‘It’s off the chart’

Performance Bikes (UK) - - A GRAND DAY OUT -

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.

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