MotoGP champion Marc Marquez unveiled the 2017 RC213V during Repsol Honda’s team launch in Jakarta. Can he relive the magisterial dominance of 2016 with this new bike? That remains to be seen, but for now we can take a look at what has changed and what has been updated. Overall, the bike remains true to the essence of the original 2012 RC213V.
To achieve greater compatibility between turning and stability, the rigidity balance of the chassis has been modified. The chassis is light yet has the robustness to deal with the 240hp plus power gushing from its 1,000cc liquid-cooled, V-4 engine. Suspension for the front and rear is taken care of by Ohlins. You can get a fair understanding of the importance of suspension on the racetrack from the fact that Repsol Honda riders have a their own Ohlins technician.
Nothing can be done about the choice of tyres as Michelin is the exclusive supplier of MotoGP tyres. Carbon ceramic Brembo brakes have been used for the front, but for wet conditions Honda has chosen to go with Yutaka steel brake disks.
Think bodywork, think carbon-fibre. It has become the material choice for sport bike manufacturers, and here too it allows Honda to make RC213V as aerodynamic as possible. The modifications done to the fairing allow more compatible handling and drag.
The racetrack is where all these modifications will be tested and the character of the bike will be revealed. Everybody will be looking to dethrone Honda and Marquez, which makes the season all the more exciting. Let the race begin.