Author Archives: Mike

Honda December 6, 2018 posted by Mike

Right Said Fred: 1986 Honda VF1000R

Organizations have been using star power to move product since the beginning of time. The religious world has deities, the stick and ball sports have performance heroes, arts and entertainment circles have famous people, and even the social media world has some form of acclaimed personas (not that I would know who they are). Big names connect consumers with the idea of being like somebody famous. 90% of the population cannot dunk a basketball, but that doesn't slow down shoe sales. And so it is with no surprise that motorcycle manufacturers attached star power to help move models and drive consumers into the showroom. It was rampant in the 1980s, and continues through to this day. Sometimes the connection was blatant; witness Kenny Robert's signature on the fairing of the RZ350, or Nicky Hayden's script on bespoke RC51 models. And sometimes the connection is implied, such as with the 1979 Suzuki GS1000 - often mistakenly referred to as the Wes Cooley edition. So as we gaze upon this magnificent 1986 Honda VF1000R, the colors evoke HRC's racing livery and we assume this to be an homage to the great Freddie Spencer. Star power that is implied - but not overtly stated - is still star power. And it still moves product.

1986 Honda VF1000R for sale on eBay

Developed with the technology to win races, the VF1000R was a massive technological wonder when it was released in Europe; especially when compared to the rather bland "F" model sold in the US. Four cylinders arranged in a 90 degree vee formation, double overhead cams spun by gears (oh the glorious sound!) working four valves per cylinder. The frame was of the perimeter variety to cradle the motor, but tech extended to both ends of this machine: Honda’s Pro-Link rising-rate rear suspension (a massive upgrade over twin shock setups) and up front the Torque Reactive Anti-Dive Control (TRAC) anti-dive front fork with nifty quick change axle (a nod to the endurance heritage). With a 16" front wheel - just like the GP racers - and bodywork and dual headlamp evoking Honda's endurance racers from Europe, the VF1000R was everything the American buying public could want in a repli-racer. And much, much more. Especially in terms of weight. The "R" model looked the look, but tipped in at a very porky mid-500 pound range wet. It also came with a significant increase in price over the "F" model. But you can't really argue with the look. Let's pick this one up here from the seller:

From the seller:
1986 Honda VF-1000-R - Only 33K Miles - Also Called Honda's Autobahn Baby

- Mechanically this bike is a 9.5 Out Of 10 And Cosmetically It's a 9.25 out of 10
- Excellent condition for a 33 year old ICON in the Motor Cycle World.
- It'd be cool for it go to a collector who understands what it is and appreciates it's wonderful condition.

More from the seller:
Before going on display in the Museum the following was done - Not in any order . .

- Installed new fuel petcock
- Rebuilt Carbs with all Honda OEM Parts
- Carbs all Digitally Sync to perfection
- Installed new brake pads front & rear
- Installed New OEM Air Filter
- New Spark plugs
- Valves adjusted
- Installed New rubber cushions in the rear drive hub
- Rebuilt Front forks - new seal - dust caps and used 15w fork oil

More from the seller:
Recently After Being Pulled From Museum Display This Last Month - The Following Was Done

- Flushed entire fuel system/carbs with fresh Non- Ethanol fuel and filled gas tank with the same
- New Battery & Battery Tender Hookup - which can also be used to run Electric gear
- New front and rear brake fluids flushed and replaced with Honda Pro DOT 4
- New Hydraulic clutch fluids flushed and replaced with Honda Pro DOT 4
- Replaced engine oil & filter
- Tires have 150+/- miles on them in 4 rides.

Everything checked fine on these rides and the bike is a blast to ride especially listening to the whine of the gear driven cams at the engine's 11,000 RPM redline.

PLEASE NOTE - It has been recently un-mothballed in a loving fashion by my master mechanic. The fuel system flushed with non-ethanol premium fuel. Installed a new battery along with a new battery tender hook-up. It started up in less then 10 seconds and runs great! There are no fuel leaks. It idles perfectly with the choke off. It Revs & Restarts fine. It is ready to go and needs nothing to go riding. And/or it's ready to go straight into another Museum.

The seller has also included a video of the bike in question, including a walkaround and some facts and figures:

The seller claims this to be a museum example, and indeed the pictures do show the bike parked in like company. But what does it mean to be a museum display? Cosmetically, I would imagine it needs to be in good shape. Mechanically everything should work, although for a static display that is not really necessary. In this case, the video includes a startup and showing full functionality. This seller has gone the extra mile to show off the bike, and seems to know quite a bit about this model.

At the end of the day this looks to be a solid example of a well loved model from the 1980s. So what's not to like? If I had to pick nits, I would point to the 33,000 miles as one - although the bike does not look like it traveled that far, nor is there a longevity concern. I would, however, expect the miles to be reflected in the price. For true collectors the non-stock F1 cans might be an issue, though I concede I do not have any experience sourcing original parts for this particular model (i.e. might not be an issue). There is minor rash on the top of the triple trees, and the tank protector is also not stock. All small stuff. The real tire kickers here should not necessarily be the collectors, but those who are looking for something from an earlier time that they can ride. R model VF1000s are not exactly blue chip investment material; not too rare, not too valuable, and unlikely to appreciate in the manner of a RC30. But it is a wonderful machine to ride, enjoy, and fawn over until the next caretaker picks up the mantle and unlikely to plummet in the coming years. This NO RESERVE auction is going on right now, and this bike remains a bargain at the time of writing. Check it out here. This is not the fastest, not the best handling, and certainly not the most rare bike on our pages - but it will not fail to put a smile on your face. Can you beat that? If you missed the budget RZ, don't miss out on this one. Good Luck!!

MI

Right Said Fred: 1986 Honda VF1000R
Ducati December 4, 2018 posted by Mike

Rouge One: 1999 Ducati MH900e pre-production

Given the futuristic Star Wars appearance of the bike - as well as the innovative internet-only sales model - I thought the reference to the movie franchise fitting. But what is more amazing is that this bike is purported to be Number One of the two thousand examples created (1k each as 2000 and 2001 model years). With zero miles, a nearly zero serial number and all of the usual fanfare that goes with this rebooted homage to Mike Hailwood, this particular example is rare, special and unique. It is also predictably expensive.

1999 Ducati MH900e pre-production model for sale on eBay

The MH900e is perhaps the most recognizable of the Pierre Terblanche designs. The "e" in the nomenclature stands for evoluzion (evolution in US-speak), referring of course to the Mike Hailwood replicas built on the 900cc bevel drive platform of the 1980s. Taking the spirit of the original but updating it to the new Supersport/Monster/Sport Classic desmodue foundation, the MH900e was part replica, part homage, and part new direction for Ducati. Power was via the standard 900cc, air-cooled, two valve workhorse of the Ducati lineup. Ditto with the gearbox. Major components aside, the bodywork, fuel tank, exhaust and asymmetrical trellis swing arm were pure MH900e. So, too, was the riding position with a long reach to the low bars. But comfort was not the design goal. Creating a sensation was the goal - and on this front Ducati hit one out of the park. Nearly 20 years later these are still coveted collector machines. And what could be more coveted than the very first one produced?

From the seller:
DUCATI MH900E original and authentic factory pre-production, first one ever produced.
everything original and authentic, no fake no repro. obtained directly from Ducati.
correct frame numbers and model, serial 000001....
perfectly working. many extra unique parts included.
unique opportunity.
serious inquires and offers are welcome
bike located in modena, italy. will properly crate for shipping.

This is not the first time we have seen this particular example. I reference you to Tad's excellent write up from over a year ago, in which the seller included a significant amount of additional information. Including:

More from the seller:
The bike was acquired from Ducati with a non-production plastic body, painted flat black like the rest of the bike, including frame and swingarm. the exhaust was also custom-made, clearly an assembly try-out, yet perfectly working.

We did a "conservative" restoration on the bike, taking it completely apart, making sure every original bit and piece was kept and restored to obtain this amazing piece. we also decide to maintain the black look that sported when we got it, just upgraded it a bit with proper carbon body and custom-made graphics (Ducati made them for us).

The market for authentic, low mileage (aren't they all??) MHe models is hot. One only needs to get lost in the details for a few hours to understand why. The swing arm alone is worthy of framing. The oil sump of the Pantah-based engine is recreated to resemble the round case units from the green frame bevel days. The under tail exhaust and intricate snaking of tubes looks impossibly large, yet balances out the aesthetics of the bike nicely. Chrome accents bring light and shine to the shape. Terblanche followed his muse on this one, and the siren song is without equal. If there are whisperings from the peanut gallery they usually form around the relatively low HP of the stock desmodue engine (approximately 75 HP). Comfort is often another low point, although buyers of such exotica rarely mistake such machinery with a Gold Wing. Availability of parts is another fair comment, but such is the price of rarity, and the reason for ever escalating values.

Last November this Italian resident was offered with a starting bid of $50k USD and a reserve in place. There were no takers. One year later this same, ultra rare example of Ducati history is back on the block, but this time in a Buy It Now format. The first $49,900 takes the bike (after arranging passage from Modena), although in this round the seller is open to offers. The question remains how much of a premium a zero mile, number one serial number bike can fetch. With MHe examples in the mid to high $20k range, how long would it take for a buyer to earn this back on the investment? Perhaps we are looking at it all wrong here, as this is clearly a collector and art museum filler. At that target, a fair price is not market value but what something is worth to the buyer. Only one owner can claim first status, and this beautiful 1999 Ducati MH900e prototype is your ticket to the holy grail of Hailwood. Overpriced, over hyped or future investment of the century? Be sure and share your thoughts in our Comments section (but keep it civil - no haters please). Good Luck!!

MI

Rouge One: 1999 Ducati MH900e pre-production
Yamaha November 30, 2018 posted by Mike

Buzz Buzz Buzz: 1984 Yamaha RZ 350

The last street-legal production two stroke sport bike officially imported into all 50 States of the US by a major manufacturer, the RZ350 holds a special place in the heart of motorcycle enthusiasts. It was Yamaha's valiant move to bravely keep the two stroke spirit alive and kicking in the face of tightening emission and noise regulations. It was both a brilliant success and an ultimate failure; a short lived lifespan that stirred hearts as technology passed it by. Enthusiasts who reside outside of the US may wonder at the American fascination with this bike - after all it had been in-market outside of the US for years and would certainly not be considered rare. But unlike grey market imports, this was one model that we could truly call our own. And with bold Yamaha bumble bee graphics and American superstar Kenny Roberts signing the fairing of every one, this one was ours. The RZ350, for all its shortcomings, is a legend.

1984 Yamaha RZ 350 for sale on eBay

If you look at the bloodline, you can see the DNA that evokes the Yamaha RD models that came before. But designed as a modern approach to the "less is more" philosophy, the RZ added liquid cooling to the familiar parallel twin. The two-stroke powerband was (partially) tamed by the introduction of computer controlled power valves, varying the exhaust port height depending upon RPM and throttle settings. Oil injection was standard, eliminating messy mix ratio cups and associated refueling hassles. And there was a secret weapon: hidden in the smart looking exhaust pipes were a complex set of catalytic converters, just like you would find on your car. With the cats (and some air injection), the RZ could sneak into all 50 States of the Union, including the super-picky EPA stronghold of California. Sure, the cans were heavy, they were expensive to replace (i.e. crash damage) and they did not perform nearly as well as expansion chambers and stingers, but they made the bike possible in the US. They were also easily replaced, which is what most everybody did. Immediately.

The RZ350 was intended to compete with the current crop of middleweights; likes of the Kawasaki GPz550, the Suzuki GS550, or even Yamaha's own Seca 550 and FJ600. In that space, the stock RZ was outgunned by the bigger four cylinder four strokes. But the little RZ had agility on its side, and once on the pipe could fare well. But it would never be a great all-'rounder, given the peaky nature of popcorn power. There were many aftermarket and tuner tricks to unleash the beast. Typical tricks of overbores, decking the head to increase compression, and porting were effective. The fact that the Banshee, a Yamaha ATV, utilized the same motor definitely helped with parts availability and knowledge base. But despite the potential, the little RZ was not to be long lived. After a scant two years (and only one in CA), the RZ was pulled from the dealer floors. The party was over, and the used party began. This is where we pick up the story on this bike.

From the seller:
Bought this bike in 2001. Have ridden this bike regularly for 17yrs. Always kept inside. Rebuilt engine because of mileage. I am over 60 yrs old AMI certified motorcycle mechanic for 41yrs. and ride like a grandpa and take care of my things the same way.

- Work Performance rear shock
- Engine Rebuilt 1500 miles ago
- .020 Pro-X pistons,windows cut to match intake
- TDR reeds
- stage 1 porting
- Toomey pipes
- stage 1 dyno jet kit w/2into 1 K&N air filter
- Wiseco Hot Rods crankshaft
- New clutch w/springs
- Full gasket and seal kit
- Race Tech front fork springs
- Chain and sprockets 1500 miles
- New seat cover and battery
- HID headlight
- Powder coated frame
- Bike Dynos out at 59.6 RWH on Dayton Dyno at my shop!
- Spec II Full race fairing
- Fuel tank has no rust, has small quarter size dent and touch up on right front side

Forty Thousand Miles. Let that sink in. Most RZs don't get to that point, having been thrashed, abused, modified, seized and crashed. This particular bike has an amazing number of miles, but looks great. It is clearly no museum collector given the mods, but from a period correct standpoint - hell, from a fun to ride standpoint - this one piqued my interest. The .20 overbore either means the engine had been refreshed once before, or perhaps it was necessary to go that deep due to scratches in the bore. Regardless, that means for bigger pistons and more power. The K&N filter and Toomey pipes are perfect add ons, as is the full Spec II fairing. This bike has been stripped and rebuilt, as evidenced by the powder coated frame. But that just means you are potentially getting a nearly new bike out of the deal.

If you can get past the mileage (40k!) and the non-standard mods, what you are looking at is a great rider. This is a bike that deserves action rather than parking in a museum - although I must admit it looks pretty good. And with a long term owner and a capable wrench (just an assumption, but how many owners out there have their own dyno??), this bike could well be good enough to fill the two-stroke void in your stable. The best part is the price: compared to 90% of what we see on RSBFS, this chainsaw is a veritable bargain. The opening ask started at a reasonable $3k, and bids are flying fast and furious. The Buy It Now price is a mere $4,500, meaning that this bike will likely sell before the auction is over. Check it out here, but better be quick about it. It might already be gone. Good Luck!!

MI

Buzz Buzz Buzz: 1984 Yamaha RZ 350
Ducati November 30, 2018 posted by Mike

Used Well: 1991 Ducati 851

The Ducati 851 is a long-standing icon in the sport bike world. Leading the charge to Ducati's dominant run of WSBK titles, the 851 was as successful on the showroom/street as it was on the track. Simultaneously introducing liquid cooling, fuel injection and four valve desmo heads, the 851 was both the leading edge of where Ducati had been, as well as the foundation for the future. And the sound? All the booming twin noises you expect, with a very unexpected-for-a-twin high redline. Good looks never hurt either, and the 851 exhibits the classic lines of the 1990s sportbike. You gotta hand it to the Italians - they know how to build a supermodel that checks all the right boxes.

1991 Ducati 851 for sale on eBay

The development of "rubber band" Pantah motor was an evolutionary design in the 2-valve, air-cooled Ducati twin. The 851 motor took the Pantah guts and revolutionized the rest. Four valve heads were actually part of Massimo Bordi's thesis at University; this project allowed him to make them a production reality with the assistance of famed engineering firm Cosworth. Liquid cooling was a no-brainer; better control of heat allowed for closer tolerances and ultimately more (and more reliable power). Fuel injection - a first for Ducati - heralded the future of electronics in motorcycles and in racing. This feature also allowed for tuning and tweaking, necessary to extract the maximum performance from the engine/exhaust combinations tested. Utilizing known techniques, the chassis was a birdcage affair of straight steel tubing. Original plans called for a 16" front wheel (1987 and 1988 model years), which was all the rage for GP machines at the time. However stability issues cropped up, and the now standard 17 incher was fitted. Later 851s received Ohlins upgrades from the original design Marzocchi units, and Brembos adorned the hubs front and rear.

From the seller:
Up for sale is my 1991 Ducati 851. It's original, it's complete, it's immaculate, well taken care of, always garaged and under cover.
All original with tons of work in last 7 years.

Work in 2011 at 15k miles. Motor refresh, new rings, hone, bearings checked, valves adjusted, belts, everything gone through. Upgraded clutch slave New SS brake lines front/rear New clutch with basket open cover New coolant hoses Rebuild rear Ohlins shock Fast by Ferracci stage 1 chip and high carbon pipes.

Work done in 2018 at 16k miles. New front upgraded 916 Brembo rotors/OE pads, Diablo Rossi III tires, OEM battery. The bike is wearing original seat, original pipes and rear pegs now.
You won't find a cleaner original condition collectible worthy 851.

When introduced, the 851 was considered a bit of a high-strung, maintenance-intensive and potentially fragile offering - providing performance at the cost of reliability and/or longevity. History has clearly shown this not to be true, however. Yes, there are some unique service aspects to owning a Pantah-based Ducati, including frequent belt changes and valve adjustment intervals (when compared to your average sewing machine). However these are not the Fiat-related, oil leaking, rust buckets than many feared. These are actually quite robust and reliable steeds that continue to churn out the sound and performance expected, and readers should not hesitate to consider a higher mileage bike. We have, in fact, seen specimens with double the mileage listed here (16,000); provided belts have been changed and services rendered, this motor is well neigh bulletproof.

Today's particular example appears to have been used well, as opposed to well used. It is a '91 851 Strada (biposto). Yes, it has had some miles under the keel. But it has also had a decent amount of service, no doubt at the behest of an owner who keeps his machines healthy and in order. As part of the maintenance there have also been some upgrades. Like the factory, this owner has replaced components with newer available items, both maintaining and enhancing performance of the bike. Being a '91 model, it wears the white frame and white wheels - a striking combination ('92 and onwards went to black hoops). Is it really the cleanest original condition 851 we have seen? I would chalk that up to a bit of poetic license as this bike is not strictly original from a purist standpoint. But it is very, very clean - and continues to evoke visceral, emotional responses you might not find in a more modern bike. Whether or not it is worth the premium asking price is another matter (seller is open to offers). Check out all of the details here, and then jump back to the Comments section and lets chat 851s and higher mileage Ducs. Good Luck!!

MI

Used Well: 1991 Ducati 851
Suzuki November 29, 2018 posted by Mike

On Target: 1983 Suzuki Katana GS1100SX

It came from the 80s. And while that is an accurate tag line, the truth is it sort of oozed its way boldly out of the 1970s. Like the last of the front-engine Formula 1 racers, the Katana was visually stunning and stood at the pinnacle of old-school performance. Unfortunately, that pinnacle was really a precipice; the new world of liquid cooling, single shock swing arms, GP-inspired 16-inch front wheels, five valves per cylinder and aluminum perimeter chassis was just around the corner. By 1984 the Kawasaki Ninja made the Katana a hot-rod relic, and the remainder of the Big Four were close behind. Suzuki gamely fought back with the likes of the Gen I GSX-R, but the era of air-cooling was headed the way of the dinosaur. Yet for a brief period of time the Suzuki Katana was top dog - and remains an iconic model even today.

1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for sale on eBay

The seller has provided an accurate account of how the design of the Katana came to be, but fails to note the pedigree of Muth (long time BMW designer responsible for the R90S, R100S, R100RS and R65LS to name a few), and the extent to which the Katana design language extended throughout the Suzuki model range. The Katana was the most visually extreme, but the XN85 Turbo and full range of GS models all retained key elements and lines of the Katana. But the Katana wasn't just another pretty face. Stuffed full of a DOHC, 1100cc in-line monster of a motor, the Katana was claimed to be the fastest mass-production motorcycle of the day with 80+ HP (!). Beneath the styling, the rest of the bike was surprisingly pedestrian; a stock GS1000 chassis complete with twin shocks. Wheels are 19 inchers, likely chosen as much for style as performance. Ancillary components hang off the end of the crank, making this bike impossibly wide. While some technology peeked its way into the build (4-valve heads, anti-dive fork), the Katana was really a tarted up, big motor bike. Which is why we love it.

From the seller:
You are looking at a great condition 1983 Suzuki GS1100S Katana, one of the iconic bikes of the early 1980s.

The 1100cc model of 1983 replaced the 1982 1000cc model which was supposed to be part of a homologation program to make them eligible for Superbike racing.

The Katana project actually began in Germany with a company called Target Design in 1979 with Target Design to improve Suzuki’s GS1100. Ex-BMW designers Hans-Georg Kasten and Hans Muth partnered with Brit Jan Fellstrom to overhaul the Suzuki lineup. The Katana, named for the famous Japanese sword, first appeared at the Intermot show in Cologne in May 1980, and production examples appeared a year later with only a few changes from the show bike.

More from the seller:
This particular bike is part of a collection which is being sized down. It has been parked for quite a while and is NOT READY TO RIDE

It will require some attention to make it roadworthy if it is supposed to be ridden.

Please note that the title will show an odometer discrepancy according to the BMW regulations in Ohio. The mileage shown on the speedometer on the bike is 75, but the actual mileage is approx. 6060. The original speedometer showing 5984 miles will be included.

Complete and original (or period correct) Katanas are getting stronger on the money side. While time has tamed their brutal status as a monster - performance slower than that of a middleweight today - keep in mind that the chassis and suspension is pretty much 40 year old technology. While never a canyon carver in its day, Katanas today are best utilized for more genteel rides and for the show. Today's bike is more on the show side of the fence, having traveled only 6,000 miles in its life and being the resident of a private collection. The seller notes that due to the time it has sat it will need to be serviced. That likely means carbs and tires, and any other pieces that have gone brittle with age.

This bike is currently at $4,500 with several days to go - and what appears to be NO Reserve. The current price is a bargain for a vintage Katana, although with over 100 watchers it will surely climb before auction end. We don't see a lot of these, but looking at past pricing puts an average somewhere in the $8k arena. This bike appears cleaner than most, which may help elevate its value. Check it out here, and then jump back to the comments to share your thoughts. Is this a Love It or Hate It bike for you? Good luck!!

MI

On Target: 1983 Suzuki Katana GS1100SX
Honda November 28, 2018 posted by Mike

Royal Crown: 2004 Honda RC51

In the soda wars of the 1980s, Coca-Cola was the big dog. But others were keen to move in on the success of Coke, including Pepsi and RC Cola. Each had a slightly different take on the same theme, and competed for the same set of customers. Fast forward to the late 1990s and you could see the same situation developing in World Superbike racing. Ducati had the dominant platform with their legendary 916 (and 851 before that), winning 8 championships and effectively shutting out the other manufacturers. Given the rules and concessions afforded to twins in WSBK (displacement and weight, for example), other factories jumped on the copycat bandwagon. Honda in particular put their four cylinder screamers aside for a roaring v-twin designed to take the fight to Bologna. The bike that was developed became the very successful RC51. Winning the 2000 WSBK title the first year out with Colin Edwards, the RC51 also found success Stateside in the AMA under the guidance of one Nicky Hayden.

2004 Honda RC51 for sale on eBay

Officially known as the RVT1000R in the US, the RC51 was the spiritual successor to the RC30 and RC45; it was built to go racing and win races. And while four cylinder WSBK machines were limited to 750cc, twins were allowed up to 999cc - providing more torque and HP over a lower RPM limit. Designing a new 90 degree twin displacing 999cc, the RC51 featured four valves per cylinder, gear-driven cams and a unique twin injector per cylinder for better fueling across the rev range. And speaking of revs, the RC51 was somewhat limited on the RPM front to the 10k range in favor of longevity due to the large bore / short stroke arrangement. The chassis was pure Honda - aluminum twin beam - with striking side-mounted radiators. While this made for a wider arrangement than the 916, the side-mounted rads were effective and aerodynamic.

From the seller:
Solo seat, Santo pipes, Penske shocks, GPR steering stabilizer, Power Commander.

Very clean, runs great, sounds great, excellent condition. Title in hand. Ready to go.

An overall competitive package, the RC51 was met with great rider enthusiasm; this was partly due to the price. While uber-limited RC30 and RC45s sold new for $25k+, the "lowly" RC51 was a veritable bargain with MSRP one buck below ten grand. There was even a Nicky Hayden edition sold, consisting of cosmetic changes such as brushed aluminum frame and swingarm, number plates and stickers. There were two generations of this model, the SP1 offered from 2000 to 2001, and all others are considered SP2 editions with minor suspension and fueling updates and some geometry changes. By 2006 the twin-cylinder party was over for Honda - as was factory WSBK racing for the time being. When they reemerged from their WSBK absence the new platform was back to the old in-line four ways of the FireBlade. Thus the RC51 is not exactly homologation rare, but relatively low numbers were produced over a short period of time.

Like the cola wars that preceded it, there were many interpretations of the same flavor. The RC51 remains a unique example of Honda taking the fight to Ducati on their turf and for a brief moment, winning the war. The resulting bike was massively capable, with Honda's penchant for reliability and build quality. While a bit porky from some angles, the RC51 is a mean racing machine, and remains a desirable mount for practically any type of riding. This particular example shows few miles (less than 6k), and has some nice add-ons such as tasty Sato exhaust, suspension upgrades and a Power Commander to aid in fueling/tuning. More importantly, it has all the elements of a Nicky Hayden Edition, although not noted by the seller. With an opening ask of $6,000 this bike is starting out in the fair money range, if not the upper side of that neighborhood. No takers thus far, but there is still a long way to go. Check it out here if you are looking to pick up an under-appreciated superbike with real racetrack creds. It may not be the most coveted of the RC set, but this one still looks, sounds and goes like an RC should. Good Luck!!

MI

Royal Crown:  2004 Honda RC51