Even as the new Fireblade grabs all the headlines at this point in time, the engineers at Honda are already moving ahead with the development of a secret superbike known as the V4 that is projected to be released in the year 2019.
Slated to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Honda, the new motorcycle is designed to be a genuine V4 homologation special in the lines of the renowned RC30 or RC45.
Information published over the past year provided the first clue in regards to the design of the bike. It revealed a semi-monocoque chassis made of cast-aluminum similar to that found on the Panigale(by Ducati). The chassis is then encased around the GP-derived V4 of the RC213S and it is built in such a way that it is less costly than the hand-made beam frame of the motorbike. This helps to ensure that it remains within the €40,000 price limit that has been placed on WSB homologation motorbikes.
At the moment, an entire slew of new patents have appeared to expand the Honda project.
Patents point the way
The first patent shows the design of a new tail unit that aims at reducing aerodynamic drag. A completely single-seat system, it channels air through intakes that have been set on each side of the seat pad. The air passes through a duct at the top of the bike, and this enables the air to flow and maintain a continuous path from the arch of the rider’s back.
The ducts then merge to form a single exit point between the two tail lights. Significantly, the patent states that a license plate bracket will be bolted beneath and indicators will be incorporated into the twin tail/brake lights. In addition, the patent stipulates that it has a chain final drive and a V4 engine. A second related patent discloses the design of the footrest bracket and exhaust hangar. It affirms that all four cylinders are aerated by way of a belly-mounted pipe, without an under-seat, RCV-style exhaust.
The front parts of the patent drawings are only placeholders, after all, revealing a fairing and beam frame that resembles a classic RC211V racer. The real motorbike will be equipped with the new monocoque.
HRC-prestige for the road
More patents reveal a new intake and nose design and also a light triangulated structure to support the instruments which will probably be built using a carbon material. It showcases a central intake system that looks like the one on today’s RC213V racer but it also incorporates small LED headlights that are hidden inside. The primary air intake goes directly through the steering head and totally complements the monocoque frame design that was patented last year. in addition, there is a patent for the mirrors, and they have their individual LED indicators that are inside the mirror stalks. Because of the patents, this nose is displayed in a manner that makes it appear as if it is joined to an inline-four bike, but once again this is only a placeholder. They are the workings of one of the designers that are presently working on the V4 project.
Honda does indeed need this. They manufacture some of the best and most capable motorbikes in the world, but most of the plaudits that they receive from their racing have a tendency to disappear when the bike is refined for the road-making it seems less appealing. The new V4 could help to recapture that natural HRC magic and build it into a production motorcycle.
Image credit: motori.com.mk