Warning!This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.
Honda’s middleweight Ascot shared the legendary dirt track’s name with a basic fun-looking design. Marketing knew better than to play up the innovative engine and low-maintenance shaft drive. This low-mile example has been lightly customized as an HRC lookalike.
Never just sticking a toe in, Honda had carefully considered the VT engine, and used a traditional-looking 52-degree angle, but offset the crank throws to reduce vibration. Engineers had also been at the heads, and specified a three valve arrangement with twin spark plugs, grabbing 50hp from the 491cc’s. Water cooling kept the rear cylinder cool and made the fins a styling element. Brakes were on a budget with a single front disk and drum rear, and the shaft drive had just the right geometry to not over-react. High pegs, small tank ( and seat ) and low bars kept the emphasis on sport.
This California owner has done a masterful tribute with a paint scheme evoking HRC’s RS750 racer, and incorporated Ascot Park’s logo on the side covers. 35 year-old mechanicals have been freshened up with a dual exhaust, carb cleaning, and new rubber. The round headlight is a nice touch. From the eBay auction:
The bike has some nice new or newer accessories on it including:* Beautiful new HRC paint scheme professionally done with period decals.* A nice two into two chrome exhaust system getting rid of that boat anchor, restrictive OEM system..
* New Dunlop K180 rear tire. Front tire is almost new.* Control Cables.* New battery.* Carburetors were cleaned.* New turn signals and round headlight (replaces the ugly square one).* Starts right up and runs, shifts and stops as it should.Lightweight and peppy little shaft drive bike. Really cool around town or even for medium distance freeway rides. Sounds nice with this new exhaust system. Slick 6 speed transmission with a cute little light that says OD when you shift into 6th. Be the only one in the pits with a “one off” RS500 Honda! All electronics work. Headlight, hi/low beams, turn signals, horn, etc.
Leave it to Honda to have a sportily camouflaged bike with a bunch of the latest technology aboard, almost maintenance free to boot. Precious little in common with the fire breathing four-valve RS750 which took the Grand National Championship 1984-87, but the VT engine went on to power a gazillion Shadows. The factory exited the flat track arena after intake restrictors were introduced, but had certainly proved their point. This knowing homage looks to be a lot of fun with a low starting bid.