Sunday, June 15, 2008

Honda Production Racers in the early 1960s....

I’m on a bit of a roll with the research in some of my files over these earlier Honda racers and find the Super Sports versions fascinating…
For 1962 Honda introduced a series of production racers mirroring technology gained from their Grands Prix racers.
These were intended to provide suitable machines for good riders and obviously to continue the advertising success Honda were enjoying.

These 50cc items I covered in an earlier blog, but form part of this production racer series...
In the 50cc class for selected sale to the racing public they offered the CR110 Cub racer, which was an air cooled single cyl.4 stroke engine, DOHC with gear train drive, 49.99cc with 40.4mm bore x 39.0mm stroke, 8.5bhp at 13,500rpm, 0.46kg torque at 11,500rpm, magneto ignition, 8 speed gearbox.

As well Honda produced a sports model of the CR110 for the road Same engine details, but 7bhp at 12,700rpm, 5 speed gearbox, max. speed 100kph (62mph), 2.25-18 tyres front and rear, 75kg dry machine weight with a price then of 170,000 yen.

In the 125cc class came the CR93Benly racer, a twin cylinder gear driven DOHC 4 valve per cylinder engine, 124.8cc capacity bore and stroke 43.0 x 43.0mm; 21.5PS at 13,500rpm with 1.05kg torque at 10,700rpm, twin carbs, magneto ignition, wet sump, 10.2:1 comp.ratio. 5 speed gearbox, tyres 2.50-18 front and 2.75-18 rear, drum brakes with 2LS front and SLS rear.
Likely for Japan only was offered a Super Sports or Clubman version of the CR93 racer, called the CR93 Benly racer Super Sports., same engine detail, with 16.5PS at 11,500rpm and 1.05kg torque at 10,700rpm, 5 speed gearbox, max. speed listed at over 135kph(84mph), dry weight 127.5kg, wheels and tyres as per the production racer. Price then 300,000Yen.

For the 250cc class, came the CR72 racer, a twin cylinder gear driven DOHC 4 valve per cylinder engine,247cc bore and stroke 54.0 x 54.0mm, twin carbs.,wet sump, 6 speed gearbox,29PS at 9/500rpm and 2.06kg torque at 7,500rpm 150kg dry weight, tyres 2.75-18 front and 3.00-18 rear, drum brakes front and rear with 2LS front and SLS rear.
There does not appear to be a directly related Super Sports road version.
The 350cc class had an enlarged type of CR72 engine, capacity 305.4cc, bore and stroke 60 x 54mm, 29PS at 9,250rpm .I have little other detail and leave it up to you to compare the photographs.
Then as mentioned before, Honda retired from formal Grand Prix racing around 1968 and it all became history…..
Data and photographs for this blog are acknowledged from “Honda Collection 1”, Honda Collection 2” (published by Honda Motor Co.,Ltd, Honda Collection Hall Museum Project and printed in 1994 by Neko Publishing Co.,Ltd, Japan) and Million Mook “Exciting Bike” the Honda Story, published in Japan 1991. All are in Japanese.
Left click on photos to enlarge

1 comment:

Randall Baselt said...

Re your excellent blog of June 15, 2008 on the Honda production racers, the CR77 with the red tank and seat is not a correct example. The engine appears to be one of the few original parts on the bike. Since the CR72 and CR77 were visually identical, it might be better to show an example of a series II CR72. The Honda Collection Hall CR72 you show (incorrectly labeled CR250 on photo) is a fine example of a seres I bike (rounded tank with decal, no front frame downtubes, no visible condensers on left engine, upright stone guard, wide seat). Here is a photo of a series II CR72 (step-sided tank with badge, frame downtubes, condensers on left engine, rear-sloping stone guard, narrow seat):
Both types were built only in 1963 and had almost no interchangeable parts. They were never sold to the public, but were provided to factory team riders.
Randall Baselt