Ten Kate To Prepare Honda Engines For Gresini CRT MotoGP Bike

After many years of success in the World Superbike and World Supersport series, Ten Kate is to take their first steps in the MotoGP paddock. The Dutch race shop has been contracted by Gresini to supply race-prepared Honda CBR1000RR engines for Gresini's CRT machine in MotoGP, along with the fly-by-wire electronics system the Ten Kate team developed together with Cosworth for their World Superbike machine.

According to the Dutch racing website Racesport.nl, Ten Kate Racing Products, the commercial arm of the race team and the Honda dealership owned by Ronald and Gerrit ten Kate, signed a contract with the Gresini team just before Christmas to seal the agreement. Ten Kate will supply complete Honda CBR1000RR engines, tuned and prepared by them, along with a complete electronic system, including the fly-by-wire system used on the WSBK machine. The Ten Kate engine is to be fitted into a custom chassis designed and built by FTR. Both FTR and Gresini were very keen to work with Ten Kate, given their long experience and success in the World Superbike series. 

Ten Kate had been widely expected to get involved in the Gresini project, after the team had decided - reportedly under pressure from Honda - that they would use the CBR1000RR unit in their CRT machine. There are concerns that the relatively narrow bore of the CBR - at 76mm, 5mm below the maximum of 81mm allowed in the 2012 regulations - would make the bike uncompetitive, as it is harder to get the power from a long-stroke engine. But the bike has proven competitive against the RSV4 and BMW S1000RR in World Superbikes, particularly once the fly-by-wire electronics had been made legal. With the new electronics, Johnny Rea scored two poles, one win and a handful of podium positions. The hope is that the FTR Honda will be competitive enough at the lower-speed circuits, though it will probably lose out at big horsepower circuits such as Qatar and Mugello.

Back to top


Are there any rules stating that the CBR1000rr engine's bore/stroke can't be customized? CRTs have a limit of 12 engines, right? They should try different engine configurations for the big horsepower circuits and maximize the electronics for the other circuits. In any event, it will be interesting to see what they are able to produce throughout the season.

... there isn't a lot of space between the bores. Bore it too much and you'd have an oval-piston supermono.

No but...
the cost of developing an engine via new bore and stroke would very likely be prohibative when the engine can be claimed for what 20,000 EU. Also messing with bore and stroke would open up rod length issues, if one was truly trying to optimize, since i believe the cylinders are cast as part of the upper case half the cost just went out the window. Maybe not.

looks like the CRT teams are already creating excitement in the technical arena of MotoGP. Great for the series and it will fund a new pool of suppliers to MotoGP as well, kudos to Dorna!

Is it possible that we may start seeing new 1000cc production engines from Honda and Yamaha that are 81mm bore of just less (like the BM).
Racing requirements driving the design of the next generation of sportbike engines.
2012 might be a holding year for Gresini/Ten Kate where they gain experience with the CRT concept and wait for a new CBR engine (or a production V4?).

Honda already have an 81mm bore, narrow-angle V4 complete with dual clutch and fly-by-wire electronics..surely somewhere, someone has it on a bench?

Isn't the VFR1200 SOHC with some oddities in the cylinder and crankpin layout stemming from it's design intent.

This will be interesting for CRT this upcoming year. Maybe Honda will build an 81mm engine for the CBR1000 street bike for 2013 which may be the answer.

There is nothing in the rules that state how old the 1000 engine can be, I wonder if the V4 RVF750 could be used as a base, punch out to 1000cc with modern electronics. There is already a ton of data on that engine and I bet someone has, if not Honda has already made a 1000cc version that never made it to the public. So, that could be a true prototype/production based engine that may work.


The RVF motor has, like most bikes of its age, a horizontally arranged gearbox. That makes it about 80mm longer than it would be with a vertically stacked box, which is a serious disadvantage.

Aside from which, by the time you finished modernising an RVF, you might as well start from scratch with a big billet of aluminium. There is nothing in the rules prohibiting that, either...

When Honda makes that RVF-V4 for production racing, we (the average public) may not be able to get our hands on one unless we have a race-license and a ton of cash for the waiting list! Honda will likely run the 'new' racing machine along side the cbr/vfr line-up. Using the current VFR layout as a foundation, they will have to drop the stroke, make it a DOHC... gear-driven, and drop in the DCT for the new bike! Then there's the electronics which Honda hasn't mastered as of yet like BMW or even better... Aprilia! And that's where the CRTs come in. They will test, develop, and wreck everything Honda/Ten Kate/Cosworth has in store for the CRT machines on the race track.