‘A FORMULA ONE COMPANY IS MAKING NEW CRANKSHAFT ASSEMBLIES’
stash of spares from Mike Hailwood’s Honda operation in South Africa, and these have been extremely helpful.”
Very few Honda sixes exist – they’re either the factory 250 and 297cc originals or replicas of the 297. And when they appear at events, they’re usually given just a handful of laps on a short circuit. Iannucci, however, has always challenged the orthodox, and he’s confident that his rebuilt Honda six can survive the 37.73 miles of the Mountain Circuit. “We’ve run our RC165 at more than a dozen venues, including Daytona, Assen, Laguna Seca, Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park, Scarborough, Mallory Park and the Nürburgring,” he says. “It last ran at the 1998 Centennial TT at Assen, in 1998. The bike has done 248 miles in our hands. It’s a brilliant piece of engineering and design, and is reliable and not at all fragile. It expands on the engineering of European multi-cylinder engines by simplification and by following the same basic principals. It’s a triumph of compact packaging.”
Many collectors specialise in one make or model, but Iannucci owns British singles (Matchless G50 and AJS 7R), Italian multis (MV and Benelli), Japanese exotica and Harley V-twins. Does he identify patterns in the engineering approach of these four nations?
“British bikes tend to be under-engineered, overweight, but truly beautiful and not difficult to work on,” he replies. Italian bikes are a true art form – a blend of art and engineering, with great passion applied. Japanese bikes, in particular the Grand Prix bikes of the ’60s, are brilliantly engineered and very easy to assemble. And American bikes – especially the Formula 750 Harleydavidson XR750TT – are a challenging