RCV action plan starts with a strip-down and will continue with engine work. The finished Macau GP bike needs to be in a shipping crate by late-October. No pressure...
Michael Rutter’s Honda RC213V-S Macau GP bike and 2016 BMW S1000RR.
IN ALL MY 30 years of working on motorcycles, this is the finest machine I’ve ever seen. Once you pull it to pieces and really get inside it... Oh my fucking god! It’s pure sex. Since you last heard from me, the RCV has been back to Honda’s Louth HQ to have the Sport Kit fitted. We’ve taken off the mirrors, indicators and 98dB exhaust, and it’s now wearing a full GP-spec open megaphone.
The real work is going to be in the engine. Up to 8000rpm it’s sedate, but above that it’s like a 500GP two-stroke. We’ve a lot of work to do to iron this powerband out. In terms of peak power, it’s already as healthy as any BMW Superbike we’ve ever run – we’re talking in the region of 220bhp at the moment.
But for Macau we need a nice midrange throttle for the run from Lisboa to the Melco hairpin – it’s all second and third gear around 9000rpm, and at the moment it’d be an animal through there.
One thing I can say for sure is it’s going to sound amazing through the streets of Macau – we had it noise-tested by the BSB officials at Oulton Park and at 5000rpm their meter was reading 124dB. Their recording equipment only goes as high as 130, and one blip of the throttle sent it off the scale...
This build is one hell of a challenge. It could be the best bike ever around Macau, but the bike isn’t designed for it. Where our BMW is essentially a road bike that we’ve turned into a race bike, with a road chassis, the RCV starts life as a customer CRT MotoGP bike, and we’re taking it racing on the roads.
There isn’t even much we can learn from Padgett’s experience of racing the RCV at the TT because we’ll run totally different gearing at Macau. Back in 2012, when Michael won the race, we took a Fireblade to Macau with TT gearing, and he was complaining to me that he was hitting the limiter in sixth.
So, the challenge is making the electronics usable for the crucial sector two, through the twists and turns. Get that right and we’re on to a winner. But before any of that can become a reality, there’s a stack of things to replace, and it’ll need to be tested somewhere. And crucially, somewhere where it meets the noise limit!
It’s a massive ask, and I’m a bit nervous. It’s time to get my head down now and make the dream a reality. We’ve a 10-year loyalty with K-Tech, so we’re replacing the Öhlins forks with K-Tech’s KTR4 Superbike forks. They’re easily as good. We’re also looking to replace the rear shock, but it’s so hard to get at, like the swingarm has been built around it. K-Tech are looking into what they can do... We can’t run magnesium wheels anywhere except Macau, so to give us some options for racing the RCV elsewhere at a later date, we’re swapping the magnesium Marchesinis with forged alloy Dymags. They made the carbon wheels for our Macau bike last year, and we trust them.
The stock Brembo calipers have been downgraded for road use, so we’re swapping them for the nickel-coated Brembos from our S1000RR. Hel have made new brake and clutch lines, too. We’re removing the whole rear brake assembly, including the pedal. It’ll be replaced with a Brembo thumb brake on the left-hand fork leg. Hel have made a custom line with dry-break so we can remove the swingarm.
4 FUEL TANK
It only holds 17 litres, which isn’t enough for Macau. I spoke to Tito Rabat at the Silverstone GP – he has one of these bikes for training, and he told us a lot about it. I went there to buy a tank, but it seems all the old CRT tanks were sent back to Honda to prevent them leaking on to the used market. You can’t buy a 22-litre tank to bolt on, so I’ll have to modify the tank myself. I’m taking the Dremel and grinder to the top, then I’ll TIG-weld aluminium bits on to up the capacity.
You can buy bare carbon panels from Honda, but they cost £8000 and the paint’s an extra £2000. Luckily, Chris recommended a man who’s now making some for us. The self-supporting seat will need its height modifying, as the peg-toseat measurement at the moment is about two inches less than Michael runs on his BMW.
6 OTHER BITS
Reactive Parts are making new screens for us, and the bars will need to be moved further forward to combat wheelies and fit Michael better. The chain and sprockets will be changed for Tsubaki/Renthals items.
Now it’s stripped, the real work of making the RCV race-ready can begin