1989 Honda BG500 Tourist Trophy


Honda evoked the look of great 1960s British race bikes with its 1989 GB500 Tourist Trophy, but the strategy was less than a success. See more motorcycle pictures.

The 1989 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy motorcycle was named for the famed Tourist Trophy race held on England's Isle of Man.

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With the 1989 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy motorcycle, Honda made that it sought to bring back the flavor of the great British twins that were by the late 1980s resigned to history.

As a result, styling of the 1989 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy motorcycle closely followed that of racing bikes from the racing glory years of England's Norton and Triumph.

Shunning the fairings and 16-inch front wheels of contemporary Japanese sportbikes, the 1989 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy motorcycle looked very much the part of a 1960 British racer.

Standard-size spoke wheels, fork gaitors, clip-on handlebars, blocky fuel tank, and single seat with tail fairing were all part of the game.

Even the 500-cc vertical twin with two-into-one header would strike a chord with fans of British machines. The front disc brake, however, was a nod to modern technology.

Despite Honda's best efforts and intentions, sales of the 1989 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy motorcycle never took off in the United States, and the GB500's life span was short.

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1989 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy Pictures

The clip-on handlebars were inspired by high-speed racing bikes of the 1960s.
The clip-on handlebars were inspired by high-speed racing bikes of the 1960s.

The 1989 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy motorcycle paid homage to British racing bikes of the 1960s with such details as the blocky fuel tank and standard-size spoke wheels. Even its name was taken from Great Britain's famous Tourist Trophy competition.

Honda modeled the GB500 Tourist Trophy on race bikes from Norton and Triumph.
The engine was a British-style 500-cc vertical twin.
The fork gaitors were a detail hearkening back to mid-century technology.

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