By Mat Oxley
Honda officials have announced the configuration of their powerplant for the new 1000cc four-stroke GP series in 2002. During a year-ending event at Honda headquarters in Tokyo, President Hiroyuki Yoshino revealed that HRC engineers are building a V-5 engine. The new technical regulations–introduced to return four-strokes to GPs and thus bring the premier bike series into line with road bike sales–come into effect a year from now and will see 1000cc four-strokes racing alongside the 500cc two-strokes that have dominated Grand Prix racing for so long.
The Honda men wouldn’t reveal any further details about their latest Grand Prix racer, though they had earlier explained that four cylinders are too few and six too many under the new tech regulations, which allow a maximum of six cylinders and use different weight limits to handicap bikes according to the number of cylinders. Honda engineers believe a five-cylinder engine to be the best configuration to produce an ideal power-to-weight compromise.
Experts suggest that these new four-stroke engines will produce in excess of 200 bhp, around 10 bhp more than the current two-stroke V-4s. It’s believed the Honda V-5 engine is already running, since Honda engineers are expected to start testing the new machine any moment now.