Motorcycle Racing News Honda NSF100 Race | Okada vs. Ito | Motegi

Honda NSF100 Race | Okada vs. Ito | Motegi

HRC NSF100 Trophy Race

The riders in the last NSF100 HRC Trophy minibikes race had a surprise at the Motegi circuit (Japan), when they competed wheel to wheel with the vice president of HRC, Shuhei Nakamoto, and former Grand Prix racers Tady Okada and Shinichi Ito. Together, this special HRC team competed in a four-hour endurance race on this circuit, which was the venue of the Japanese event in the MotoGP World Championship last April. An impressive 86 teams and 420 riders took part in this exceptional race, all on Honda minibikes.

The HRC team was made up of Nakamoto, HRC directors Seiki Ishii and Tomoaki Nagayama, the HRC test rider Tady Okada – test rider of Honda to develop the MotoGP RC212V and former Repsol Honda Team rider from 1996 to 2000- and Ito, veteran rider who competed in the heart of the Repsol Honda Team in 1995 and 1996. While the former Grand Prix racers enjoyed stretching the limits of the NSF100 painted in the colours of Repsol and Honda, the HRC directors made do with living the experience on this 100cc machine, on which many aspiring riders start. The HRC team completed 105 laps and finished in a safe, yet respectable 57th place out of 80 who finished the race.

Apart from the fun of the endurance race, the main attraction of the day was the two 8-lap speed tests on the NSF100s. These races were the final tests for the NSF100 Trophy, an open minibikes competition organised by Honda to promote the competition and give many young riders the opportunity to start racing. The NSF100 Trophy is also held in countries like Belgium, Italy, Finland, Sweden and Holland.

In fact, the best NSF100 riders from the European championships took part in last Sunday’s race in Motegi. Andrea Locatelli, thirteen years old, winner of the NSF100 Extreme Trophy in Italy, finished seventeenth, whereas Bo Bendsneijder -also thirteen-, winner in Holland, was twentieth. Sweden’s Jesper Hubner and Finland’s Patrick Pulkkinen (both thirteen years old) finished twenty-second and twenty-fifth, respectively.

The NSF100 is an HRC bike made specifically for racing and has a single-cylinder four-stroke air-cooled engine.

Shuhei Nakamoto Speaks… Vice-president of HRC

"It has been great fun taking part in this race today with my colleagues and our professional riders. Maybe we could have gone faster, but we were here to enjoy the race and not to battle for victory! It has been a good opportunity for us to see how those riders with such different ages ride the Honda NSF100 and to see how we can develop this type of sporting event in the future."

Tady Okada Speaks…

"I started very well today and came up from behind to fight for second place. As Yuki (Takahashi) also took part, we both had a thrilling race in the last ten laps. We don’t usually have many opportunities to ride with other riders in this way, and I had a great time!"

Shinichi Ito Speaks…

"This race was somewhat different to those I usually take part in and I really enjoyed it. Some of the younger riders learn quickly on the NSF100, and what’s more, they fit perfectly with the small size of the bike, so they went much faster in the turns and it was more difficult to overtake them!"

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

Ultimate Motorcycling Editor’s Letter, March 2021: Vive l’automatique!

Testing the 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT for this issue reminded me of something fundamental—motorcycles need to be accessible to new riders. Although we’ve...

Lieback’s Lounge: FTR—The Savior From Winter Misery?

When I found myself cleaning the tire treads on my Multistrada 1200, I knew the winter madness had returned.

2022 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster First Look: New Fork and More

The 2022 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster gets a more responsive motor with additional midrange power from the vertical-twin 1200HT engine. The powerplant also meets Euro...

Avon Tyres + Blood Bikes = Motorcycles Saving Lives

We’ve all heard of blood banks, but this is the first time we have heard of blood bikes. Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes is...

2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone 100th Anniversary First Look

Back in December, we gave you a first look at the new 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 lineup. The big news was an increase in...

2022 Triumph Bonneville Bobber First Look (11 Fast Facts)

The 2022 Triumph Bonneville Bobber enjoys a wide range of updates that include functional and aesthetic. The changes are, in part, to meet Euro...