Bruce Anstey to Pilot Honda RC213V-S at IOM TT
When we returned in September from riding Honda’s street-going MotoGP replica – the RC213V-S – at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, we were beyond impressed.
In track trim, the RC213V-S weighs around 100 lbs. lighter than any other 2016 liter bike offered, and this weight is coupled with incredible balance. Of course being in Spain, we rode the Euro-Spec bikes – the base RC213V-S (about 150 horsepower), and the one that truly fed our addiction for WOT, the RC213V-S fitted with a Sport Kit (about 214 horsepower). Now that’s a race-ready machine – but only for those who can afford the $200,000+ price.
Dealers scrambled to reserve the RC213V-S, which had a maximum production run of 250. The Batley-based Padgett’s Motorcycles secured a few of these Marc Marquez-influenced replicas – even purchasing one. But Padgett’s bike won’t simply sit around so people can “gawk responsibly”; rather, the Valvoline Racing by Padgett’s Motorcycles team will put the bike to work. Where? How about the world’s most challenging road race, the Isle of Man TT.
The UK team will enter a race-prepped version of the V4-powered RC213V-S in the RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT races. Trusted to pilot the exotic Honda is New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey, a 10-time TT winner.
Anstey, who earned his first Superbike TT last year on the Valvoline by Padgett’s Motorcycles Team Honda CBR1000RR SP Fireblade, will race the RC213V-S. But for practice, he’ll have minimal seat time on the RC and spend time testing on the CBR1000RR.
“It has always been a dream of mine to ride a MotoGP bike at the TT and this is as close as I will ever get. Clive (Padgett, Team Boss) is the only person in the world who could put something like this together and if he says it is OK I am with him 100%. He hasn’t just pulled it out of the crate and said we are racing it. Clive and the team have done a lot of work to the bike to make it ready for the TT,” Anstey says.
How will the RC213V-S perform the 37.73-mile Mountain Course?
“The RCV should be an absolute weapon because it has loads of power but it feels as nimble as a 600. It should be stable too as it’s over 2 inches longer than a Fireblade but is still really small and compact. I am really looking forward to seeing how it handles through the quick corners because it will be able to turn so fast.”
The idea to race the bike didn’t derive from Clive, Anstey or team members, but rather a customer who had purchased an RC213V-S from Padgett’s Motorcycles.
Clive explains: “I was having a few pints of Guinness with a customer who had just bought an RCV from us and he said wouldn’t it be great to see one of them going down Bray Hill. That planted the seed in my head and it has been germinating ever since.
“The TT is all about pioneering innovation and I really wanted to do something different. I see this as being in the spirit of what Mr Honda did when he first came to the TT with his race bikes in 1959. I think this will bring even more global attention to the TT this year and that can only be a good thing. I am really giddy about it all. I might be over 50 now but inside I am still a 19 year old racer! I love Bruce to bits and I wanted to give him the best motorcycle in the world to ride. That’s what this bike is all about.”
The RC213V-S in Sport Kit trim arrives with a titanium exhaust and special ECU, but preparation has been anything but simple.
“It has been a very difficult project to pull together,” Clive says. “We have had to beef the bike up for the TT course and we can’t get anything off the shelf so everything has had to be made bespoke. Things like the wheels, the K-Tech forks, the rear shocks, the brakes and the radiator guards have all had to be specially made.”
About Padgett’s Motorcycles at the Isle of Man TT
Of the last 39 TT races that the team has started around the Mountain Course the Batley team has finished in the top four on no less than 33 occasions and of those 27 were podium places with 11 wins. The team is probably most well known for Ian Hutchinson’s five wins in a week in 2010. The team has also secured numerous lap and race records including Anstey’s RST Superbike win in 2015 in a record winning time of 128.749mph (1:45.29.902).