The four U.S. journalists invited to ride the 2016 Honda RC213V-S were the first journalists to ever ride the motorcycle. There were two street-spec bikes and two race-spec bikes available – that’s all. The anxiety of an over-exuberant journalist getting a too hot and tossing away Honda’s nearly quarter-million-dollar machine hung in the air among the HRC engineers like two-stroke exhaust at an indoor MX park. Crashing wasn’t an option. The irony is that we rode the Euro-spec bikes before the Euro journalists did!
Shinichi Ito led our first few laps around the twisty Ricardo Tormo Circuit. Although I knew he could leave me for dead in less than one turn, he kept the pace reasonable, and it was an honor to share the track with a man of his racing caliber. Besides that instance, we basically had the track to ourselves for the test. More track time would have increased my familiarity with its layout and lowered my apprehension of missing a braking marker going into the very fast turn one after topping 165+ mph on the front straight. But I’m just grateful to have ridden the bike. If you’ve read my review of the RC213V-S, there’s no information to glean from the video, but it’s fun to ride aboard the bike and see a lap of the MotoGP circuit.