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Box of Mystery: New-In-Crate 2000 Honda RC51 for Sale

I'll keep this one short and sweet, since we already featured an RC51 this week. But if you've always dreamed of adding a big, cardboard box marked "HONDA" that supposedly contains a VTR1000, today is your lucky day, because what we have here is an absolutely pristine, if somewhat vitamin D-deficient example of Honda's v-twin superbike. The RC51 was their Ducati-fighter, the 90° v-twin they built to contest the World Superbike Championship and take advantage of the rules they felt the Italian firm had been exploiting to gain an unfair advantage over Honda's beloved V4s.

Right out of the gate, the WSBK machine was a contender and won the championship in 2000, the very first year it competed, and then again in 2002. Point proved, Honda basically retired the bike, withdrawing official support in 2003, although the roadbike soldiered on until 2006. The first generation SP1 bikes had some handling issues, but the SP2 rectified them and the RC51 is by far the most affordable of Honda's SBK homologation efforts. It's no RC45 but it still features HRC-branded magnesium components, gear-driven cams, and trick side-mount radiators.

The Buy It Now price listed is $25,000 and I really have no idea if it's actually worth that. Clean examples regularly trade for as little as $6,000 and the RC51 is a very practical sportbike that begs to be ridden. It's a terrific roadbike and just a few changes can turn it into a pretty good track machine as well. That's no surprise: on one hand, it's a Honda. And on the other, the bones were used to build World Superbike-winning racebikes.

From the original eBay listing: New-In-Crate 2000 Honda RC51 for Sale

First year of this incredible machine. Brand new still in the crate! One chance at this opportunity. Selling for my father. Buyer pays for shipping. Thanks for looking. DM for any additional questions or photos.

Well, that really isn't much information, and there are only three photos, but I guess that seems appropriate, given the circumstances. I mean, what does one really do in these types of situations? Get one of those flexible, fiberoptic cameras like the FBI uses, or at least uses on TV, prior to breaching a room full of well-armed drug dealers with ties to hate groups and prominent local officials? A giant x-ray machine? No matter: I'm sure we all know what the RC51 looks like, and this very well may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy a perfect, pristine example of this bike like a fly trapped in amber...



  • I don’t think an RC51 is rare or special enough to attract collectors at the $25k level. Bikes in a crate aren’t even fun to display, so this will take a unique buyer to pull the trigger.

    • Yeah, agree completely. Zero-mile bikes don’t appeal to me personally, but I can imagine why collectors want them: I’ve talked to enough people who just plan to display their rare bikes. But what do you DO with a big, brown cardboard box? It’s not even a NICE-looking box…

  • It’s kind of funny. I don’t even think it’s a good looking cardboard box, even for a cardboard box! The guy had it like this for 18 years? Maybe he has so much that he didn’t realize that he had it, in which case, it’s also super amusing, too.

  • At auction a gentleman bought an RZ500 still in the box. Spent I think up to 6 figures for it. Got it home and removed the box and there was not much of the bike left because it completely rusted away. Get your spy camera.

  • J.B.21 I was sort of thinking the same thing, especially down in a place like Florida, I don’t know how it was packed, if its coated with anything. Wonder why they wouldn’t open the top and take some pictures or stick a camera through any little holes in the box.

  • These individuals making such intelligent comments are the same popping open their Busch Lattes enjoying their double wides. I bet they are real good at arm chair quarterbacking too now that football season is upon us.

    • Fair warning: your comment contributes NOTHING to the discussion, so I’m just going to delete stuff like this from now on. Even your new screen name is needlessly antagonistic. Quite a few commenters on here are way more than “armchair quarterbacks” but that’s beside the point. Be a constructive part of the discussion or don’t comment.

  • I can’t imagine anything left sitting in a box in Florida for 18 years is not going to have some significant corrosion. Seems an odd way to sell. I am considering making an offer but will require the box be removed so that the bike can be inspected.

  • First thing I would do is ride it. Whats the point in keeping it in a crate? Collectors are nutty.

  • Well Tad remove me then. But what is needlessly antagonistic is degrading a machine without knowing anything about it, which is being done many times on this forum.

    • You didn’t “degrade” the bike [or crate] being sold, which is the issue here, or offer counterpoints, you throw random insults at the other posters. “Busch lattes and double-wides”? You know the posters on here personally? We’re here to discuss bikes, not the commenters’ income levels or taste in beer. And honestly, attacking them like that doesn’t make them wrong: some guy who drinks cheap beer and lives in a mobile home can have very informed opinions. Whether or not I can afford a $25,000 bike is irrelevant, it’s CRAZY money for an otherwise unremarkable bike. You disagree? Cool, tell me why I’m wrong. You know, cite examples: “Well Tad, you know a similar bike sold at Mecum last year for over $30,000 so that’s pretty fair.” Far be it from me to tell anyone how to spend their money, but that’s not really a reasonable price. And the other commenters are being really civil, all things considered. We will see if it sells.

  • I think the posts advising caution are valid. Not many people would pay $25,000 for a box with an unknown surprise inside. What we know is what the seller tells us and what is written on the box and a photo of the VIN label. Looking at the photo of the box it does appear that the top has been opened and there are numerous holes. Why has the seller not included more photos showing more of the bike? Less drama and more facts would be nice.

  • I wouldn’t ever care to have a bike still in the crate, I’d rather have a rider. But the guys over at iconic have that Zx7r still in the crate on display and it’s pretty cool to look at.

  • Its difficult to put a price on it when it might be the only 0 mile example. The price seems arbitrary but you cannot blame the seller. It should probably belong in a museum but unfortunately motorcycle museums dont have deep pockets. While the bike does have some significant history as Tad has written it most likely isnt enough to justify the price. Will be interesting to see whar happens.

  • I personally own a dealership / museum. I say ask whatever you like as you just may find that person that has to have it. Many say I overpaid for my zero mile Zx7R but to me it’s a bike that brings back amazing memories and the difference of a few thousand dollars is irrelevant when you have to have something. However, I absolutely love the smiles and excitement my collection brings by being open to the public so a bike in a box just never makes sense to me. To each their own but what’s the plan? You pay 25k for a bike in a box and leave it in there for another 15 years hoping it goes up? Don’t even get to look at it or sit on it while having a beer watching MotoGP? Yeah…I don’t get it but I’m just a bike guy that loves to ride…just never enough time.

  • I ordered my 2000 RC51 right after Honda announced their 2000 model line up. Rumor at the time was only 2 bikes per dealerships in the US, with only 1 or 2 year production run. Kinda like the RC45 had a limited production run. Some dealers were charging a premium above msrp, adding to the speculation. Never happened..,


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