The 500 2-strokes are legendary bikes for any enthusiast and rider. Light, bad, and terribly fascinating, especially since no rider has ever had the chance to try one, except for Valentino. But sometimes it happens and expectations are met.
During the Honda Racing Thanks Day, Cal Crutchlow rode the NSR 500 at Motegi, world champion bike in 1989 with Eddie Lawson.
"When they told me I'd be riding the NSR 500, I was a bit scared," the British rider confessed, "because it's a completely different bike from all the ones I've ever ridden in my life."
Once on the bike, he was able to understand what it meant to ride one of those beasts.
"In the end, it's not a really fast bike, compared to a current MotoGP, of course, but the power it delivers is incredible. It's like having an electric motor that directly gives you all the horse power."
It has to be tamed, and Cal had fun doing it, even if for only a few laps.
"In a sense, it has the character of a 2-stroke motocross bike, but what amazed me is that it's really comfortable," he explained. "The most difficult thing for me was to do without electronic shifting. I was no longer used to using a clutch! I had to use four fingers on the lever instead of just one!" he said, laughing. "It was a special experience."