The Japanese moto pub Young Machine, says that Honda may be working on a new V-4 superbike.  The magazine is clear that its prognostication is based on the “wisdom and perception of (its) 48 years” (of publication) as well as desires and delusions.  Take from it what you will.  However, the Japanese magazine has made some correct predictions in the past.

V-4 Honda Superbike

In summary, here’s what Young Machine is saying:

  • Environmental regulations are driving a motorcycling generational change.  These regulations will force Honda to work towards a “cleaner” superbike that can meet more stringent emissions regulations.
  • Honda must also reimagine its pinnacle superbike. Especially since the last such machine they produced does not keep up with even their own currently available production superbike.  They use as an example the Honda’s RCV-S MotoGP replica machine.  It was sold in 2015 for ¥21.9M (~$207,000/~€176,000).  It produces approximately 212hp with race-only parts, while its own new CBR1000RR-R now makes 215hp. With its winglets and swoopy bodywork, the new RR-R is also far more slippery and generates more downforce.  Even worse for Honda, the Ducati Panigale V4R sports a claimed 218hp, weighs less and can be had for a “more realistic” price of ¥4.634M ($43,700/€37,250).
Honda V-4

Honda’s 2015 premier MotoGP type superbike the RC213V-S is not outclassed by readily available superbikes of today.

  • Honda will not stand still while being beaten by its competitors for a far more achievable price.
  • Honda’s V-4 powerplant is one of its important symbols.  Young Machine tells of “…rumors  that the research and development of the V4 has been promoted in parallel with the RR-R of the in-four.”  Also, they say that Honda has been applying for V4 related patents.  Lastly, the publication says the name “RVF” which went unused after 1995, was re-registered by Honda in 2014.

Obviously, there’s a lot of conjecture here.  But Young Machine has previously made some correct predictions.  Perhaps they have some insiders in Honda.  We don’t know.  But it’s great to think that Honda may try to re-enter the V-4 engine wars.


All photo credit: Young Machine

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