At this year’s Isle of Man TT, there was a classic parade with many old machines not seen in a long time, among those participating was this odd motorcycle, a Honda Mugen MRV1000. A quick look shows a strong British influence with an engine style reminiscent of an old Vincent, but what the heck is a Mugen MRV1000?
From the little information available, it seems Hirotoshi Honda, son of Honda founder, Soichiro Honda, founded a company by the name of Mugen in 1973. The company built Honda based racing engines and has evidently been pretty successful, but Hirotoshi is a Brit bike enthusiast and wanted to build something along the lines of a Vincent.
The MRV1000 was an attempt to create a limited production street bike with a 4 valve, twin carb, 1000cc V-Twin. After they built it they realized it would cost far too much to be marketable and this prototype is the one and only of its kind.
The engine definitely has the look of a Vincent, though I think the originals had slightly better lines. It would have been interesting if Honda would have produced the MRV1000. They can build interesting machines with British styling cues, the GB500 for instance, but even there, it never sold well and now is recognized in hindsight as having been quite nice with collectors always on the lookout for low mileage examples. With that history, it’s likely this one wouldn’t have sold well, either, followed after a time when everyone would be scrambling to buy one. Go figure. Anyway, it’s something I had never heard of until I ran across a short piece in Classic Bike magazine. Another one that might have been.
Link: Club Honda Classic