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Honda posted by

Featured Listing – 2000 Honda RVT1000R / RC51

Update 8.10.2022: SOLD! -dc

Dissatisfied with the 1990’s WSBK rulebook, Honda channeled their inner Borgo Panigale and surprised Ducati on their own V-twin turf. RSBFS reader Joe started with an excellent RC51 in storage, and went over it with an eye on the long haul.

2000 Honda RVT1000R / RC51 asking $13,500

More oriented toward the track than the previous Firestorm, the RC51 was built to homologate the design for racing, with the quite oversquare 996cc tuned for 136 hp and 77 ft.-lbs. of torque.  The alloy twin-beam chassis used the engine as a load-carrying stiffener, and the side-venting rads kept frontal area low.  A scoop between the headlights delivered fresh air to the engine, and individual exhausts sent used air aft.  Components on the homologation special included the 320mm Nissin brakes and wide six spoke alloy wheels.

Beside returning his RC51 from the back of the garage, Joe improved every significant corner of this very clean example.  Just a few highlights are the race tuned Öhlins front and rear, full Moriwaki exhaust with Power Commander, and Sato rearsets.  Here’s how Joe described the build –

Previous owner let it collect dust for 12-ish years. Bike was in stock form with Erion slip-ons (that come with sale). Parts list included in pics. I spent three months refurbishing and building to what it is now with an open check book. About $8,500 in receipts. All paperwork from new, roughly 500 miles on completed bike. It’s too nice and too rare to abuse or damage. Ready for the track or a museum, no excuses. I hope somebody will appreciate the history and opportunity as much as I did to preserve this machine. I got lucky sourcing the full Moriwaki system that never came in country. 4K in Öhlins setup, I typo-ed the gearing in the pics, it’s 15/41 geared and a calibrated speedo healer so the dash is accurate. ALL stock parts plus additional ’04 Hayden bodywork come with the sale along with front and rear stands, original hang tag from the showroom floor, etc.  The history and story of the bike are better told in person or over the phone – cannot be duplicated.

Joe asks $13,500 for his RC51.

Racers and Honda fans liked the narrow light feel of the new RC, and the gear-driven cams on a liter twin had a sound completely different than anything at the time.  It had instant success on the race track as well, taking the Superbike crown in 2000 and then again in 2002.  By then FIM was thinking to increase displacements, and Honda returned to the inline four that had built so much of their showroom success.  Joe’s SP1 marks an interesting chapter in Honda history, with a lot of well-chosen upgrades.




  • Wonder if any prospective buyers would be interested in the total mileage?

  • It’s currently at 14,6XX, thanks for adding that!

  • Joe……..Is the SP2 significantly better than the SP1……….I am currently looking for an RC51 and want to make sure I get the best bang for my buck,,,,,thanks

  • Gary, I cannot give an honest answer…In my opinion I believe it’s truly a matter of preference. I’ve been told the SP1’s make slightly more power while the SP2’s offer a little less weight…aluminum swingarm and slightly better brakes. Really splitting hairs on that one. I do know that there was only 2 years of the SP1, while 4 years of SP2’s…so this one’s on the rare side. FWIW, Kevin Hunt, owner of KWS motorsports who calibrated the PCV, lifelong family friend and seasoned in superbike for over 20 years, voiced to me that he preferred the SP1 and this bike specifically.

  • What Joe said, I have no personal experience but several friends have and apparently the SP2 was somewhat better turning due to the revised swingarm, but unless you’re really pushing it, you’re probably not going to notice.

  • Gary, to answer your question HONESTLY because I’m not trying to sell my bike.
    The Sp2 is full of upgrades that were requested by those who raced Sp1’s. The Frame and wheels were lightened, the steering geometry was changed to a slightly less aggressive angle in the head tube. The swingarm was lengthened a tiny bit and still shed some weight.
    The fueling system was upgraded from 4 hole injectors to 12 hole injectors, and the throttle bodies were enlarged by a few millimeters for better air flow that created MORE HP not less. A second radiator fan was also added to help with cooling. Sp2 front calipers were also upgraded with slightly bigger pistons. Hope that answers your original question.
    That being said, the suspension upgrades THIS bike has received are top tier. And money well spent in my opinion. The forks with their custom modified 30mm NIX cartridge kit are done by Kyle Racing. They are an Ohlins dealer.
    From personal experience with that same set up, I can say it takes riding to a whole new level. The wheels feel glued to the ground when attacking aggressive corners.
    The exhaust is quite rare and does have a beautiful sound. Coming with Extra bodywork and the factory under tail all of which have been discontinued by honda are definitely plusses. The Erion slip ons are also highly desirable as well.
    Anyone buying this bike can easily buy down their purchase price by selling off the Hayden bodywork and Erions. I strongly suggest holding onto that OEM undertail though. Because it being uncut is more rare than the bike itself.

  • Michael, thanks for your addition…I want to be completely transparent here. The factory undertail is cut and modified to accommodate the conversion. I’m very pleased and proud of the mod. The build was a night/weekend project for me, juggling a business and three children, going to the garage after hours was my escape for 3 months. The undertail conversion is supposed to loose the factory tray all the way up to the battery box. I spent 3 of those nights meticulously modifying the tray to relocate the pcm under the storage shelf, retaining the factory tool pouch and finding a happy home for the rear preload adjuster. All of the research I could find across the interweb I haven’t seen it duplicated. I def agree with your statement regarding the ohlins conversion. I’ve had the opportunity to own/ride some pretty radical bikes in 36 years of life. This RC in particular is by far the most “glued” bike to the pavement I’ve ever operated. In the pics I stated the Dan Kyle rear link was still on order….it finally arrived after a 6 month wait. It’s been sitting on my toolbox for 2 weeks awaiting to be installed. I can’t possibly see how the bike improves from where it’s at, but by Dan’s words, it’s a game changer as well. The spare bodywork is new in the box, but to be clear…it’s not OEM. It’s reproduction and looks quite good. I ordered and waited 4 months for the repops when the build was underway and it was just a “want”, not a need. I feel like there’s an added value with the bike in stock plastics in this condition after 22 years. There’s a lot more to the story, probably better told by phone or in person. Thanks,

  • **Sale Pending…..

    • Awesome, keep us posted! -dc

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