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Old 02-08-2016, 11:00 AM   #1
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Honda RFV1000 rumoured

RC213VS to spawn a WSBK machine It might make sense but the price will have to be slashed

JAPANESE bike mag Auto-By often has its finger on the pulse when it comes to new models so the fact that it’s picked up on rumours of a new Honda RVF1000 V4 superbike adds a hefty dose of credibility to them.

The bike’s existence was first hinted at by a patent, filed by Honda, that showed the V4 engine from the RC213V-S mounted in an unfamiliar semi-monocoque chassis. Similar to the concept of the Ducati Panigale, the new chassis doubles as the air-box and leaves the engine as the only direct connection between the head-stock and the swing-arm pivot.

Notably, the patent itself repeatedly refers to the design’s advantages in mass production, since the chassis could be cast rather than painstakingly hand-welded like the RC213V-S frame. Having gone to the effort of making its MotoGP engine reliable enough for a road bike and modifying it to pass emissions regulations, perhaps Honda reckons it’s worth making a few more than the handful that will end up in the garages of wealthy collectors able to afford the RC213V-S.

Other indications of the existence of the RVF include Honda’s recent renewal of its trademark on the name in some countries.

Perhaps most important are the changes to the 2016 WSBK regulations, which have reduced the number of bikes that manufacturers need to make in order to gain homologation. Previously 1,000 (and 2,000 prior to 2014), the minimum is now just 500 bikes, and that production run can be split over two years, with 250 bikes being made each year. In fact, the latest production minimums aren’t dissimilar to those that led to the Honda RC30 and Yamaha OW-01.

One fly in the ointment from that perspective is that WSBK is retaining its price cap on the production bikes that racers are derived from. As in previous years, it remains at €40,000 – a far cry from the €188,000 that Honda will happily relieve you of for an RC213V-S. Could a 1000cc V4 Honda come in at under the €40k (equivalent to around £31k at the moment) limit? If it can, then its rivals might want to worry.
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