Development of Honda‘s new production racer is well underway, as the new (relatively) low-cost MotoGP racebike underwent testing at Japan’s Twin Ring Motegi circuit May 23-24.
Conceived as a lower-cost option for race teams, the production racer project is running slightly behind schedule but Honda still expects it will available in time for the 2014 MotoGP season. Early reports estimate the price for the production racer to be around US$1.26 million, a substantial price, but still considerably less expensive than rumored $3.9 million it currently costs to lease a Honda RC213V for one season.
“Development of the model is currently a little behind schedule but the test results showed more than what we had expected, in particular, with its running performance,” says Shuhei Nakamoto, executive vice president of Honda Racing Corporation.
The Honda production racer is just one project designed to help curb costs of racing and increase the size of the grid in the MotoGP World Championship. Yamaha has its own plan to lease engines from its YZR-M1 MotoGP racer to other teams. Honda’s plan is a bit more ambitious, introducing a complete non-CRT machine alongside its RC213V prototype.
“We can’t announce its name or the specification at this stage but we will have an opportunity of announcing the details in the not too distant future,” says Nakamoto. “We will keep on developing the machine to meet the 2014 MotoGP technical and sporting regulations, and will introduce the model by the end of this year.”
The production racer is not to be confused with the RC213V-derived V4 Superbike also under development as a production model.