HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto has provided an update on Honda's 'production' MotoGP
machine, due to enter the premier-class under the privateer CRT regulations in 2014.
Nakamoto began by denying rumours that an early version of the bike is present at this week's Sepang test, in the hands of new HRC development rider Takumi Takahashi.
"Takahashi is 23 years old," said Nakamoto at Sepang. "He races in the All Japan Championship Superbike class. Akiyoshi [the main HRC test rider] is 34. So we need to think about the next test rider.
"Takahashi has no real experience with a MotoGP
machine. It is maybe his second time, so we have given him time here thinking as a future MotoGP
test rider - but not with the production machine."
Nakamoto then moved on to discussing the production racer itself.
"Unfortunately our schedule was delayed because it is not easy to meet the one million euro [price] target, when you include maintenance for the full season and other things. So we are changing a little bit the specification of the engine and chassis."
Compared with the four factory RC213V prototypes, the main technical differences will be: "On the engine side, the difference is valve springs - no pneumatic valves - and the transmission is a standard transmission [not seamless]."
In terms of the chassis, "At this moment we plan to use Ohlins suspension and we are talking to both Brembo and Nissin for brakes."
The bike will use the full control ECU system and be eligible for the normal CRT concessions, such as extra fuel relative to the MSMA bikes.
"We are now building the machine. The engine has started bench testing, but the chassis side not yet. When I say it is delayed, I mean from our schedule, but the bike will be ready as planned for next year.