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                          1977 Honda RC500A1E    Jim Pomeroy

  The 1977 RC500 is with out a doubt Honda's most refined and successful open class bike of the 1970's.  It is an updated version of the 1976 Type ll model.  Jim Pomeroy won the first moto at the Carlsbad USGP and had a successful Trans-am series with this bike.  I was at the 1977 Carlsbad USGP and I distinctly remember watching Pomeroy in practice.  The sound that bike made as he went up the Carlsbad uphill was like no other.  It was way faster than anything going up that long uphill.  Marty Smith won the 1977 AMA 500cc National Championship with a bike exactly like this also.  The frame was made more compact and the suspension travel was now increased to nearly a foot of travel at both ends.  Throughout the 1977 season this bike received updates and was retired after the Trans-am series.  Other than new paint and grips the bike is in original (including the tires) condition as it was last raced.

  Jim Pomeroy's comments: The first time I raced this bike was at the 1977 USGP at Carlsbad.  I won the first moto.  The bike was so fast.  It would pull anything.  There was power everywhere.  It used a lot of gas though.  Later, Honda made special (camel hump) gas tanks by cutting the top of the tank off and welding an extra capacity top on.  The bike gave me so much confidence in myself.  It turned, the front end grabbed, it did everything right.  It was very predictable.  I used special Fox Shocks set up for different types of tracks.  They worked much better than the Showa's at the time.  I also raced this bike at the 500cc Canadian GP and I did the Trans-am series with this bike.  Prior to this I did some testing in Japan when they were designing it.  In 1976 and 1977, Honda worked real hard on these bikes.  The bikes were really well developed.   It was a lot of fun to ride.  For sure this bike was the best Honda I ever rode.

   Marty Smith's comments: The 1977 RC500 Type ll was my favorite factory Honda of all time.  The bike handled well, the front was perfect, the back was perfect.  The first time I rode it, I felt good right away.  I felt that I was the best rider in 1977, and with that bike, my confidence level was even higher.  I was in great shape, my speed was there, I had the best bike, a great mechanic (Dave Arnold) and Honda was behind me.  Everything just came together.  We raced it pretty much as we got it.  The bike was so good that it didn't need much development.  My mechanic Dave Arnold, did little things for personal preference, but that was it.  It was easily the fastest bike on the track.  The motor was balanced well with the chassis.  Our works Hondas always had good motors.  The bike was also very reliable.  When I was on the track, it was just one less thing to think about.  The only DNF I had, was with the Type ll 250 at Red-Bud.  The gear box broke while I was very much in contention to win the 250 National Championship.  To me, this is by far the best works Honda ever.

   Dave Arnold's comments: Any shortcomings with the 76 bike were met with the 77 bike.  Smitty just loved it.  The suspension was updated along with the chassis.  It was a very well balanced package.  The power band was much more broad than before.  It was easily the fastest bike,  but easier to ride.  Prior to this bike, we would have to jet them to make the power more manageable.  This bike did everything right.  The team that designed this bike was hitting on all eight cylinders.  They really had their finger on the pulse with this one.

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