Warning!This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.
Update 10.20.2020: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc
The incredible Honda RVT1000R – perhaps better known by its more popular moniker, the RC51 – was a motorcycle built out of need. The need was not in the showroom, but on the racetrack. WSBK rules changed in 1998, allowing twins to have a capacity advantage over the currently dominant 750cc fours. This opened the door for a decade of Ducati dominance; their v-twins were allowed to be 999cc, giving them a distinct advantage. Deciding that they could play the game just as well, Honda threw their engineering might at the problem and the RC51 was born. A winner on the racetrack, the RC51 remains a significant platform that bred a tamed racer for the street.
Featured Listing: 2000 Honda RC51
Exploiting the rules to the maximum helped to finalize the design: a 999cc 90 degree v-twin was the order of the day. Honda included DOCH heads with four valves per cylinder and fed by computerized fuel injection. Power was a stout 133 for the street bike. This was then dropped into an all new twin spar aluminum alloy frame, complete with a heavily braced swingarm; rigidity was the order of the day. The high mounted pipes provided better ground clearance. The swoopy, aerodynamic bodywork enabled the use of side-mounted radiators – a nifty trick to encourage and use the airflow around the bike as efficiently as possible. On paper, on the racetrack, and in the showroom the RC51 was a winner.
From the seller:
2000 Honda RC51 RVT 1000 SP1
-Sato Racing rear sets
-Goodridge stainless steel braided brake lines
-Ohlins rear shock with remote adjustment
-Morse clip ons
-ASV adjustable levers brake and clutch
-Scotts steering dampner
-New Dunlop Sportmax tires
-New DID chain
Service/ maintenence work done by T-mac cycles in North Carolina
Mufflers are original stock Honda, as well as the Ecu. There is a scuff on the upper fairing (left side)scratch on rear. This motorcycle funs flawlessly and pulls hard.
Asking price: $5,000
Contact Mike for more details
Given that this bike was designed to go racing, Honda must have been pleased with the outcome: the RC51 won the World Superbike championship in both 2000 and 2002 piloted by Colin Edwards, and the 2002 AMA Championship with the Kentucky Kid, Nicky Hayden. Eventually WSBK rules changed to even out the displacement regardless of number of cylinders, and Honda replaced the RC51 with a Fireblade-based effort, although they also scaled back factory involvement in the intervening years. All told, this is the bike that out-Ducati-ed the factory Ducati racers, and even today it represents a a unique take on the v-twin sport bike scene.
Today’s Featured Listing is a 2000 model RC51 (i.e. RVT1000R SP1). It has seen a fair number of miles (gotta love that legendary Honda reliability), and is sporting some tasty upgrades. The Sata rear sets offer superior adjustability, as does the gold-standard Ohlins rear shock. The cockpit has been upgraded as well, with beautiful Morse clip ons, an added steering dampener, and adjustable levers. This bike has been used, and the seller points out that the fairing does have some scratches. But if anything, that should encourage a new prospective owner that this is a rider – a willing partner for the canyon tango – without fear of riding that zero mile garage queen. And did I mention it is cheap? We rarely see a bike this clean offered up at this price, which is all the better considering the weeks of great riding weather still ahead of us this year. Good Luck!!