Thursday, January 14, 2016

Praëm SP3 shows what a Honda RC51 can become with a bit of French engineering



A Praëm SP3 6A Praëm SP3 9G Praëm SP3 1G Praëm SP3 2wG Praëm SP3 3wG Praëm SP3 4wG Praëm SP3 5wG Praëm SP3 6G Praëm SP3 9T Praëm SP3 3
Based on the Honda VTR1000 RC51 SP2, The Praëm SP3 is a work of art and could fetch as much as €145,000 when it goes up for auction in Paris later this year

Based in Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse (about 40km from Paris), Praëm was set up in 2014 by two brothers, Sylvain, a former BMW Motorrad designer, and Florent, a prototypist and former aeronautical mechanic in the French army. With Praëm, the brothers aim to create hand-built motorcycles using chassis and engines from legendary sportsbikes of the past, but with styling updates and extensive technical and mechanical improvements. Their first project is the Praëm SP3, which is based on a Honda VTR1000 RC51 SP2, the bike with which Colin Edwards won the World Superbikes championship back in the year 2000.

'All the HRC expertise is there, but as a stock bike, the RC51 SP2 had downsides compared to the factory racebike. The brakes and suspension were not as good as the rest of the machine, and with the fuel tank covering the rear cylinder, there were overheating problems,' say Sylvain and Florent. 'The Praëm philosophy requires to not damage the original performances of the machine, therefore we kept the stock RC51's racing geometry and improved everything around it. In order to solve braking and suspension problems, the SP3 powertrain has been assembled from the best parts available on the market, like ultra-light carbon wheels, radial brakes with carbon-ceramic discs, as well as the best Öhlins suspension,' they add.

The brothers Praëm wanted to make a high-performance GT out of the RC51 and the SP3 has been designed accordingly. 'The goal is not to make a pure race bike or a confortable touring bike, but a vehicle that can live in between this two worlds. It could be an Aston Martin DB9 for example, fast and powerful, but timeless and elegant as well,' the brothers say. 'Each surface is treated depending on its type of use, and all the mechanical and structural elements are blacked out. Brushed aluminium or stainless steel define the ergonomic and aerodynamic surfaces, whereas the coloured bits are ornamental features. Unlike its RC51 SP2 ancestor, the cutout in the SP3 tank prevents the rear cylinder from overheating,' they add.
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