Sometime in 2001 I had a customer, Scott Cleff, come by my shop with an NC-30. I have always appreciated the bikes, but had never worked on one, or ridden one at that point. This guy, vibrant and energetic as he was, took the bike he had never ridden and went to Willow Springs to race with the WSMC. He had an immaculate looking 1993 streetbike that he taped number plates to and proceeded to destroy the competition in the 550cc Superbike class. With this performance, a tremendous appreciation for the bike was born.
Once the Suzuki SV-650 came out on the scene however, the little NC-30 has just too underpowered though, and the wins stopped coming in. Scott sold the stock NC-30 to my business partner and bought a built bike from Brian Banna. This bike had many HRC F-III parts and the first motor we had seen featuring the TTS 444cc pistons. This motor made some outstanding power (seen in the graph on the right). Once again, Scott proceeded to win races. Again, a new appreciation was formed for the little bike.
The bike was sold to an AFM racer that proceeded to blow it up on one of his first outings on it. He then brought the bike back to me where I was able to massage a stock motor with head milling and porting to get most of the power back the built motor had. It was in this experience that I really saw what an amazing engineering marvel this little bike was.
Although 9 years old, and long out of production, I was able to get more horsepower from this motor with mild massaging of the ports than most of the Yamaha FZR400s were getting after heavy modifications. At this point, I became very interested with the NC and wanted to start looking into a development project to see how much power I could extract from the little bike.
Another customer, Mike Lohmeyer, and I started talking about this bike one day. Lohmeyer was racing an FZR-400 with a fairly well built engine, but did not handle as he had wished. Lohmeyer began to seem interested in the NC as well, and after many long talks, Lohmeyer sparked the flame to get me searching for a source for these bikes.
I found a place in Thailand called TYGA that was importing racebikes to the US for some local racing friends. I contacted them and proceeded to discuss the best way to get these bikes over to the US. Somehow, I ended up with five orders for these bikes and proceeded to have TYGA locate and prepare five bikes for us. The months that followed, while we waited for the bikes, had us excited and eager to start developing the NC-30.
Again, while eagerly waiting for the bikes to arrive from Thailand, Lohmeyer ended up purchasing the bike I did the headwork on so that he could start racing one as soon as possible. In his first outing on the bike, he did extremely well, commenting that he couldn’t believe the handling of the bike. This prompted us to seriously start talking about the potential of the bike. Soon, we were discussing building a 450cc (our class allows 450cc +1mm) motor that would put out over 80hp and be capable of competing against the Suzuki SV650s in some of the middleweight classes.
And the NC-450V project was born……………