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Out of the Winter Darkness: 1989 Honda RC30 in Canada

Warning!

This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.

Before heading out for the holiday weekend, here is a bit of unobtanium: a 1989 Honda RC30 located in Canada.   Perhaps if you are heading towards Ontario for the holiday anyway, a short detour is in order?

rc302

1989 Honda RC30 for sale on eBay in Canada

The RC30 is a bike that every serious collector wants to own at one point, and for good reason – it was about as true a homologation bike as was ever produced.  The RC30, also known as the VFR750R, came with what was at the time unheard of specs for a street bike; titanium and magnesium cast components, track-type “slipper” clutch, a first gear designed for track starts up to 80 mph, a single-sided swingarm, etc.

The story of how the RC30 originated usually goes something like Soichiro Honda declaring he wanted to show the world what Honda could do if decided to put all its efforts towards producing a no-holds-barred sports bike and that the mandate was that there would be no compromise, no corners cut, and no bowing to the bean counters.  In short, the mandate was that the bike was to be the best and the result was the RC30, a bike built to win…and win it most certainly did.   The RC30 carried “Flying” Fred Merkel to consecutive WSB titles in 1988 and 1989, and powered Steve Hislop around the famous Isle of Man TT course at a then unheard of/first 120-mph lap.  How dominate was the RC30?  Think of it this way – in 1990 fifteen of the 25 finishers in the top F1 class were on the VFR750R/RC30.

A good review of the RC30 by visordown.com can be read here.

rc306

Given its been over 25 years since this bike was introduced, the RC30 ought to look and sound dated, but its elegant lines and tiny size (more like a big 250cc 2-stroke than a full 750cc 4-stroke) produce a stunning reaction even today.  Perhaps what keeps the RC30 an object of lust is the way it puts everything together; incredible feel from the suspension, outstanding build quality, a stupendously wide and usable powerband and the lightest weight in its class allowed the the 750cc powered machine to pretty much make the competition look stupid.  The only downside was that that all this top shelf performance didn’t come cheap. The RC30 was priced at an eye popping $21,000 in 1990 (about $39,000 USD in today’s dollars).

To put it simply, the word masterpiece can be commonplace when describing a rare sportbike, but in the case of the RC30 it was and still is truly justified.

rc301

This particular RC30 looks to be in good condition but I really wish the seller hadn’t taken the pictures at night, had used a higher quality camera, and somehow changed the flash results.  Overall the bike looks to be OEM with the possible exception of a cut rear fender?  Also the tires look a bit off, perhaps the rear wheel is non stock?

Note:  The RC30 had different trim based on the destination country and while this particular model appears to be the dual headlight US version, it might actually be a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market (supposedly there was about 25 of these).  Unfortunately, the seller is not providing ownership history info and there is a somewhat ominous “rebuilt due to age” reference which could mean anything from a fluid change to a former track bike.

Here is what the seller has to say

  • Only 11000 km
  • All Original
  • Has been professionally rebuilt due to age to perfect spec
  • Bike rides perfect and needs nothing
  • Also has the race pkg includes race cams gives more power

rc304

Current bid price on this is only about $14,000 USD but that given that we have seen recent posts range from $22,000 to over $28,000 USD, I expect price on this one to jump.  To be honest I not sure if this is a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market or if this is a US bike (only 300 of these were reported as coming into the USA) but regardless, this one will probably hold its value over time.

Here at RSBFS we have some regular readers who will be able to offer better insight on the current fair price for this RC30, so if its time for you to add one to your collection, I suggest you check out the the comments on this post or the previous RSBFS posts linked above.  But anyone who is seriously interested will want to be quick as eBay auctions of these bikes often end early.   I would also be curious to hear from anyone who has imported a bike from Canada to the USA, suggestions for shipping companies…no reason…nothing to see here…move along now…

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

17 Comments

  • I heart RC30.

    That is all 🙂

    • I concur, 100%.

  • As these bikes pop op I’m always surprised at how different sellers market their respective bikes. There are many folks active on this site with a great deal of knowledge about these bees, so I won’t go into nit picking this one. Though it would seem like adding the “race package” with HRC cams but leaving the stock silencer somewhat defeats the goal of adding more power.

    More importantly as Marty notes, the quality (or lack thereof) of photos and write up speaks volumes when you’re trying to sell a bike you hope brings north of $20K. As to it’s origin and history, a VIN number would begin to tell the story. So I sent the seller a note asking for the VIN and if there was any documentation of proof of HRC ownership. His response to both was “whoever wins the auction will get that info.” Not exactly the openness I’d hope for if I were in the market.

    My 2 cents.

    • JR – Good day and I love the RC30! Are you planning on syncing with owner and viewing the bike since it is in your neck of the woods?
      Cheers!
      Will

  • Everyone loves the RC30. Everybody.
    No one loves minimal, dark, grainy pictures without much history. No one

  • What’s not to heart about an RC 30… Except for the muddy pic’s.

  • Don’t think it is US bike as those typically read RC30 on tail section.

    • The wing graphic on the tank is red, not yellow, on US model bikes as well.

  • That bike is only 2 hours from me. Tempted to go have a look. Maybe after the auction ends because it doesn’t make reserve due to poor pics and poor information.

    Over 25 years old, so importing to the US is possible and it’s fairly simple to do.

  • That bike is 30 minutes from me. I’m guessing he needs Christmas money hence the lack of selling. I believe that bike has been sold a few times in the Toronto area. I have seen it on Kijiji a few times in the last 6 years

  • In his title he said Honda owned it so that might make him the second owner For 20 bucks and a VIN number that can be found out

    • Dave, see joex-ray’s comments above. The seller doesn’t want to release the VIN or “Honda HRC owned” details. Only the auction winner gets that info, unfortunately.

    • It appears the rear turn signals are at different angles and the front fender ls possibly crooked.

  • So poorly presented that I wouldn’t even waste my time trying to draw out the actual condition and history from the uncommunicative seller. I’ve seen $10 brochures described and better photographed. The mention of HRC race cams only confuses the listing even more- there was a whole little HRC catalog of RC30 HRC parts, and nobody would just put them in for the street without many of the other parts as part of a thought out package for racing. Stock RC30 exhausts have one of the pipes near the silencer crimped literally in half for chain clearance. You have the engine rebuilt with HRC cams (and what else- do we only get to know after buying it?), and you use the joke of a stock exhaust? Makes no sense.

    Oh, and the original 1990 USA list price was not $21,000 as stated- it was $14,995, easily verified, which means they’ve just about doubled in value over 26 years. Not so outrageous compared to other collectible vehicles, is it? Rubber and bushings in that era Honda turn signals softened and allowed them to droop down, but that’s the least of the concerns here. A smart RC30 buyer will be patient and wait for another example.

  • I hope that bidders noticed this bike was painted, at least seat-tail.
    Also owner had stated: “it has been professionally rebuilt due to age”
    But even my bike from 70´ does not need to be repainted if somebody took care about it.
    Who wants to pay 25K for not profesionály repainted bike ????

  • Auction ended with bidding up to $25,100 and reserve not met. Strong money for a listing that Sixth Gear points out isn’t as good as some $10 brochures. eBay/online has created an interesting advantage for sellers when people are willing to bid over $25K for a bike so poorly shown and not adequately disclosed (i.e. no VIN). Lots of other little details that better photos would likely have shown more clearly, like the tail section missing all 6 retaining screw bolts and the finish on the turn signals looking more matte/dull/scratched than the stock high gloss black. Hopefully the no sale provokes a more detailed relisting.

  • Apparently reserve was $50k! eBay has recently been showing reserve values if you’re ‘watching’ the auction and have email alerts before the auction closes. Not sure if it’s a glitch or a feature…

    dc

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