Monday, January 26, 2009
Hondas 1st V-Twin Flat Tracker
In the late 70's,famed Flat Track Tuner Jerry Griffith, took the most unlikely Honda Bike and turned it into what was hoped would be the slayer of the mighty H.D. XR 750. Jerry used the only V-Twin Honda had at the time , the ungainly CX 650 and using only its motor and a custom frame took on the might of the all conquering Motor Company. After several iterations the bike performed well but could not inflict any damage to the Orange and Black Squad. Established Stars in the sport would never consider a development ride and stuck to their tried and true mounts. Griffith called upon the talents of a young up and comer by the name of Freddie Spencer (No. 19). This kid could ride and Honda bet the farm on him. It payed off as Freddie progressed from this ride on the Dirt Tracks of America to 500cc Grand Prix World Champion. I took the first two photos of the bikes at the Sacramento Mile in 1981. Mike Kidd won the Championship that year on his ARMY sponsered Harley. Honda hired him away from H.D. to ride these bikes in '82. Results were lacking but Kidd and Griffith convinced Honda to build the RS750 that went on to win 4 Championships in a row. Spencer went from the Dirt to Superbikes and then to GPs. The Video is a Honda Ad for the 500cc V-Twin Ascot that was only built for two years. The CX750s were used in the Ad at Ascot where the track looks dry and cushioned after Sprint car meet. When the bike raced at Ascot the track was watered heavily and the line was moist and tacky. Mike Kidd won the No.1 Plate in 1981 on a Harley but Honda got to use the No.1 with Kidd up, for 1982.