10 of the best
‘It went from 50 to 150bhp in just 100rpm!’
“There was nothing like riding a racing two-stroke. The NSR was light, agile, had 200bhp and was so responsive to the throttle. They were edgy.
“The midto-late 80s was a difficult time to be racing motorcycles. The chassis weren’t very good but there was a lot of power. It came in at 9700rpm and you go from 50bhp, rise another 100rpm more and you have 150bhp. It was really aggressive and the top speed was incredible. There was a lot of engine development done – the chassis took a long time to catch up.
“I enjoyed getting the bike to work. The engineers at Honda made a mistake to begin with though, figuring that the weight should go down low, but in hindsight Suzuki were correct with putting the weight higher. In 1988 and 1989 we started moving the chassis around and then we worked on the big-bang engine which helped make the tyres last better with usable power. The late 1992 NSR was unbelievably good and didn’t really get changed from then until the last NSR500 in 2002. That last version of the NSR500 won titles for Rossi, Criville and Doohan.”
‘The last NSR500 won titles for Rossi, Criville and Doohan’
WAYNE GARDNER 1987 500GP CHAMPION