ongoing review of my 2000 rc51
I have decided to write a sort of review and my opinions of my recently purchased rc51 with a whopping 75k miles. I am by no means an experienced street rider, however i do come from MX/enduro offroad and street is very new and exiting to me. some of my opinions may change as i gain more experience, hence the "ongoing" review. ill try to update every month or so on what ive learned.
First the mechanical bits:
When i bought the bike, the previous owner had installed an aftermarket under tail and made a complete mess of the wires, i have sorted this out and if any of you buy a led tail, shoot me a pm if you need help. I also had to make a licence plate bracket and light which cost me a whole $8 and an hour to make. anyway i have put in new brake pads, brake fluid, and air filters. The bike runs great!!!
First and foremost, apparently 75k isnt squat on this honda because it feels every bit as tight and quiet as ones at the dealer with 7~8k. and im only into the bike $2550 ! of course i got it cheap because of the miles. I did a compression test on a cold engine with the throttle wide open and here at 5000ft altitude i got 149 and 149psi, which i though is amazing considering the miles, the aluminum/composite sleeves, and the fact that we have 15% less air than sea level.
Here are some things i dont like:
Even with proper chain slack setting, at certain rpm's (3,000-4500) the chain starts to shake and causes a strange vibration through the whole bike. this happens under both light and heavy acceleration.
There is no rear tire hugger on this bike so the swingarm and rear shock are a bit chewed up from rocks.
My clutch may be worn out, but it only actuates when the lever is pretty much all the way out. ive got a 1/2" to work with at max. it doesnt slip yet so im not gonna worry about it too much, just assume its time to replace.
My fingers are short and the clutch lever is still too far out even when adjusted all the way closest to grip.
The previous owner put on a steering dampener, in my opinion this is completely unnecessary on this motorcycle. even on the least dampened setting, this thing gets in the way and makes the bike feel heavier than it already is.
Lifting the tank to work on plugs/ filters is the biggest pain in the ass! im really good at it now though since ive had to do it three times lol.
i dont understand why im at the gas station so often on a bike?
What i do like:
The build quality and design of the bike is amazing. for a 2000 year model its just built so well. in comparison to say a R1, this bike feels like it should cost 3x as much. Just the way the fairings fit and contour to the frame, the way both external and internal components are packaged in their locations is superb. The bike doesnt feel like it has any unnecessary empty space anywhere. IE a lot of bikes feel hollow by the rear shock area and in between the triple tree/ headlights.
Fit for the rider:
Im 6'0" 165lbs, kind of a skinny build. the rc51 fits me perfect. i do not feel cramped on it at all and would have to disagree with those who say this is an uncomfortable bike. with the balls of my feet on the pegs, my knees are pretty much bent all the way, but if i squeeze the tank as well, i feel like i can really weight the bike anyway i want. The rc51 feels fairly short to me so its nice to not have to reach way out for the bars.
Riding the RC:
please take this part with a grain of salt as i may or may not know what im talking about yet.
Straight line acceleration is quick, but definitely nothing mind blowing. i feel like a modern 600 I4 would toast me. I knew this buying the v twin so im not complaining. The torque is really linear and comes on strong, which makes it nice to cruise on and not switch gears so often however i find myself having to be really careful with the throttle. In slower sweepers like say mid 2nd gear, rolling on or off the throttle too quickly is scary cause it feels like the rear tire is about to slide out. Im trying to be really conscious of this and its becoming less problematic. its also not a problem in the higher gears. Leaning the bike is fairly easy and once its leaned over its very stable, assuming i didnt chop the throttle..... I am still learning how to turn and my biggest challenge right now is braking into corners, and mid corner if i must.
Hope you enjoyed what i have to say, ill update as i go on.