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Monday, March 14, 2011

Time Capsules

"Win on Sunday; Sell on Monday" is a phrase that's been used since the inception of motorsport.  It gained huge popularity with marketing departments in the 60s when muscle cars ruled the dragstrip and NASCAR's ovals were filled with cars that were close to showroom stock.  There are still cars like the Porsche GT3, Corvette Z06, and Viper ACR that abide by this marketing scheme.  However, these are all quite expensive and extensively modified for race duty.

In the world of motorcycles, this old adage still holds true. Although Honda didn't reach the top step of the podium at Daytona this weekend, this wasn't always the case.  One man has held two very rare Hondas in their original shipping crates for nearly 20 years.

Novices to the sportbike world will just see these two bikes and think of old graphics schemes and square tubed frames.  For road racing enthusiasts, these were the cream of the crop.  Their engineering at the time was second to none.

The RC30 (VFR750R) was a race homologation used in superbike series around the world.  It housed a 90 degree V4 which displaced 748cc.  Redline was achieved at 12,000 rpm with the help of titanium connecting rods and power figures are listed as anywhere between 86-112 horsepower depending on the country of sale.  All this was wrapped in a 420lb package.  Those are on par with today's inline-4 600cc supersport bikes.

The NR750, on the other hand, was primarily a road bike because its concept had previously failed in Grand Prix racing.  The NR's 747cc V-four motor used oval shaped pistons to increase the cylinder size and therefore fit eight valves per cylinder instead of the conventional four.  Of course the reasoning was that more valves resulted in better flow and more power.  It's value lies in this quirky technology and exclusivity.  Only 200 were made with a $50,000 price tag.

Here are a few more videos for your viewing pleasure:

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