RC51 Problems? - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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RC51 Problems?

I've always wanted to pick up an RC51 so I have some questions.
I'd like to avoid problematic bike years.
What the best year bike to have?
What are some of the problems these bikes have? Every bike I've owned has a problem or two from the factory. I'd like to know what they are.
Thanks
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 02:56 AM
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2000-'01 are exactly the same (SP1). Honda made a few small adjustments in '02. Colors have been the only thing changed from '02-'06 (SP2).
I've yet to hear of any real "problems" other than tank leaks on a few SP1 bikes which Honda will warranty...
If I was in the market, I wouldn't really search for any particular year. I'd be more concerned with mileage and condition. I do like the 2003's though simply because on the way the black flows into the windscreen on the front cowl. It looks sweet with a blacked out shield.

-Tony B
00 RC51
06 Evo IX
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 09:07 PM
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Actually Honda made quite a few changes from the SP1 to the SP2, but most are under the skin so to speak and not quickly detected, except the swingarm.
All are nicely engineered bikes, with lots of old school HRC racing heritage.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SubSailor View Post
Actually Honda made quite a few changes from the SP1 to the SP2, but most are under the skin so to speak and not quickly detected, except the swingarm.
All are nicely engineered bikes, with lots of old school HRC racing heritage.
I meant the only thing between 02-06 was colors. SP1vs. SP2 definitely had a lot of other small changes.

-Tony B
00 RC51
06 Evo IX
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 11:26 AM
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They are all pretty solid bikes. You cant go wrong with any year RC51!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 05:46 PM
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I was hunting for this kind of info before I bought my 2003. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with the bikes, other than the tank issue mentioned above. My interpretation of online info has been that the SP2 is a "better" version to buy...but not lightyears beyond the SP1.

Like Evolved said...just look out for a bike in good condition with decent milage at a good price. Heck, I'd pay a little more for a well maintained bike. Also, interview the sellers...that will tell you a lot about how the bike was treated.

Bike: 2003 RC51
Car: 2008 Lancer Evo X GSR
Truck: 2001 Nissan Frontier
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 07:09 PM
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Let's just say the SP2 was an "improved" version over the SP1.
Unless you were aware of the changes, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two. The improvements were under the skin for the most part.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 10:05 PM
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The only problem I have is the constant need to go out to the garage and stare at it.. It's also hard to resist starting it all the time to hear the sweet sounds in makes. As for the SP1 or the SP2... It doesn't really matter, buy the one in the best condition with the lowest miles and you'll be happy. My 2000 SP1 only has 8,500 miles and looks like new. I like it better than my 08 CBR 1krr and it's vintage by comparison. The SP2 is just the the perfected version of an already awesome machine. Buy one and enjoy!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 11:08 AM
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Yeah too bad they quit making them, but they were more expensive to built than I-4's.
Especially with the gear drive cams.
The RC51 was reportedly co-designed by Mr. Saito, who also designed the RC30 and RC45, and also the RC211V. So it's old school HRC.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 12:08 PM
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The RC51 was reportedly co-designed by Mr. Saito, who also designed the RC30 and RC45, and also the RC211V. So it's old school HRC.
I've heard the same thing.. although there are lots of rumors out there floating around about these bikes. The guy I bought mine from said as far as he knew the first 500 SP1's were the best to own but I kinda assumed it was just a sales pitch to get me to buy it. I didn't care either way but I've heard others say the same thing. Why the first 500 would be any different, I don't know. My buddy has a later 2000 SP1 and we can't find any noticable differences. Mine does sound better but we have different exhaust systems so who knows.. Different or not, I was excited to buy one of the first 500 made in such good condition. I actually chose mine over a 2003 in similar condition with about the same miles for only $500 more. Hell.. to go even further, I chose my 2000 RC over a buying a brand new 2008 CBR 1krr for under 8gs.. I guess I'm just nuts..
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