In 1960s–70, The Daytona 200 was one of the most prestigious races in the world. BSA, Triumph and Harley-Davidson were ruling the race track with their all-star riders.
Although the Honda CB750 had technological advantage like Grand Prix inspired 4-cylinder engines, disc front brakes and good handling, American Honda's board of directors was not interested in racing. Only Bob Hansen, an American Honda national service manager believed Honda could win, but only with full factory support. Despite many attempts, the board of directors simply wouldn't budge
One day, Hansen received a call from Mr. Harada the head of Honda R&D in Japan, with one question, "What is the top speed required to win?" And after 3 days, Honda confirmed they would race in the 1970 Daytona 200 with Yoshio Nakamura, Honda's famous Formula 1 team manager in charge of the race team.
Hansen, a veteran competitor himself had doubts over Nakamura understanding of Daytona race. Nakamura would front 3 factory works racers and Hansen with an identical bike as contingency. Nakamura enlisted 3 British riders: 125cc World Champion Ralph Bryans, Irishman Tommy Robb and Isle of Man TT expert Bill Smith. Hansen picked AMA Grand National Champion and 3 times Daytona 200 runner-up, Dick "Bugsy" Mann.
During testing, Honda suffered from some misfiring at high rpm. Hansen’s investigation revealed the hard-rubber cam-chain tensioner was disintegrating inside the motor, which required a full engine rebuild. He alerted the other 3 crew chiefs but was ignored.
As the race progressed, one by one the Hondas dropped out, leaving Mann as the only Honda rider leading the race. The BSA, Triumph and Harley were all suffering from over-heating. Mann's Honda was failing as well, losing 1 second per lap with Gene Romero on a Triumph catching up fast. But Mann kept his cool as Hansen instructed him to slow down to save his engine from failure since he was already leading. This didn't go well with Nakamura who was pushing for Mann to speed up. Mann finally crossed the finish line running only on 3 cylinders and with less than a cup of oil left in the engine.
The Daytona victory was a turning point. Honda immediately gained credibility in the US motorcycle market. As the year progressed, Honda grew from strength to strength to what they are today. As for the man who played an important part of Honda US first racing success, Hansen was fired after the race for disobeying Nakamura.
The factory-made CB750 vanished for over 30 years. It was eventually resurrected in a tiny workshop in the suburbs of Paris. It had been lovingly restored by its owner of 25 years. The story was that after Daytona, two CB750s were sent to Paris for endurance racing. One crashed and burned. The other one was eventually crated and stored after Honda France ran out of budget.
A team of experts which included Bob Hansen and 2 other original mechanics was formed and flown to Paris to authenticate the only factory made CB750 left in the world. After more then 3 decades the team finally reunited with their bike.
Engine: 4-stroke 4-cylinder
Weight: 385Ib (174.6 kg) dry
Power: 90hp @ 9700 rpm
Top Speed: Over 162mph (261km/h)
Print Size: A2 (420mm x 594mm)
Approx 16.53" x 23.38"
Print Type: OffSet Lithographic 4C Printing
Paper: Maple White - Acid Free - 220gsm
Take Note: Paper stock base colour do differ slightly from batches to batches due to its 50% recycle properties.
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