Tag Archives: Honda Racing Corporation

LOOK! Trials Legends – Volume 2

Latest release from Trials Guru is Trials Legends – Volume 2, which will be extended over the next few weeks.

Rob Shepherd - Honda - 1977 SSDT
Rob Shepherd – Honda – 1977 SSDT – Photo: Rhosalyn Price, Abergavenny

We kick-start Volume 2 with the Legend known as ROB SHEPHERD.

In collaboration with Trial Magazine UK

Trials Legends – Volume 2 is HERE

‘Papa’ Lejeune passes away

Pepe Lejeune
Jean ‘Pepe’ Lejeune riding one of his special Honda machines around 1966 – Photo courtesy of Lejeune family Dison, Belgium.

JEAN ‘Pepe’ LEJEUNE – 20 October 1926 – 6 July 2016 – “Thank You for Everything”

Jean ‘Papa’ Lejeune, known by the moniker ‘Papa’ by UK trials enthusiasts, but he was also known to all in Belgium as ‘Pepe’ the father of the three famous Belgian trials riders, Jean-Marie, Eddy and Eric Lejeune and daughter Chantelle, has passed away at the age of 89 years. He was the undisputed head of the Lejeune family.

2011 ssdt (1)
Eric; Jean ‘Papa’; Eddy; Jean-Marie and Mrs. Lejeune at the 2011 Scottish Six Days Trial – Photo courtesy: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

Lejeune was an enthusiastic competitor on home built Honda machines and was a passionate supporter of the sport of trials in his own country and world-wide effectively creating a trials dynasty. He ran the successful family plastics business in Dison, near Verviers which was called Plastiflac-Lejeune B.E, this helped to finance his middle son, Eddy to contest the world trials series. Eddy became world champion three times in 1982-1984 during a career riding for the mighty Honda Racing Corporation with whom he signed in 1979 at the age of sixteen. Eddy was also Belgian national champion seven times and eldest son, Jean-Marie was Belgian national champion three times and was brother Eddy’s mentor.

1986 Eric Lejeune + Papa
1986 Scottish Six Days – ‘Pepe’ inspects the RTL250 of youngest son Eric Lejeune – Photo courtesy of Mark Lamplough

The ingenious Lejeune made Eddy his first trials machine based on an SS50 Honda. In fact he built many special Honda trials machines for himself and his sons over the years.

1986 Lejeune RTL
1986 Scottish Six Days, ‘Pepe’ Lejeune (Red sweater) in the middle of things with son Eddy’s factory RTL270S. Eddy Lejeune on the left, mechanic Derrick Edmondson in the Rothmans top facing away from camera – Photo courtesy, Mark Lamplough


2011 ssdt (2)
The three Lejeune brothers: From left, Jean-Marie; Eddy and Eric at the 2011 Scottish Six Days Trial – Photo courtesy: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

Former World Trials Champion, Yrjo Vesterinen paid tribute and said: “The first time I had the pleasure of meeting ‘Pepe’ Lejeune was in 1970 in a bar in Dison, where the organising committee was based for the European Championship. It didn’t matter to him that I was a seventeen year old unknown youngster, who was struggling to understand where our Hotel was situated. Pepe straight away offered to take us there. It was the first time in my life I had sat in the back seat of a big Mercedes car. What a nice start for a memorable week-end in Belgium. ‘Pepe’ Lejeune was a larger than life character, a great ambassador for Belgium and the world of trials”.

Trials Guru will surely not be alone in sending sincere condolences to the Lejeune family at their loss.

13/07/2016 – Sadly, only seven days after the death of her husband, Mrs Lejeune slipped away.

Lejeune - EL
Mr. & Mrs. Lejeune – Photo courtesy of Eric Lejeune, Dison

Photos: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

: Mark Lamplough, Scarborough

: Lejeune Family, Dison, Belgium

Honda at Yamaha tribute event

We always like to bring you something different here on Trials Guru, so here we go again. There will be a special Honda debuted at the Inverness & District 2016 Highland Classic 2 Day Trial ‘Yamscot Edition’ on June 11th and 12th on the Alvie shooting Estate, near Aviemore.

The 1981 Honda Seeley 200 RSC which will be ridden by Steven Moffat as a tribute to his racing hero, Steve Hislop – Photo: Trials Guru

The machine is a 1981 Seeley Honda TL200E, originally owned by Scottish enthusiast, Jock McComisky up until 2005, but now with a special paint job on the tank seat shelter as a tribute to the late Steve Hislop who rode the Castrol Honda RC45 in the 1994 Isle of Man TT races, his last TT race.

Hislop was from Hawick and lost his life at 41 years of age in a helicopter accident in 2003 near his home town in the Scottish borders. He gave Nortons their first TT victory after many years, known as the ‘long dry spell’ in 1992.

Steve Hislop Memorial
The Steve Hislop Memorial in Wilton Park, Hawick

Steven Moffat will ride the machine at the Highland Classic and said: “I have ridden the last few years on one of my father’s Bultacos, but I have wanted to ride a four-stroke Honda and the 200 Seeley is just the machine. I wanted to have a little tribute to my hero Steve Hislop and the tank cover was sent to Bike Paints at Cupar Muir in Fife. Bike Paints do all Paul Bird Racings race fairings and have had much of their excellent work at world superbike, TT and North West 200 races, on many of the winning machines”.

Moffat is 25 years of age and a Civil Engineer who had to give up riding trials for four years due to university commitments which resulted in a masters degree in Civil Engineering at Edinburgh Napier University in 2015.

Moffat added: ” I am delighted that the Honda is finished in time for the Highland Classic, I should have ridden a Yamaha due to the Yamscot theme, but I thought the rival Honda would be something different”.

Honda – now on Trials Guru!

picture credit Sammy Miller (1)
Honda Trials – Image credit: Sammy Miller MBE

Recently opened, the new ‘section’ on Trials Guru – dedicated to the Honda trials effort over the years.

With direct co-operation to Trials Guru from ‘The Honda Trials History’ website, Honda author Tommy Sandham and many more!

Picture Credit John Hulme
Rob Shepherd in 1977 at the Scottish Six Days Trial with his factory Honda TL300 (PEL2R) the number 69 machine is that of team-mate Nick Jefferies (PEL1R) – Photo copyright: John Hulme

Exclusive to Trials Guru – Dedicated to the sport.

Go straight to the new ‘section’ for you to ‘observe’!

Honda Trials

Honda Racing Corporation – RTL ‘Racing Trial’

Honda Factory Trials – RTL – ‘Racing Trial’



During the ninteen-seventies, Honda Motor Company decided to create a purely ‘Racing’ division, separate from their normal motorcycle production activities and core businesses. This saw the advent of Racing Service Center Corporation or ‘RSC‘ for short. Later, in September 1982, they developed from RSC, Honda Racing Corporation or HRC for short, which exists to this day and controls the racing activites of Honda. HRC produce and sell racing/competition motorcycles and spare parts. The parts, although well made and of high specification, are by their nature, not warranted for street use as they are for ‘racing applications only’. HRC European headquarters are based in Aalst in Belgium. The world HQ is at Asaka, Saitama, Japan. Below we can see some of RSC & HRC’s creations over the years.

Honda RTL300 - Short-Stroke from 1977 - Photo copyright: Heath Brindley, England
Honda RTL300 – Short Stroke ‘Racing Trial’ of Nick Jefferies, 1977. Photo by Heath Brindley, Bristol.
Rob Shepherd aboard the factory 305cc short-stroke Honda.
Rob Shepherd aboard the factory 305cc short-stroke Honda. This rare photo was taken by Rob Edwards outside the Espluges Montesa factory in Barcelona. Photo courtesy and copyright: Rob Edwards, Middlesborough.
Honda RTL 300 Long-Stroke – Marland Whaley (USA) from 1977.
Marland Whaley Ben Nevis
1977 – Scottish Six Days Trial at Glen Nevis – Marland Whaley on his factory Honda RTL300 (305cc) who finished in 13th position losing 102 marks for the week. Photo: Copyright Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.
Marland Whaley on Blackwater in 1978
Marland Whaley on Blackwater in 1978 on the Honda RTL300 – Photo copyright: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.
1984 Lejeune
1984 – Honda RTL360 – Eddy Lejeune (Belgium) at Fersit, Scottish Six Days Trial. Factory only machine, not on general sale. Photo: Mark Lamplough, Coventry.
HRC RTL360 motor from 1984. Photo: Patrick Pissis, France.
February 2014 – Telford Off-Road & Racing Show. Jean Caillou (left) and Patrick Pissis from France, show their RTL360 from 1984. Photo: Copyright: Trials Guru/MoffatRacing 2014
Telford, February 2014 - RTL360. Photo, Copyright: Trials Guru/MoffatRacing, 2014
Telford, February 2014 – RTL360. Photo, Copyright: Trials Guru/MoffatRacing, 2014
RTL360 generator side close up. Photo, Copyright: Trials Guru/MoffatRacing, 2014
RTL360 generator side close up. Photo, Copyright: Trials Guru/Moffat Racing, 2014
Rob Shepherd (300 Honda RTL300) on Grey Mare's Ridge in the 1979 Scottish Six Days - © - Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.
British Honda/HRC factory rider, Yorkshire farmer, Rob Shepherd (Honda/HRC RTL300) tackles ‘Grey Mare’s Ridge’ in the 1979 Scottish Six Days – © – Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.
Eddy Lejeune'86 Lower Mamore
1986 – SSDT – Eddy Lejeune (Rothmans Honda RTL270SW) on Lower Mamore – Photo Copyright: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven
Eddy Lejeune (270 Rothmans Honda RTL270S) on Ben Nevis in the 1986 Scottish Six Days - © – Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.
Three times FIM World Champion, Eddy Lejeune (270cc Rothmans Honda RTL270SW) on Ben Nevis in the 1986 Scottish Six Days – © – Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.
Saunders RTL Rothmans
Full factory machine, this is the RTL270SW Honda Racing Corporation/Rothmans Racing of Steve Saunders seen here at Ben Nevis in the SSDT from 1986 Photo: Trials Guru/John Moffat – All Rights Reserved

The RTL250SW was for factory Honda riders only, not available for general sale and had the single down tube frame with offset exhaust port.

Steve Saunders'86 Ben nevis
1986 – SSDT Steve Saunders (Rothmans Honda RTL270SW) on Ben Nevis – Photo Copyright: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven


1986 – RTL270SW (270cc) Honda Racing Corporation/Rothmans Racing – with single down-tube frame and oil cooler. Strictly factory only.


Tommy Sandham’s Book – ‘Four Stroke Finale?-The Honda Trials Story’ Click… Honda/Four Stroke Finale?

John Moffat (Trials Guru) was fortunate to be permitted to take the ex-Eddy Lejeune 1982 RTL360 for a brief excursion at the Highland Classic 2 Day Trial at Alvie Estate in June 2015. This machine is now in the ownership of Jean Caillou.

The 1982 Honda/HRC RTL360 shown above was once the factory machine of World Champion, Belgian, Eddy Lejeune.

Jean Caillou, a French trials enthusiast who has a passion for the Honda brand was fortunate enough to meet with Lejeune at his home in Belgium. It was during this meeting that Eddy revealed that he still had the 1982 ex-factory machine in his possession. The RTL360 was disassembled, but all the parts were there at Eddy’s house.

Jean Caillou: “I met with Eddy Lejuene at his home and he explained that he had just bought his daughter a horse. So he presented me with the invoice for the horse and said that if I paid him the same figure that he had just recently paid for the horse, then I could have the Honda. I did not hesitate further and the deal was agreed. I had effectively paid for Eddy’s daughter’s horse, but I now owned the Eddy Lejeune 360!” 


Eddy Lejeune from Verviers, Belgium was three times FIM World Trials Champion (1982-1984) and seven times Belgian National Champion (1980-1986). He rode Honda for the majority of his trials career, switching to the Spanish Merlin in 1988 and then to the Honda owned Montesa for 1989/90 when he retired from top flight trials.

The Montesa Cota 4RT 260cc is the modern day equivalent of the RTL with the motor supplied by HRC. In Japan these machines are sold as Honda RTL260. Photo: Trials Guru/Moffat Racing.
Steve Saunders (RTL270 Rothmans Honda HRC) on Lagnaha in the 1986 Scottish Six Days - © – Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.
Cover photo: Steve Saunders (RTL270SW Rothmans sponsored Honda HRC) on Lagnaha in the 1986 Scottish Six Days. Before the days when tobacco sponsorship of motorsport was curtailed and finally banned. – © – Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven (World Wide Copyright – All Rights Reserved.

© – Article: Trials Guru/Moffat Racing, John Moffat – 2015 (All Rights reserved)

© – Images/Photographers:

– Heath Brindley, Bristol

– Rob Edwards, Middlesborough

– Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

– Patrick Pissis, France

– Mark Lamplough, Coventry, England

– Trials Guru/Moffat Racing/John Moffat

Interesting link to the Honda Trials Story: Click… Only Trial

For current HRC information see their website: Click… HRC-Honda Racing Corporation

Book Release – 30 March 2015

Motorcycle Competition: Scotland 1975-2005 is released on Monday 30th March 2015. Be sure to order your copy Here

Cover shot MCS

Repsol Honda News – Jaime Busto


Team HRC Trial – Repsol Honda Team continues to reinforce its roster of world-class riders with the incorporation of young gun Jaime Busto into the team for the 2015 season.

Repsol Honda Team Trial gets a boost in 2015 with the arrival of Jaime Busto. The Spanish rider will line up alongside Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami in all events on the 2015 FIM World Championship calendar in Trial Outdoor, as well as taking part in the 2015 Spanish Trial Championship. Busto will compete in all top-level competitions on the Montesa Cota 4RT.

Jaime Busto is one of the brightest lights in the Trial discipline. In 2014 he scored an impressive win in the FIM World Cup (the former World Junior Championship), winning seven of the thirteen races disputed. In 2012 he had become Youth 125 category champion, a competition in which he had previously debuted in 2011 at thirteen years of age. At a Spanish national level, the Basque rider has clinched just about every possible title in the lower categories, this year even finishing eighth in spite of carrying an injury throughout the latter part of the season.

Jaime: “I’m really pleased to be able to form a part of the HRC Team, the best team in the world. For me, it really is an honour to be in a team with such great champions as Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami. I hope to be able to learn a lot from them. The Montesa Cota 4RT has surprised me. I will have to get used to the four-stroke, but I think that I’ll adapt to it quickly.”

Miquel Cirera Lamarca, Team Manager said: “At Repsol Honda Team we have the best riders in the world, and we want to continue that way for many years, to keep on winning races and titles. We had the chance to sign up Jaime Busto, one of the most promising young talents currently around. He will serve as a fine complement to our champions Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami.”

Report courtesy of Trial Magazine UK

Photo Courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation.