From 1975 to 80
1975 Honda TL 250
(Honda Code 376)
In April 1974 Sammy Miller flew from Heathrow to Tokyo, Japan. Sammy signed a contract with Honda for the new range trials bikes development.
Sammy was impressed on his first travel to Honda R&D headquarters. High security level, special sections constructed for testing new trials bikes, and everybody waiting for him.
He started working with the TL125 and XL250 engine. The TL125 was the first Honda Trials attempt using the small 121,9cc two-valve sohc engine from the SL125 Trail Honda.
Honda R&D team was benn placed at Sammy's disposal to develop the new Honda Trials bike and Sammy decided to start with the XL250, but found a lot of difficulties to adapt it from the Trails needs to Trials requirements.
Sammy did a giant work on this development, big efforts to improve carburation, completely new frame (he based on its also designed High-Boy for the Bultaco trials), new upper yokes, also replaced the rims for alloy ones, and a lot of work on the suspension definition.
The silencer was also redefinedto obtain the maximum efficency.
In 1974 Sammy scored several wins on the Honda 250 first prototype. In October of this year, Sammy Miller won his first victory with the second prototype Honda at Sturminister Newton Trial at Gillingham.
This second prototype had a 248,6cc (74 X 57,8mm) alloy cylinder barrel with chromed bore, four-valves, using 24mm Keihin carburetor.
This prototype was famous for having the number plate SAM 1N.
The bike inherited the TL125 design. Price was somewhat cheaper than Spanish bikes.
Thanks to my friend Patrick and son to sent me this nice picture for Christmas time.
1975 Honda bikes
1975 TL 125 High-Boy
In 1975 Sammy Miller introduced a big improvement on the TL125 frame. He developed a new frame for the 125/150 Honda.
An original one High-boy Sammy frame using an XL180 engine. The picture was sent by Dean Horwood from UK.
Thanks to Alan Johnstone for these pictures of a original Hi-Boy frame. This one, under restoring, is numbered as 226, and as Alan says less than 500 units of the original 1970's were made.
According the information I have I don't know any number higher than 400.
Thanks also to Frank Brzeski for to send me these interesting projects. First we can see two Hi-Bot frames, one original from the 70's and second one a 2010 reproduction. The most interesting is that on following pictures you can see the original one mounted with a 1978 TL125 engine and the 2010 frame assembled with a TLR200 engine, both projects thanks to Frank.
Hi-Boy original frame mounted with a 1978 TL125 engine
XL125 engine, hand made parts approaching RS200 look, thanks to Gabriele Milan
1976 Honda bikes
1976 the Honda Derek Green XL250
This nice and rare Honda trials was built at the shop of Vic Allan Motorcycles in Bathgate, West Lothian,
It was a 250 XL Motorsport Honda converted for trials similar to the Jefferies Honda.
. Shocks were Girling Gas Shocks.
Bike information also thanks to John.
1976 the Honda TL50 (Honda Code 150)
The TL50 was offered in two colors, dark Green and Red Accent combined glossy White
Maximum Power: 4,2PS at 9.500 rpm
Maximum torque: 0,36Kg/m at 7.500 rpm
Weight: 80 Kg
The Honda TL50 engine, perfect performance Air-Cooled 4-st. Single OHC
1976-77 Honda bikes
1976 Honda 305cc
With a new frame and the 250cc bored out to 305cc. Softer cams and small bore carburettor along with many hours, produced avery competitive bike.
As Sammy Miller says, only three engines were produced. The number one is today located at Sammy Miller Museum Trust. www.sammymiller.co.uk
More info at: http://www.trialmag.net/trialmag/article/5711/Sammy+Miller+Honda
The engine had 305cc displacement with a compression ratio 8.2:1 and offered 22.5 Hp at 8.00rpm
1976 Honda 305 "Long Stroke"
© The Honda trials History, thanks to Mr. Hiroshi Kondo
1976 Honda 305 "Long Stroke"
Mr Hiroshi Kondo had the kidness to sent me this nice picture from 1976 when he rode at SSDT with this very special Honda Works RTL305 long stroke type. He rode later, next year, at World Trials Championship with the upgraded Honda Works RTL 306 Short Stroke type.
1977 Honda 306 Short Stroke (RTL 300)
Also Marland Whaley was riding at 1978 Scottish Six Days trial, Marland had problems with the machine and retired on Wednesday. After that, Marland ended the Contract with Honda and signed by Montesa starting with the new 310cc prototype.
The pictures of this machine and the Marland Whaley were taken by the friend of this site owner Pat Criou at Oberiberg, Switzerland in 1978.
Please respect the pictures © Copyright
1978 Honda 360 RTL
With the goal to improve and potentiate the 305 machine, in 1978 Rob Shepherd received a new engine with a new capacity of 359cc displacement, with 82mm bore and 68mm stroke.
The new engine was capable to give a spectacular 19,8 Hp at 6.500rpm.
This big machine was the most powerfull bike at this time, maybe too much, because as Rob said, the 360 was a hardest bike to ride.
Thanks to Jimmy Young for these nice pictures. © Jimmy Young
Rob Shepherd at Scottish Six Days Trial section with the powerfull 360. © Jimmy Young
Rob with number 70 plate at 1978 Scottish Six days Trial. © Jimmy Young
Rob Shepherd in action on an other section of the Scottish Six days Trial. © Jimmy Young
Japanese Honda rider Kiyoteru Hattori also at Scottish Trial. © Jimmy Young
Again Honda rider Kiyoteru Hattori also at Scottish Trial but now in 1980. Picture thanks to Iain Lawrie © who took this nice pic at SSDT Cailliach section. Thanks a lot Iain!
1980-81 Honda RTL 360
The 1984 Honda RTL 360 at Motegi Museum in Japan
At only 18 years old, Honda gave the powerfull RTL 360 to Eddy Lejeune.
Kiyoteru Hattori was another rider from Honda Trials Team that also rode the RTL 360.
First Honda 360 prototypes were made early 1978, Rob Shepherd was one of the first to ride on this big machine. The new machine was the most powerfull trials bike never made. After several problems at first time, the bike was revised by Honda due to a overheating problems.
The History of the RTL 360 was long and difficult to follow, There was a lot of improvements and different prototypes. At same time very few units were made, only works bikes.
The RTL 360 from 1980-81 was made for Eddy due to Shepherd was retiring from World Championship competition in 1980. Then, Lejeune started at Honda Team as the official and number one rider.
This season was 1981 and he rode now with his loved RTL 360. Remember that one year later, in 1982 he won with this wonderfull machine his first World Trials Championship.
This nice picture sent by a friend of this website Pat from Aspen Cafe (French Alps) shows the three historical 360 RTL's
Number 3: Honda RTL 306 Short Stroke big tank Whaley's SSDT 1977-78
Number 4: Honda RTL 360 Eddy Lejeune 1982
Number 5: Honda RTL 360 Eddy Lejeune 1984
Thanks to my friend Patrick Jay for this nice picture from 1980. Eddy at Fully, Switzerland with the 1980 RTL
1976 Honda TL200R (Code 490)
© Picture thanks to Patrick Verrier
The RSC Honda TL200R was the first of the dinasty of nice and competitive 200cc RSC Honda trials bikes.
This model started using the TL125 (coming from Honda XL125 engine) 125cc engine (no CDI yet) upgraded to 200cc. Ignition system was the same used on the 1976 TL125 placed at camshaft and covered with the 125cc engraved cap or some times without engraving letters.
This engine was fitted with a extra plate on the flywheel crankcase and one just on the base of the cylinder. Oposite of the TL200R and following RS engine family, this engine had no numbers and no identification.
Take care, no numbers means never engraved, NO DELETED.
This bike was offered with two colours petrol tank and seat, White and red. The tubular frame was ever black powder painted. The frame was made in too thin section, only 84Kg weight, (competitors at this time usually had 92-94Kg weight!!) because of that, had some strength problems.
Carburetot fitted was the little Keihin used on the TL or XL 125 engines, although later on the TL200RII the Honda Racing Service used biger Keihin 22 used on the 200cc engines.
This bike was a super light trials bike at the moment, easy to ride, and with an exceptional engine withan incredible inertia an torque.
This was the Eddy Lejeune's bike used on the beginning of his World Trials Championship, from 1976 to 1979 when he inherited the Sheperd's RTL360. Also the site friend Hiroshi Kondo used this bike at Japan Trials Championship at 1976 and 77.
In opinion of Hiroshi Kondo the bike had the gravity center too high, in fact the second model Hiroshi had, was improved by him reducing this problem.
Eric Lejeune, Eddye's brother, also reported some strengh problems (Trial Classic Magazine very interesting article) and a tendency to lose the ground from the front wheel do tue its low weight. Eddy added 600gr extra weight attached on front suspension bars.
The singular silencer engraved with the RSC letters was the same that later used the TL200RII and the RS200T.
Thanks again to Hiroshi Kondo to allow me to us these nice pictures. The improved Honda TL200R red color. © Hiroshi Kondo for The Honda Trials History web use only.
This is one of the nicest and original TL200R I never saw. Except rear shock absorvers all the parts were stricty followed as they originaly were. Thanks to Enric Basté.
Enric made a very hard and professional job on the rebuilding and restoring of this unique bike. Part by par, screw by screw and strictily following its originallity the bike was remade as a jewel. Here you have the result, enjoy!!
1978 Honda T305L FRASER
Joan also made a 305 Long Stroke, Rob Sheperd/Whaley gas tank replica and made this interesting mixture. FRASER frame with TL250 engine (enlarged to 305cc) and 305 look. Thanks Joan to send me these pictures and info..
1978 Honda FRASER HT250
In 1978 David Fraser of Redditch developed this special machine. In this bike he used the XL250S (1978) twin exhaust engine. The bike was kown as Fraser Honda HT250.
THe HT250 was a very special and rare bike. Today I only have reference from two only HT250 survivors.
One under restoration (Honda Trials History) and second one from Callum Roberston from UK who had the kindness to sent me some pictures.
(later in 1985, JJCobas from Spain applyed same solution on his revolutionary Montesa and Bultaco engine: The JJ Cobas Trials bike)
1979 Honda Pete Jerred
Pete Jerred, a dealer from St. Ives made some special bikes based on the Honda XL125 engine and enlarged to 220cc capacity. Some of these bikes rode at SSDT in 1979. Nick Fossey rode at this SSDT year with this bike, also Nick Holt as you can see in this picture sent by the friend of this site Jimmy Young.
Thanks also to John Moffat I know that was in 1979 Scottish Six Days Trial edittion and the section of this picture was Ben Nevis.
1979 Honda TL200RII
1979 Honda TL200RII (Honda Code 490)
The nice TL200RII was biult by RSC, Racing Service Corporation. As the contemporary RS200T and RS220T where produced in a small quantities (360 units white color and 150 red color).
Frame number began from number 2001.
Second productions, from 2360 to 2510 were painted in red and finished with the yellow Honda wings decals.
Fully engine was painted silver gray.
TL200RII had a tubular diamond steel swing arm that later was replaced for the right-angled aluminium one on the RS200T.
Thanks to Hap Oswald from California, US, for this TL200 picture, a nice start for a great Trials bike restoration.
1979 Honda RS200TS
This model used the XR 185 engine upgraded to 200cc by RSC. The bike was thought for a Trail use with a enlarged seat, red painted frame and also red mudguards.
This model was lttle bit far from the competitive Trials RSC dinasty models.
Anyway interesting and nice model, well accepted in several markets as Belgium in Europe.
Thanks to Tom Siembab from California to share these two RS 200TS pictures
Nice and very original condition RS 200TS thanks to David Malfait
1979 Honda RS200T & RS220T
The very nice RS200T was built from RSC, Racing Service Corporation mounting a Gasoline engine, air cooled 4-stroke cycle, single cylinder inclined at 15º with 197,74cc displacement.
The RS200T had the frame number following the TL200RII, and began with the 2510.
All these machines were engraved with the name RS200T - XXXX (x means the number)
The RS200T had alloy red painted fuel tank and fiber support seat with oval windows on sides.
The swing arm were on these units light alloy made, had other details as the perforated rear aluminum axes. Later RS250T had also the front one perforated.
Replacing the TL200R small front forks the RS200T was 33mm diameter Showa forks.
These 700 units contain the RS200T, RS220T and RS200TS
1979 Honda bikes
1979 Honda SEELEY 200
A very nice restoration (made by La Mola Restoration bikes) made for a friend Spanish collector
First prototypes of this bike were made in 1977 and rode by Rob Shepherd as official pilot achieving the 4th position on his first championship and 10th position at same time by the US rider Marland Wahley.
Also Eddy Lejeune rode his first SSDT in 1980 with the 200 SEELEY, he was 12 position and the Best Newcomer.
Officially dating from 1979, finally I'm not sure about the final production. But, be carefully because there is some "replicas" on the market.
Let me note that this unit (picture on the top) has a wrong exhaust mufler due to the difficult on the finding spares from these rare bikes. The right one was the same as the contemporary RS's mounted (TL200R, TL200RII, RS200T, and RS 220T) wit only one outlet exhaust tube and the RSC engraved logo.
1979 Honda Fraser 125
Thanks also to Patrick verrier for the additional information and documents sent to me.
I also would like to thank to the friends of The Honda Trials History Patrick Verrier and Olivier for its special collaboration on this FRASER DMW folder.
Please respect the © Copyright of all these pictures and documents who owns to the collaborators of this webpage.
A revolutionary concept.
In 1979 David Fraser of Redditch made this revolutonary bike concept.
I'm not 100% sure about following, but as I know, DMW (Dawson Motors Wolverhampton) developed these frames, Fraser bought 20 of them and assembled 8 using 2 stroke Villers engine and 12 using the Honda 4 stroke 125cc from the TL 125.
This old document, is a funny picture found by the friend Olivier, from a Japanese book taken at SSDT 82-83. XL125 Honda engine is fitted in this unit.
Probably the only TY engine fitted. Rare Fraser
The Fraser DMW frame naked. Very impressive, gas tank-frame on a central tube with Honda XL125 engine fitted. The front pipe was special to well adapt Honda-Showa front forks
On this picture frame covered with glass fiver coque. Again Honda engine fitted
Probably the first Fraser DMW Honda XL125 (150cc capacity enlarged) engine assembled. For this unit the cover was made in aluminum. Unlike the following units assembled with Honda-Showa front suspension, this one used the old MP 35mm well known on the Pre 65's