Calling it "closer to a MotoGP bike than any road-going model ever offered to the public" Honda unveiled its new RCV213-S to a live audience in Spain on Thursday. But that promise has been scuppered by engine and noise regulations that have seen the bike completely neutered in America.
A crowd of journalists gathered ahead of the MotoGP of Catalunya in Barcelona to watch the official unveiling of the bike, which was displayed in prototype form at EICMA in November.
Unlike Kawasaki's H2R, a 300hp, supercharged, track-only special, the RCV213-S is designed for on-road use. It follows in the vein of the Ducati Desmosedici RR, a MotoGP-based road bike released by the Italian marque in 2006.
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Honda's RCV213-S features a carbon-fibre fairing, V4 engine and even MotoGP inspired brake guards, which serve as mounts for the rearview mirrors.
The frame and swingarm are the same found on the RCV racebikes, but the engine has been completely smothered by regulations and the seamless gearbox has been replaced with a more conventional unit for reliability reasons.
In some markets, the bike will produce 156 hp stock and up to 212 with the purchase of a "performance kit". Sadly, the kit renders the bike illegal for roads even in those markets.
Curb weight is 190 kg and in America, noise restrictions limited RPM to less than 10,000 and resulted in a pitiful 101 hp output.
That may be less of an issue than you might think though, given the American price tag of $184,000 and a limited production run means many of these bikes may never be ridden, with collectors likely to snap up a number of the models for display.
You can watch the video of the launch, which featured HRC factory MotoGP riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, below. Action starts at 27 minutes.