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Speak of the Devil: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

Speaking of the RC30… After the little-brother VFR400R we posted this week, we’ve now got the legendary Honda VFR750R here on RSBFS. The RC30 wasn’t especially light, or powerful, but it was beautifully made and was incredibly easy to ride, with intuitive handling. A true sportbike icon, it represents an unusual way to approach production racing.

Most of the time, homologation bikes are tweaked and upgraded versions of regular production machines. You take your basic sportbike platform, then add an adjustable steering head, or flat-slide carburetors, or titanium engine parts, or a different bore and stroke, then build enough examples incorporating those changes to qualify the resulting machine for whichever classes you intend to enter. Instead, Honda built a low-production superbike that was sold alongside its more conventional inline-four sportbikes like the CBR.

Honda’s belief in the the V4 has obviously been validated: the format is popular in MotoGP, and several modern hyperbikes use the format for all of the same reasons Honda felt it was a winning formula. A V4 is heavier and more complex than an inline four, since it has two cylinder heads and an additional set of camshafts. But the format contributes to mass-centralization and is much narrower than an inline four, which allows for better aerodynamics.

Honda’s V4 used a set of gears to drive the overhead cams, and a 360° crankshaft to improve rear-wheel traction. Build quality was incredibly high and, with the fairing removed, the RC30’s components are densely packed in between the thick aluminum frame spars. The V4 configuration is great for handling, but it also makes a bike generally complex and hard to work on. Perfect for a bike that was designed for homologation purposes.

I’m curious about the wheels on this bike: the seller mentions that it currently wears wheels from an RC45, which is an odd choice. The original RC30 wheels would be a 17″ front and an 18″ rear, which makes the fitment of modern sportbike tires problematic. The RC45 would have a 17″ rear, but went to a 16″ front. Again, making the fitment of modern sport tires difficult. An RC45 rear and an RC30 front would make the most sense to me, but the photos don’t clearly show what’s been done here.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

If you are viewing this bike, you know exactly how influential the VFR750R/RC30 was to the motorcycle world.

  • With only 3,000 being produced, RC30’s with this mileage are extremely hard to find
  • 748cc V4 powerplant is pure bliss
  • Often referred to as a Homologation Special for HRC’s World Superbike Campaign
  • This bike is believed to have 4,754 unrestored original miles
  • The bike currently has RC45 wheels and a aftermarket exhaust
  • Factory Wheels, Exhaust, and Jetting goes along with the sale
  • Rear Stand is also included with the sale
  • This RC30 has spent the last 2 years in the Throttlestop Motorcycle Museum on Display
  • The bike runs and rides beautifully
  • Paint work is very nice, no dings or issues with the gas tank
  • Lower belly pan has normal wear, see pictures
  • All the hard to find pieces are on this bike and untouched

This was the pinnacle for Honda in the late 80’s/early 90’s and is extremely timeless. Here is your chance to own one of the most desirable Sport Bikes of this era!

Bidding is active, and up to $25,100 with several days left on the auction. This example isn’t perfect, but is low-mileage, unrestored, and looks very clean in the photos. And if the RC45 wheels aren’t to your liking, the original wheels and exhaust are included, so you can put it back to stock before you lock it up in your hermetically-sealed storage vault.

-tad

10 Comments

  • Hard to believe these bikes are 29 years old. This one looks to be in incredible shape!

  • Like you say, not perfect but still a really nice example, tasteful mods and great to have the stock parts come with it. Be interesting to see if it sells – most on ebay lately haven’t sold. I think sellers are setting their price expectations based on the 2019 Vegas auction prices, which were crazy high. The Mecum Vegas auction last month had a few RC30s and prices seemed softer than 2019 – a slightly rashed/bubbled one (which supposedly came with an extra set of fairings that weren’t pictured) went for $33k. Two nice ones (comparable to this one I’d say) were bid up to $35k and $42k and didn’t hit reserve. A really nice <2k miles one sold at $53k. But again, ebay prices never seem as strong as the bravado-fueled Vegas bidding.

  • Wow, what a treat that it has that 17” rear wheel while maintaining the stock looks. I really want an RC30 but the tires are the practical deterant to actually riding one. I would not buy an RC30 and not ride it. The tire limitations with the stock 18” wheel kill the proposition. And yes, as pretty as it is, I’d be taking this bike to a trackday or 2. Life is pointless to not do so.

    Still looking for a motor rider appropriate candidate but that wheel is a holy grail in my opinion. If only this had another 20k mi on it. Out of my affordable range as is.

  • Turns out this bike was on the site in 2013. Thanks for the heads up, Joe. -dc

    Dan Crouch this bike sold on your site in 2013. My guess is it’s only the rear that’s a RC45 as you point out a 16” front makes no sense. You can see tires are same in both listings. At one point before it sold on your site this bike had black wheels (probably when the wheel swap happened).

    https://raresportbikesforsale.com/1990-honda-rc30-available-in-california-with-only-4500-miles/

    dc

  • There are plenty of 17″ wheels available to bolt onto an RC30 (Dymag carbon fiber even!), along with an adapter for the shock mount to restore proper ride height or just get a shock with adjustable ride height. For anything short of racing a Dunlop Roadsmart 3, available in 18″, works just fine.

    Lack of track-focused 18″ tires is not a logical excuse for not buying an RC30. Anyone with the cash to buy an RC has enough to buy a wheel and a shock.

    • I’d also read that there are some really decent, grippy tires in 18″ because of a rise in classic racing as well, but haven’t looked that up to confirm.

  • This bike was “sold” on eBay in 2013, as listed here on RSBFS, for “more than $25k”. The original owner put the different wheels on, but it still had the stock pipe and jetting.
    I’m assuming the AZ owner put the pipe and jetting on it, but only put on 170 miles or so. Somehow the lower paint got damaged and off it went to Wisconsin in 2018, for “more than he paid”. Az owner was asking $40 obo.
    Now Wisconsin owner is selling, but only put 14 miles on it. It’s up to $28k on eBay, with reserve in place.
    Just trying to figure out the ownership history. Considering the slight slump in prices, I’m guessing somewhere around $35? Thoughts? The one that went for $29.5 was rough. The one that went for $48 was absolutely perfect.

  • Reserve not met at $35,100.

    dc

  • Couldn’t be bothered to even remove any of the bodywork in their presentation to show bidders what lurks underneath? I suspect this “museum” was just testing the market, and wasn’t serious about selling unless they could flip it for over $50K.

  • $35k is about right for this bike in today’s market. Can’t blame the seller for testing the eBay waters in hopes of finding someone who really wants the bike, and often times it’ll end up in an offline sale.

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