Honda officially launched its 188,000 Euro RC213V-S road bike, based on the MotoGP-winning RC213V, at Catalunya on Thursday.


The inevitable compromises needed to convert the 1000cc V4 into a road legal machine means no pneumatic-valves or seamless shift gearbox, internal engine modifications for greater reliability, as well as lights, mirrors, indicators and a road exhaust.

But Honda claims around 80% of the parts the same and throughout today's launch an emphasis was placed on retaining grand prix levels of handling and manoeuvrability. As such the chassis, swingarm, suspension, wheels (and injectors) were listed as being the same as the race bike.

Special attention was also made to weight and mass centralisation, resulting in a dry weight of 170 kg for the road bike compared with 158kg for the race bike.

But while the RC213V raced by Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding has an admitted output of "over 230 horsepower" the road bike peaks at 157 horsepower. However a circuit-only sports kit, which alters the ECU, emissions and brakes, raises that figure to 211hp.

Reigning double MotoGP champion Marquez, who has tried the bike at Alcarass, said: "It was really fun because it was like a MotoGP . It was nice to ride. I was able to do some slides. I got my knee down - and elbow too! I was able to ride some corners like MotoGP even without slick tyres. I don't think there has ever been a bike like that before."

Honda has set up a special website for those interested in buying the road bike: www.rc213v-s.com. Around 200 of the machines are expected to be built.

"I want the 93rd bike!" said Marquez.