Feat Of Endurance

Honda has racing at its core. It’s the discipline that founder, Soichiro, was convinced answered many business challenges over and above the simple glow of winning races and world championships.

Honda enjoyed Endurance success with cb750 based racers in the early 1970’s but these were adapted road machines and Honda needed to test new technology and push boundaries - thus the RCB1000 was born. Based loosely on the SOHC cb750, the RCB enjoyed double overhead cams and benefitted from many upgraded and strengthened parts.

Not that success was elusive. In fact, the RCB1000 (which was developed in just six months!) won the first ever race it entered; the Zandvoort 600km in April 1976. Duly, the RCB won all but one of the races entered in its inaugural season.

Over successive years, the RCB was refined in true Honda style carving itself a place in Endurance history. By 1978 and it’s third year of competition, the RCB was ready to make way for the RS1000 based on the more advanced CB900F road bike engine. RCB’s had won an amazing 24 of 26 races entered and created an amazing database of information to help Honda teams in successive years.

The RS1000 used all the lessons learned from the RCB series and duly made a 1,2,3 finish at its first event, Le Mans. Additionally, Honda’s race department, RSC, ensured that bikes and kit parts were even more widely available so that grids could be awash with Honda machinery. The RS even won at the Isle of Man such was its adaptability.

Manufactured until 1981, the RS1000 would win many other races and propel both factory and private riders to success thanks to Honda “kit parts” availability. But fate took a hand and, in 1984, TT-F1 regulations limited engine capacities to 750cc and the RCB project made way for the incredible V4 RVF series of machines. Staying at the top for years requires work and passion, and Honda have both – truly a feat of endurance.

Can you name all four French Honda Endurance riders in this image from 1980?

source: https://www.instagram.com/p...
issued: Friday, August 04, 2023
updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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