until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


‘No negatives’ first impression of part Honda’s outsourced

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The outsourced, Kalex-made swingarm for the Honda MotoGP bike has been made available to Marc Marquez for use in an actual grand prix weekend at Aragon – having made a strong impression on fellow Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami.

In seeking out the help of German company Kalex, which is the dominant force in MotoGP feeder series Moto2, Honda took the rare step of commissioning a major component instead of exclusively running bespoke versions.

The Kalex swingarm is made from aluminium, versus the usual carbon designs on the RC213V.


And its runout during the two-day Misano test, in which it was trialled by test rider Stefan Bradl and LCR Honda’s Nakagami (as well as seemingly Marquez, though it remains unclear for how long), seems to have made a positive impression.

Marquez said he will be able to put more laps on the swingarm this weekend at Aragon if he wants to, while Nakagami said he would already be racing it if he had the chance.

“I was a little bit [having a] question mark about the performance – but once I tested a couple of laps, I felt, ‘Huh, something interesting’,” said Nakagami. “It was totally, no negatives at all. I felt quite good. And it was very positive, honestly.


“So… I explained that pure feeling of the bike and I commented to HRC also, also Kalex engineers. It was very positive.

“After the test I asked HRC, saying, because it was positive, ‘Is there any chance to not test [but] use it in a race weekend?’. And they said they are not sure.

“But I asked to use it. But I don’t know when.

“It’s not only this [that Honda worked on at Misano] but anyway the feeling of the swingarm was no negatives at all. So that was good.”

Marquez added: “It’s working in a different way.

“The feelings are completely different. You can understand that it’s a different concept.”

Marquez, however, is not sure he will definitely give the part a runout at Aragon, as “on Friday I’m not ready to test anything on the bike”.

“At the moment,” he then caveated. “[That’s how I feel] before FP1. Then we will see what is my level.”

The Kalex unit being brought in for the weekend appears a big sign of Honda acquiescing to Marquez’s desire to see a major change in the workings of the manufacturer’s MotoGP project – given it represents extensive use of outside, specifically European-based, design expertise.

“If we tried in Misano, it’s not that they [Honda and Kalex] started to speak [at the previous race] in Austria,” Marquez said. “They started speaking before.

“They [Honda] are working really hard. They understand the situation. They understand that we are far from especially Ducati and Aprilia.”

Pol Espargaro

“In the position that we are in, number six manufacturer [in the standings], we are on the bottom – we need to climb out, as quickly as possible,” said Honda MotoGP technical director Takeo Yokoyama.

“And we just try to do everything we can do. And we have got to know the people from Kalex, we have made some discussions, and we could understand that they can make something really quickly.

“You know very well that their technology is very high[-level]. So we decided to collaborate; ‘OK, let’s go give it a try’, we did it.

“And that’s not the end of the story. We’re doing everything for everything.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks