‘It’s off the chart’
I’LL GET STRAIGHT to the point: the RC213V-S isn’t worth its £160,000 price tag. But it is the best and highest quality bike I’ve ever ridden. The attention to detail is off the chart. The front mudguard that shrouds the fork bottoms. The way all the cables and sensor leads are pre-shaped and attached. The fact that the footpegs are the nicest I’ve ever felt through my boots. The ‘RCV’ etched on the chain link, the carbon and titanium everywhere you look, and the quality of the paint... it’s all as you’d expect from HRC. And that’s just the stuff you can see.
It’s the sheer quality of mechanical parts, specifically the engine and gearbox, that elevates the experience above any other. There’s dozens of bikes that are faster than it, especially in 160bhp road-legal spec, but that is missing the point. Even with just 7000rpm to play with, the RCV’s reason for being is clear.
By the time you read this, Rutter’s crew chief Alec will be well into removing the road parts and replacing them with Michael’s preferred race bits. Then the Sports Kit will be fitted: an exhaust, ECU and a proper ram-air intake to replace the headlight. Then it’ll be a 220bhp+ race bike with potential beyond even Michael’s Superstock-trim BMW S1000RR. It will be very close to the MotoGP bike that spawned it, with very few significant changes. Alec won’t have to remove a single engine cover before it goes racing.
When you consider what Honda have made available for that whopping price tag, it’s remarkable. Knowing that I may be the only person who ever rides #090 on the public highway makes me slightly sad, but I’ll be dining out on it for many years to come.