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Unequivocal – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Having graduated from nascent collectible to crazy-to-ride museum piece, Honda’s pre-eminent VFR750R / RC30 continues to appear for auction with exotic car-level reserves.  This Michigan example appears in a collector’s warehouse and looks superb.

1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30 for sale on eBay

Sharing V-4 engine architecture with the roadgoing VFR750F, the -R was mostly different inside the cases and pushed 118 ponies.  Titanium connecting rods greatly reduced rotating mass and defined unobtanium.  Crank and cams were geared to provide a power pulse every 360 degrees, improving rideability at racing rpms.  The all alloy chassis and peeks out behind the fiberglass fairing, holding 41mm right-side-up forks and ELF’s single-sided swingarm.  Trailing throttle torque was tamed by the factory slipper clutch.  Single seat and five gallon alloy fuel tank had their focus on the race course.

Said to be hosted by only its second owner, this RC30 looks outstanding and reports 7,037 miles.  If the new owner elects to ride there will be time to go over any needed repairs and recent maintenance, but they aren’t discussed in the eBay auction:

  • One of the modern era’s few immediately collectible classics
  • The RC30 was created for one reason – to win the World Superbike Championship! 
  • The seller is the second owner of the bike
  • First owner was Nick Helyer who purchased it in Orlando, FL in 1990
  • Nick was a British gentleman that apparently did some WEC racing in the late 1970s, early 1980s
  • The bike notably includes the owner’s manual, tool kit and two keys

Success came early and often to the RC30, taking the two first Superbike World Championships under Fred Merkel, as well as Formula TT wins with Joey Dunlop and Carl Fogarty aboard.  Not to mention a handful of World Endurance Championship wins and AMA Superbike victories.  Though this is “merely” the streetable VFR750R, it would make a singular afternoon.  Hopefully the next custodian will be able to arrange it.

-donn

13 Comments

  • OK, we all know how cool these are, but I’m also interested in the formula cars in the background…..

  • This bike was at Mecum in January and had a high bid of $35k.
    https://www.mecum.com/lots/LV0120-391350/1990-honda-rc30-vrf750r/

  • Seller also has that Ducati Darmah in the background for sale

  • the simple idea of buying this bike as a rider would be normal without all the blather about it being too expensive to actually use…
    in a world of vastly expensive toys bikes are a cheap date, all the overwrought overweight v twin powered crap being peddled
    as state of the art excluded… this is after all a honda and as such has an expected quality of engineering and finish that is well known but it is not a rarity regardless of it’s price… a good used MV 1000cc would leave it behind and look grander for less than half the cost of this unit… it will most likely end up parked next to some other pretty thing…

  • Its a lot of money to pay for a piece of Honda nostalgia but I guess some folks have very deep pockets.

  • Like my marihuana stock, fake hype as in there were a few thousand of these made and people think lately that they are worth this much. good bike yes, buck come back to reality

  • At best this is a 0 mile never started buy now price. Good luck to the seller and the buyer.

  • People being laid off right and left. Businesses closing their doors up and down main street. Somehow the stock market and RC30 prices happily keep going through the roof! What’s wrong with this picture?

    • It’s not sold yet…

      dc

  • I knew Nick back when he was riding this. He and another Brit, Brian, were both working for an English company in Orlando. In 1992 or 1993 they discovered a dealer with a pair of RC30s still in the crates, unsold due to the high price. They immediately purchased them, I believe for $15k each. Believe me, they created quite the stir when they showed up at local bike nights, as most enthusiasts had never seen one outside of the racetrack.

  • Welcome again to the strange world of demand and valuation. What’ll you have? There a a number of perfectly ordinary American made electric guitars from the fifties and sixties that go for a lot more than this far from ordinary motorcycle. People spend far more for a wristwatch. Lots of people could buy this Honda with their pocket change, but they don’t happen to know or care about bikes. Some view collecting as an investment to be flipped next year, and the big auctions are just feeding that. One upside is that these machines get preserved at a high level, as a museum would do. I’ll just keep on spectating…

  • A couple of details – it has the badge on the top yoke, and seems to have a patch on the frame left side where the JDM model has the badge saying “for all those that appreciate the very best…”. I did not think the US versions had either of these.

  • Reserve not met at $33k.

    dc

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