If $60,000 is a lot of money nowadays, imagine how much it was worth back in 1992 when Honda unveiled its undeniably beautiful NR750, codenamed RC40. For the money you got cutting edge technology, a showcase of Honda's R&D department and an investment that, in good condition, would still be worth the same money today.
With roots in Honda's Grand Prix and endurance racing efforts, the road-going NR750 had a limited run of just 200 units to ensure exclusivity (as if the price alone wasn't enough to guarantee that the chances of seeing one on the road were rarer than your lottery numbers coming up).
But we still wonder about the direction Honda's oval-shaped piston technology would've taken us had it pursued this direction. With a broad spread of power from the original 750, and unnatural road composure from the people who gave us the RC45, an NR800 for the 21st century is something we're secretly hoping the much-talked about VFR is going to be. An affordable, sweet-handling 32-valved, oval-pistoned performance bike? Yes, please.
Engine While the original NR made a claimed 125 hp, the way it churns it out is the real attraction; the incredible noise, the tractability...
We'd keep it stock but replace Honda's early PGM fuel injection system with the refined 46mm throttle bodies from the 2008 1000RR. With a modern ram-air system and race exhaust we'd be expecting a minimum 150 hp--a similar figure to the tuned NR that propelled Loris Capirossi into the straightline record books.
Chassis The main frame is an R6 mated to a CBR600RR, and the subframe is a GSX-R crafted to hold our V4. Wheels and brakes are from Ducati and adjustable rearsets are from the latest GSX-R range. The ducts leading into the tank actually funnel cooling air as opposed to merely propping up the front cowl as on the original. Weight has been greatly reduced as well.
Bodywork The NR is famed for its iridium screen and carbon fiber bodywork, and the styling played its part in saving Ducati--Massimo Tamburini's 916 took many cues from the NR, most notably the underseat exhausts. We've made our bike more viable by cutting back on the use of carbon fiber, and utilizing a tinted screen from Lockhart Phillips. The seat is a modified Yamaha and Aprilia RSV4 item. Mirrors are straight off the 1000RR.
Honda NR800 - Back to the Future4.55caseFriday, October 15, 2010 If $60,000 is a lot of money nowadays, imagine how much it was wo...