Rc51

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Death Dealer, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Death Dealer

    Death Dealer Been here awhile

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    Could it be that the Honda RC51 is a diamond hiding in the rough? I don't hear any excitement ever brewing around this discontinued model. I realize there are lighter, faster, better handling bikes out there.
    However, the RC51 has an absolute jewel of an engine, WSBK pedigree, healthy aftermarket support, good looks, and glorious gear driven V-twin sound!
    What gives? How come no one wants one?
    #1
  2. hillbillypolack

    hillbillypolack Grumpy Old Goat

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    People do want 'em. A good friend of mine swears by them, and having sold his years ago, is on the lookout for another.

    They have a cult-ish following, sound great and deliver gobs of torque. What's not to like? Plus, they're made by Honda to last another hundred years.
    #2
  3. Death Dealer

    Death Dealer Been here awhile

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    I want one just for the symphony. The 12 000 mile valve adjustment interval is appealing as well.
    #3
  4. spezjag

    spezjag Long timer

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    You're just in the wrong neighborhood. Go to Speedzilla:

    www.speedzilla.com/forums

    Scroll down the homepage and you'll find where all the RC51-heads hang out. They also have portions of their board for Ducati, MV, and GSX-Rs. But their main strength is the RC51.
    #4
  5. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    I really liked riding my buddy's and was always surprised they didn't go over bigger than what they did.
    #5
  6. craigincali

    craigincali Just hanging around

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    They need a slipper clutch! Other than that , I liked mine.
    #6
  7. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    I bought one of the first RC51s in the states back in the spring of 2000. It really was a Superbike with lights in that anything under 80 mph was just too slow. Rode it to work once in the city limits and the experience sucked. Almost got tagged with felony evasion on it. "Sorry officer I did NOT see you. You're driving an unmarked car. How was I supposed to know you were chasing me when you couldn't see me? It's a new bike and I'm not used to all the extra horsepower.":evil However, after I converted it to a trackday bike, it really clicked for me. Being able to ride it in its native environment was great fun. If you're looking, I suggest a second generation model (2003 and later)with the updated wheels and suspension tweaks. Sato cans and a Powercommander let it breathe properly.
    #7
  8. spezjag

    spezjag Long timer

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    Oh, and talk to Dan Kyle - he likely knows more about the RC51 than anyone:

    http://www.kyleusa.com/

    The SP1 ran from 2000-01; the improved SP2 came out in 2002, and ran through 2006.
    #8
  9. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    I had an '02. Only bike I regret selling. I commuted on it. Not ideal for the task at hand, which was part of the fun. Get the suspension set up by a guru.
    #9
  10. Richy

    Richy Been here awhile

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    I've looked at them many tmes, one of these days I'll actually buy one. I think.
    #10
  11. clapped_r6

    clapped_r6 The Spoad Warrior

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    i thought about setting one up for touring and road trips, but remember reading something about them getting HORRIFIC mileage. like in the 20's:eek1

    i got to ride a friend's at a local trackday, super stable, very nice.
    #11
  12. OConnor

    OConnor Bad juju

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    In my experience it's getting more and more difficult to find a stock bike. Not that I would keep it stock but the mods would be limited to setting up the suspension for me, and a nice set of pipes and PC to let the music out.
    #12
  13. nskitts

    nskitts Long timer

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    I have one on my "to buy" list. I remember standing at a gas station beside the highway and I heard the most glorious sound I have ever heard on a motorcycle as an RC51 with aftermarket pipes droned on by with a deep Vtwin sound...marvelous!
    #13
  14. hoax

    hoax Been here awhile

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    I really really wanted one.

    Then I rode an SP1.

    I didn't want one anymore.
    #14
  15. RC51LV

    RC51LV THE RC51 RIDER

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    Dec 28, 2009
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    HENDERSON ,NV
    I PICKED ONE UP IN NOV 2006 AND ITS BEEN A GREAT BIKE , IT HAD 11.000 MILES ON IT AND NOW HAS 35.000 AND STILL GOING REAL STRONG... THE MILEAGE I GET IS 45 MPG AND A GREAT EXHAUST SOUND :clap
    #15
  16. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    I've owned a few sportbikes and all my buds got RC51's and we traded back and forth. On paper, they seemed like a great bike, but I never gelled with it - heavy, odd ergos, abrupt throttle response, stiff suspension, odd styling, and I never learned to trust the front end. Gixxers and R1s just seemed a lot more supple and forgiving. Tough ergos for anything other than the track. And the gas mileage was atrocious, especially on the bikes with PC's - I pushed my buddy's bike with mine to gas more than once. The engine was strong and bellowed quite nicely though.

    About the only sportbike I actively disliked. But some folks love them. YMMV.

    - Mark
    #16
  17. ShaftEd

    ShaftEd Long timer

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    Had one of the first RC51's in San Diego back in April of 2000. Had to have it for it had the coveted "HRC" emblem on the side cases. Plus the fact that Joey Dunlop rode one in the 2000 Isle of Man TT (and won!). I knew it was the bike for me. Unfortunately, I was very wrong and we just never hit it off together. In August of that year I crashed her hard on Mt Palomar trying to pretend I was "Yer Maun" myself. Poor bike was totaled (along with my left leg) and really deserved better.

    Now, I'm older, wiser, my leg has healed (although an inch shorter) and a hard lesson has been learned. Just like Dirty Harry used to say "A man's got to know his limitations".:deal :1drink
    #17
  18. spezjag

    spezjag Long timer

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    I never got below 40 mpg. I generally rode it sensibly, without too many high-speed antics. Great engine, great all-around bike. Most miles I put on it in a day was 550. My wrists hurt after that (I have since changed over to wider, slightly higher Cycle Cat bars), but I was otherwise comfortable.
    #18
  19. Death Dealer

    Death Dealer Been here awhile

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    Care to elaborate on your experience some more? What have you had to do in terms of parts or service? What do you like? What do you dislike about the RC51? What's your longest day on it? How many miles to a tank?
    #19
  20. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    RC's aren't on the top of the sporting list's anymore as the last one to roll of the line was like in 2006.

    On top of that american's never really bought into the whole V-twin sporting thing unless the bike was from Italy.

    New they were heavy for their horsepower. (since they were set up for factory kits to make them WSB racebikes)

    These bikes are fun to ride, however as some have said, they aren't really great for slow speed work, the bike's are geared high, and the seating postion is a little agressive.

    These won't be nearly the special or collector items that RC30 and RC45 have become.

    But they are a damned good bike.

    If I was in the market for a sportbike, this is one I'd look at.
    #20