The perfect clone ‘Each bike was sold for £450,000’
Although in 1968 just two RC174S existed, Honda granted permission in the Noughties for eight replicas to be made. That is how Honda’s ultimate Six lives on today – and the bike Guy rode at Castle Combe was one of these meticulous, authorised recreations.
They’re the work of master replica builder and classic bike expert George Beale, who’s also renowned for building replicas of racing machines as diverse as the 1954 AJS Porcupine and 1969 Benelli 500/4, after being given permission by the director of Honda’s own museum, the Honda Collection Hall. Their creation took a full six years and – apart from a few nuts and bolts – every component had to be made from scratch. The process revealed the complexity of the sixcylinder engine.
For example: there aren’t just six conrods, there are three different types, each with progressively larger big- end bearings. While the tiny pistons, each no bigger than your thumb, have tolerances so fine the liners must be dipped in liquid nitrogen before being pressed into the pre-heated block. Each authorised replica was sold for a reputed £450,000.
It’s long been Guy’s ambition to ride the nut and bolt recreation
Guy with George Beale and Honda race guru Neil Tuxworth (right)