Honda joined the V-twin WSBK fray in 2000 and Colin Edwards won the inaugural season on the RC51. The SP-2 was introduced in 2002 and incorporated many lessons learned the first two years. Almost every aspect of the machine was improved, with a little more power and less weight. This example has been hiding in Queens, New York and shows only 2,295 miles.
With the general layout of its nemesis, the RVT-1000R used a nicely oversquare 996cc twin, with the SP-2’s whopping 62mm throttle bodies helping Honda stay on the right side of WSBK rules and deliver 136 hp. Steering head angle was reduced to sharpen handling, and the swingarm from Edwards’ racing machine was put into production with a loss of two pounds of unsprung weight. Parts that were merely advanced were redesigned and lightened where possible, like fairing stays, alloy seat subframe, and ram-air intake which doubles as a fairing support.
This RC51’s New York owner has taken nice care and made a few choice upgrades. The Sato exhaust alone saves 10 lbs. and has been dyno-tuned. Limited photos so an in-person inspection will be a must. From the eBay auction:
This bike runs great with no problems or lights on and is extremely powerful. The bike was put on a dyno machine and tuned perfectly. The plastics are in great condition with some light scratches too the decals and a scuff mark on the front brake lever. Never been in any accidents or stunted or abused in any way. Always babied. Through out the years I added all the upgrades. This bike comes with ultra rare Sato Racing titanium exhaust, power commander, K&N air filters, CRG levers, black tinted windscreen, Sargent gel seat, PIAA bulbs, yellow high beam, Proton front turn signals, Michelin Pilot Power tires (like new condition) Pro Grip hand grips, Hot Bodies under tail and tire hugger, axle mounted LP bracket, new battery. The bike has low miles but may go up because I ride it now and then. This bike also comes with but not pictured the OEM bike manual, factory tool kit, OEM factory repair manual in binder, results from dyno machine.
Edwards went on to take WSBK in 2002 as well, and a Kentucky upstart won the AMA Superbikes on RC51 race number 69. But the wind direction changed abruptly when FIM changed the rules to allow 1000cc fours, and Honda returned to their successful formula. With just a few thousand produced each year, the RC51 isn’t super-limited, but also not mass-produced. The SP-2’s many improvements make it the one to have if you’re a fan. And for an almost fifteen year-old motorcycle, the low miles and adult ownership make this RVT-1000R look even better…