Honda Moto2 Engines To Produce 125 BHP

When the announcement was made that Moto2 would be single engine class, the accompanying press release stated boldly that the engines would produce in the region of 150 horsepower. This seemed an entirely reasonable and achievable figure, given that the top flight World Supersport 600s, such as those prepared by Ten Kate Honda or by Chris Mehew for the Parkalgar Honda team produce something very close to that number. So HRC's engineers disappeared into the dyno room with a pile of CBR600RR engines and bunch of ideas to get them producing horsepower.

Rumors floating around the Moto2 paddock suggest that Honda's engineers - normally no slouches when it comes to extracting power from four-stroke engines - emerged from the dyno room carrying not a powerful 600 cc engine, but rather the remains of several engines which had died in the attempt to find that horsepower. And so HRC switched tack, and went for reliability instead, cutting horsepower but ensuring that the engines will last reliably for the three race weekends they are expected to have to cope with.

The outcome of that process is that the Honda Moto2 engines, due to be delivered to the teams on February 27th, will produce around 125hp, according to both the Italian media and several sources inside the paddock. A far cry from the 150bhp promised, but given that the horsepower figures will be the same for everyone, not much of a problem. The engines will have the durability to last before being returned to Geo Engineering, the Swiss firm charged with maintaining the Moto2 engines.

To put those horsepower figures into perspective, while the Ten Kates, Parkalgars and last year's Yamaha R6s of this world produce the best part of 150 horsepower, even the relatively underpowered and extremely underfunded Suzuki GSX-R 600 of Barry Veneman produced north of 140 bhp, and a well setup Superstock machine will kick out over 125 horses. But the World Supersport engines are taken away and fettled after every race, and a Superstock engine would also require attention several times a season to keep it at its best. Honda's 125bhp should produce the same power throughout its life between maintenance intervals, keeping the teams on a level playing field. And that, after all, was the point.

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I know many will be comparing lap times to the 250's and WSS regardless of the level of competition in Moto2 but I'd much rather see a gaggle of riders battling for the top finishing positions rather than the 3 to 4 riders (more often less) battling for the 250 win even if the lap times are a few seconds off the pace of the prior class.

"I know many will be comparing lap times to 125GP regardless of the level of competition in Moto2" There, fixed it for you. (and removed the feral apostrophe) ;)

I was kind of looking forwards to seeing no holds barred 600s, more like the old AMA's Formula Extreme; WSS without the tuning limits, running GP suspension and with proper slicks. But it looks like it may take them a while to match the chassis development of WSS and now we hear the engines are tuned for cheapness rather than performance. oh well. As you say, it's the same for everyone and it may still end up being good entertainment even if at some tracks they're slower than the 125s, let alone the old 250s.

The rumors are hard to believe. The technology related to creating horsepower is extremely valuable in the racing world, and had Honda succeeded to achieve 150hp and 3 race reliability from a spring-valved Moto2 lump, other manufacturers would have split the engine open and had a look. Those technologies could be useful to other manufacturers in WSS, and they would definitely be useful for any Moto2 teams who plan to run as CRTs in MotoGP.

This is basically a bone stock CBR600RR engine with extra titanium parts added b/c Honda needed something to justify the asking price and defray the development costs of creating new equipment that is inferior to WSS spec. It's probably modified old-technology from the beginning of the 67mm era which began circa 2000.

The other possibility is that Honda don't want Moto2 to overshadow WSS. They dominate WSS so why would they want to overshadow it with a single-make series?

Lots of discouraging info coming out of the GPC these days. Too much.

I wonder if they foresaw the class developing in this way. Conservative chassis' and engines.

These engines sound like the ones we had at work.
They will run 5 race with out having to have the valves re seated and make 126 RWHP
The recipe Just add road going CBR600 engine, run it in, re seat the valves, mix in a HRC cam,wire loom and ECU. Moto2 ready.

Do you think the chassis designers might have over engineered the new bikes for more power?

Another example of Honda's engineering decline? Or is this Honda's response to the ecomony, i.e. lets make some money on this project, it's a single engine series after all. Maybe the FIM will lower the weight limit on the chassis? Lots of questions that only racing can answer , lets start already!

I still think (hope) that Honda is capable and willing to turn up the wick on these engines if they cannot out-pace the 125's the first three weekends.

I think the comparisons to WSS are kind of pointless, they won't be on the same tracks on the same weekends. So there's no clear comparison/being over shadowed by WSS machinery. Being slower than a privateer Aprillia 125 on the other hand will leave Honda with enough egg on their face to make a nice omelet.

Come on guys, a 125 produces about 55 bhp whilst these Moto2s are going to have 125 bhp. They both have trick chassis and slick tyres, I'll be amazed if the Moto2s aren't pretty close to last seasons 250s.

And don't loose sight of the reason for the change, money, the world hasn't got any! We blew it all rescuing the banks and no one has the funds to lease a works Aprilia for whatever number of millions of Euros the last rumour was.

Ryder in Superbikeplanet

"A decent day's weather here at Catalunya gave us the first good look at Moto2—and it was s-l-o-w. Okay they haven't got the spec motor yet, but Stefan Bradl is currently slower than he was last year on his 125 (51.4 versus 52.0)."

Which of course means absolutely nothing.

The one thing Moto2 has over WSS is real slicks. Except that they're Dunlop slicks and I struggle to remember when Dunlop last made good slicks for 4 strokes outside AMA.

On the point of Moto2 being potentially slower than 250/WSS a couple of weeks ago Carmelo Ezpeleta said in a Spanish newspaper that it wasn't an issue, if times were slow, there was plenty of room to hike the power up.
Clearly the plan is to start cheap and conservative, but if the bikes are too slow they'll just pump'em up to 140HP and problem sloved.

Let's not forget that the Moto2 concept is cheap very competitive 4 stroke racing so that the best young riding talent shines through for MotoGp.

The 250s lap around 6 or 7 percent faster than a 125. These bikes have only seen a good dry track with these riders for a very small number of hours. I think it's FAR to early to even question the lap times. But to think that it may take 150% more HP to get around a track 6% faster illustrates how inefficient 4 strokes really are.

As a side note, looking up the lap times of 125s and 250s on a few tracks in the dry last year I checked out the results section. They have a new interface. I scrolled back through a few years and stopped on the 1993 250 Japanese Grand Prix. Check it out and look at the names on the list. Very interesting!

"Clearly the plan is to start cheap and conservative, but if the bikes are too slow they'll just pump'em up to 140HP and problem sloved."

So somehow HRC will miraculously manage to do what nobody else in engine tuning around the world has managed to do. Even on a stock engine a CBR will stretch the cam chain enough to loose top end when raced. If the best tuners like Ten Kate get a 150HP with a long line of replacement engines HRC will need to do the same.
What you are seeing is the 'NASCAR-ification" of motorcycle racing.
Formula Ford is the same as this class yet some cars/teams seem to be consistently faster year after year no matter who drives them.
Remember how great the spectacle was, the adrenaline pumping excitement of the A1GP series, just before it folded..............................

This honda cup is not very imaginative and perhaps there is more money to be saved.

I suggest it's time to consider scooters. Suzuki makes a nice 400. Teams will not have to spend money on silly technological things like gears. To promote a large grid the class can also except minimotos, rent-a-cars, shopping karts and roller-skates of a limited bore for the first 2 years.

Riders will not get paid, but instead there will be a coin-slot in place of a GP dash/data display where riders insert 1.50$ a lap (will also accept euros) to do their share to help save the racing we all love.

Coverage of this series will be available online for free or, for those who do not know any better, for 39.00$ a month on a very annoying flash site.

Feel the excitment!

If you look at the new teams, most of them appear to be excited. The new specs aren't terribly exciting to us, but that's b/c modern 4-stroke racing is built upon hp/liter. The displacement is too low for cheap, exciting racing from a fans standpoint.

C'est la vie. It was a good idea, but 4 strokes are 10x more expensive than a comparable two stroke. Aprilia's monopoly pricing-power was making 250GP cost prohibitive. Moto2 has a much better structure, it just lacks a bit on the stat sheet.

At 600cc, the class isn't going to pick up any serious horsepower without pneumatics or desmo. Doesn't look good on either count.

If the engine is only putting out 125 horsepower, it isn't going to be making the 16,500 or 16,000 rpm limit unless it has stock compression. If the Honda engine were able to achieve 16,000-16,500 rpm with high compression, it would produce the 150hp that was originally planned.

I'm sure Honda can actually achieve a reliable spring-valved engine that can make 16,000 rpm b/c they did it with the 990 V5. That engine had bigger pistons, and it probably had bigger valves as well. I don't think Honda will have any problem turning up the revs if the situation demands it.

We need to remember that the 250s were refined over a period many years. The Moto-2 class is brand new. It is going to take a few years before the chassis even begin to approach the refinement of the 250s. None of the chassis manufacturers have any actual data to start with. They are guessing about how to achieve the proper frame flex and even what the proper amount is. The tires are also just Dunlop’s best guess at this point.

These are small companies without the resources of a Honda or Yamaha. The first Yamaha M1 had a chassis that pretty much sucked and Honda got the first RC212V completely wrong. So expecting these small companies to get even close to getting it right the first time is asking too much.

In a few years when we are seeing 2nd and 3rd Gen chassis and tires, the bikes will be plenty fast and the racing will be very close.

Two stroke institue,

I´m no engineer, but if all the manufacturers can exatract 220 HP from 800cc, I don't think 140 HP from a (no longer in that case) stock engine is at all unfeasable. Obviously the "cheapness" of the Moto2 formula would be less, but I think they are starting cheap and safe, and the category will develop from there. Just look at the comments about the FTR machine.

It is the fist year only.

Ricky it's not that they can't get 140HP from a 600, (this will have you mid pack in WSS) what is impossible is to have that HP with the engine lasting 3 meetings. You cannot increase output by 40-50% without a increased maintenance trade off.HRC have determined 25% to be the upper limit to have an engine last 3 GP's.
As for this all being new, and unrefined the CBR has been around a long while.......all the hard work in refining has been done for you