Hi guys, nice topic!
The story goes that they got the idea from the shape of traffic lights, while waiting at a red light
The NR was the most evolutionary bike to be seen in GPs so far.
Much more than the current RCV!
It was the greatest exercise of Honda, but the time was wrong. Honda didn't expect the 2 strokes to gain over 30 Hp in 3 years time!
Like Apexismaximus said, the technology existed already for Honda, the only problem was the rules.
The rules were made by FIM to restrain Honda mainly, and the other Japanese, who were using multicylindre engines.
The 250/6 was extremely fast revving, but the 125/5 and the 50 twin were the absolutely extremely revvy engines with a very very narrow band. They were using 14 gears on the 50cc at some stage!
The NR was designed to run like an V8 but there were other problems. They had to get even more revs as the 2 strokes were beyond the 100hp mark already and they were lighter also!
They ended up getting to around 18000 revs but the bike had no torque at all at anything below 5 figure revs, st the point that it was very difficult to start it!
The NR except of the most technologically advanced motorcycle (or other
) engine ever made (still) had other firsts.
It had a monocoque frame, 16 inch front wheel, side radiators, and other features. The idea was great but the results were so poor that they couldn't even qualify to race!
In 1987 thy had perfected the bike and engine (see Trivia 'Name that Honda' and finally produced the road bike to prove their superiority. Soichiro Honda disliked the 2 strokes, he always wanted to beat the 2 strokes with a 4 stroke. He will be watching with a grin this years GP from above.