Honda 250cc RC163 Grand Prix Replica Engine no. MC14E 1033733

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Lot 359
Honda 250cc RC163 Grand Prix Replica
Engine no. MC14E 1033733

£ 14,000 - 18,000
US$ 18,000 - 23,000
Honda 250cc RC163 Grand Prix Replica
Engine no. MC14E 1033733
• Ridden by the late Ralph Bryans
• Paraded in England, on the Continent, and at the Ulster Grand Prix
• Honda CBR250 engine

'Also-rans' in the late 1950s, Japanese manufacturers came to dominate Grand Prix racing's 1960s 'Golden Age', none more so than Honda, whose jewel-like, small-capacity lightweights represented the pinnacle of motorcycle engineering in their day. Built for and run by the works team, with occasional loans to selected privateers, these hand-crafted masterpieces are extremely rare in private hands and only infrequently come to market.

Introduced for the 1962 season, the four-cylinder 250cc RC163 was little changed from the preceding year's World Championship-winning RC162. It too would enjoy the ultimate success, Jim Redman taking the World Championship that year together with the '350' crown, while Luigi Taveri bagged the 125 title to make it three out of four championships contested for Honda. Only in the 50cc category, won by Suzuki, did they fail.

Genuine examples of Honda's fabulous Grand Prix-winning multi-cylinder racers of the 1960s have always been out of the financial reach of all but the most wealthy collectors and museums. Generally considered far too precious to parade, let alone race, they are seldom seen in action. The result of this situation has been the growth in recent years of a 'cottage industry' of replica builders, many of whom use the four-cylinder engine of the modern CBR250 sports roadster, a Japan-only model never officially imported into the UK. When first introduced in 1986 as the Type MC14, this little jewel had around 45bhp on tap at 14,500rpm. The series progressed via the CBR250R (MC17 and MC19) to the CBR250RR (MC22) and was last made in 1999, though the engine type (MC14E) remained the same throughout. Water-cooling aside, it is the closest in spirit to Honda's Grand Prix power units of the 1960s.

Built by Emlyn Roberts, this MC14E-powered RC163 replica has been ridden successfully in various classic events in England, on the Continent, and at the Ulster Grand Prix by Ulsterman Ralph Bryans, Ireland's only Grand Prix World Champion (see press cutting on file). The diminutive Bryans had joined the Honda works team for the 1964 season, concentrating on the 50cc and 125cc World Championships. He won the 50cc World Championship in 1965, and for 1967 was given an extended run in the 250cc category, winning two GPs and finishing 4th overall in that year's World Championship. Presented in generally excellent condition, the machine is offered with a quantity of parts to include two spare engines. Accompanying documentation consists of a selection of photographs of the machine undergoing construction plus a list of the parts used.


  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
Honda 250cc RC163 Grand Prix Replica Engine no. MC14E 1033733
Honda 250cc RC163 Grand Prix Replica Engine no. MC14E 1033733
Honda 250cc RC163 Grand Prix Replica Engine no. MC14E 1033733
Honda 250cc RC163 Grand Prix Replica Engine no. MC14E 1033733
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