Marquez and Pedrosa get to ride NSR500 two-stroke GP bike at Honda Thanks Day

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By SR Staff

Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez (right) and Dani Pedrosa (left) got their first opportunity to ride the vaunted NSR500 V-four two-stroke Grand Prix bike during the Honda Racing Thanks Day recently held at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan. Pedrosa was aboard the ’84 version that former world champion Freddie Spencer rode (with the ill-fated fuel tank underneath the engine concept), while Marquez rode Spencer’s ’85 NSR500.

Honda Racing recently held its annual “Honda Racing Thanks Day” event in Japan where numerous current Honda motorcycle riders and automobile drivers get together for a fun day of track activities at Honda’s Twin Ring Motegi circuit to thank all the fans and colleagues of Honda for the season. As part of the festivities, Repsol Honda MotoGP riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were given the unique opportunity to ride the first versions of Honda’s vaunted NSR500 V-four two-stroke Grand Prix machine; Pedrosa rode the 1984 version with the ill-fated “upside-down” concept of having the expansion chamber exhausts run over the top of the engine with the fuel tank carried underneath, while Marquez rode the 1985 NSR500 that was part of former World Champion Freddie Spencer’s historical double 500cc/250cc World Championship season. Although both bikes are basically ’80s technology and were shod with street-legal tires instead of slicks (presumably to keep the riders from getting too frisky on them and damaging priceless bikes on loan from Honda’s own museum on the circuit premises), both riders were excited to try the big multi-cylinder two-strokes for the first time.

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