The Oval Piston Engine (1979)

A 4-stroke Engine: The Natural Choice for a Comeback

Honda returned to the 500 cc class of the World Motorcycle Grand Prix series in 1979, following a twelve-year hiatus. The machine they had developed for their comeback-an entry in the World Grand Prix's most prominent class-was the NR500, powered by a four-stroke, DOHC V-four engine. With its oval piston engine incorporating eight valves and two connecting rods per cylinder, plus an aluminum semi-monococque frame complete with an inverted front fork, the machine surprised everyone with its daringly innovative technologies.

"When I look back at it, I'm not sure if we were experimenting with cutting-edge technologies or obsessed with foolish ideas," recalled Toshimitsu Yoshimura, an engineer involved in the development of the NR500's oval piston engine.

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 The Oval Piston Engine (1979)

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