Oval piston sorcery.
Is the Honda NR750 the most beautiful, groundbreaking machine that Soichiro and company ever produced? If not, it’s definitely up there—and while now is not the most practical time to be looking at $30,000-plus unobtanium bikes for sale, it’s important to have dreams. After all, they’re why posters of Lamborghinis lined many a kid’s walls back in the day (well, that and they’re fun to draw). Nine-year-old you probably wouldn’t go out and buy a Countach next week, but you could still appreciate it, right? Right.
Back in 1992, Honda turned the motorcycle industry upside down with all the technological advancements it packed into one perfectly proportioned and elegant design. Where some Honda design choices resulted in just a tiny bit too much of that iconic Honda red, the NR750 got the balance just right—with enough details in other colors to break it up and create an overall composition that was—and remains—most pleasing as a whole.
The 747cc, oval-piston V4 boasted a whopping eight titanium valves and two titanium connecting rods for each of those four cylinders—along with a Noah’s Ark lineup of spark plugs, fuel injectors, intake and exhaust ports for each one. The stainless-steel under-seat exhaust may not seem all that special in 2020, but someone had to do it first—and that someone was Honda. None other than the great Massimo Tamburini would later freely admit that the NR750 inspired his legendary Ducati 916 under-seat exhaust.
Inverted forks. Inverted forks in 1992. There are so many tiny little details to appreciate throughout this bike that we’d probably be here all day if we listed all of them. (I mean, I can think of worse ways to spend a day, for sure.) Only 200 were ever sold to the public, and they commanded a price of ¥5,000,000 apiece—or $60,000 in 1992 money. Keep in mind, that’s the same year the very first Fireblade hit the market. One very special bike for the discerning motorcycle guy with cash to burn—and another for the rest of us.
Gallery: 1992 Honda NR750
At any rate, the guys at Iconic Motorbike Auctions seem to have a line on a surprising number of these, and you’ll see them pop up from time to time either in auctions or classifieds. This particular one is a bit special, because someone’s actually been riding the thing. It has a whole 3,293 miles on the clock, and is being sold on a private bill of sale. It’s also currently located in Japan, but Iconic will be happy to assist the winning bidder in successfully importing it, if that isn’t also where the winner is located.
The auction ends on August 28, 2020, and bidding at the time of writing is up to $30,000—but hey, scrolling through some beautiful photos of an even better-looking bike costs you nothing but your time, and perhaps a little drool on your chin. You may want to wipe that up, BTW.