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Honda Hall Racebikes

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HONDA HALL RACE BIKES: I visited Japan in the spring of 2010, suffice to say the 'Honda Collection Hall' located at the southern end of the Twin Ring Motegi race complex was an absolute must on my itinerary. This section covers Honda's vast array of racing motorcycles. For coverage of Honda's production motorcycles click here for their racing and production based cars click here and for their robotics, click here.

Honda, the name says it all. The full gambit of Honda's racing motorcycle heritage is on display at Motegi, I was particularly drawn to the golden age of Honda machinery when engine configurations were produced with rev limits way beyond their day. I have endeavoured to arrange my records of the 'Honda Collection Hall' based on the age of the machine, however I have made one exception, the initial records just had to commence with the 'Mighty Sixes'!!

1966~1967: THE 'MIGHTY SIXES': Given the era, only Honda had the audacity to develop 250cc (249.42cc actual) and 305cc (297.06cc actual) capacity four stroke engines in a straight six configuration 'across the frame', make them work reliably and win championships. The concept, including the obligatory six carburettors and six exhausts defied all logical thinking, but it worked and it ultimately led to the development of the mighty CBX1000/6 production motorcycle.

I have 'heard' the replica 305cc Honda Six, ridden at the Isle of Man TT, nothing but nothing 'sounds' like a Honda Six Racer, staggering!!

HONDA RC166: IN 1966 MIKE HAILWOOD WON 'TEN OUT OF TEN RACES', THE RIDERS AND COVETED MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR HONDA!

 

A BEAUTIFULLY BALANCED DESIGN OFFERING AMAZING CORNERING CLEARANCE

MAGNIFICENT ENGINEERING

SIX OF THIS, SIX OF THAT........

PEDESTAL MOUNTED SIXES, PLACED ALONGSIDE MIKE HAILWOOD'S CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING MOTORCYCLES

 

HONDA RC174: IN 1967 MIKE HAILWOOD WON 'SEVEN OUT OF EIGHT RACES' THE RIDERS AND COVETED MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR HONDA!

1954: THE 'R125': I simply had to start my coverage of the Honda Hall with the 'Sixes'!!, now let's start Honda's Racing Motorcycles coverage 'chronologically'.  The 'R125' was the first domestically produced Honda Motorcycle to race overseas, a single cylinder 125cc with an OHV configuration and two speed transmission. The machine was entered in a race in Sao Paulo, Brazil, finishing in thirteenth place.

LOOKING VERY SIMILAR TO TWO STROKE ENGINE FINNING AND SURPRISINGLY FOR HONDA, A DUAL DOWNTUBE - WRAP AROUND FRAME

1956: THE 'MONDIAL': Honda 'purchased this machine in 1956' to 'learn' about World Grand Prix racing machinery. The motorcycle, a Mondial 125GP machine, was successfully campaigned by Mondial from 1951 to 1957 in the 125cc World Motorcycle Championship series. The machines specification included a 125cc single cylinder DOHC engine producing 18PS at 12,000rpm.

I recall this 'connection' to Mondial appeared once again circa 2000. Honda VTR1000SP1 (RC51) engines were apparently offered to Mondial to power their proposed Piega 1000 Sports Motorcycle. Press releases at the time referred to a long standing undertaking by Mr Soichiro Honda to assist Mondial in their future ventures. I do recall reviewing press releases of the motorcycle but I am not aware if it ever went into production, it is a pity because the proposed marriage of the Honda SP1/RC51 engine, Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes appeared to offer a very high quality road motorcycle, certainly incorporating a superior specification than the 'donor' SP1 motorcycle as marketed by Honda!

A FULL DUSTBIN FAIRING AND REAR WHEEL ENCLOSURE, NOT FOR HONDA!

1958: THE 'RC71': With an engine based on the CS71, this improved machine had the code name C71Z. It competed in the 1958 Mt Asama Clubman race and was also raced in South East Asia. The two cylinder engine displaced 250cc with a chain driven OHC and produced 24PS at 8,800rpm. The machine won the 1960 Singapore RASC race.

An incredulous feature of this motorcycle is a dry sump arrangement necessitating a separate oil tank and external oil lines, from an aesthetics point of view Honda cleverly 'concealed' the tank at the rear of the fuel tank, however this necessitated the fitting of heat shields to protect the riders knees. A very strange place for an oil tank, totally out of the airstream and enveloped by the riders body.

WELL BRACED FRONT MUDGUARD, OIL TANK AT THE REAR OF THE FUEL TANK AND AMAZINGLY A HONDA 'TWIN' WITH A 'SINGLE' CARBIE!!

1959: THE 'CR71': Based on the C71 street bike, this improved machine was developed for clubman racing. The two cylinder engine displaced 247.33cc with a gear driven OHC and produced 24PS at 8,800rpm. Only forty of these improved machines were produced.

REARSET PEGS, UNUSUAL KICKSTART LEVER POSITION AND 'PROTECTION' FOR THE RHS CRANKCASE COVER

1959: THE 'R160': Honda's first 250cc four cylinder DOHC racer offered 35PS with a typical Honda high rev limit of 14,000rpm. A five speed transmission, the obligatory four carburettors and four separate exhausts hinted at Honda's future standards. Five machines were entered in a domestic event at Mt Asama, winning outright and dominating the minor placings.

AMAZING RACE PLATE SIZE!

BEAUTIFUL CASTINGS, NOTE THE TINY CARBIE FLOAT BOWLS!

FOUR INTO FOUR, 1959!

HONDA'S MASTERPIECE 'SIX':

 

HONDA'S FABULOUS SIXTIES: Even though the 'SIXES' starred in the latter half of the nineteen sixties, Honda produced some other magnificent race machinery, please continue...

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I LOVE NEW TECHNOLOGY, TABLETS, LAPTOPS, DIGITAL CAMERAS, MOBILE PHONES/WIRELESS BROADBAND, GPS, ETC.  ALL SO COOL AND 'PORTABLE'......


Copyright 2013   Derek J. Hanbidge,  (aka Deejay51),  all rights reserved.
Revised: August 25, 2013.

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