click on upper image to enlarge
The 1976 Type II was far
ahead of its time. Look at any other bike made in 1976, then
come back and look at this one..
Up front the knurled fork
tubes are held into very stout billet triple clamps. There is a
steel X brace that ties the top and bottom clamps together. This
was to reduce flex while turning the bike. The pinch bolts are
hand machined steel. A very clever yet simple cable guide
attached to the top clamp is made from aluminum. The entire
front end is very rigid.
The RC500 motor is actually about 400cc.
The cases are sand-cast magnesium coated with a special coating
to prevent corrosion( Honda was the only company to do this).
The little cover below the counter shaft sprocket contains all
the shift linkage that is normally behind the clutch basket. You
can actually adjust the shift throw from inside that cover.
Several aluminum motor mounts were available to move the motor
location up to 15mm to the front or back for different weight
distribution. Bolts are titanium. The carb is magnesium with a
brass bore insert for the slide. This allowed for a reliable use
of an aluminum slide to reduce rider fatigue. Ignition timing is
The clutch basket and
large primary gear are one piece made from machined billet steel
(see photo in works parts). This provided a very solid yet light
weight clutch. The crank shaft is a very special unit that in
1976 dollars was around $10,000.00! (see photo in works parts).
Kick start boss is titanium as are all the case screws. The gear
lever still has the rubber safety wired to it from 1976.
The rear hub is a conical
design sand-cast magnesium unit that is very light and very
strong. The ring at the outer spoke end is a machined piece of
steel to keep the spokes tight. All the wheel spacers are
titanium. That is the original 4.50 Metzler rear tire from 1976.
The rim is an extra wide works 2.50 D.I.D. to allow more tire
surface on the track. This concept was just starting and has
been carried through to this day
The rear swingarm is a very
rigid hand formed aluminum piece that for the day looks like an
overkill. Notice the flap on the side panel to keep the rear
brake cable from getting caught in the shock spring. Rear
backing plate is sand-cast magnesium.
The front hub is a
very trick full width sand-cast magnesium unit with an
iron liner held in place with six rivets. You can see the massive cast ribs for strength. It
is very light and strong, braking power was awesome.
are the very first cartridge front forks (production bikes did
not see cartridge forks until 1981). They use very large
external fork springs covered by the large fork boots. The idea
was to have the springs on the outside so there would be less
oil foaming inside the forks. This worked well, but the draw
back was that the giant fork boots restricted air flow to the
motor. This caused the motor to get too hot for mud races. The
forks also featured a five way preload adjustment similar to
those found on rear shocks (notice below the fork boots).