Honda prototype

Honda speedway engine, 1998.

Mick Grant and Eric Boocock hatched the idea of producing a 'stock' speedway engine as a sealed unit requiring minimal maintenance and tuning.

The Honda mechanics did a grand job of squeezing a Honda road engine into a speedway frame. Fitted with a rev limiter and not producing as much power as a conventional speedway engine this prototype 650cc single cylinder Honda engine still had the conventional clutch & a full size gearbox, both of which would have been re-engineered in the next generation.

It lapped Owlerton all afternoon on the test day ridden by a queue of interested riders, but principally by Robbie Kessler and the only attention required between sessions was refuelling.

The intention was that the engines would be sealed to prevent 'tuning' and would put all riders on an equal footing. Speeds would be reduced and the emphasis would shift towards rider skill and away from peak power. Although slower the racing would be much closer and costs to the riders would be dramatically reduced.

In the final analysis the riders did not endorse the experiment as it would have effectively made all their existing equipment obsolete. I believe it would have been an excellent vehicle for the conference league although I doubt Honda would have been as interested in getting involved at such a low level.

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Honda prototype

Honda prototype

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