1989 Honda NSR500 GP Racer
With Phil Aynsley
In a recent column (Wayne Gardner’s 1987 NSR500 – LINK), I looked at Wayne Gardner’s 1987 NSR500. Continuing the evolution of the NSR here is one of Eddie Lawson’s 1989 bikes.
I say ‘one of’ as in a recent interview Mick Doohan stated that Eddie had eleven different chassis during the fifteen race season (and he had four), so there were quite a few constructed!
As can be surmised by the large number of chassis used, handling was the biggest problem with the ’89 NSR, with Mick saying that there was no feedback from the front and very little from the rear.
This was carried over from the previous year’s design which had switched to a twin-spar alloy frame.
One major change made for the ’89 season was the use of a curved ‘gull wing’ swing arm which enabled more efficient expansion chambers.
As a result the NSR continued to be the most powerful bike in the field with over 165hp at 12,000rpm.
This bike is one of the very, very few NSR500s in private hands and was presented to the long time Austrian Honda importer, Mr Josef Faber, in 1998 by his friend Soichiro Honda. It was later purchased from Mr Faber’s estate by the current owner.