On December 12, 2022, Honda Motor Company held a press conference to discuss Honda Racing Corporation’s plans for the upcoming 2023 season. Both motorcycle and automotive racing series and teams were topics of discussion, but tucked in among the sort of motorsports discussion that racing fans would probably expect was one particularly interesting tidbit.
If there's one thing that longtime Honda observers have probably noticed by now, it's that the company likes to combine its efforts where and when it makes sense. Succeeding in multiple fields is cool, sure, but wouldn't it be better if your various arms could share knowledge and make each other stronger as a result?
Honda has been involved in motorsports since practically the beginning of its existence. Motorcycle racing is in its DNA. In late 2022, Honda has been very public about its efforts to develop electric vehicles in multiple segments, including motorcycles. Now, on December 12, 2022, we have the first official word that it’s actively developing electric motorcycle technology for racing.
Honda didn't provide much in the way of detail about these developments, which isn't terribly surprising. The announcement, after all, was mainly meant to discuss 2023 racing plans, and while it will likely work on development of its electric racing machine(s) during the year, they probably won't be taking part in any races just yet.
Here's what Honda director and senior managing executive officer Shinji Aoyama said in a speech:
“In the meantime, Honda has another critical mission to pursue in the area of motorsports. It is the realization of carbon neutrality. Honda has already been conducting research and development of technologies for carbon neutrality while proactively leveraging the field of motorsports. From now onward, we will further enhance our initiatives to put such technologies into practical use in our racing activities. Moreover, starting with motorcycles, we will explore possibilities of introducing electrified vehicles in actual races where we compete.”
This sounds very preliminary, which it may well be. However, any company that's been around as long as Honda probably has multiple projects on a variety of burners, all bubbling away in the background until they’re ready for the spotlight. In any case, we definitely look forward to learning more about any future electric racing motorbikes that Honda unveils.
Source: Honda Racing Corporation