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Small miles, big pistons: 2001 Honda RC-51

Somehow, whoever owned this 2001 Honda RC51 managed to keep it mostly off the road in its 18 years, showing remarkable restraint in the face of a bike that built a legend for itself under the likes of Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden and Joey Dunlop. Fast, reliable and uncompromising, the RC-51 took the fight to Ducati in the early aughts in a variety of superbike classes and at the Isle of Man.

2001 Honda RC51 for sale on eBay

This is the SP-1 version of the RC51, meaning it has slightly shallower rake and trail, and is a few pounds heavier and a few horses less powerful than the later SP-2 version. It is by no means a slouch. You’re still looking at a bike that is well under 500 pounds fully fueled that puts out more than a 130 horses at the crank. Beginners need not apply, to be sure.

The seller provides little description of the bike beyond the mileage, but the pictures say more than enough about its condition. It appears to come with a the original manual and toolkit, as well as a pillion pad and the original front turn signals. The bike looks like it has new, sticky Dunlop street and track tires, and is as clean as you’d expect for a bike with so few miles.

From the eBay listing:

Yes the listing is correct. 2,001 miles!!! Bike runs and shifts smooth. Brand new tires. I’m pretty sure if you’re looking at this bike I don’t have to tell you much about it, you know what you buying. This bike is 18 years old, it’s not perfect, has a very small scratch on the top of the tank.

If you have any questions at all me feel free to contact me.

With the passing of Dunlop and Hayden and Edwards’ retirement, as well as myriad rule and convention changes in the class it once dominated, the bike is becoming a piece of history, even as it remains a potent performer by modern standards. Examples like this one will be the ones whose value goes up in years to come, but they haven’t quite gotten to the blue-chip collector price point just yet.


  • I am not going to repeat the post in saying that the ad sucks. Obviously someone who’s real high on RC51 and feels that they are selling cat’s meow Of course, anyone who looks at it should know exactly what went on with this bike for the past 17, soon to be 18, years. The price is reasonable but for the same or few hundred more you can score an SP2 with sub 5k miles. I want to say ” in similar condition” but thanks to the asinine ad content I have no idea what the true condition of this bike is.

  • I have a few homologated bikes on display in my house, but dont know a lot about the RC51. What are the variants, your comment mentioned SP2. Is there a standard and then upspec version of these, or is an SP2 a later version, or? Looking for a free education bc I was interested in this bike until I read your comment! Thank you!

    • The SP2 was the mid-cycle refresh that included suspension and fueling improvements that are generally regarded as how the bike should’ve been from the start. The 2002 model year is the first of the SP2 variants.


  • Uggggh……why do some owners feel the need to be a tool when writing their ads?

  • It has been re-listed at BIN $4800.

  • The picture of the title shows it was just transferred last month with fees of $777. That is a crapload of fees. No idea how much the seller just paid for it, but those fees imply he paid a lot more than his asking price of $4800. I wonder what the story is.

  • Some of those fees are most likely back fees that were owed on the bike. The new registration card in the picture shows it was paid for 2 years 2017-2019.

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