If you’re a fan of scale model racing motorcycle kits, this 1/12 scale model of the Elf5 racer, as ridden by Ron Haslam in 1988, should make your mouth water. Designed by famous F1 designer André de Cortanze, the Elf5 was the culmination of a radical experiment by de Cortanze and Elf, the French petroleum giant. And even though it didn’t claim the racing success Cortanze and Elf had hoped, the experimental Elf motorcycles hold a distinctive place in motorcycle racing history, with some of its technology still in use today.
Powered by a Honda NSR500 V4 engine that served as a stressed member and main mounting structure for the single-sided swingarms both front and rear, this recently released scale model is based closely on the actual Elf5 racing machines. This full detailed kit maintains the single-sided suspension, with the front suspension consisting of aluminum alloy and springs that will be partly movable. A detailed scale version of the NSR500 engine is included in the kit as well.
The tires, seat and grips are rubber pieces, adding to the quality of the model, while the chain is made of “photo etched sheets and injection plastic pins.” You assemble the chain piece by piece, producing a realistic chain for your kit. The cowl pieces are not painted (that’s on you), but are removable, allowing the interior parts of this experimental motorcycle to be visible to anyone you want to show it off to. Hiroboy.com, the self proclaimed “specialists in scale automotive model kits,” note that knife, cutters, paint and glue are not included in this kit.
At £209.95 (approx. US$340) not including shipping, the Elf5 kit is not your child’s toy. This is a serious model for the serious enthusiast. Still, I think it’s a cool piece to add to any collection. Click here to learn more about the kit or to place an order.