It’s time for a shed upgrade as we’re telling you to get a works Honda in there and these are seriously rare – as well as ultra-desirable – so you will need to invest in a better lock or a bigger guard dog or both…
… a works bike in your shed. Why? Not just because we say so, but so you can revel in its glory – first is a works Honda MX.
There is just something about a genuine works bike – it doesn’t matter what make it is really or what discipline it is for that matter, it’s the aurora that surrounds these machines that made the headlines of their day.
In the period CDB focusses on, factory machines were still money-noobject creations built with one goal in mind and that was to win.
Okay, so the concept would help bring the production range forward too, but it was unlikely that any of the parts used for the works machines would be interchangeable with the machines the public could buy.
Such machines would bristle with all sorts of special metals that were just too expensive to use on production bikes, but viable if your aim was to have your factory name on the winner’s list.
Such machines would also have a very short life – just one season – before being sidelined for the following year’s factory bike.
So, you can see why we say you need a factory bike in your shed. The problem is that they’re not easy to get a hold of – Honda, for instance, would simply crush the previous season’s machines rather than let them be used by up-and-coming riders. Their thinking, and reasonable thinking too, being they didn’t want the previous year’s bikes having any chance of beating the current factory machines.
This destructive policy isn’t a new one, as John Giles admitted to Don Morley in Classic British Trials Bikes, Triumph cut his works bike up in front of him and issued him with a new one.
However, there are always one or two that escape such a fate – this 1977 RC500 is just such a machine and it resides in the Hagon collection.
That it is a genuine factory bike is undisputed; what isn’t certain though is exactly which rider actually rode this machine.
Even Honda’s top scorer in the 1977 GP series – Brad Lackey – was uncertain when he checked the bike out at Telford some years ago.
As Brad inspected the machine ultra-closely and pointed out salient details to Martin Hagon, he still couldn’t say exactly who would have ridden it.
Still in its ‘as raced’ condition, the RC500 wears its scars proudly as testament to its life on the GP circuit and there has been no attempt whatsoever to restore it, nor will there ever be, as Hagon’s philosophy is to keep it as it is.