If you ride motorcycles and you’re under 60 years of age, it’s almost a certainty that you played with Mattel’s Hot Wheels. Sometimes, the little toy cars grow up, and that’s the idea behind the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, which features performance-enhanced automobiles. Part of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour is the Honda Super Tuner Legends Series, and that’s where motorcycles enter the equation.The winner of the inaugural Honda Super Tuner Legends Series competition is a Honda N600 powered by a Honda VFR800 V4 motor. For those who don’t remember, or didn’t know, the 1970 Honda N600 was the first automobile Honda imported into the United States, and a precursor to the Honda Civic. It was a tiny four-wheeler, with an air-cooled 600cc SOHC twin that pumped out all of 35 horsepower or so at a lofty 9000 rpm, and around 32 ft/lbs of torque. That was good for a top speed just north of 80 mph.
Stephen Mines wasn’t satisfied with the power output of his N600. So, he installed a V4 out of a Honda VFR800 to move the little Honda car around—a bump up to about 90 horsepower and 49 ft/lbs of torque, and a redline of 12,000 rpm. This also allowed Mines to go with more sporting rear-wheel drive.Putting that much power into a stock N600 chassis might be a bit much, so Mines modified a Mazda Miata suspension system and figured out how to shoehorn it into the N600. The seats are from a Polaris RZR SxS, and the bumpers are from a late-1960s Chevrolet Camaro. The result is a Honda N600 that looks pretty much stock, yet packs a powerful punch for a car just over 10 feet in length.Mines’ VFR800-powered N600 will be on display at the SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention center from Nov. 5 through 8. Of course, we’re more interested in driving it than looking at it.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!