Friday, July 22, 2011

Face-off: Honda NR750 vs VTR1000 SP2


The mighty Honda NR750 faces the VTR1000 SP2...
Honda NR750 Honda NR750 Honda NR750 Honda NR750 Honda NR750 Honda NR750 Honda NR750 Honda NR750 Honda NR750

Here’s a bunch of pics from the Rayong Province, Thailand. Two friends are out riding their bikes, but not just any old bikes – we’re talking Honda VTR1000 SP2 and the Honda NR750! ‘Given its year of manufacture [1991], the NR still feels fresh and capable, though a tad heavy. It was happy to cruise at around 140km/h with spurts of up to 200km/h. Brakes are sharp and the chassis is more stable than flickable. It isn't an RC30, let alone a modern sportsbike, but it’s an enjoyable bike to ride on a Saturday morning cruise and its able enough that you don't need to make excuses for its performance in the company of the SP2,’ says the guy who owns the NR.

‘The SP2 has had quite a bit of work done to it and felt taught and lively compared to the NR. They are both Hondas and both have RC stamped on their frame but beyond that, they are as different as chalk and cheese. Without wanting to put the NR down in any way, the SP2 is the more involving and sportier bike of the two to ride and by quite a margin. However, it has to be factored in, that the main factor to riding the NR is that you don't really want to be riding it on the limit. There is always a fear of dropping the NR or even a stone flicking up off a truck as you passing it and causing damage to unobtainium paintwork or screen,’ says the NR owner. ‘To a certain extent, with time in the saddle, you get to relax and enjoy the experience. The NR’s retro/modern digital speedo (or is that modern but retro now?) and all the various dials on the dash keep you entertained and the bike is comfy and ergonomic. In addition, once you've arrived, you get the added bonus of having an extra view of the NR to admire when hanging out on the beach. The NR gets attention wherever it is parked. Even non bike enthusiasts take a peek at it,’ he adds.

‘You can see just how lardy the NR is. You kind of sit inboard and the bulk is behind and in front of the rider. However, a blindfolded person would think the NR is lithe, from the riding position alone. It is surprisingly narrow with hardly any splaying of legs around the tank. Reach to the bars is natural and sporty while the screen – iridium coated and looks fantastic – is low for most people. Between the NR and SP2, the difference is in facial expressions. The NR is smiley, the SP2 looks almost startled in comparison,’ says the NR guy.

‘The NR’s carbon air-ducts don't actually function though they do hide the screen brace. Seat is made of seude and is definitely not fake. Seems a strange choice for what is essentially a sportsbike but looks and feels good. The side ducts in the seat cowling are functional and the exhaust is otherwise fully enclosed – it gets pretty hot despite those air ducts, but no problems so far. The lower cowling, in carbon, is pure sex. Front forks are massive for the day, at 45mm. They are fully adjustable of course. The twin spotlights mounted in the fairing give the bike a unique frontal presence. Swingarm was the sexiest seen on a production bike until the MV F4 was launched. The frame has some special (some say, titanium) coating and is easy to keep clean and shiny. Swingarm is actually lacquered so you need to be careful with solvents and chips. Still looks good after 18 years,’ says the NR owner.

Look good, it certainly does. An NR may not even be able to keep up with a modern-day CBR600RR, but for its sheer Honda-ness, technology-porn that’s unrivalled to this day and mega exotic-ness, the NR was, and continues to be, right on top. How we envy people who actually own a Honda NR... :-)

Source: Tyga Performance


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1992 Honda NR 1992 Honda NR 1992 Honda NR 1992 Honda NR 1992 Honda NR
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Honda RVT1000 SP2


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