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Haslam and the Big H

This is Ron Haslam at his winningest best aboard a 1981 Honda CB1100R, the first sod-the-expense homologation special Honda built. When Suzuki cleaned up in production racing with the Katana, Honda built a big bore, track focused, missile based on the CB900F. In New Zealand - where only 20 or so bikes had to been built to homologate them - Suzuki wheeled out a wire wheeled (lighter back then) smoothbore carburetted and Yoshi cam'd Katana to carry on winning. In the UK the numbers required for homologation were far greater (250 from memory) and the bikes had to be absolutely stock – note even the indicators are still attached to the H-missile. Mick Grant ran Suzuki UK’s team back then and wasn’t even allowed to fit South African spec exhaust headers – bigger bore, and handily available via your local Suzuki dealer – so eventually threw in the towel making the UK’s Shell sponsored production racing series a Honda fest with Suzuki riders a distant also rans.

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