500cc

RC211V 2002-2006

2002
Debut
2002
Wins riders title with 14 wins from 16 rounds
2002
Rossi becomes champion on RC211V
2004
Honda defends constructor title
2005
Nicky Hayden becomes champion on RC211V
2005
Honda wins all titles

The First Champion of the New Era

World GP racing regulations underwent major changes in 2002, with the 500cc class being renamed MotoGP class, and 4-stroke machines’ maximum displacement being set at 990cc. In response to these changes, Honda had unleashed the 4-stroke RC211V. Two decades had passed since Honda had last developed a 4-stroke GP machine, the NR500. The displacement of the RC211V was 990cc, the maximum allowed under the new regulations. Honda’s challenge was to develop a previously unheard-of 5-cylinder engine, with a maximum output exceeding 240PS. In the 2002 season MotoGP class, 2-stroke and 4-stroke machines raced side-by-side, and to maintain equal conditions between the machines, maximum displacement of 2-stroke engines was limited to 500cc. The RC211V was a runaway success, winning 12 of the 16 grands prix, giving Honda the riders' and constructors' titles. The newly crowned Valentino Rossi had won 11 races to score a record-breaking 355 championship points, proving the power of the RC211V. In 2004, Honda defended its constructors' title with 7 wins, and in 2006 won both the riders' and constructors' titles with 8 Grands Prix victories, conquering a closely fought season only after Nicky Hayden secured the championship in the final round.

Engine
Liquid-cooled 4-stroke V-5 DOHC 4-valve
Displacement
990cc
Maximum Output
over 200PS
Weight
over 145kg
2003 Valentino Rossi