Whatever happened to the RC-E?

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Honda’s innovative RC-E electric superbike concept, which took the electrical underpinnings of a Honda hybrid car and clothed them in stunning bodywork, may not have vanished without trace.

The RC-E first appeared in 2011 as a pure concept bike at the Tokyo show; two years after the Mugen Shinden TT Zero racing bike first appeared.

Honda have never committed to making this bike a production reality but has been closely involved in financing and development on Mugen’s TT racing effort. The world of electric motorcycles has moved on dramatically since 2011, and the likelihood of a major Japanese manufacturer releasing a mainstream electric bike grows daily. Honda’s links with Mugen have to put them in pole position from a performance perspective, while Yamaha have made no secret of their intent to bring more lightweight urban bikes to the market very soon.

Since that show concept bike was shown in 2011 there has been no word on any production version but insiders have suggested something based on this bike and the technology of the Mugen race bike might still be possible. We just don’t know when. 

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Andy Downes & Ben Purvis

By Andy Downes & Ben Purvis