In November 1977, Honda announced its return to WGP (world championship road racing). This is when the V4 legend began. At the time, 2-stroke machines dominated WGP. Honda shocked the racing world by challenging the 2-strokes with the revolutionary NR500 powered by a newly developed 4-stroke V4 DOHC engine. The most remarkable features of this technically fascinating engine were its 8-valve oval cylinders. Each oval piston was supported by two connecting rods. This was a V4 engine the likes of which the world had never seen. In the words of the engine's designers, "We didn't want to follow others. We wanted to challenge conventional thinking with an entirely new concept."
In their search for the ultimate in 4-stroke technology they created the V4 engine technology of the future. In the years since, Honda's incredibly powerful V4 engines have undergone continuous development on racetracks around the world and given birth to an entirely new genre of machines: the V4 sports bike. Over the following decades Honda produced many very successful V4 sports models which even today have a strong following among riders around the world.
Force V4 is Honda's term for the 'force' that brings new riding pleasure and excitement. Thirty-five years have now passed since the V4 NR500 made its stunning debut. In 2012, Honda is again challenging for the world championship in MotoGP with the most powerful V4 motorcycle in the world, the RC213V.