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...