Freddie Spencer had won the 1983 500cc world title riding the NS500 triple, but lined up for the following season on a brand new V4 NSR500. At the Nurburgring round, he demanded the NS500 back after a spate of problems.
An ex-Marco Lucchinelli machine was hastily dusted off, Spencer took it out and dominated the race. The triple had adequate power and good torque, but Honda had to rely on the talent of Spencer to beat Lawson’s faster Yamaha.
The V4 was used to win the next two races, but after a DNF on it at Assen, Spencer used the three-cylinder again to win at Spa. His title chances disappeared when he crashed in a non-championship race at Laguna Seca and broke a collarbone.
1984 HONDA NS500
Liquid-cooled, 498cc two-stroke V3. Piston reed valve induction
123bhp @ 11,000rpm
Primary drive, dry clutch, six gears, chain-drive
Steel double cradle
Showa forks with mechanical anti-dive, adjustments for pre-load, rebound and compression damping
Showa Pro-Link single shock, adjustments for pre-load, rebound damping and compression damping
Michelin slicks; 3.5in x 17 front, 5.5in x 17 rear
Front: Twin Nissin 4-piston calipers. Rear: Nissin 2-piston caliper
Maximum fuel capacity
18 litres (3.96 gall)