Jump to content


Photo

Hailwood and Honda 500cc


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 2,252 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 11 October 2018 - 18:43

Sadly I got rid of all of my motorcycle books but I remember reading that Hailwood ran the Honda in non-championship races with a non-Honda frame and it was a much better bike.

Bad memory or fact?



Advertisement

#2 Paul Collins

Paul Collins
  • Member

  • 966 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 11 October 2018 - 22:42

Just before my time, but I'm sure there was a frame made from Renolds tubing, I'm not sure who made it though.

Also I seem to remember being told that John Cooper had a ride on it at Oulton and crashed at the first corner, before remounting and finishing in the top 3.

#3 StanN

StanN
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: June 11

Posted 12 October 2018 - 02:00

In his book “The Frame Man” Ken Sprayson of Reynolds writes about building a frame around the RC181 engine for Mike Hailwood. Mike first approached him in early 1967 but the time frame was too short so Ken declined to take on the job. Mike then had a frame made by Colin Lyster but, as Mike was under contract to Honda who did not look favourably on “outsiders” being involved in their designs, nothing much happened with the project, although he did race the Lyster Honda at some races in the UK in 67 in between his GP outings on the stock RC181. Later, Mike said the Lyster did not handle well at all.  At the end of the 67 season, when Honda had decided not to contest the GPs any longer, Mike signed a contract with Honda to use his 67 bikes to contest non-championship races in 68 so he approached Ken Sprayson again and Ken designed and built a frame over the winter that no longer used the engine as a structural member.

 

Mike raced this at a couple of early season Italian events finishing second to Giacomo Agostini in Rimini after sliding off in the wet while leading but remounting and setting the fastest lap in trying to catch Ago. At the next meeting at Imola Mike won on the HRS (Honda/Reynold Special). Mike hoped the success might bring Honda back to contest the GPs but this was not to happen and with Mike’s thoughts turning to four wheels there was not much further development, although Ken does write that there were a few more successes at track such as Snetterton.

 

John Cooper borrowed the bike for a race at Snetterton in, I think, 1969 and finished in 4th after wobbling around and getting into a lurid slide at one point. John made some derogatory remarks about the handling of the bike, which Ken Sprayson put down to a 1968, higher BHP engine being fitted which was too “peaky” for good throttle control. However, years later John did say “It was so bad to ride and yet Hailwood won on it; I don’t know how”.

 

According to Ken, after the bike became a part of the Hailwood permanent exhibition at the Donnington Museum it was purchased by a Californian, Virgil Ellings, who had it restored by Ken McIntosh in NZ in 2005/6 when it was ridden by Hugh Anderson at the 2006 Pukekohe meeting.

 

So it would seem that Mike rode both the Lyster framed 500 at some UK and Italian events in 1967 and the Reynolds framed version in 1968.



#4 fastfitter

fastfitter
  • Member

  • 171 posts
  • Joined: March 11

Posted 12 October 2018 - 06:36

The Honda was outside Coop's garage on Ashbourne Road in Derby one day as I went past. Quick 'U' turn for an ogle but he wouldn't let me sit on it  :evil:



#5 ERIC63

ERIC63
  • Member

  • 581 posts
  • Joined: November 14

Posted 12 October 2018 - 09:36

Just before my time, but I'm sure there was a frame made from Renolds tubing, I'm not sure who made it though.

Also I seem to remember being told that John Cooper had a ride on it at Oulton and crashed at the first corner, before remounting and finishing in the top 3.


I went to a Bank Holiday International meeting at Oulton in 1969 and I'm fairly certain he was on the Honda there.If i remember,he did indeed fall off at that meeting although I'm not sure about remounting and finishing 3rd.I think he'd also rode it at another meeting that weekend,so that could well have been Snetterton.

#6 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 2,252 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 12 October 2018 - 17:21

With names to use, this got me looking.

Lyster  , from what I found, worked with Belletti to build at least one frame and Reynolds built at least one frame.

Looking for images got me more infor than literature search.

How many of these bikes still exist,, and where are they?

 

Mr. Lyster was an interesting fellow.

The Wiki site subject is full of people saying what Hailwood said about the Honda built bike was not really true even though it happened decades earlier and they were not there.

It refreshed my memory as I had or have , the Cathcart article.



#7 StanN

StanN
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: June 11

Posted 14 October 2018 - 16:59

I found the results of the Snetterton, Race of Aces meeting of 31 Aug, 69 in the book "Racing Lines", where Coop finished 4th in both the 500cc and 1000cc Race of Aces. In rereading the race report in the book that would be the event I was referring to in my previous post.

 

As for the Lyster frame, I have read that Mike delivered that frame to Ken Sprayson with the motor in it so Ken could see what Colin had designed. From the photographs of this frame that I have seen it follows Colin's usual practice of multiple small diameter tubes, especially in the steering head/down tubes area. I doubt that it still exists.

 

I did a Google search on the Virgil Elings (one L I believe) link and in a 2017 YouTube video, and another link from that year that took me to the Solvang Motorcycle Museum, it would appear that the Reynolds framed bike was on display in this museum that is the personal collection of Virgil. I hope it is still on display there.