Mick Doohan’s 1998 championship winning NSR500
With Phil Aynsley
Continuing on from the last column (
Doohan 1994 Honda NSR500 – , the other NSR from Mick Doohan’s collection I shot was the 1998 bike. Link) Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500 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.
By now the NSR500 was producing near on 200hp 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.
Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500 Mick 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. Mick led the Honda domination of the 1997 season, a feat he would repeat in 1998 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.
The benefit of the move to unleaded fuel was a boost in torque A hydraulic clutch was also new on Mick’s 1998 NSR500
However torque was improved resulting in better traction and acceleration.
Doohan went on to win eight of the 14 races for the season in 1998 One 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. The bike was rebuilt for Doohan prior to the handover The bike received a full rebuild by Honda technicians before being handed to Mick and is fitted with special presentation tyres from Michelin. Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500 Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500 The hydraulic clutch at the ‘bars Mick Doohan’s championship winning 1998 NSR500