The per­fect clone ‘Each bike was sold for £450,000’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - FEATURE -

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)

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