Honda, are you listening? - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Honda, are you listening?

Well, here we go again. Another season of WSBK and US Superbike racing without a factory Honda team or an RC-anything in site. We have a couple of Ten Kate Honda's in WSBK, not fighting for the lead, and no Honda's at all in AMA "Superbike".

A big part of this situation is a result of the decision by Honda to keep offering only its "everyman's liter bike", the CBR1000/Firedblade as a Superbike platform. Honda has won six WSBK titles, and five of those were on "RC" bikes; Two on the RC30, one on the RC45, two on the RC51... and one on the 'Blade. And the 'Blade won only at the hands of a hyper-motivated J. Toseland in one of the few seasons when Ducati had to race 1000 V-twins against 1000 fours. And those days are over.

The 'Blade has little in common with the RC's before it. They were purpose-built to win races, and had V-4 or V-twin engines. The 'Blade has much more in common with the Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki fours... mass-produced in-line four street-bikes, and like the 'Blade each has won a grand total of ONE WSBK championship in 30 years of trying.

I have nothing against the 'Blade as a street bike; until the past year or two when Kawi and Yamaha added traction control to their machines it would have been a contender for my money if I needed a liter bike for street use. But for serious canyon carving, track-day fun or club racing, why bring a knife to a gun-fight? And who would NOT want traction control on a 160HP motorcycle?

So come on Honda, show the world you still care about Superbike racing. Build an RC something... a V-4 1000 or a V-Twin 1200, that will be a bike we still want to own ten years after the glory. (Personally, I would take the twin, and you can then leverage that investment by using the engine in a kick-ass Sport-Touring bike.) Besides, is there any doubt now that the 1200 V-twin is the superior plaform for racing, or that WSBK management will always ensure that V-twins (ie Ducati) are always competitive?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 03:41 PM
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 04:08 PM
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The head Guru at Honda is concerned only with MotoGP technology and winning there....Honda doesn't care one bit about AMA. AMA management is shyt, period. WSBK is only decent due to the effort of Ten Kate. Until another program manager of motorcycle R&D, the little guys get old tech rides


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 05:33 PM
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Just a little info regarding the RC30/45/51 series of bikes......they were all PIGS and needed a TON of money in them to compete and win against the rest of the field. The factory bikes had almost nothing in common with the bikes we were able to buy. Not to mention, if you wanted to have a competitive RC, you needed to spend a few hundred thousand to make them work. If I remember, to have a competitive RC45, you had to lease one from HRC to the tune of something like $1,000,000 per year.....not including parts!!!

Oh yeah.....I'm still waiting for Honda to come out with a good V4!!!! (will b selling the wife's engagement to finance the purchase)
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, but at least it was possible to build winning racebikes from them... and I don't think you can get yourself a professional race-winning Ducati, Aprilia or anything else for less than stupid money these days. And though my RC51 is relatively slow and heavy, it is still somehow ten times cooler than an old Fireblade...
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 08:48 PM
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With the current fiancial decline, perhaps Honda doesn't feel it's appropriate to invest further in racing bikes. They've already got what's potentially the Moto GP winning bike for this year as it is. Bear in mind Honda (As with many other manufacturers in Japan) have laid off a lot of staff the last couple of years...
so it's not exactly tasteful to then go and blow money on racing under such circumstances and with few people having the money to go out and buy new bikes these days it may be better to keep a lid on it.

As for Honda not building another RC (for now) I don't mind, really. I'm happy with my 51. I don't aspire to anything faster or better looking of the current offerings out there. The KTM's are nice, but the looks don't do it for me.
Maybe if Honda does make something special in the future I'll be tempted, but by not doing so it makes our RC51's continue to be something special as the last proper WSB homologation bike Honda made.

As for costs of racing, it's the same, whatever the brand - although Honda did pretty well with a near standard VFR750F at the IOM when it was first released I believe (RC24)

Euro RC51 SP2: HRC WSB Ti Hi-Level, T1 Airbox & Snorkel, PCIII, Dymag CA5 Carbon Wheels, Ti64 Spindles (F, R & Swing Arm), Mori Link, Maxton GP7 Shock & Ohlins 832 Forks, Brembo GP Calipers & SBK narrow track (F), Braketech Disc (R), Brembo billet Underslung x 2 Brembo RCS, Tyga Triple, 7075 Stem, Probolt Titanium all over, Babyface rearsets, MR Complete Carbon Lineup, Custom Undertail & CBR 1000 LED, Watsen LED Indicators, Harris Brace, Giles clip-ons, Corbin seat, etc. 2013 BOTY.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Stig View Post
With the current fiancial decline, perhaps Honda doesn't feel it's appropriate to invest further in racing bikes. They've already got what's potentially the Moto GP winning bike for this year as it is. Bear in mind Honda (As with many other manufacturers in Japan) have laid off a lot of staff the last couple of years...
so it's not exactly tasteful to then go and blow money on racing under such circumstances and with few people having the money to go out and buy new bikes these days it may be better to keep a lid on it.

As for Honda not building another RC (for now) I don't mind, really. I'm happy with my 51. I don't aspire to anything faster or better looking of the current offerings out there. The KTM's are nice, but the looks don't do it for me.
Maybe if Honda does make something special in the future I'll be tempted, but by not doing so it makes our RC51's continue to be something special as the last proper WSB homologation bike Honda made.

As for costs of racing, it's the same, whatever the brand - although Honda did pretty well with a near standard VFR750F at the IOM when it was first released I believe (RC24)
i agree Stig.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 07:42 AM
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Honda won't listen, they never do. Just look at the VFR1200. Who was actually asking for any of that? They could have stuck all those gizmos on the st1300 and had a much better bike. Instead they bastardized the VFR by turning it into a giant scooter.

Sorry but the RC51 wasn't a homologation special like the previous RC's. Those bikes were in very limited numbers, i.e. hundreds. They were not produced when they were not being raced since most likely Honda lost money on each unit due to development costs being spread among few bikes. The 51 was produced in the thousands, and for three years after it stopped racing. Who knows if Honda did this to get a return on their initial development costs, or if it was just pure profit they were going for. Honestly I think it was profit, as there are many things on the 51 that are cheaper than the 30 and 45.




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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 07:57 AM
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Have to agree with you on the VFR1200, I don't know what they were thinking.... although some people on the VFR forums seem to like them, I can't say I'd ever want!

I believe the RC51 was a homologation bike none the less. More numbers usually equals less overall production cost. I don't mind Honda having sold so many, at least there will be parts available for longer. They're still rare & unique enough to be something at least a little special

Euro RC51 SP2: HRC WSB Ti Hi-Level, T1 Airbox & Snorkel, PCIII, Dymag CA5 Carbon Wheels, Ti64 Spindles (F, R & Swing Arm), Mori Link, Maxton GP7 Shock & Ohlins 832 Forks, Brembo GP Calipers & SBK narrow track (F), Braketech Disc (R), Brembo billet Underslung x 2 Brembo RCS, Tyga Triple, 7075 Stem, Probolt Titanium all over, Babyface rearsets, MR Complete Carbon Lineup, Custom Undertail & CBR 1000 LED, Watsen LED Indicators, Harris Brace, Giles clip-ons, Corbin seat, etc. 2013 BOTY.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 09:58 AM
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Along the lines of madbuyer, Honda's simply too busy trying to dominate at the top level in MotoGP once again (but Yamaha has a dog in that fight this season) instead of investing in other racing bodies out there...

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