Posts by tag: RC51

Featured Listing September 29, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 2005 Honda RC51 SP2

The Honda RC51 got right to the point when it came out, knocking Ducati and the other Japanese brands off their seats at the top of the World Superbike grid beneath future MotoGP star Colin Edwards. To do it, they had taken a page from the Italians' book, relying on rules that let v-twins have 1,000ccs to take it to the 916 and 998. It won the title again in 2002, and accomplished the same feat in AMA Superbike with the peerless Nicky Hayden.

The RC51 did it all with reliability, aplomb and majestic build quality -- the only way Honda knows. It was a death blow to Suzuki's wayward TL1000R, which never really hit its stride as either a street or race bike, and it showed the Italians that mechanical sex can also be totally reliable. The critical numbers from the throaty, snarling v-twin are: 130-ish horsepower at the crank, and the better part of 165 mph on the big end.

This 2005 Honda RC51 looks incredible, wearing the pretty charcoal fairings of the later bikes, and blessed with the SP2's updated fueling system, which nixed spotty low-end fuel delivery from the SP1 machines. It has done just 5,000 miles, and wears a Sato titanium exhaust system and a custom-tuned Power Commander.

From the seller:

The RC is #189 and tastefully
modified with all original equipment mint and in my possession . The bike has under 5500 miles and has less than 1000 miles on the latest Q3+ Dunlop’s . Sato Banzai titanium exhaust, Kyle Racing tuned power commander and tail tuck kit.

The bike has never been down or repaired in any way. Spark plugs have been replaced at 4000 miles. Meticulously maintained. I am second owner . Have owned for last 1500 miles. Bike is is in top shelf working condition and needs nothing. Bike was built as is from zero miles . Has gear adjustment and speedo correction performed as well. As previously stated I never intended on selling but the 2017 CBR1000RR SP2 is on the menu. Although I haven’t completely convinced myself that it is a true legacy bike.

Brent, the seller of this magnificent beast, is asking $9,500obo and can be reached at 405-613-7607.

Featured Listing: 2005 Honda RC51 SP2
Honda July 5, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 2002 Honda RC51 SP2 for Sale

Update 7.11.2018: Seller reports that this bike has sold to an RSBFS reader. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

After a couple decades building and racing their signature V4 machines, Honda finally decided to go with the flow and switched to a v-twin that could compete on a level playing field with Ducati. Their faith in the V4 as a package has ultimately been vindicated, as now Ducati is using a V4 for its roadgoing superbikes, and pretty much everybody is racing V4s in MotoGP. But for a couple years, the Honda RC51 showed the world that, all else being equal, they could go toe-to-toe with the v-twins from Bologna.

Well the new v-twin Hondas could compete with Ducati in terms of performance, at least. Style was another matter, and the VTR1000 SP1 and later RVT1000R SP2 seen here traded Tamburini's sensual shapes for altogether more practical lines and a digital dash with a bar-graph tachometer. Mechanically, the bike used an aluminum beam frame with side-mounted radiators that allowed the engine to be mounted further forward in the chassis to overcome the usual packaging issues associated with 90° v-twins, and a set of gears drove the dual overhead cams.

When introduced, the original SP1 was somewhat of a disappointment. Certainly the styling didn't help: it's sleek and purposeful, but not especially sexy, considering it was a follow up to the very trick-looking RC45. But more importantly, handling wasn't up to snuff, low-rpm fueling was pretty poor, and tank range was abysmal. The latter two issues are easy to overlook in a high-performance motorcycle, but the bike's understeer was a deal-breaker for many. Fortunately, the SP2 that followed in 2002 sorted out the handling with some suspension revisions, including a set of tapered spacers for the front wheel that improved feel when the bike was on its ear. Power was up slightly as well to a claimed 133hp, although the fueling was still an issue, a side-effect of the gaping throttle bodies designed for high-rpm power, not around-town driveability. If practicality is your bag, there's always the very nice and much cheaper SuperHawk... Although you'll still have to deal with limited range.

The style of the RC51 didn't really inspire lust in the way Italian machines did when the bike was new, but the clean design looks great these days. Today's Featured Listing is almost obsessively stock for a machine that's been used as intended and actually ridden, down to the rear license plate holder, huge signals, and ridiculously long hero blobs. Aside from the hero blobs, the signals and other original parts seem to suit the bike's chunky style, and the only thing I'd change personally is the stock exhaust: a big twin should sound big-twin-y and stock cans never really do them justice. I'd keep the original exhaust though, so I could return the bike to stock condition in case I wanted to sell it.

From the Seller: 2002 Honda RC51 SP2 for Sale

This 2002 Honda RC51 SP2 is 100% stock except for the addition of a Power Commander 3, and is unbelievably clean.  In 2002 the RC51 received a number of upgrades from the SP1.  This bike looks like it did on the showroom floor with all the OEM warning decals, reflectors, stock exhaust, and stock rear fender.  It has the complete stock tool kit and owners manual with it.  I recently replaced the windscreen, clutch slave, battery, and sprockets with Honda OEM parts.  It also has a new DID chain, and Dunlop Sportmax tires with less than 1000 miles on them.  This RC51 runs and rides perfectly and needs absolutely nothing but a new owner.  The fairings are clean and shiny!  The rear seat cowl/pillion cover was signed by Colin Edwards, who won the World Superbike Championship in 2002, the year this was built.  There is also an unsigned cover and the passenger pillion that go with the bike.  I had never seen an RC51 that was completely stock and in this condition, which is how this made it into my collection.  It has 22,500 miles, meaning it’s been properly exercised and maintained with only about 1400 miles per year since new.  The only single blemish is a minor crack at the mounting point under the left side upper cowl that’s been there for years, apparently common with these.  $5,900.00 or best offer. It’s located near Milwaukee, WI.

The seller's $5,900 asking price is pretty fair for an RC51, especially the improved SP2 version in this kind of mint and nearly stock condition. Obviously, the SP1 and SP2 are way too common to ever command the same sort of interest as the RC30 and RC45, but prices have hit their low point and appear to be on the way up. As always, originality counts for collectors and many RC51s have been modified and updated. If you're looking for a fast Honda with genuine racing heritage, you won't likely find one cleaner or more affordable.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2002 Honda RC51 SP2 for Sale
Honda June 4, 2018 posted by

Dorian Gray: 2005 Honda Interceptor in Silver

A lot of people consider the Honda RC30 and RC45 as the best Honda sportbikes to own but those are fully track oriented machines not really setup for daily use on the street.   Additionally much of the success of the RC bikes can be traced to the VFR V4 editions (and ironically much of the RC tech then found its way back into later Honda models such as the 800cc VFR).   Today's post is a 2005 VFR 800 in a beautiful monochromatic silver and with 12,000 miles which for a VFR is barely broken in.

2005 Honda VFR800 on ebay

When Honda introduced its V4 streetbike configuration in the early 1980's, the result wasn't what the company expected.  Honda engineers deeply believed that a V4 engine would produce nearly optimum power and torque but problems arose with the camshafts in the larger displacement/700cc models.  Given the new technology of the V4 system it probably shouldn't have been a surprise that there would be issues but what was surprising was the inability of Honda, a company that prided itself on its engineering ability, to find a quick resolution to the issue.   The VF700 received a mind-boggling 8 camshaft revisions in its first year alone and the VF series quickly earned a moniker of "chocolate camshaft - it melts in your hand!" with sales being drastically impacted in the following year.

Fortunately for Honda, the company was large enough that the issues with VF series wasn't a make or break proposition but they still had to decided whether to keep working on the V4 design or walk away from the concept.  The later option was actually the financially safer choice; its what Suzuki would do with TL series and what Bimota wish they could have done with the V-Due.  But for Honda's motorcycling division, the issue was more than just a financial decision; their reputation for engineering prowess was at stake.  Honda went back to the design board and the result was the 1986 VFR, a machine engineered to a detail that was unheard of previously.  Rumor has it that the VFR was so over engineered that Honda actually lost money on every one it sold but there is no arguing that the VFR restored the companies reputation as an engineering powerhouse with the VFR winning bike of the year in its first year.  Most impressively it kept winning its market segment year after year and was even anointed as "bike of the decade" for the 1990's by CycleWorld.  Despite changes in displacement and technology the VFR line is still going strong.

NOTE:  An excellent history of the VFR lineup and the changes in each edition can be found here.

This particular VFR800 looks to be in amazing shape, although the silver color combined with the direct sunlight could potentially mask some small paint imperfections.  On the plus side the seller indicates a recent refresh including rubber and misc items.  On the negative side some frame sliders seem to be in place in some pics so its unclear as to how the bike has actually been used.  Also the seller does not indicate if the optional ABS that was available with this model is included on the bike.  This is an important question because while the VFR came standard with a linked braking system (which worked very well indeed), the VFR has a wet weight of over 500 pounds so having ABS was a major upgrade.

Here is what the seller has to say

  • New tires Michelin Pilot Power 2CT
  • New spark plugs
  • New brake pads
  • New K&N air filter
  • Fresh battery
  • Fresh oil every season.
  • All stock, except license plate mount. It was removed by the previous owner.
  • I have panniers Givi Monokey V35 for extra $500. They are barely used.

Admit it, those exhausts are cool and look great with the silver color scheme.

So is this 12,000 mile VFR worth the current asking price of $3,500 USD (extra for the hard luggage)?   While this generation of VFR will probably never appreciate as a collectors bike, if your intent is to actually ride your bikes then that price seems like a great deal.    Also the VFR is a renowned touring machine so this offers an opportunity for both at a low price.  Personally I think this would make an excellent every day rider for someone who already has their track bike or for someone who wants to move into longer distance riding without moving into the everything-but-the-fridge-goldwing segment.

-Martin G/Dallaslavowner

Dorian Gray:  2005 Honda Interceptor in Silver
Honda September 21, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: 2005 Honda RC51 for Sale with only 804 Miles!

Update 11.3.2016: The seller has notified us that this bike has sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

s-l1600

Like other forms of racing, World Superbike is designed around a set of rules intended to create a relatively level playing field and encourage a variety of manufacturers to participate. Knowing that simple displacement limits would result in a field full of Japanese four-cylinder machines, the WSBK rules allowed for v-twin motorcycles of up to 1,000cc and triples of up to 900cc, whereas fours could only be 750cc, meaning the bikes made approximately equal power. But in an era before electronic traction control, twins had a big advantage in torque and traction, meaning they could come out of corners harder, and Ducati’s 916 was dominant in the early years. Enter Honda’s RC51.

2005 Honda RC51 for sale on eBay

s-l1600-4

Many felt the rules for v-twins allowed Ducati an unfair advantage, and that this was done entirely to ensure their participation in the series. Whether or not that was true, Honda had gotten tired of struggling to make their RC45 competitive and switched to a v-twin engine for the VTR1000 SP-1, their follow up to the RC45. The bike was successful, although not as dominant as Honda might have hoped. But it really proved their point: given a level playing field, their bikes could go toe-to-toe with Ducati.

s-l1600-14

As a roadbike, the original SP-1 had a few minor issues with handling. According to Dave Hancock, Honda’s factory test rider, the bike’s notorious understeer was a result of the bike being rushed into production. Introduced in 2002, the RVT1000 SP-2 featured simple changes that were made to banish the understeer, including tapered spacers to replace the flat ones used on the front wheel. These new spacers allowed some flex at lean and, along with other minor changes, made the bike handle the way fans had always expected it to handle. Power for the SP-2 was up slightly as well to 133hp, but the bike’s low-rpm fueling was never all that smooth, a result of huge throttle bodies that were great for making power at higher revs and wide-open throttle and not so great for puttering around town. Styling is obviously not quite as sleek as the Ducati 916 it was designed to beat, but the race version was ultimately successful, and that was really the point anyway.

s-l1600-2

For sportbike fans, the SP-2 offers up sleek styling, Honda racing heritage, and big v-twin noise in a package that you can have serviced at your local dealer, a big plus in much of the US. And if that appeals to you, it will certainly be difficult to find a better example than today’s Featured Listing.

From the seller: 2005 Honda RC51 for Sale

Here we have the King of V-Twins… purebred Honda race history here…

2005 Honda RC51 VTR 1000, 804 miles, yes 804 miles, lived life inside climate controlled home.

Marchesini rims, Akrapovic full titanium 2-2 exhaust with carbon fiber cans, Scott steering damper, custom rearsets, custom dropouts, Power Commander, full stainless brake lines, new Dunlop tires installed one year ago… Much, much more.

All original parts boxed and included with sale (factory wheels, rearsets, etc.)

Serious inquiries only, this is quite possibly the lowest mileage RC51 in the world… for sure for sale.

s-l1600-9

Many owners do like to draw the link between this and Honda's other famous homologation specials by stressing the “RC51” designation, but it’s important to remember that these have nowhere near the rarity or exotic specification of their forbears. Obviously, VTR1000 and RVT1000 are the roadgoing versions of the Honda racing twins, but they’re far more common and likely will never achieve the same level of collectability as the RC30 and RC45. That being said, they are very competent motorcycles and I expect that very clean examples will certainly appreciate in the future.

If you're planning to add one to your collection, the red-and-silver scheme may be more traditional, but this dark paint looks very sleek and flatters the bike’s somewhat bulky lines. The modifications seen on this example are functional, make use of high-quality components, and are easily reversible (the factory parts are even included) if you're looking for absolute originality. Plus this particular RC51 has traveled just 804 miles and has led a charmed indoor life.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2005 Honda RC51 for Sale with only 804 Miles!
Honda December 30, 2015 posted by

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em… 2005 Honda RC51 RVT1000R for Sale

2005 Honda RC51 R Side

The Honda RVT1000 SP-2 might lack the drop-dead sex appeal of a Ducati, but Honda's legendary reputation for build-quality and reliability offer up a charm all their own. Back in the mid-1990s, Ducati was seeing unprecedented success on and off track with Massimo Tamburini's brainchild, the 916 and its derivatives. On-track, it could be argued that rules for v-twins gave the blood-red Bolognese bikes an unfair advantage, but success on the street was the result of styling that dripped sex.

2005 Honda RC51 Front

Of course, the Japanese manufacturers decided "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and introduced their own v-twin sportbikes designed to trounce Ducati at its own game, with varying degrees of success. Suzuki's TL1000S made a splash initially, although maybe not for the reasons they'd hoped, while the supposedly more racy follow-up TL1000R was a disappointment on all fronts. The Honda VTR1000F "SuperHawk" was introduced in 1997 to... crickets, mostly. Much more a sporty bike for the street than a serious racetrack refugee, it was cursed with bland styling and a tiny fuel tank that seriously curtailed the all-day backroad adventures the flexible twin and comfortable handling would otherwise have inspired.

2005 Honda RC51 Dash

But the SuperHawk was never really intended to beat the Ducati in terms of pure performance. That was left to the VTR1000 SP-1 that was far from the lithe design you'd expect for a supposedly Ducati-beating motorcycle, with a broad fairing and bulky styling. But the bike ditched the SuperHawk's camchains for sexy gears, and the Honda is dead reliable, sounds sexy as hell, and can be serviced at your local dealer, a big plus in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, the handling wasn't really all that sharp, and huge throttle bodies designed for top-end power made low-rpm fueling pretty chunky...

2005 Honda RC51 Pipe

By the time the RVT1000 [Argh! Acronyms! VTR, RVT... Make up your mind!] SP-2 rolled around in 2002, Honda had refined the formula and while power was up only slightly to 133hp, the bike was much smoother overall, and handling was significantly improved. Fuel range still sucked but, considering this was intended to follow the RC30 and RC45, that slight flaw can probably be forgiven.

2005 Honda RC51 Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Honda RC51 RVT1000R for Sale

Only 6361 miles
$7,000 in upgrades
Black and gray color, last model before the RC51 was discontinued in 2006.
Marchesini magnesium light weight rims front and rear
Sato High
Mount Bonzai exhaust with titanium mid pipes and carbon fiber cans
Dyno Jet Power Commander III with Dan Kyle map
Sato adjustable rear sets
CRG adjustable shorty brake & clutch levers
European rear tail section with led lights (cleanest looking one made)
New Michelin 2CT Pilot Power front & rear tires
New DID o-ring gold chain
Greggs flush mount front turn signals
Puig tinted racing windscreen
Front and rear bike stands
Bike cover
Battery
tender hookup
15 tooth counter sprocket (front)
Café mirror
Have stock parts
Garage kept
Never down
Never on track
2nd mature experienced owner
Just performed maintenance service: Repsol full synthetic oil, front and rear brake and clutch fluid service
Excellent condition
Super fast and expert riders only
Pink slip in hand
$12,200 / best offer

This particular bike looks very sleek in black, something that can't quite be said for the more common red and silver scheme. Mileage is very low, and the bike has had some very tasteful and useful modifications thrown at it, although the $12,500 asking price seems very high.

2005 Honda RC51 Rearset

The RC51 is still very much a bargain sportbike, but they're relatively rare and many have been lovingly cared for. Stone-axe reliability, solid handling, and big-twin boom make this a great bike and, if you can stomach the price, this might be a good one to sock away in hopes that it one day reaches RC45-levels of collectibility.

Hint: don't bother. Just ride the hell out of it instead.

-tad

2005 Honda RC51 L Side

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em… 2005 Honda RC51 RVT1000R for Sale
Honda June 24, 2015 posted by

Challenge Accepted! – 2002 Honda RC51 SP2

2002 Honda RC-51 SP2 on eBay

SP2_rightside

The 90s were a tough time for Honda on the racetrack.  World Superbike regulations allowed v-twins a displacement increase up to 999cc to make up for the horsepower "advantage" that the four cylinder motorcycles had.  The Ducati 916 used this to thoroughly dominate WSBK to the tune of five championships in just six years.  Unable to remain competitive with V-four platform that saw so much success in the RC30 and RC45, Honda decided to level the playing field with their own V-twin and the results were impressive.  Colin Edwards would win two WSBK Championships in three years on board the RC-51.  The SP2 had several improvements over the SP1 that resulted in less weight, more horsepower, thicker brake rotors, better suspension and a slightly longer swingarm that made the SP2 a great handling motorcycle.

SP2_leftside

This SP2 has a few very nice and very expensive mods, but also includes a number of stock parts should originality be your game.  You can read the description in the auction here: 2002 Honda RC-51 SP2 on eBay

19,250 miles.  I am the second owner.  I always use Rotella T6 at oil changes. Stock air filters, Flapper deleted.  Did not do the soft rev mod.  PC3R. Crankcase vented to exhaust. One fan deleted.  Galfer Front wave rotors and Galfer pads.  Zero Gravity double bubble windscreen.  Michelin Pilot Road 2s.  Scorpion alarm, and... Sato Racing Banzai mount carbon fiber slip-ons.  If you know RC51s, then you know Sato Racing made the best exhaust for this bike. Period. Hands down. Also, you know what they are worth now, and that they aren't in production anymore.  Also included, front and rear pit-bull stands, battery tender, and the stock cans.

SP2_front

While it may not have the raw sex appeal of Ducati's 916, there is still a great looking motorcycle that gets even better looking when you understand just how good it is.  It's still racy, it's still aggressive, but you can also live with it on a daily basis as it retains all of the bulletproof reliability that Hondas are renowned for.  The RC-51s have a dedicated following which you can see by the number of eBay watchers any time one comes up for sale.  The resale prices have remained high which proves that this motorcycle has all of the makings of a future classic.

Challenge Accepted! – 2002 Honda RC51 SP2




Do You have a special sportbike that should be listed on our site? Sell your bike with a Featured Listing for just $59.