Rewind 15 years and there was just one bike everyone wanted to see reach production – a road-going version of Honda’s all-conquering MotoGP RC211V.
But the technical wizardry of a V5 engine for the road never materialised, despite patent drawings emerging of an RC211V with headlights and a sidestand.
Now Anglo-Italian firm MondialMoto – not to be confused with FB Mondial, maker of the HPS 125, HPS 300 and Pagani 1948 – has announced plans for a V5-powered street superbike.
It says it will have two versions on display at November’s EICMA show in Milan – a base V5S and a higher-spec V5R. Both will be powered by a 200hp 1000cc engine using the same 75.5° V-angle favoured by the RC211V racer all those years ago.
Exotica includes titanium valves and conrods, variable-length intakes on the fuel injection, an aluminium monocoque frame on the base model, and a carbon-fibre frame on the V5R.
Surprisingly, prices aren’t sky-high, at $47,000 and $56,300.
The big question is, will it work? Both Honda’s RC211V and Kenny Roberts KR5 were complicated beasts, built to suit a short rule period of MotoGP history.
To attempt to bring this complication to the street will be a test of ingenuity, determination and commitment.
By Ben Purvis