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 Honda - RC 166
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Honda D2-492-39-01
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 250
Model : RC 166
Production : 1966 -
Category : (R) Racing


250 RC 166 Six-Cylinder - 1966

A motorcycling masterpiece

There was a sensation at the end of the 1964 season when, at the Grand Prix des Nations on the Monza circuit in Italy, Honda unveiled its 250cc six-cylinder machine intended to break the domination of the Yamaha rotary-valve twins ridden by Phil Mike Duff. Nevertheless, some people thought Honda should have waited until 1965.

Chart-Topping Exhaust Note

To maintain its image as master of four-stroke technology, Honda (and its engineer S. Irimajiri) opted to create a transverse six-cylinder power unit in 213 and 297cc versions, which remains one of the outstanding engines in motorcycling. Breaking down the displacement into six small "bites" enabled the engine to rotate at a mind-blowing 18,000 rpm and create an ear – a ' splitting exhaust note of such power that recordings of Mike Hailwood's Honda Six became a best-seller among motorcycle buffs.

The Legend of Mike the Bike

Thanks to the advanced warning by Honda, which may have unveiled its six too soon, Yamaha entered the arena with a four-cylinder two-stroke a year after the faltering debut of the 250/6. It was a wasted effort. In 1966, Honda dominated the Championship thanks not only to its extraordinary power unit but also to its new rider Mike Hailwood, who had left MV after winning four world 500cc titles. The idol of his clay, "Mike the Bike" and his Honda 250 and 350 sixes won the World Championship in both classes in 1966 and repeated the feat in 1967.


Engine: 249cc (39x35mm) / 297cc (41x37.5mm) air-cooled transvers six-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 60 hp @ 18,000 rpm / 70 hp @ 14,000 rpm

Valves: gear-driven twin overhead-camshafts; 24 valves

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 7-speed / 6-speed; chain final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm (rear)

Brakes: twin leading shoe drum (front & rear)

Wheels: wire (front & rear)

Maximum Speed: 159 mph

Honda's fabulous 250/6 would eventually act as the model for the CBX 1000.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at info@moto-collection.org for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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