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.
The RTL250SW was for factory Honda riders only, not available for general sale and had the single down tube frame with offset exhaust port.
Tommy Sandham’s Book – ‘Four Stroke Finale?-The Honda Trials Story’ Click… Honda/Four Stroke Finale?
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.
© – 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
1977 – SSDT – ‘Edramucky’ section, Day 1 – on the slopes of Ben Lawers, near Killin. Ray Smith (Sandiford Montesa 348) who finished 45th on 194 marks. Photo: Copyright: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland.
Trials Guru – 1992 – WTC – Glen Nevis, Fort William. – Jordi Tarres, Spain (Ducados Beta 250). Photo: Jeremy Whittet (Copyright)
1974 – SSDT – Yrjo Vesterinen in his first Scottish Six Days Trial. Vesty confirms this was Reg May of Comerfords personal Bultaco Sherpa which Vesty rode the trial with as his own bike was in Italy. Photo: John Hulme/Yoomee/Classic Trial Mag – All rights reserved
Trials Guru – 1981 SSDT – Josep Jo (Montesa 349) Montesa Spain. Josep finished in 15th position on 147 marks. Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.
Mick Andrews (250 Yamaha) on Ben Nevis in 1977, Andrews came home in fourth position on 62 marks. He won the event four times 1970-1972 and again in 1975. (Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland)
Steve ‘Woody’ Hole (260 Beta) came 10th in the 1993 event losing 104 marks. (Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland)
© – Trials Guru/Moffat Racing, John Moffat – 2014 (All Rights reserved)
WTC – 1992 – Scotland, Glen Nevis –
Donato Miglio (Aprilia)
Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.