Honda NR750

Honda NR750 1990s Japanese superbike

Few road-going superbikes are quite so 'race-bred' as the Honda NR750. It was a direct descendant of Honda's NR500 GP bike. The NR roadster was released in '92. A decade or so previously, the four-stroke racer had been slugging it out with Suzuki and Yamaha two-strokes. Well, trying to, anyway! Always disadvantaged - due to its engine layout - the NR500 was 'discontinued' in '81.

The feature for which the NR will be forever remembered was its 'oval' pistons. Technically, they were not oval. Rather, they were lozenge-shaped. These ovoid pistons, at any rate, were the NR's most clear-cut connection with its racing ancestor. Whatever their form, they obviously worked. The NR delivered 125bhp - at 14,000 rpm. Top speed was 160mph. That was notwithstanding the NR's weight - a tubby 489lb. Ultimately, however - while the performance was impressive - it was not earth-shattering. Honda had done its best to conjure up a V8 - out of a V4! Effectively, to double it up. The NR's V4 engine was fitted with eight fuel injectors and titanium conrods. Four camshafts depressed thirty-two lightweight valves. Sadly, all that did not equate to twice the speed of a standard V4!

The NR's styling was on a par with its engineering. It had a titanium-coated screen, for starters. That was backed up by a brilliant finish - particularly, the paintwork and polished aluminium frame. Build quality was what you would expect from a one-of-a-kind superbike. In every department, the NR delivered. Above all, though, it came with charisma - by the crateful. Bikes like the NR tend not to have too many owners. And not just because of exorbitant price-tags and running costs. Such machines grant access to motorcycling's inner sanctum. Perhaps - more than any other road-bike - the Honda NR750 combined visual and technological exoticism. Glamour was never an issue!

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