TT Legends — Episode 6: The Suzuka 8 Hours

02/19/2014 @ 1:28 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS


Episode Six of the “TT Legends” documentary is out, and it has the Honda TT Legends crew leaving the Isle of Man for Japan. Taking part in the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race, one of the stops in the Endurance World Championship, the Honda-supported team is racing for the OEM’s glory.

Perhaps not the biggest of races here in the United States or in Europe, but for the Japanese, Suzuka is a huge deal. A place where bragging rights for the Japanese OEMs are born, in the past it hasn’t been uncommon to see OEMs stack their teams with WSBK and GP racers (even Kevin Schwantz raced at Suzuka last year).

Eight hours of racing anywhere is brutal, but at Suzuka, the intense heat and humidity is always an additional factor. Riders cool down in swimming pools, and drink their weight in Gatorade. A truly fantastic event, it should be on any enthusiasts’ bucket list — just be sure to pack a pair of shorts.

Source: Honda Racing Europe

  • Peter G

    I photographed a few Suzuka 8 Hour races in the 1990’s. First visit was 1990, and to see the whole spectacle is amazing. Suzuka is my favourite track, and the Japanese fans there are so funny.

    Until you go there, nothing can prepare you for the heat and humidity. I drank 6 cans of Pocari Sweat when I walked from the pits to the hairpin. Even then, I had to go up into the spectator areas to purchase some more.

    The temperate was around 37C and 80% humidity.

    Hot hard work…

  • L2C

    “The IOMTT is a piece of *bleep* compared to this.” ~John McGuinness

    Pretty much says it all. LOL…

  • Epic, as always. I never tire of watching this stuff.

  • manny v

    great series of video. ive watched every single episode and they are all top notch.

  • Shinigami

    No green car seats on the Kodama back to Tokyo? Shocking… ;)

  • Peter G

    Why the Kodoma, unless they had to get of somewhere on the way ? Should have been the Hikari or Nozomi.

    No green car seat….. penny pinching :-)

  • Shinigami

    It was just a little joke. Actually the three across seat was probably the train to Nagoya from Suzuka, of course these guys would take nozomi or hikari to Tokyo from Nagoya.

    But on the way to Nagoya they were in standard seats, not green car, which I find really strange!

  • Peter G

    Normally take the Kintetsu line from Suzuka ( Shiroko ) back to Nagoya, then haul all your gear through Nagoya Eki ( station ) to the JR line, and then Nozomi or Hikari back to Tokyo…

    I did that about 6 times a year from 1994 to August 1997…

  • Slangbuster

    Really enjoyed this. Thanks!

  • Haggis

    Peter G, you said you photographed a few Suzuka 8 races in the early 90’s? I have been chasing some photos of RC30’s that raced at Suzuka, you wouldn’t happen to have them digitally somewhere??

  • Peter G

    Dear Haggis,

    Sorry , but, I am unable to help you.

    Back then, all my colour work was on Kodachrome KR64. I used to be able to have Cibachrome prints made from the trannies, but, as far as I know, that process has ” Gone with the wind ” Used to be Ilford paper. unobtainable now.

    I know that one can have trannies scanned, and I even wasted $2,000 on a scanner …. Didn’t work. I think I would have to spend even more money on a better unit.

    I covered the 8 Hour in 1990, 1994 and 1997, and Honda were running RVF bikes. Magic machines . I was living in Japan from 1993 to end August 1997.

    Pity that I didn’t purchase a RC45 …

  • Damn! I recently purchased a VFR750R (RC30) from Japan and it looks to have some race pedigree (Suzuka 8 hour style fairings, lockwired everything, HRC & TT parts) so I have been trying to put together a collection of photos and memorabilia of that era.. The search continues!

    Thanks for the reply though mate! And that sounds like a pretty effective photography method! Its a shame skills and equipment like that are going the way of the Dodo, I guess the simplicity and convenience of Digital triumphs again…

  • Peter G


    I wish ” Digital Photography ” had been invented about 15 years earlier. :-)

    The money that I spent on film in those days ……. $$$$$$$$

    I still have my 1984 Honda VF 1000 R in the garage ( long story ).