We all dream of having our own personal closed course to enjoy our cars and motorcycles without the nagging fear of some texting-while-driving idiot smashing into us and ruining the fun and our vehicle. While a very select few have the finances to make that happen, most of us have come to terms with that being nothing more than a dream. What if I told you that you could have your own test track for less than $3000 and it could fit in your living room—and it’s not for scale models? Don’t believe me?
I wouldn’t believe me either, except I came across just such an apparatus on eBay that Honda produced in the mid-1970s. It is called a Test Track, but that technical definition is slightly misleading to a daydreaming gearhead. It is for testing, and it’s a track that rotates with the rear tire’s movement, however the thrill of motoring is not the goal here. Not completely.
The real goal of this machine is to provide a safe learning environment for those new to motorcycles, so a new rider can get comfortable with the throttle and clutch without worrying about the balance aspects. It also allows for real-time coaching from a person comfortable enough to stand beside the bike. Having taught a few new riders myself, something like this is a really cool piece of kit and I can certainly see how a dealer could put this to work.
The rear tire drives a belt that turns fans mounted to the rear. I would gamble these serve dual purpose of providing some resistance to at least slightly replicate road feel and also providing cooling air to the bike as it runs in a stationary position. In an era mainly comprised of air-cooled machines, running one for extended periods of time without airflow could end badly.
Sadly, the design wouldn’t accommodate a modern tire and wouldn’t be much fun for someone who already knows how to operate a motorcycle. For the serious collector it would certainly be a great conversation piece—even cooler with an early CB750 mounted up for test runs. Won’t be in my garage though, even if it would look great with my KE175 strapped down for teaching people to ride. What would you do with this machine? Tell us in the Hagerty Community below.