|Tokyo, September 19, 1997 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. introduced today a new motorsport vehicle, the "Side-by-Side." It combines the advantages of two- and four-wheel vehicles to create a new kind of motorsport category.
The Side-by-Side was developed both as a tool to improve driver skills and serve as a new entry category for Japanese motorsport activities. Built for exclusive use on closed circuits, this single seater formula car is powered by a narrow V-twin motorcycle engine located on the driver's right hand side.
This new type of motorsports vehicle offers the responsiveness of a formula
car in a unique design package. The name "Side-by-Side" comes from the location
of the power unit which is neither front nor rear, but rather on the side next
to the driver's seat. Thanks to a very low polar moment inertia and near perfect
weight balance, the Side-by-Side boasts outstanding slide-controllability. Its
easy to handle power and size, combined with high tire performance, open the door
of formula car driving to the general public. Safety has naturally been the object
of much attention with the Side-by-Side providing safety standards similar to
that of FJ1600, the next formula category up.
This new Side-by-Side formula car will be made available for circuit practice
and driving school purposes starting this October in Twin Ring Motegi.
Side-by-Side Technical Overview
- Handling stability
By locating the engine on the driver's right hand side, all inertial masses are
concentrated near the center of gravity. A very low polar moment of 32.1 kgms2
is thus achieved, with the neutral steer line1 almost over-lapping
with the center of gravity for superior turn in performance. Slide control is
thus much easier thanks to a reduced tendency to sudden change from under-steering
to oversteering behavior. From short to international circuits, this Side-by-Side
promises much driving fun.
1 The neutral steer line is the line over which cornering
forces do not translate into either understeer or oversteer.
The Side-by-Side is powered by the narrow V-twin engine used in the XRV750
Africa Twin motorcycle. This compact, lightweight engine was chosen for its narrow
dimensions, allowing it to be located on the driver's right hand side.
The 5-speed sequential transmission is another carry-over component from the
XRV750 Africa Twin. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via chain drive with
a simple change of the driven sprocket allowing the tailoring of gear ratios to
The Side-by-Side was developed to provide the same driver protection as in
the FJ1600 category thus allowing anyone to enjoy safe circuit driving. In case
of an accident, the car is designed to allow for prompt driver extraction and
||narrow-angle SOHC V-twin
||57 PS/7,500 rpm
||6.1 kgm/6,000 rpm
||5-speed sequential type