Historic Racebike Illustrations: 1979 Honda NR500

Historic Racebike Illustrations: 1979 Honda NR500

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Categories:

Featured In the September 2019 issue of Roadracing World:

         At the launch of the stunning six-cylinder CBX streetbike in the fall of 1977, Honda announced it would return to Grand Prix racing in 1979! Most assumed it would be with a two-stroke, but rumors of radical new four-strokes started to make the rounds.

        FIM regulations restricted the number of cylinders in the premier 500cc Grand Prix class to four. Honda engineers knew the only way to beat the two-strokes with a four-stroke was combining very high rpm combined with a very short stroke to reduce piston speed. Initial designs included a V4 with large bores with eight valves. This would have needed a tall engine to accommodate huge bores in the V between the cylinder banks.

        Designer Shoichiro Irimajiri finally settled on a V4 with oval-shaped pistons, each with two connecting rods and eight valves. This circumvented the 4-cylinder regulations, offering a compact, short-stroke engine mimicking a conventional V8 . . .

–Historic Racebike Illustrations: 1979 Honda NR500, By Mick Ofield

        Honda returned to 500cc Grand Prix racing on its own terms, convinced that it could create a four-stroke engine that would match the highly-strung, well-developed two-strokes that dominated top-level road racing. What it came up with was a design so audacious that it remains unique in racing. All the technical details are in the September issue of Roadracing World!

Roadracing World & Motorcycle Technology is THE definitive source for motorcycle racing, riding, and tech information.

PREVIEW the September 2019 issue of Roadracing World & Motorcycle Technology!

Roadracing World & Motorcycle Technology magazine is available in print and digital formats. SUBSCRIBE NOW FOR INSTANT ACCESS!

Log in or subscribe HERE. Or call (909) 654-4779, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.

Visit www.roadracingworld.com daily for breaking news and events.

Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/roadracingworld

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com @roadracingworld

Follow us on Instagram https://instagram.com @roadracing_world

Latest Posts

AMA Announces Nominees For 2019 Awards, Including AMA Rider Of The Year

Award nominees announced for 2019 AMA Championship Banquet Voting for...

2020 MotoGP: Season Concludes This Coming Weekend At Valencia

Last stop Valencia: 2019 set to go out with...

World Superbike: Oschersleben Returns To Schedule In 2020

Oschersleben returns as WorldSBK heads back to Germany With a...