Has Honda done what Ducati couldn’t in MotoGP?
Have a look at this engine cross-section line drawing. It purports to be a patent drawing of a “super streetbike” that Honda will build as a homologation special for the FIM Superbike World Championship. And it is said to be closely related to the production racer Honda plans to offer for sale to race teams for the 2014 MotoGP season.
As you can see, this is a 90-degree V-Four. The front cylinders’ axis is 35 degrees above horizontal. Remind you of a Ducati? Why, yes! For two years, some have been saying that Ducati’s problems in MotoGP come from the excessive bulk of its 90-degree V-Four, pushing the engine’s cg so far back from the front wheel that there’s not enough load on the front to keep the tire hot. But wait! Recently, Honda arranged an impromptu “photo op” in which its highly successful and series-leading RC213V engine was seen to also have a 90-degree Vee angle. Revelation!
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