The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Honda launches new 5-cylinder four-stroke World Grand Prix motorcycle engine

30 January 2001

Torrance, CA -- Honda is widely acknowledged as the world's four-stroke engine
technology leader. Today, Honda introduced a new chapter in motorcycle engine
design, following the recent changes in World Grand Prix regulations.

Honda Racing Corporation unveiled a new engine called RC211V that will be used
to compete in the World Grand Prix Championship in 2002. RC211V is the first
four-stroke racing engine designed by Honda for the first year of 21st century,
hence its coding. The engine design is a 5-cylinder in a V configuration, made
up of three front cylinders and two rear cylinders.

Honda arrived at the unique V-5 engine configuration after examining the revised
Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM) regulations for 2002. This
engine was selected because Honda believes that it will best satisfy two design
requirements that Honda has historically pursued: "concentration of mass" and
"reduction of projected areas".

The five cylinders have round pistons and four valves each. For the intake
system, PGM-FI (programmed fuel injection) has been adopted. The minimum weight
as stipulated by the regulations for four- or five-cylinder engine motorcycles
is 145kg (approximately 320 lbs.).

This new chapter follows the storied history of four-stroke innovation for which
Honda is famous. The last four-stroke milestones in Honda motorcycle racing were
Mike Hailwoods$B!G(B ultimate victory with the four cylinder RC181 in 1967 in
Canada, and Freddie Spencer$B!G(Bs final outing on the oval-pistoned NR500 in 1981
during the British Grand Prix. Honda also has a special Grand Prix history with
5-cylinder engines -- Luigi Taveri won the manufacturer's and rider's
championships for Honda in 1966 with the 125cc RC149.