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2001 Honda NSR500 Ridden By Leon Haslam By Minichamps
'Pocket Rocket' Leon Haslam, son of 'Rocket' Ron Haslam, is a motorcycle racer from Smalley, Derbyshire, England. He had raced in most of the significant British and international championships whilst still in his teens, spending the whole 2000 season with the underprepared ItalJet team in the 125cc world championship, then racing a 500cc Honda in 2001, and a 250cc Honda in 2002. He gained valuable experience from these years, but few top 10 finishes.

For 2003 Renegade Ducati signed him, and he did rounds of the British Supersport, British Superbike and World Superbike championships, adjusting quickly to all 3. For 2004 he did the full WSBK season for Renegade alongside Noriyuki Haga. He was 8th overall with a best of 3rd, but it would be unfair not to mention his impressive victory in a British Superbike race at Brands Hatch on one of the team's 3 ventures into the series. In torrential rain, this was the only Ducati win in the series all year, even though this was the title-winning bike in both 2003 (Shane "Shakey" Byrne) and 2005 (Gregorio Lavilla).

It was BSB full-time for Leon in 2005 with the GSE team, with the Airwaves Ducati team, finishing 4th overall behind only Lavilla and the two HM Plant Hondas of Ryuichi Kiyonari and Michael Rutter. In the first 12 races of the season he finished 2nd no less than 8 times, without winning a race but taking 3 poles and lying 2nd overall. He ultimately did win races, but finished as championahip runner-up behind Ryuichi Kiyonari's Honda.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Haslam

What a stunning piece of art this bike is! I can't say how happy I was when I found it and when it arrived. Although I'm sure this bike is based off the same mold as the other NSR bikes, this one has a certain flare to it. Even though this is not a newer release, it has to be one of Minichamps best in my opinion. I'm not sure what the release number is, but they are getting hard to come by and are demanding between $115 - $145 USD.

Overall Rating = 8.6

[9] Brakes - accuracy=9 detail=9
Minichamps did an outstanding job with the brake calipers and rotors! The radially mounted front calipers are well shaped and very closely follow the shape of what was on the 1:1. The rear caliper could have a little more detail but it is done well. We get brake lines leading from the controls to the calipers. The front brake rotors are well done as well showing us the fully floating carbon discs. The rear rotor conforms to what is on the 1:1, not much detail but there isn't much on the 1:1.



[7.5]Engine - accuracy=8 detail=7
The engine on this two-stroke replica is one of many areas that shine on this model. The shape color and texturing very closely replicate the 1:1. Are needing improvement would be a little wiring is missing and the screw/bolthead detail could be a little better. One of the attractive areas is the tempered exhaust. Since not a lot of time is taken to coat these high performance exhausts, the heat discolors the bare metal used. This 'bluing' effect is very well done on this model. We also get hollowed exhaust tips.





[8.5]Exterior - accuracy=9 detail=8
Minichamps did their homework when making the molds for this bike. The lines seem to follow that of it's 1:1 big brother. Seam lines between the upper and lower fairing are tight as is the pins that hold the lowers to the bike. Over all fit & finish is superb! Even the 'double bubble' windscreen is in place!







[7]Interior - accuracy=8 detail=6
Since there is no real 'interior', we'll consider the handlebar area and seat for this criteria. The hand controls don't seem to be over thick for the scale and the hand grips are well done. We see the tops of the front forks and their ends are done quite well as is the triple tree. Since this is the area where most of the electronics are held, I would expect to see a little more behind the instrument cluster, which is well done by the way.



[9]Paint - accuracy=9 detail=9
If I had to pick my favorite part of this model, it would be it's livery. The colors used on on this bike are simply stunning!!! The colors are bright and there's no bleed over into other colors. All I can say is WOW!



[9]Tampo/Decals - accuracy=9 detail=9
The tampos are awesome too! This is another area where the model really shines. All lines are crisp and clear. All sponsor badging is exactly where it needs to be. All the colors are lined up, even on the multi-colored designs.



[8]Tires/Wheels - accuracy=8 detail=8
The wheels and rims are well done on this replica. The thickness of the wheel spokes are very true to scale and we get valve stems as well. The racing slick are well done as well to include the stamped lettering of the Michelin Pilots that adorn the bike.





*Added to DX Review Database*
 
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Sean,

Do you know what year this bike was released?

I am wondering if the recent releases are driving its prices up - providing its an old bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was released in 2002, but I wouldn't put much money on it.

Sean
 

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I look good in leather.
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Nice.

Everyone needs of one of the last run NSR500s in their collection, and this one sure is a good one to pick. Don't really see it for sale all that much, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right]
Matt, It is quite a hard one to come by. Wanna hear a story about how I get the bike...? Well I'm going to tell it anyways!!! :giggle I was Googling around looking for older Rossi Honda NSR bikes. I thought I found one, in one of the oddest places. A retailer that sells custom vinyl graphics had a page selling a the Rossi 2001 Mugello bike and a few other older Minichamps bikes. His diecast page wasn't even linked from his home page or any other pages on his site. It was a pain to find it the second time!!! It was listed for $70.00 delivered!!! Imagine my excitement! I contacting the one-line retailer, to buy the bike but he said he was out of them. So I asked about this one and he had it. Same $70 delivered. That was in early Oct. After a few phone calls and a trail of excuses and 'check's in the mail', it finally came in. I would have given up but this was a rare chance to get this bike at this price. It finally came in last week.

Sean
 
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