For the XR650L, Honda basically combined the off-road chassis of the XR600 with the electric-start engine of the NX650, creating one of the most capable dual-sport bikes. We start our new series “Your Honda Classic” with the Honda XR650L of Oliver, one of the guys behind Honda-Museum.com.
The RS750D was purpose-built to win the AMA flat track series – and challenge the until then dominant Harley-Davidson XR750’s. Making its first entry in 1983, the Honda flat tracker won the championship the following year. With a total of five titles the RS750 left an outstanding mark in American flat track racing history.
In the late eighties the Adventure-Touring segment had become extremely popular in Europe. Inspired by the Paris-Dakar victories of the NXR, Honda launched the Africa Twin in 1988 and laid the foundation of what would become a legendary motorbike.
With more than 100 wins to its credit the Honda NSR500 is the most successful racing bike in modern Grand Prix history. Almost two decades of racing experience, painful failures and enormous amounts of money are contained in this motorbike – which paid off in no less than a total of ten GP world titles.
In 1995 Honda re-entered the Paris-Dakar with a bang. The EXP-2 was a radically new and different motorbike, equipped with a revolutionary 400ccm two-stroke engine. After two weeks of racing the african dessert Jean Brucy finished 5th overall and first place in the under-500ccm class.
The NXR750 dominated the Paris-Dakar Rally from 1986 to 1989, winning the trophy 4 years in a row. Back then the 22 day race started in Paris and ended in Dakar/Senegal crossing nearly 15.000km of african desert. Gilles Lalay won the 1989 Paris-Dakar Rally on this motorcycle with its destinct Rothmans design.
The Honda XR600R BAJA was built for the 1992 Baja 1000, the legendary race down the length of the Baja California pininsula in Mexico. Starting in Ensenanda, it took this desert racing machine only 17 hours to finish the race 1038 arduous miles later in La Paz. It was piloted by Scott Summers and Jonny Campbell.
Two pleasantly surprising books on Honda motorcycle design. Full of amazing illustrations, design studies and prototypes pictures. On top of that the books provide highly interesting background stories and interviews with the creators of numerous Honda motorcycle classics.