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The HONDA RC115 and RC116 50cc Racing Motorcycle
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HONDA RC 115
HONDA RC 116
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Competition and Passion showing Engineering Excellence at its best.  2 x 25cc pistons moving at 22,500 revs, created a music all of its own. When it was first heard in the Isle of Man this music of the pipes, stirred and excited as it rolled off the mountainside while the HONDA RC competed for the Isle of Man 50cc TT title
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The 1965 HONDA RC115 50cc Twin has a completely new engine.

Bore and stroke are now 34 x 27.4 mm, giving a total capacity of 49.75 cc.  The enclosed valve angle was 72 degrees for the RC114. It  is now 56 degrees, with 24 degrees for the inlet valves and 32 degrees for the exhaust valves for the new engines.

Drive to the camshafts is still with a gear train on the right hand side, but is now taken from the clutch drive instead of from a gear on the crankshaft.  What also can be seen in a picture, is that the megaphones are not welded to the down pipes as usual for Hondas, but slipped over them – necessary because they're made of aluminium, to save weight.

The two carburettors are the flat slides units. These have been shown to improve the breathing of the engine.

Power output is a healthy 15 bhp at 20,000 rpm. Lubricationis by wet sump; there are nine speeds in the gearbox. Dry weight is 50 kg – compare that with the 61 kg of the single cylinder CR110!

During the season, both high level exhausts and the normal low level exhausts are used. The high level exhausts have the advantage of a smaller frontal area, because the fairing can be kept narrower, which, gives less air drag.
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In the 1966 50 cc class there is fierce competition between Taveri and Bryans on their Hondas, and Anscheidt, after the withdrawal of Kreidler, on a Suzuki twin. After the one but last GP of the season, the Isle of Man TT (this year last but one, because strikes in Great Britain prevented the TT from being held in June as usual), all three riders have 26 points, and a chance of the title. Then it becomes known, that the Japanese GP this year will not be held on the Honda owned Suzuka circuit, but on the new Fisco course, whereupon Honda decides not to participate, and the individual title goes to Anscheidt.

Difference between the RC115 and the RC116 is a new bore and stroke, now being 35.5 x 25.14 mm. Power output is 16 bhp at 21,500 rpm. This means 320bhp per litre and a PME of nearly 16 kg/cm2 ! As regards bhp per litre, this is a figure that was never surpassed, for a number of years, by any naturally aspirated four stroke engine, and even today's formula 1 cars with their special fuel brews cannot hold a candle to it. 

I know this is not a totally fair comparison, but it gives an idea of the level of four stroke technology nearly 50 years ago. This engine is the most advanced of all the Honda engines. Red line at 22,500 rpm. Carburettors have flat slides. The gearbox contains a nine speed cluster. Dry weight of the bike is 58 kg. The piston pin has a diameter of 9 mm and weighs 6 g. The inlet valve head is 13 mm, the exhaust valve head is 11.5 mm, and the stems are 3.5 mm diameter.  Weight of the  exhaust valve: 6 g.
The HONDA RC116 50cc Twin
In 1966, the 50cc class, Hondas win 3 of the 7 rounds, and Bryans becomes World Champion, with Taveri second and Anderson (Suzuki) third. Honda also wins the manufacturers' title.
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Research:
JEEP's Archives
Motorcycle Magazines
On-Line encyclopedias
News Paper Cuttings/ Scrap Books

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Winner of five out of seven rounds in the 1965 World Championship series, this was Honda's first bike to win both Manufacturers' and Riders' Championships in the 50cc class. Dutch TT winner. Rider: No. 6 Ralph Bryans
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Swiss ace Luigi Taveri was Honda's strongest rider in the smaller 50cc and 125cc classes during the 1960s, winning 26 GP victories and a hat-trick of 125 world titles. This is Taveri on the 50cc twin, which made 15 horsepower at 20,000rpm, equivalent to 260 horsepower per litre!

The racers are Luigi Taveri with Rlaph Bryans behind.
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A Gallery of Photos for the 1965 HONDA RC115 50cc Twin
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A listing of the RC11 Series of Honda Racing Motorcycles.
Ian Plumridge with the Honda RC115 and RC116 Replicas.
The Honda RC116 
classic 50cc racing | 50cc racing uk | 50cc racing | 50cc motorcycle racing | 50cc motorcycle | 50cc | racing50 | 50 racing | 50cc Roadracing | HONDA | Honda | RC115 | RC116 |
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