1992 HONDA NR750
Honda returned to GP racing in 1979 and tried to beat 500cc two-strokes with a four-stroke. Their NR500 V4 overcame the four-cylinder limit with oval pistons on twin conrods – it was effectively a V8 with shared combustion chambers. Piston shape allowed eight valves per cylinder, helping with their 23,000rpm target (they needed twice as many revs as the two-strokes to match their power output).
The 500 failed. However, after continuing development in the NR750 endurance racer (which qualified second at Le Mans in ’82), the tech reached the road with the sublime NR750 in 1992. Just 200 examples of the exquisitely-engineered 32-valve masterpiece were built, and this machine from the Willowbrook collection is a Swiss market model. It’s covered just 1408km and comes with its original battery (having been kept on a trickle charger), tool kit, paint touch-up kit and paddock stand. With Swiss papers, it’s estimated at £60,000-80,000.
Swiss-owned NR has been sparingly used and fastidiously kept