Rob North of UK became famous for his frames for BSA and Triumph triples.
Chances are there is only one genuine North Honda, a chassis built especially for the Honda CB 750 SOHC/4 engine. This particular bike was owned by Julian Soper, who raced it in the mid '70s successfully in the UK. Julian and his North Honda still hold the lap record on the old GP curcuit at Brands Hatch (the circuit was modified after he broke the old record in '76, so it will stand forever).
The engine he used was a production K2 unit fitted with a 900cc kit, Yoshimura cam, RSC rods, factory spec crank, Yoshimura close ratio gearbox, Weslake gas flowed head, bronze clutch and a variety of carbs depending on circuit, CR Keihins, MK2 Amal's and even the standard 4 cable road carbs for twisty tracks.
After Julian sold the bike (rolling chassis only), it was used in practice only during the 1977 Isle of Man TT races by Bill Smith, who holds the record for the number of TT Replica's won. As Bill was held in such high regard by Honda Japan they supplied a CR750 engine. The problem was that to fit the engine in the frame the rear mounting lugs on the crankcase had to be filed down. Unfortunately, they filed the wrong side, messing up the chain line. However, he still managed a 98 mph lap in practice.
John Williams, (not the Suzuki Factory rider), then raced the bike to a Replica in the 1978 TT.
The bike surfaced again for the 1979 TT, this time being ridden by Derek Huxley. He retired on the first lap of the F1 race with a holed piston. He also raced it at the Ulster Grand Prix the same year, finishing 9th against a lot of works bikes.
The swinging arm was changed to a TZ750 unit by Bill Smith, who subsequently lost the original.
The bike is now owned by a collector of racing motorcycles who had planned to have it restored by Harris Performance Products.
Another North Honda surfaced in Austria in 2003. This is a North chassis designed for a Triumph triple which later was adopted to a Honda CB 750 engine.
Rob North now lives in California, and he is still building motorcycle chassis:
Rob North Fabrications
1605 Hoover Av.
National City, CA91950
Tel: +1 619 474 6424
Fax: +1 619 474 6361