Classic Bike (UK) - - Best Tt Ever? -

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

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