents show the way

The first re­veals a new tail unit de­sign that’s in­tended to re­duce aero­dy­namic drag. A pure sin­gle-seat set-up, it routes air through in­takes ei­ther side of the seat pad and through a duct in the top to al­low the air­flow to con­tinue an un­in­ter­rupted path from the slope of the rider’s back.

The ducts merge into a sin­gle exit hole be­tween two tail lights. Tellingly, the pa­tent spec­i­fies that there is a li­cence plate bracket bolted un­der­neath and in­di­ca­tors built into the twin brake/ tail lights. The pa­tent also spec­i­fies that it has a V-four en­gine and chain fi­nal drive. A sec­ond, con­nected pa­tent re­veals the de­sign of the ex­haust hanger and footrest bracket, and con­firms that all four cylin­ders are vented through a belly-mounted pipe, with no RCVstyle un­der-seat ex­haust.

The front sec­tions of th­ese pa­tent draw­ings are just place­hold­ers, though, show­ing a beam frame and a fair­ing like an old-school RC211V racer. The real thing will use the new mono­coque.

Hrc-glory for the road

Fur­ther patents show a new nose and in­take de­sign with a light­weight tri­an­gu­lated sup­port struc­ture for the in­stru­ments, prob­a­bly made of car­bon. It fea­tures a cen­tral in­take sim­i­lar to the cur­rent RC213V racer’s but with tiny LED head­lights hid­den in­side. The main air in­take runs straight through the steer­ing head and per­fectly matches the mono­coque frame de­sign patented last year. The mir­rors are also patented, with their own LED in­di­ca­tors in the mir­ror stalks. For the pur­poses of the patents, this nose is shown at­tached to an in­line-four bike, but again this is just a place­holder. They’re the work of one of the same de­sign­ers that’s cur­rently on the V4 project...

And Honda need this. They build some of the most ac­com­plished bikes on the planet, but what kudos they gain from their rac­ing tends to lose its al­lure as it’s re­fined for the road. This new V4 could cap­ture that raw HRC magic, and im­bues it into a pro­duc­tion bike.

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