Posts by tag: RC30

Honda November 30, 2016 posted by

Little Brother: 1989 Honda VFR400R for Sale

1989-honda-vfr400r-r-side-front

Looking very much like their very desirable VFR750R, the Honda VFR400R shares similar engine configuration, style, and that distinctive "PRO ARM" single-sided swingarm. The sophisticated V4 featured straight-cut gears in place of a chain or belt and drove twin overhead cams. Early VFR400s used a 180° crank, but the NC30 shared it's 360° "big bang" configuration with the VFR750, giving the bike a distinctive growl to go with the cultured whine of the gear-driven cams.

1989-honda-vfr400r-r-side

A big-bang engine groups its combustion events close together, in stead of spreading them out evenly. In theory, this gives improved traction, as the tire has a chance to recover grip in between pulses, although that may not be a huge advantage in a bike with just 59hp and 30ft-lbs of torque... Power was modest, but had just 350lbs dry to push, and was spread across a very wide, forgiving powerband.

1989-honda-vfr400r-fairing

These bikes didn't sell well when new, which wasn't really shocking: a period literbike could be had for similar cash and that huge increase in power could cover for a lot of sins on the road and on track. But that was hardly the point, and Honda only needed to produce a limited number to qualify them for racing. Originally intended for the Japanese market, a few made their way to the UK and mainland Europe as "parallel imports," these used to be very a very affordable way to pick up sophisticated Honda tech, but prices for these have been rapidly increasing of late, now that the RC30 is well out of reach for many collectors. Bidding on this example is north of $9,000 at this time, with the Reserve Not Met.

1989-honda-vfr400r-clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR400R for Sale

The VFR400R(NC30) is known for its handling, turning quicker than most other 400s on the market. You don't have to ride the NC30 to know that it is right. Everything about it just looks right. The scaled-down version of the RC30 is perfect in it proportions and in its detail. The reduction in size makes it neater still.

The engine gives the impression of that of a larger machine. Peak torque is at 12,000rpm, but it doesn't drop off, giving a long, flexible spread of peak power. It will hold any top gear cruise speed up to 100mph, will pull wide open in top from 2,000rpm and runs without a hiccup to 15,000rpm.Asked whether the quality of engineering is worth owning, the answer would be yes. The build quality is nearly as good as the RC30.

This bike is in excellent un-restored condition with very low miles. I approach all my bikes with the idea of preservation over restoration. When purchasing a bike what I look for is low miles and all original, this bike fits those traits very nicely. Please examine the pictures very closely. You can see it has not been restored but it is an excellent original condition. There is some minor chips and patina showing that it is a 27 year old bike. The bike was recently cleaned from top to bottom. Everything was cleaned, all fluids changed, brakes bled and then put back together ready to ride. Here's a list of a few things that were done.

Wheels powder coated, forks rebuilt, new rotors and pads front and rear plus brakes bled, new tires Bridgestone T30's. All the plastics were cleaned and polished and the small cracks were welded on the back side so they won't crack any more than they already are. All the gauges and cockpit pieces were cleaned and polished. Brand new chain and sprockets

1989-honda-vfr400r-r-side-tail

The seller also includes this helpful startup video of the bike being offered, and the original listing includes plenty of additional photos if what we've included here doesn't satisfy your NC30 lust. Aside from a few minor cosmetic imperfections mentioned by the seller, this is a very nice motorcycle and 6,000 miles is barely broken-in for a Honda, so this one is ready to display or ride, whichever strikes your fancy.

-tad

1989-honda-vfr400r-l-side

Little Brother: 1989 Honda VFR400R for Sale
Honda November 18, 2016 posted by

Out of the Winter Darkness: 1989 Honda RC30 in Canada

Before heading out for the holiday weekend, here is a bit of unobtanium: a 1989 Honda RC30 located in Canada.   Perhaps if you are heading towards Ontario for the holiday anyway, a short detour is in order?

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1989 Honda RC30 for sale on eBay in Canada

The RC30 is a bike that every serious collector wants to own at one point, and for good reason - it was about as true a homologation bike as was ever produced.  The RC30, also known as the VFR750R, came with what was at the time unheard of specs for a street bike; titanium and magnesium cast components, track-type "slipper" clutch, a first gear designed for track starts up to 80 mph, a single-sided swingarm, etc.

The story of how the RC30 originated usually goes something like Soichiro Honda declaring he wanted to show the world what Honda could do if decided to put all its efforts towards producing a no-holds-barred sports bike and that the mandate was that there would be no compromise, no corners cut, and no bowing to the bean counters.  In short, the mandate was that the bike was to be the best and the result was the RC30, a bike built to win...and win it most certainly did.   The RC30 carried "Flying" Fred Merkel to consecutive WSB titles in 1988 and 1989, and powered Steve Hislop around the famous Isle of Man TT course at a then unheard of/first 120-mph lap.  How dominate was the RC30?  Think of it this way - in 1990 fifteen of the 25 finishers in the top F1 class were on the VFR750R/RC30.

A good review of the RC30 by visordown.com can be read here.

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Given its been over 25 years since this bike was introduced, the RC30 ought to look and sound dated, but its elegant lines and tiny size (more like a big 250cc 2-stroke than a full 750cc 4-stroke) produce a stunning reaction even today.  Perhaps what keeps the RC30 an object of lust is the way it puts everything together; incredible feel from the suspension, outstanding build quality, a stupendously wide and usable powerband and the lightest weight in its class allowed the the 750cc powered machine to pretty much make the competition look stupid.  The only downside was that that all this top shelf performance didn't come cheap. The RC30 was priced at an eye popping $21,000 in 1990 (about $39,000 USD in today's dollars).

To put it simply, the word masterpiece can be commonplace when describing a rare sportbike, but in the case of the RC30 it was and still is truly justified.

rc301

This particular RC30 looks to be in good condition but I really wish the seller hadn't taken the pictures at night, had used a higher quality camera, and somehow changed the flash results.  Overall the bike looks to be OEM with the possible exception of a cut rear fender?  Also the tires look a bit off, perhaps the rear wheel is non stock?

Note:  The RC30 had different trim based on the destination country and while this particular model appears to be the dual headlight US version, it might actually be a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market (supposedly there was about 25 of these).  Unfortunately, the seller is not providing ownership history info and there is a somewhat ominous "rebuilt due to age" reference which could mean anything from a fluid change to a former track bike.

Here is what the seller has to say

  • Only 11000 km
  • All Original
  • Has been professionally rebuilt due to age to perfect spec
  • Bike rides perfect and needs nothing
  • Also has the race pkg includes race cams gives more power

rc304

Current bid price on this is only about $14,000 USD but that given that we have seen recent posts range from $22,000 to over $28,000 USD, I expect price on this one to jump.  To be honest I not sure if this is a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market or if this is a US bike (only 300 of these were reported as coming into the USA) but regardless, this one will probably hold its value over time.

Here at RSBFS we have some regular readers who will be able to offer better insight on the current fair price for this RC30, so if its time for you to add one to your collection, I suggest you check out the the comments on this post or the previous RSBFS posts linked above.  But anyone who is seriously interested will want to be quick as eBay auctions of these bikes often end early.   I would also be curious to hear from anyone who has imported a bike from Canada to the USA, suggestions for shipping companies...no reason...nothing to see here...move along now...

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Out of the Winter Darkness:  1989 Honda RC30 in Canada
Honda September 16, 2016 posted by

1990 Honda RC30 For Sale in California

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We've seen some quick sales of great examples late in the season (check out this ZX750M1 that sold in two days for $18k) and this RC30 in California could fit that bill as well. It is advertised with less than 10k miles and the opening bid is $22k reserve not met. Where do you think this bike will end up?

Have a great weekend,

dc

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1990 Honda RC30 for sale on eBay

From the seller:

If you are looking for one of these, no explanation is required how rare and exotic this motorcycle is. hand built one by one and imported 300 only to state. She is in beautiful condition. She has Micron exhaust but comes with stock exhaust and bottom fairing in pristine condition as well. Rear wheel stand is also included. I have couple of boxes of NOS and extra stuff to go with. Only thing missing is the factory tool kit. I will only accept cash or bank transfer for payment. She is a 49 state bike.

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1990 Honda RC30 For Sale in California
Honda August 8, 2016 posted by

They seem to come in waves:
Another 1994 Honda RC45, this one with under 900 miles

We just had a nice RC45 here on RSBFS last week and given the rarity of these it's a bit of a surprise that another one has popped up for sale so soon.  While the previous bike was a gray import bike offered by a dealer in Florida, this one looks to be a US bike currently owned by a collector.

rc452

1994 Honda RVF750R/RC45 in Texas USA

As noted in the post from last week, the RVF750R (also known as the RC45) was introduced in 1994 as the successor to the epic RC30 and was a true homologation bike.  The RC45 came with a 749cc V4 engine containing titanium rods, ceramic-lined cylinder walls and gear driven cams, as well as a new fuel injection system and a race-ready single-sided rear swingarm.

The RC45 was a good bike on the track, being ridden to championships in 1997 and 1998.  But reviewers/riders found the bike a bit of a letdown on the street, mostly due to it being tuned to only produce around 110bhp for the U.S. version and the race gearbox having a very tall 1st gear. Consider the following review from motorcyclenews:

"Like the race version, Honda's road-going RC45 doesn't quite hit the spot, but it's still an impressive piece of exquisite engineering. As the ultimate ‘90s Superbike, the Honda RC45 lacks the pure focus of a Yamaha R1, the visceral punch of a Ducati 916 or the exotic edginess of a Bimota SB6R. Also, people might think your Honda RC45 is a Honda RVF400 NC35 from a distance..."

rc453

Mileage on this one is a low 877 according to the seller.  Unfortunately no other maintenance info is provided.  Based on the dust and color of the clutch reservoir fluid, I would bet that the bike has been standing for quite a few years and would require a thorough refresh including tires.

rc451

By the pics provided the bike looks to have been part of a serious collection.  Initial bid price is $40,000 USD with reserve not met. That price seems to be inline with what we have seen these go for in the past, even with the expected additional cost of a freshening.  Also given the rarity of these bikes, I wouldn't expect the price to drop below the opening bid.

It seems like the RC45 doesn't ring the emotional bells for a lot of collectors in the same way the RC30 did.  This one is certainly in excellent condition and is probably a good investment for a serious collector, but I wish there were a few more pics and comments by the seller.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

They seem to come in waves:</br>Another 1994 Honda RC45, this one with under 900 miles
Honda July 21, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: Very Clean 1990 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Update 8.1.2016: The seller has notified us that this bike has sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

1990 Honda VFR400R R Side

V4-powered sports motorcycles are all the rage now, but they were long associated with just one manufacturer: Honda. Their homologation RC30 set the standard for “exotic” in the late 1980s and 1990s: V4, gear-driven cams, single-sided swingarms and real links to Superbike and endurance racing. They weren’t the fastest machines, especially in stock form, but that wasn’t really the point. Certain types of production-based racing require that manufacturers, in order to compete, produce a specific number of a given model for sale to the public. Honda wanted to race a V4 and the associated frame and swingarm, so they had to build a bike to sell and the RC30, along with little brother NC30, was the result.

1990 Honda VFR400R for sale one eBay

1990 Honda VFR400R L Tank

The littler VFR400R version is what we have here today, and it was only rarely seen outside Japan and the UK, at least in part because the cost made it a poor value: it was priced like a literbike, but the 399cc engine made just 59hp and 30ft-lbs of torque. However, the gear-driven overhead cams and straight-cut gears made beautiful music, and the bike had a surprisingly flexible powerband. Handling was, as you’d expect, superlative, and the featherweight, 350lbs dry machine made an ideal starter superbike for riders with money to burn.

1990 Honda VFR400R Cockpit

Interestingly, the NC30 was the first version of the smaller V4 to use the 360° "big-bang" firing order and helped to give the bike a distinctive exhaust note that mirrored the 750. The idea behind big-bang engines is that, instead of spacing out the combustion events evenly, they’re grouped close together. This is intended to give the tire moments between forward drive where the bike can regain traction, something that was thought to be one of the significant advantages of v-twin machines competing at the time. Just two cylinders firing every revolution gave plenty of time for the tire to recover between pulses, and big-bang four cylinder engines sought to replicate that additional traction, while retaining their overall power advantages. Probably not all that important on a 400cc machine, but still very cool, and an additional link to the more sought-after RC30.

1990 Honda VFR400R Front

Today’s Featured Listing is in beautiful shape and has been well cared-for, although this isn’t some perfectly-preserved, all original bike: the fairings very shiny and mostly look great, but are aftermarket pieces. It comes with a spare set of aftermarket fairings as well in case the new owner exceeds their riding ability on road or track. The bike looks very sharp, and the price reflects the nice, but not perfectly original condition.

1990 Honda VFR400R R Fairing

From the seller: 1990 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

22,977 Kilometers (14,278 Miles) I have owned and ridden this bike for 2 years. This is a very clean well cared for bike. Fairings and bodywork are aftermarket. Comes with a second set of aftermarket fairings in excellent condition. I have gone thru the bike mechanically and everything works, as it should. Turn signals, brake lights, horn, High and low beam, radiator fan. Fork seals and upper and lower radiators were just replaced. Rear shock is from a CBR600RR. Original shock is included with sale. Shifts and revs to redline perfectly. Starts effortlessly every time. Very smooth running. Bike has Ohio State Title ready to transfer into your name.

1990 Honda VFR400R R Tail

The NC30 may not have the full WSBK displacement and power or the race-winning prestige of an RC30, but you shouldn’t be buying one of those for an eyeball-squishing experience anyway: time has moved on and modern superbikes have nearly twice the power of a stock, roadgoing 750. The NC30 is plenty fast enough, if your favorite parts of a road are the wiggly bits, and if the much sought-after and very expensive RC30 is out of your reach, a VFR400R offers up most of the bang for a much lower cost, and makes a very sharp canyon-carver or trackday mount.
-tad

1990 Honda VFR400R L Side

Featured Listing: Very Clean 1990 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Honda April 18, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing – 1986 Honda VFR750R / RC30 with NL0B Engine and Chassis Kit

Update 3.14.2017: We have been informed that this bike is now sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Update 4.18.2016: This seller has renewed his Featured Listing. Thank you to Shaun for supporting the site and good luck with the sale! -dc

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r left

Before Honda released the homologation special VFR750R / RC30 road bikes, HRC built and raced the growling V4's, and won the first two WSBK championships ridden by Fred Merkel.  The bike offered here has been Troy Corser's second bike, who won the 1993 Australian Superbike Championship, and ridden by a young Anthony Gobert in 1994 until the RC45 was prepared.  Purchased from the race team later in 1994, its subsequent lives include track days, a long rest, and recent restoration.

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r right

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r left front

An evolution of the RVF750 endurance racer, the VFR750R uses a complex twin-tube diamond frame around the compact V4, with bespoke steering head bracing.  In the early 1990's HRC offered the NL0B engine kit, with updated heads, crankshaft, and cam drive, resulting in around 130 hp, up from a stock 90hp, and for a cost equivalent to a Dodge Viper.  Right-side up Showa forks have HRC internals and single-sided swingarm is shortened and braced.  Brakes were Lockheed, specially built for the race machine, but have been replaced with Brembo calipers with cast iron disks due to seal availability.  The fairing was stored away when the bike was tracked and has original Winfield Honda ( Australia ) racing graphics.

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r tach

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r left rear wheel

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r right front wheel

Shown at the 2014 Handbuilt Motorcycle Show, a Cycle World diversion at the 2014 Moto GP in Austin, the bike had been through a 3-year restoration to its racing form.  The owner, a coach at California Superbike School and partner at a race preparation shop, learned CNC ( Computer Numerical Control ) machine tool programming to make missing and broken bits for the machine.

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r oil cooler

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r right shop

The haunting sound of the V4 is result of the 360-degree crankshaft, with two closely spaced power pulses in each revolution.  The inherent balance of the V4 allowed engine speeds of 14,000 rpm, and though not a horsepower monster, the RC30 had a wide and rideable torque curve.  The restoration included new Carillo rods, and all new bearings, seals and gaskets.

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r engine shop

Regular readers of RSBFS will know the cachet and rarity of a road-going RC30, but this is an order of magnitude more exotic.  All RC30's were built not at Honda but by small teams at HRC. And the NL0B racers were another, much smaller subset of machines built by world level teams from heavily customized parts with a production run counted in double digits. They were then tuned and modified at the track.  Only a few other complete race-prepared VFR750R's survive, on display as this one is likely to be.

20160109 1986 honda vfr750r photo shoot

-Donn

Featured Listing – 1986 Honda VFR750R / RC30 with NL0B Engine and Chassis Kit