The NR rather passed me by when it was announced. The staggering cost of the thing and that fact that I'd had never so much as seen one kept it out of mind.
Then about 5 years ago whilst living in Japan, I walked into a dealership and saw one for the first time. I was utterly knocked out by it's beauty and obvious quality. No picture quite captures this bike's standalone presence. It looked quite stunning even almost 20 years on.
No wonder Mr Tamborini is rumoured to have gone back to the drawing board having seen one whilst penning the 916.
I had to have one and so a 12 month search began which eventually uncovered a "new" zero miles, unregistered bike in a Honda dealership in southern Japan. A deal was done and she was mine.
I still have a charming letter from the owner of the dealership, explaining his affection for the bike, despite a couple of shortcomings in his view, such as a tall first gear. I happen to agree with him on that one.
He went onto say how once, during an earthquake he ran into the showroom to steady the bike as it rocked on its stand. With the incredible dedication of another dealer in Tokyo, we scoured the world for parts to convert the bike to full power UK spec.
Not easy and not cheap, but worthwhile and even the speedo is in mph now. I attach a picture taken on one of the several runs out I made during the bike's life with me in Japan.
The almost legendary Hakone Skyline is a favourite with both two and four wheeled petrol heads, is barely an hour from Tokyo and lies almost in the shadow of Fuji San.
The bike rides beautifully, quite different from say a VFR or even RVF. She steers and stops easily, is stable and even comfortable. And the motor does indeed sound and feel unlike anything else I've ridden. Music!
Two years ago, the bike returned with me to the UK, along with my trusty R1200GS and D-16RR. It is a very special bike, one I enjoy riding enormously and am proud to own.