In 1959, five years after announcing its March 1954 entry in the Isle of Man TT Race, Honda began its all-out effort to achieve glory on the racing circuit. Surprisingly, it took Honda only a few years to reach the summit on that journey. Supporting this rapid advance were innumerable technical innovations, including the multi-cylinder engine and cam-driven geartrain.
Honda successfully avoided the mid-1960s trend toward 2-stroke engines. In fact, once it had made DOHC 4-cylinder engine technology an industry standard, Honda went on to make the six-cylinder DOHC powerplant a reality with its RC166 250-cc and RC174 350-cc machines. Boasting a mechanism lauded for its "clockwork precision," the new high-revolution, high-output engine outperformed its rivals, leaving behind a trademark exhaust note that fans soon popularized as "Honda Music."