Posts by tag: Sato

Honda November 28, 2018 posted by

Royal Crown: 2004 Honda RC51

In the soda wars of the 1980s, Coca-Cola was the big dog. But others were keen to move in on the success of Coke, including Pepsi and RC Cola. Each had a slightly different take on the same theme, and competed for the same set of customers. Fast forward to the late 1990s and you could see the same situation developing in World Superbike racing. Ducati had the dominant platform with their legendary 916 (and 851 before that), winning 8 championships and effectively shutting out the other manufacturers. Given the rules and concessions afforded to twins in WSBK (displacement and weight, for example), other factories jumped on the copycat bandwagon. Honda in particular put their four cylinder screamers aside for a roaring v-twin designed to take the fight to Bologna. The bike that was developed became the very successful RC51. Winning the 2000 WSBK title the first year out with Colin Edwards, the RC51 also found success Stateside in the AMA under the guidance of one Nicky Hayden.

2004 Honda RC51 for sale on eBay

Officially known as the RVT1000R in the US, the RC51 was the spiritual successor to the RC30 and RC45; it was built to go racing and win races. And while four cylinder WSBK machines were limited to 750cc, twins were allowed up to 999cc - providing more torque and HP over a lower RPM limit. Designing a new 90 degree twin displacing 999cc, the RC51 featured four valves per cylinder, gear-driven cams and a unique twin injector per cylinder for better fueling across the rev range. And speaking of revs, the RC51 was somewhat limited on the RPM front to the 10k range in favor of longevity due to the large bore / short stroke arrangement. The chassis was pure Honda - aluminum twin beam - with striking side-mounted radiators. While this made for a wider arrangement than the 916, the side-mounted rads were effective and aerodynamic.

From the seller:
Solo seat, Santo pipes, Penske shocks, GPR steering stabilizer, Power Commander.

Very clean, runs great, sounds great, excellent condition. Title in hand. Ready to go.

An overall competitive package, the RC51 was met with great rider enthusiasm; this was partly due to the price. While uber-limited RC30 and RC45s sold new for $25k+, the "lowly" RC51 was a veritable bargain with MSRP one buck below ten grand. There was even a Nicky Hayden edition sold, consisting of cosmetic changes such as brushed aluminum frame and swingarm, number plates and stickers. There were two generations of this model, the SP1 offered from 2000 to 2001, and all others are considered SP2 editions with minor suspension and fueling updates and some geometry changes. By 2006 the twin-cylinder party was over for Honda - as was factory WSBK racing for the time being. When they reemerged from their WSBK absence the new platform was back to the old in-line four ways of the FireBlade. Thus the RC51 is not exactly homologation rare, but relatively low numbers were produced over a short period of time.

Like the cola wars that preceded it, there were many interpretations of the same flavor. The RC51 remains a unique example of Honda taking the fight to Ducati on their turf and for a brief moment, winning the war. The resulting bike was massively capable, with Honda's penchant for reliability and build quality. While a bit porky from some angles, the RC51 is a mean racing machine, and remains a desirable mount for practically any type of riding. This particular example shows few miles (less than 6k), and has some nice add-ons such as tasty Sato exhaust, suspension upgrades and a Power Commander to aid in fueling/tuning. More importantly, it has all the elements of a Nicky Hayden Edition, although not noted by the seller. With an opening ask of $6,000 this bike is starting out in the fair money range, if not the upper side of that neighborhood. No takers thus far, but there is still a long way to go. Check it out here if you are looking to pick up an under-appreciated superbike with real racetrack creds. It may not be the most coveted of the RC set, but this one still looks, sounds and goes like an RC should. Good Luck!!

MI

Royal Crown:  2004 Honda RC51
Honda October 28, 2017 posted by

Rev. 2.0 – 2003 Honda RVT1000R / RC51

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.

2003 Honda RVT1000R / RC51 for sale on eBay

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...

-donn

Rev. 2.0 – 2003 Honda RVT1000R / RC51
Honda January 21, 2010 posted by

1994 Honda RVF750R RC45 with carbon fiber body work!

Update 1.21.10: Please note we have learned this bike is already sold to a RSBFS reader.

Loaded with extras, this is a rare RC45 located in Peoria (Phoenix), Arizona.  Let's start with the bad news, this bike does have a salvage title, but is still titled.  Now, if you're not looking for an original RC45 this is the one for you:  It features TSR Titanium exhaust & carbon silencer, Sato rear sets, 17" CBR front wheel, forks set up by LE suspension, Brembo calipers & master, Penske rear shock and QB carbon bodywork.  This appears to be a very obvious track bike that is/can be street legal.  When I first saw the photos, the obvious assumption is that it has been rattle canned black, but no, only the best for a RC--Carbon fiber!  The seller states that it has 161 original miles which means it must have an interesting history with a salvage title, the modifications, and such low miles (if it was converted to a race bike early on, it wasn't raced very much or, the original mileage is from a cluster that was disconnected at one point).  Now, here is the best part if you're willing to settle for an unoriginal, salvage title, RC45; it won't be cheap but it should carry a large discount on a 100%, perfectly original RC45.  Looking through our archives, I didn't see any RC45s with asking prices listed but, the asking price of $18,000 for this bike seems fair based on what you're getting.  RC45s weren't as successful as their RC30 predecessors with only one Superbike World Championship in 1997, under rider John Kocinski.  To quote Motor Cycle News:

"Despite its later racing successes, for many it was already too late.  Although astonishingly able and hugely prized today, the RC45's biggest criticism was that it failed to match the revolution caused by the bike it superseded.  But in its defense, it did have a hell of a lot to live up to.

It may not be as revolutionary as the RC30 but I still wouldn't hesitate on the chance to own a RC45.  If you're in the same boat, see this bike on Craigslist here.

AG