Mick Doohan’s 1998 championship winning NSR500

With Phil Aynsley


Continuing on from the last column (Doohan 1994 Honda NSR500 – Link), the other NSR from Mick Doohan’s collection I shot was the 1998 bike.

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Mick went back to the screamer motor from 1997

For the 1997 season Mick requested that his bikes revert back to the 180 degree “screamer” motor.

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
By now the NSR500 was producing near on 200hp

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500

Advances to the electronics and tyres since 1991 meant the power (now near 200hp), while not totally tamed, was able to be used by those riders with the most ability.

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePAMick went on to win 12 of the 15 races, with Alex Crivillé taking two and Tady Okada one for a NSR clean sweep of the top four places.

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Mick led the Honda domination of the 1997 season, a feat he would repeat in 1998

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Power was reduced slightly in the 1998 machine with unleaded fuel now in use

The 1998 bike retained the “screamer” motor but power was reduced by up to five per cent due the new regulations requiring the use of unleaded fuel.

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
The benefit of the move to unleaded fuel was a boost in torque

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
A hydraulic clutch was also new on Mick’s 1998 NSR500

However torque was improved resulting in better traction and acceleration.

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Doohan went on to win eight of the 14 races for the season in 1998

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePAOne other change to the motor specification was the adoption of a hydraulically operated clutch. Mick won 8 of the 14 races and his final championship.

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
The bike was rebuilt for Doohan prior to the handover

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePAThe bike received a full rebuild by Honda technicians before being handed to Mick and is fitted with special presentation tyres from Michelin.

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
The hydraulic clutch at the ‘bars

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePAHonda NSR Doohan ImagePA

Honda NSR Doohan ImagePA
Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500

 

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