Back in 1962, Honda had let loose with their first four-stroke, 50cc racebike – the RC110. Its single-cylinder, DOHC engine revved to 14,000rpm and produced 9.5 horsepower. Soon after that, Honda came out with the RC111, which was designed specifically for the Isle of Man TT races. With its 8-speed gearbox (9- and 10-speed gearboxes were optional…), this mighty mite revved all the way to 16,000rpm and could hit speeds of up to 145km/h!
Then, as now, enthusiasts lusted after racing exotica from Japan. But while the RC110 and 111 were definitely not for sale, you could buy the CR110 Cub Racing – a street-legal RC110 for all intents and purposes. The bike was fitted with a dry clutch, 8-speed gearbox and a DOHC, 4-valve, 50cc engine that revved to 13,500 rpm.
In 2004, Honda decided to commemorate their racing history and released the Dream 50R, which was styled like the company’s racebikes from the 1960s. A high-tech piece of machinery, the 50R was fitted with a six-speed gearbox, four-stroke, 50cc engine that made 7bhp@13,500rpm, and various HRC parts including valve springs, low-friction cam chain, crankshaft and lightweight AC generator.
In the chassis department, the Dream 50R got a tubular steel frame, and preload adjustable Showa suspension units at both ends. Aluminium fenders were fitted for weight reduction (the bike weighs a mere 70 kilos…), and the bike’s exhaust system featured a one-piece expansion chamber and muffler. Finally, unlike the 1960s racebikes, the Dream 50R – which rides on 18-inch wheels – was fitted with disc brakes, front and rear.
So what does one do with a Dream 50R? Even if it were street legal (which it isn’t), it won’t keep up with modern 125s, let alone anything bigger. And if you’re riding one on a trackday, anyone and everyone – unless they’re riding an electric scooter – will blow you into the weeds. But still, we reckon the 50R probably offers a rare peek into the fascinating world of 1960s HRC racebike exotica. For some, we suppose that would be enough... Text by www.fasterandfaster.net