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1988 Honda RC30 VFR750R HRC Kitted Race Bike!

Update 3.4.2014: When this bike was first listed in January, it passed it’s reserve of $26.5k and went on to sell for $38.6k. Unfortunately that sale has fallen through and it’s back on eBay. Considering there were at least 5 bidders after reserve had been met, it should be interesting to see where it ends this time. Links updated. -dc

1988 Honda RC30 for sale

It’s hard to know where to start with something this special. An RC30 with all the goods, arguably one of the most collectable bikes of it’s era. It has provenance from period racing, it has the unobtainable race kit parts, and it’s fresh out storage after 18 years. It appears in a couple of AHRMA races last year after being refreshed and promptly finds itself at the top of the podium. Bidding has been brisk with just a day passed so far and 9 days remaining. What’s your fantasy bid for this once in a lifetime opportunity?


1988 Honda RC30 HRC for sale on eBay


from the seller:

Bought in Canada in the winter of 1987, Dr. Dave Kieffer, a privateer AMA Pro Racer who was also a pioneering orthopedic surgeon wanted to get the jump on the competition by ordering Honda’s newest Superbike weapon for the 1988 AMA Superbike Racing class by buying a Canadian model of the new hand-built HRC Honda RC30 in the hopes of readying it for Daytona Bike Week in March of 1988. Unbeknownst to him, Honda chose not homologate the bike in the USA until 1990, making his new RC30 ineligible for 1988 AMA Superbike competition.

Without homologation, the RC30 was ineligible to race in AMA Superbike until 1990, finding himself saddled with this new weapon, Dr. Kieffer then set his sights on competing in the AMA EBC Endurance Series in the GTO class and ordered the HRC race kit and had his team of former Honda Factory mechanics prepare the bike for the first 3 hour race of the 1989 AMA series in Daytona. Doc then went about recruiting a group of leading privateers and formed his new endurance team; The Rough Stock Racing Honda All-Stars. Over the course of the 1989 series, The All-Stars consisted of: Dr. Kieffer, John Ashmead, Rueben McMurter, Randy Renfrow, and Doug Brauneck.

In the first race of the 1988 season at Daytona, the team of McMurter, Kieffer and Ashmead came in 2nd to Dave Schlosser’s Dutchman Racing, multi-time Endurance Racing Champions, placed 3rd at Rd Atlanta, 1st at New Hampshire, 4th at Daytona in October and placed 5th in the year-end GTO standings competing against big horsepower teams using 1000’s and 1100’s.

In 1990 Honda the RC30 was homologated and became eligible for AMA Superbike competition. The bike was updated with Honda’s latest “HRC factory- team spec” components by Ray Farrow and Dennis Zickrick, former Honda Factory team mechanics and was raced from ’89-92 by Dr. Kieffer in AMA Superbike Championship and the FIM World Superbike rounds at Brainerd, MN and Mosport Park, Canada . Doc was given assistance in parts and modifications by American Honda and numerous factory-backed racers, race teams and Honda own factory team who were friendly with Dr. Kieffer because he helped so many injured racers return to action as soon as safely possible. Fred Merkel was particularly helpful to Dr. Kieffer and help Doc get all the latest mods from the Rumi Racing’s RC30 World Super Bike team.

The bike was retired from racing in 1993 and properly prepared for storage where it would sit for the next 18 years. Because the bike was so well maintained and prepared, the bike was easily re-awakened over the winter of 2012-13 and thoroughly race-prepared by International Motorbikes of Hickory, NC. The bike was then entered in the Road America AHRMA Next Generation Superbike event where it placed 2nd on Saturday and 1st on Sunday with Harry Vanderlinden riding. At AHRMA’s Barber Vintage Events in October the RC30 was again entered in Next Gen Superbike and won on Saturday and placed 2nd on Sunday, again with Vanderlinden at the controls.

The bike is currently race ready and is more than capable of winning the AHRMA 2014 Next Gen Superbike Championship and is eligible for numerous Vintage events around the world including The Isle of Man Classic and the Phillip Island Classic.

The bike comes a spare set of painted bodywork and both a front and rear HRC Magnesium wheel with rotors. A very extensive spares package is available separately which include enough spares to keep you racing for years and year.

Engine: Fully HRC-kitted, magnesium cases and sump, Rumi Team baffle and oil pickup, HRC titanium exhaust, HRC Pistons, HRC Titanium rods, Ti valves, HRC valve springs and Ti retainers, HRC Airbox, FCR Flat-slide Carburetors, HRC ignition, HRC clip-ons etc.

Chassis: HRC Swingarm, HRC Forks, HRC Fork internals, HRC degree-adjustable triple trees, HRC rear Shock and Spring

Brakes: Nissan/HRC calipers, master cylinders and full floating rotors with stainless lines

Wheels: HRC Magnesium, Front-3.50 X 17, Rear 6.0 X 17

Tires: Michelin Power Race Slicks




  • Great blast from the past…lot’s of familiar faces in the pics.

  • Whoa- a very high level of awesomeness for sale here. The history and people associated with this particular RC30 are unquestionable. The big problem is the manner in which the bike is presented on the eBay listing. We’re treated to a nice indulgent photo gallery of vintage Daytona podiums and race shots. OK. But where are any detail pictures of the actual bike as it exists NOW? There’s nothing showing buyers anything close up, nothing with the fairings off- for example is the frame scratched or dented from racing (it happens)? Why can’t we see what we’re really bidding on underneath the bodywork? It’s an incrediblely lacking listing in that regards for such a valuable and special bike.

  • Sixthgear. you are definately right. Reserve is 28k which is too much for the race bike version without original stock parts I think. Under the ad somebody had ask on detailed pictures, but without seller´s answer. Strange, at least for me.

  • It is hard to understand- that bare motorcycle without it’s bodywork is a work of engineering art in itself. It’s a selling point- why wouldn’t you present it and expose it? Any pictures of the engine internal work or parts used? You know, the stuff that really matters. Two race pics would have been enough, not the complete photo gallery!
    Also, I can guarantee that all RC30 owners are trembling at the mention of all of those HRC parts available separately. Those parts are the holy grail if you own one, incredibly cool artifacts of the highest quality- scarce and expensive.

  • Yeah , I agree with you guys . If you want good loot for your machine it needs to be properly represented . As a former owner of five of them ( 2 former racebikes , some kitted & 2 stock examples) I can tell you there are two types of RC people out there . There are the total purists who want the bike OEM bone-stock original down to the last refelector and warning label . Then there are the HRC lovers who like a fully kitted (properly) machine , either for the road or done up well for track days and making people sick @ the VJMC owners booth (yeah ….you know who you are !) . I had an NLOB motor a few years back that actually came from Fred Merkels’ Team Rumi effort , but unfortunately never got to use it in the bike I was building . I finally gave up and got out of RC30s …..just too expensive . And that is why if we are doling out large sums of cash we want to see exactly what we are getting for our hard earned cash .

  • Agreed. I too have experience owning and restoring stock and ex-race bike RC30’s, and they’re two different worlds. I hope nobody is even thinking about returning this one to the street- it’s now a track bike forever, and likely a damn fine one. But racebike preparation can be all over the map: often times sloppy, crude, and lacking in care with crash damage left as is. Othertimes, it’s a thing of beauty: pride of craftsmanship, careful use of materials and parts, time spent doing details correctly that is an end in itself. Go look and observe in the pits at any AMA Superbike race or MotoGP to see this at it’s highest level. I suspect this RC30 is the latter, but with zero evidence to show buyers, we can only guess or hope.

  • those who live on hope alone, die starving

  • Very true Sixth ! I previously had a racebike with all the right parts in it . Lots of nice stuff but it had been crudely assembled and poorly maintained . By the time I owned it , it had a bent valve already . And some dumb-ass had even hacked off the sidestand mount on the frame to accomodate the very nice racing Hindle pipe (an exact copy of a Micron , just made in Canada ) . I actually was able to successfully put it back into road trim . A few years of hard labor and various frinds in the aircraft industry and I pulled it off . I even had the frame redone with a new lump for the sidestand , all formed and re-drilled , then glass bead blasted . One helluva job . As you said putting a race bike back to street form is a serious headache !

  • I’d never restore an ex-race RC30 to street again, either. The surprises, disappointments, uncovered hack work, time spent making things right, time spent chasing parts worldwide, are endless. I feel sorry for RC30 owners who have totally stock machines, though. They’ll never know the on track buzz of an RC30 that’s set up correctly. Stock RC30’s aren’t that great to ride because of the crimped in half stock exhaust, super tall final gearing, cooling issues. They really make sense on a race track right away, you know what it was designed for- every minute there on one is memorable. We’ll see if buyers agree and if this one goes over $30K.

  • Hey Sixth , you are right ! I for the most part don’t like stock Hondas ……..exception CBR900s ….first second Gen . As for the 30 I agree . When in racing form it is awesome ! So much more opened up , less restricted . Also back in the day , in street form so many things happened to it on the road . My first one had the rear turn indicator bracket crack . I also had an exhaust (muffler actually) sardine can itself on me (the cap actually started to separate from the main part of the muffler assy…) .Luckily my fellow friends in the aircraft industry came to my rescue . And finally lent an a-hole friend of mine the bike for a few minutes back in 1990 . He brought it back to me with a completely cracked fairing stay (ummmm can you say” I did a wheelie on your bike !”) . Again my friends saved my ass with some decent welding & painting .However the afternoon spent removing everything and reassembling was pretty much a waste of my time .Lesson learned : only the worthy…and even then…..get to take a spin on your pride and joy !

  • Guys-I own the RC30 being sold, what is it you want to see, there are pics of the bike w/o bodywork if you scroll down. The frame is untouched and looks perfect. I am not going to take it apart to take photos to prove what’s in it. This bike’s value is in its provenance and that is undisputed and I have reams of authentication from the only previous owner who raced it and recruited the guys on the endurance team.To many that might be collecting, that provenance is what is important, hence the racing photos. There are naked photos of the bike, what else it it you want to see?

    The reserve has been met ($26.5K), the bike will be sold to the highest bidder next Friday. As to the hoard of spares, the new owner will get first shot at them. If they don’t take them, they will be auctioned as a lot.

    • Mark,
      Why the higher reserve the second time around(not met at $29.7K)?

  • Congratulations on the pending sale and I appreciate you stopping by to comment personally.


  • The list of parts that I will give first shot to the bike buyer is listed here https://www.dropbox.com/s/3bu4adwvrz7l5ch/RC30%20Parts%20Album.pptx

    If the bike buyer doesn’t buy the parts I will do another ebay auction to sell them as a lot.

    I haven’t inventoried the HRC exhausts or the bodywork yet

  • Could we,where possible,provide the location of the bikes that are being featured.

    • Mooresville, NC

  • Bike is over 32 K now . Sit up & take notice people ! That is some good coin being made there if the final buyer keeps his end of the bargain up !

  • RC30FREAK since its up for sale again looks like the high bidder backed out . . . .

  • A few hours left and only a few hundred from its reserve

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