Yes, the words 'quarter litre' and 'monster' sounds paradoxical. But let me tell you about what the RC 166 exactly is and why it deserves the moniker. It is a World Championship racing motorcycle which won ten out of ten races in the year 1966. What makes this bike even more special is it's technical specifications. As you read more about the specs, you will realise how completely bonkers this glorious machine is! Engine: 249.4 cc, carburetted 4 stroke, air cooled, In-line 6 cylinder, Dual Over Head Camshafts, 4 valve gear train. Transmission: 7 speed
The bike is powered by a 249 cc engine. But no, this isn't your normal run-of-the-mill racing engine, but a six cylinder one. Yes, six cylinders. Six tiny cylinders reciprocating away till eighteen thousand revolutions per minute! These cylinders are fed by six carburettors and the power output this motorcycle generates is an insane 60 PS! For a bike from the 60's, that kind of horsepower from such a small 4-stroke engine is unreal. Oh, and thanks to the seven speed transmission, the top speed is in excess of 240 kmph. It is indeed a feat how the guys from Honda managed to squeeze out so much performance out of such a small engine. The engine apparently had no flywheel and the camshaft were shaped roughly like a barrel with a central mass concentration. This resulted in varying valve shapes for each cylinder and it matched with the shape of the camshaft as well. This type of set up minimized flexing and it also reduces the inertial forces. Imagine designing all these into a tiny 250 cc engine. There are oil ports that are so small that it could be seen only on x-ray! All this at an age where there were no futurist computer-based technology. That's the kind of engineering prowess Honda has! Here are more pictures of this engineering marvel:
Praveen This is one impressive feat, considering the time it was built! 60PS from a 250cc motor? Incredible. This is comparable to that recently developed Nissan DIG-TR engine that makes 400 HP from 1.5 litre motor and just weighs 40 kg.