Update 8.27.2020: SOLD IN JUST 3 DAYS to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc
This 2002 Honda RC51 SP2 is a U.S.-market bike that was dressed up from new with European-market bodywork that sets it well apart from the red-black-silver and all-black bikes that were standard here. It also means the bike wears the non-U.S. “VTR” moniker, instead of the “RVT” decals we got on these shores. Confusingly, that means this bike — very much an RC51 SP2 — carries the same three-letter name as the U.S.-market Superhawk. Confusing, till you get below the skin.
No matter what the lovely white fairing says, this bike carries the same 133 horsepower, 996cc v-twin that made these bikes famous, coupled with the SP2’s revised wheels and lighter chassis. The big, torquey twin shuttled Colin Edwards to a pair of World Superbike championships and Nicky Hayden to an AMA Superbike crown, cementing the bike in amateur knee draggers’ dreams for a generation. Nice ones are starting to command the kind of money that only true cult classics can ask, and this one carries the bonus of being one of a precious few bearing a factory-sourced foreign livery. This is not eBay bodywork of dubious origin and odd proportions — it’s the real stuff, straight from the source.
Around and underneath that bodywork is a raft of special parts. There is Ohlins suspension front and rear to keep movements calm and collected, and a titanium Jardine exhaust, to drop a few pounds, add a couple horses and make the proceedings a bit more sonorous.
From the eBay listing:
Absolutely beautiful 2002 RC51 (SP-2) in Factory OEM Colin Edwards livery. Paint is stunning, and so many great options on this bike. Lusted-for Ohlins FG322 front suspension, Ohlins rear suspension, Jardine titanium 2 into 1 exhaust (sounds awesome and light weight), carbon fiber front wheel, Scott’s damper.
Honestly I hate to sell this bike, I truly love owning it. Every time I start it it makes me happy to own it…but too many things going on in life to keep it right now. This bike is not a beater, it is one for someone who loves this bike. So beautiful so fun to ride, so well taken care of. All seals appear to be excellent, not a single leak, new battery, starts immediately every time. Never overheats, just runs perfectly. This bike looks as showroom new as a bike could given it’s 18 years on earth. Obviously no test rides until total price in-hand. This bike is lovingly cared for and has always been.
If you are on the hunt for an RC51, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that sets itself apart so nicely without giving up any originality. This bike achieves that feat deftly.