Wheels Of Grace Magazine

Volume 10, Issue 1

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Page 18 of 48

18 | WheelsOfGrace.com | Issue 41 Why there are no turbocharged motorcycles today Motorcycle manufacturers took a stab at making turbocharged motorcycles, and failed. Now they are seen as collec ble oddi es. Here's a look at why factory turbocharging failed, using Honda's 1982 CX500TC as an example. In theory, a turbo comes as close to producing free horsepower as anything ever invented. It uses exhaust pressure to spin a small turbine that, in turn, packs more fresh air and fuel into the cylinders. This creates a real-world, on-demand hyperdrive, which amounts to a very serious, very no ceable performance boost. Star ng with the 497cc water-cooled, pushrod V-twin from the rela vely mundane CX500, Honda added a 2-inch turbine capable of spinning up to 200,000 rpm and an LCD turbo-boost gauge on the dash. Despite the fuel injec on, turbocharger, forged pistons, water cooling and a variety of Honda technical innova ons, the CX500TC could not live up to its billing as a liter-bike performer in a middleweight package. The bike may have been a rocket when on the boost, but around town, its low 7.2:1 compression ra o and 574-pound curb weight made it sluggish. Then there was the turbo lag, which is the delay between the me you torque the thro le and the me the puffer spools up for monster launches. Ul mately, CX turbos were no faster than most 750cc sport bikes and, at $4,895, they were pricey, compared to bikes with the same performance. A change the next year to 650cc displacement wasn't enough to save the model, and the bike was discon nued, closing the book on Honda's turbo effort. 1969 honda cb750 prototype sells for $224,210 A 1969 Honda CB750 prototype, the famed 750-4, sold for 161,000 Bri sh pounds, the equivalent of $224,210, at an auc on held by H&H Classics at the Na onal Motorcycle Museum in Britain on March 4, 2018. H&H Classics says this "late" pre-produc on model is one of only four built, and only two s ll exist. The bike H&H auc oned was handmade in Japan in 1968. Honda UK then used it in the 1969 UK launch of the then new CB750 model, which became hugely popular worldwide as one of the first super bikes. H&H says the prototype had been in a private collec on since 1982. But the owner died, so the bike was sold. The bike was undergoing a restora on when the owner passed away. "This is one of the most historically important bikes we've had the pleasure to offer for sale," says Mark Bryank, head of motorcycle sales at H&H Classics. "Referred to on its launch as the most sophis cated produc on bike ever. The standard bike at launch was capable of 120 mph and was equipped with non-fade front hydraulic brakes. The bike has gone onto become a true icon rated as one of the top landmarks of Japanese automo ve technology." The other exis ng prototype is blue and in the United States. It sold on eBay in 2014 for $148,000. According to H&H, the two missing prototypes suffered sad fates. A green version of the bike went to France and was never seen again. A red version was crushed in the United States. John lennon's 'monkeybike' sells for $79,800 Beatle John Lennon's 1969 Honda Z50A "Monkeybike" that he rode around his estate in England sold at an auc on held by H&H Classics at the Na onal Motorcycle Museum in Britain on March 4 for 57,500 pounds, the equivalent of $79,800. H&H Classics says Lennon used the 49cc bike as a fun way of ge ng around his Ti enhurst Park estate in Surrey, where he lived from 1969 to 1971. Lennon moved to New York City in 1971. The Honda Monkey/Trail Bike XUC 91H was acquired by John Harington from Henry Graham, of Hook Hampshire, who at the me was owner of a business in Farnborough Hampshire, Motor Cycle City, in 1971. Graham said that he had bought the motorbike from Lennon, who was living at the me at the Ti enhurst Park in Sunningdale, near Ascot Berkshire. John Harington, the current seller who sold it largely unrestored, bought the bike from Graham and kept it for the past 47 years, displaying it at various events and shows throughout that me. five celebrity motorcyclists These celebri es are more than just casual riders. There are many celebrity motorcyclists, but some of them go waaay beyond the occasional ride. Here are five of them, in no par cular order. 1. Keanu Reeves. Actor Keanu Reeves, who is probably best known for starring in "Bill and Ted's MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY NEWS

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