In 1979, the 2-stroke RC500M won the 500cc class of the Motocross World Championship and after that Honda’s motocross machines performed well all over the globe. In World GP racing, however, Honda was struggling with the 4-stroke NR500. Opinions swung within Honda towards placing winning first, with tried-and-tested 2-stroke engines, and the NS500 was thus developed. Its new engine had a unique V-3 layout - similar to three motocross engines combined into one - and was compact and lightweight. Its maximum output reached 120PS/11,000rpm, and Honda poured its technologies and experience into building a great all-round machine. The NS500 debuted in 1982, and was a strong championship contender from the opening round. In Round 7 (Belgian Grand Prix), Freddie Spencer rode the NS500 to Honda’s first 500cc class win in 15 years, and also won Rounds 11 and 12, finishing the season with 3 wins. In 1983, the championship title was an absolute requisite for the NS500, which was modified to be lighter and more powerful. The engine’s output reached 130PS/13,000rpm. The NS500 and Spencer battled for the title in all 12 races with Kenny Roberts (Yamaha), each rider scoring 6 wins. The NS500 and Spencer won the constructors' championship by a mere 2 points. The NS500 was then commercially released as the RS500, with specifications largely unaltered, and was welcomed by riders worldwide.