Race Winner From the Honda Collection
Check out this stunning photography of a very special Honda RC166 from the Honda Racing Heritage collection. This example bearing number 7, was piloted by Mike Hailwood to victory in the 1966 Isle of Man TT. It wasn’t just on the ring around the dependency that Hailwood brought the 166 in for the laurels. Hailwood won 10 championship races in 1966 onboard RC166. This is an incredible racing machine, which captured the World Manufacturers Championship for Honda in the 250cc category for two years on a trot in the mid-60s.
Looking at these photographs, it’s little wonder that the Hailwood RC166 has become such a popular inspiration for tribute cafe bikes in a variety of engine configurations. The demand for 1960s Hondas remains high as a source for cafe bikes sporting this livery. I must admit, these photos certainly whet my appetite for one of these small displacement racers. Like their 4-wheeled counterparts, the barchettas, these small displacement bikes are the epitome of sports riding for me. Short wheelbases, light weights, and high maneuverability is a recipe for fun on the road or track. There are few machines on two wheels or four that would compete with this Honda RC166 (or it’s many imitators) for a magical afternoon on a twisty stretch of road. Check out the complete gallery, including some video and ringtones(!), on Honda’s MotoGP history gallery.
More on this and other early Honda racers at vf750fd.com.