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HRC Factory Tour

HRC Factory Tour

HRC Factory Tour

On Thursday 16th September a group of journalists were given a unique opportunity - the chance to see inside the headquarters of HRC (Honda Racing Corporation and MSD (Motor Sports Developments) at the Honda R&D Asaka Center.

Located within the boundary of Tokyo's never-ending conurbation, the HRC headquarters hosted 16 journalists, from six countries, who were given a guided tour of HRC's management offices, plus technical insights into the design, bench testing, development and assembly departments.

With 50 HRC and 70 MSD staff on site, and the MSD staff a small part of approximately 2,000 Honda R&D workers in total, the outright scale of operations was something of a surprise to those who imagined never-ending rows of computers, personnel and top-secret ante-rooms.

The scope of operations undertaken by HRC and MSD is nonetheless unparalleled, with off road and track racing machines sharing space on the various shop floors, plus cyberspace time on the computer aided design screens.

The design floor of HRC is where the ideas generated inside the company are first given substance, albeit only as a visual 3D version in the first instance. Sophisticated software is then used to produce the final design parameters, for all components on the machines.

After production of the actual parts, the engines and complete machines are assembled, ready to be tested on one of numerous dynamometers, of rolling road, static bench test and chassis evaluation varieties.

In the assembly department machines are painstaking prepared, with full factory RC211V engines brought to life alongside the ongoing meticulous assembly of a customer SWS two-stroke, or a four-stroke World Trials machine – or even a downhill racing mountain bike, complete with integral gearbox.

The entire visit was designed to prove HRC's modernistic philosophy, that it should be an open and approachable company, with the only real secrets being those under development by the leading edge engineering groups in HRC and MSD.

The factory visit was followed-up by the latest of Honda's technical briefings, held for the first time in Japan, after first qualifying at the Motegi MotoGP race.


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