Honda Reveals Four-Stroke GP Motor!

Calvin Kim
by Calvin Kim
Today in Tokyo, Japan, Honda introduced it's long-rumored four-stroke GP engine, called the RC211V, that will be used to participate in the WGP championship in 2002. The RC211V is the first four-stroke engine of the 21st century built by Honda, hence its coding.

The construction of the engine is that of a 5-cylinder in a V configuration (3 front, 2 rear) with fuel injection. The motor follows the changes in WGP regulations that allow four-stroke motors up to 990cc to compete against the current two-strokes.

Keep reading for more info and a photo...

Rumors out of Japan put the motors at around 230 horsepower (current 500 GP two-strokes produce around 190 horses) from a displacement of 820 cubic centimeters.

More than that, nobody knows -- or, at least, nobody is willing to say. We can only speculate as to the bore and stroke of each cylinder, or the type of valve train, though there have been mumbles about pnuematic valves, given Honda's F1 presence. Some other rumblings from within indicate that not all cylinders will have the same dimensions (like on some current brake calipers where two outer pistons are larger or smaller than the inner one -- or perhaps the front and rear bank of cylinders each house pistons of different size).

Not surprisingly, the motor is expected to be housed in a frame similar to that of the current NSR V4 that Valentino Rossi has been burning around on as of late.

Yamaha is also reported to be in the process of firming up final specs for its own four-stroke GP motor, rumored to be a three-cylinder model, also of a V configuration.

Rumor has it that a similar engine configuration will power the next generation Fireblade (known as the CBR929RR in the US).

This new chapter follows the story of 4-stroke technology that made Honda famous in World GP racing. The last milestones were Mike Hailwoods' ultimate victory with a 4-stroke in 1967 in Canada, and Freddie Spencer's final participation on a 4-stroke for Honda in 1981 during the British GP.

As for the 5 cylinder, Luigi Taveri was the last person to race one for Honda in 1966 on board the RC149.

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Calvin Kim
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