Honda RC143

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Honda RC143
Honda RC143.jpg
Manufacturer Honda
Production 1960
Predecessor Honda RC142
Successor Honda 2RC143
Class Grand Prix motorcycle racing 125cc class
Engine Four stroke, inline 2 cylinders, double over head camshafts
Transmission 6-speed manual
Weight 93 kg (205 lb) (dry)

The Honda RC143 was the Honda racing team's 125cc Grand Prix motorcycle racer for the 1960 season. That was the first time the Honda team would compete in an entire season's racing. The bike was a major step forward from the previous year's machines, and though still outpaced by its more experienced European rivals, it revealed to seasoned competitors like Luigi Taveri that Honda would quickly become a force to be reckoned with.[1]

Background and development[edit]

Following the team's international début at the 1959 Isle of Man TT, Honda had returned to Japan recognising that they still had a long way to go if they were to succeed in their ambition of winning one of the TT races. Honda had managed to salvage some honour by securing the team prize, but even their fastest rider Naomi Taniguchi had finished nearly four minutes behind the rider in front and almost eight minutes down on the race winner, Tarquinio Provini. For 1960, alongside a team of Japanese riders, Honda decided to recruit experienced privateer Tom Phillis to help them with technical feedback.[1]

Design[edit]

In contrast to the RC142, the air-cooled, four-stroke, twin-cylinder engine of the RC143 was canted forward by 35° to improve cooling and increase air flow to the newly designed Keihin carburettors.[2] The engine featured double overhead camshafts, driven by a vertical shaft through bevel gears. The engine was said to produce 22 hp (16 kW) at 14,000 rpm.[3] The leading link front forks, which had proved successful on Japanese dirt tracks had been identified as a particular weakness on tarmac and were replaced by more conventional telescopic forks for the Isle of Man. This change to the forks, along with the change to the engine design, helped move the bikes centre of gravity much further forward. The open-cradle frame was also considerably strengthened.[1]

World Championship[edit]

During the 1960 world championship Tom Phillis qualified second fastest for the Isle of Man 125cc race, but a crash in the 250cc event at Assen saw him replaced by his friend Jim Redman who stunned everyone by lapping two seconds faster than Phillis had managed. The RC143 finished in the points five times, the best results were two fourth places. Honda was third in the constructor championship behind the MV Agusta and MZ.

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)[4]

Year Chassis Rider 1 2 3 4 5 Points Rank
IOM NED BEL ULS NAT
1960 Honda RC143 Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Jim Redman
4

9

4
6 7th
Honda RC143 Japan Giichi Suzuki
7

6

12
1 11th
Honda RC143 Japan Naomi Taniguchi
6
1 12th
Honda RC143 Japan Kunimitsu Takahashi
6
1 13th
Honda RC143 Japan Sadao Shimazaki
8

8
-
Honda RC143 Japan Moto Kitano
19

7
-
Honda RC143 Japan Teisuke Tanaka
9
-
Honda RC143 Australia Tom Phillis
10
-
Honda RC143 Netherlands Jan Huberts
9
-
Honda RC143 Australia Bob Brown
10
-
Honda RC143 Japan Yukio Sato
8

7
-
Honda RC143 Japan Sadao Fukada
7
-
Honda RC143 United Kingdom G. Carter
9
-
Honda RC143 United Kingdom N. Orr
10
-
Honda 2RC143
Honda 2RC143 1961.jpg
Manufacturer Honda
Production 1960
Predecessor Honda RC143
Successor Honda RC145
Class Grand Prix motorcycle racing 125cc class
Engine Four stroke, inline 2 cylinders, double over head camshafts
Transmission 6-speed manual
Weight 97 kg (214 lb) (dry)

2RC143[edit]

For the 1961 season an improved version of the bike designed as 2RC143 was developed. It proved very successful, winning 8 out of the 11 races contested that season. Australian Tom Phillis won the world championship and Honda won the constructor championship as well. Other riders winning races on the Honda 2RC143 that year were: Luigi Taveri, Jim Redman, Kunimitsu Takahashi and Mike Hailwood.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Oxley, Mat (2001). The Challenge & Dream of Honda: 500 Grand Prix Motor Cycle Wins (1 ed.). Richmond, Surrey: Hazleton Publishing Ltd. pp. 26–27. ISBN 1-903135-03-6. 
  2. ^ Falloon, Ian (2005). The Honda Story (1 ed.). Sparkford, Yeovil: Haynes Publishing. p. 37. ISBN 1-85960-966-X. 
  3. ^ "HONDA RC143". Honda collection Hall - Collection Search. Honda Worldwide. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Oxley, Mat (2001). The Challenge & Dream of Honda: 500 Grand Prix Motor Cycle Wins (1 ed.). Richmond, Surrey: Hazleton Publishing Ltd. pp. 149–150. ISBN 1-903135-03-6.