Up Close With Honda’s 2017 RC213V Racing Machine (Gallery)
With the MotoGP’s pre-season Sepang test now behind us, the factory teams have treated us with some great high-resolution pictures of their prototype racers for the 2017 Championship. Honda’s thoroughbred RC213V gets some interesting updates for 2017, though most of them are on the inside – but that won’t stop us from ogling some pictures of the world’s most sophisticated racing machines…
Naturally, all the real vital statistics are kept on a need to know basis, and as humble civilians, we don’t need to know. What we can tell you though, is that the 2017 RC213V MotoGP racer is capable of over 240 hp, can reach incredibly high top speeds, and can smash around a world-class circuit like Sepang with impressive lap times. What are the differences from the 2016 version? Well, they’re few and far between. But again, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
For the new season, Honda have experimented with a new firing interval order for their powerful V4 engines. One Japanese journalist dubbed it the “big-bang” firing order, and that’s about all we really know. From that not-so-subtle name, we can guess that the firing intervals have been changed to bring ignition points closer together. Some have theorized that Honda may be firing one of the two sets of cylinders together, and the remaining pair at a slightly different timing. We don’t really know for sure – but it is tiny details like this that help give Honda’s racing bikes the edge, we’re hoping they’ll divulge their secret in a bit more detail! From watching the MotoGP online footage, it didn’t make a massive difference to the sound, or in fact any audible difference at all…
One thing that is certainly different to the 2016 RC213V, is the exhaust system. Honda have been assisted by SC Project for the exhausts on their 2017 models, as opposed to Termignoni from last time around. The new system looks a little similar to the Termignoni, but it’s a little straighter and more angled, and a hell of a lot longer. We can only surmise that the exhaust arrangement has been set to cater for the new engine “big bang” engine idea…or it might be completely unrelated and the new exhaust is an attempt to squeeze out more power in general.
Eagle eyed viewers might be able to notice that Marquez’s bike (#93) comes equipped with a vented rear brake disc. His 2016 RC213V also had the same arrangement, but having the vented disc two years in a row is a nice indication of Marquez’s riding style: he’s back brake heavy, and that may be what makes him such a success.
So that’s it for the obvious changes for the 2017 model – though we’ll have to wait for the season to begin properly. Then we’ll be able to know a few more details about what makes the RC213V tick. We reckon Honda have made some major adjustments to the electronics in a bid to squeeze out a few more horses here and there, or to allow for smoother corner entry and exit. One thing’s for sure: Yamaha’s new rider Marverick Vinales is going to be doing all in his power to keep Marquez behind him…so we can’t wait to see what surprises Honda have got hidden up their sleeves!
The 2017 MotoGP season kicks off at the Losail Circuit in Qatar on the 26th of March.