RC51 Retained Value - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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RC51 Retained Value

On FB, many ppl seem to be selling their RC51s and it's not uncommon to see prices around $8,000. Personally, I feel that price is pretty damn high but then again, after thinking about the "normal" upgrades ppl do to their RCs, is it really that unrealistic of a price?

The way I figure, a plain Jane RC can be found in ok condition for about $3k. Hell, I got mine from a friend for $2,200. Start throwing on steel brake lines, PC, Ohlins suspension, fresh undamaged fairings, and maybe some BST wheels, and suddenly that $8k might not be so crazy afterall.

I realize you will NEVER get out what you put in but what are your thoughts? What are realistic asking prices for piggies with various "norm" set ups?

2002 Baconator SP2 with things and shit
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 01:00 PM
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Beyond a certain price, you'll never get a return on your investment, regardless of goodies installed.
Only those in the know value custom items installed on any bike.

I've noticed very few new buyers are mechanically astute of what it is they are buying (the car mentality).
Probably due to cars (and new bikes) being virtually sealed devices these days. Nobody has to be mechanically inclined to fix things as they used to be.
As such, most people only want to know the bottom line for sale.

The RC51 is no different than any other product made, where the manufacturer will only stock parts for a set amount of time (typically 10 years), and after than it comes down to the used parts sources. But that is dependent on the popularity of the bike and how many were made to strip for parts.

There are many unique parts only for the RC51, but Honda has been good about using similar components across product lines.
But, in the end, the RC51 may be more profitable as component parts than as a complete bike.
We are talking about a bike whose production ended in 2006, and who numbers were nowhere close to its siblings (CBR1000RR) due to price.
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Last edited by SubSailor; 12-08-2017 at 01:06 PM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 05:39 PM
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Like any collectible, quality OEM SP2's are now going for $$. Multiple have sold this past year at $8k+ in short periods, basically near their original MSRP. Not many around for a bike with a following. That also includes some quality bikes that have rare sought-after mods but also include the OEM equipment... at even higher prices.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 10:27 PM
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here's the thing, built bikes don't command top dollar on the market.


in the world of buying old shit, the more original the better. look at the goofballs at barrett jackson paying an arm and a leg for some piece of shit no-options old clunker of a car that has all original everything, right down to every piece of garbage thing that was stuck to it at the factory, stickers inclusive. those cars fetch top buck, but beautifully done resto-mods don't get near the dollar they're really worth, because in the eyes of the beanie baby collecting lunatics they are bastardized.


it's the same with these bikes. if i were to list mine for sale, i'd be lucky to get 8k for it. when it's all said and done 8k won't buy you the front end. but that's irrelevant.



it's cool to see them commanding the prices they do, but don't think that sinking a ton of money into it adds to market value, because it doesn't.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 07:27 AM
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My 19 year old VFR750F with 63,750 miles, loaded with upgraded parts was totalled in a head-on last year. Frame snapped in two, fuel tank and front cowling destroyed.
The guilty party's insurers paid me -what I felt was- a generous amount for the bike. due to the legistlation in that country, the "wreck" remained my property and it was returned to me at no cost to me.
Stripped her and selling of parts (plus a few rashed panels from my attic) netted me 110% of what I got in the first place..... The engine and frame brought me $40 in crap metal...


Here in NL, I too see -what I consider- silly ASKING prices for SP's (as we call 'm here). "unique" "special" "collector" "classic".... for me it is simply "what is it worth to me".
Now, if people comment that the price is "too much" others will say "shut up, you are damaging my future resale value"..... Euh resale? I bought mine to ride and enjoy! On my own money, not some bank loan that I need to repay....
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Old enough to know better, young enough not to care.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 04:10 PM
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You rarely can buy a bike as an investment. However the RC51 is becoming a saught after item because of its race heritage and simply the fact that it was HRC-quality built. You can add as much extras on there as you like but it will not matter, original condition rules.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 07:12 AM
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I think it depends on the country and the value put on the bike by the purchaser.....i have had mine for three years got it for a measly Swiss franc 1800 and have since added in parts worth 1500....the bikes sell here for anywhere between CHF 4500 - 8000. Depending on how they are maintained etc....Lots of people like this bike for the sound, nostalgia etc etc....Value added by installing sort after parts is worth it only to those that know the value of the parts....e.g FGRT 832 forks most new buyers will not know how rare these are...... I am not into the bike for the collectible value of the bike. I own it some sentimental value... if life dosent puk with me this bike will be retiring in my living room some day....
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 05:23 PM
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This is a perfect thread for me to tell you about a strange thing I noticed the other day...I think it was Dec 9th:

For the first time ever in my years of checking my eBay "Saved Search" of RC's for sale, there were none. Zero. It was kinda weird, because there are ALWAYS RCs for sale there. I thought something was wrong with my "Search" criteria (somehow), but no.....today, there is one nice looking 2004 with an asking of $7K.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 06:47 PM
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I've noticed this same phenomena since about 2012 or '13. I put my '05 down real hard in July 2012. When I was shopping for a replacement (you all know, but regardless of what else I've ever owned or even ridden, it's impossible for me to get away from the RC), a lot of the prices were ridiculous, a lot of 7-8k asking prices. Some were more justified than others, like the ones at 1,700 to 3k miles or super clean examples with choice mods (Sato, Ohlins). I also noticed that the '05 and '06's are always higher (even more so than '04), especially if clean, and oddly I see a lot more clean '05 and 6's. This has all held true today as far as I can tell, I have the same subscribed eBay post and watch Craigslist occasionally.

With all that said, there's a huge difference between listing price and selling price. Search eBay for completed listings. Here's what I think about it: a lot of people, imho, know and feel that the bike is special, but they think that bike is worth it's weight in gold sometimes. They ARE drying up some, but come and go all the time still. Even on eBay, it'll go dry and then there will be 6 of them. Someday they will be worth something, but we're just not there yet...maybe when those people are the only ones left selling? What a lot of guys don't realize is that, regardless of how they feel about it, at the end of the day they still just have a 15 year old sport bike. Most people that want one....they already have one. Like I said, it'll happen someday, but not just yet.

I ended up replacing my '05 (which was an eBay purchase in '08, I believe ~$7-7500, ~6k miles and pretty clean) with an '03 I found on Craigslist in 2013. The '03 had about 24k miles iirc, paid $3700. It was missing several stickers on OEM fairings, had a gouge in the swinger, and few missing pieces on the front (v cowl cut, mudflap over font cylinder), but was otherwise very clean and straight. Was obviously down and fairings replaced. Had the forks rebuilt, frame repaired, and replaced what was missing and it was a solid bike.

Saw a super clean '05 on eBay in February for 4k (amongst at least 4 others of varying price and condition). Had 19k miles, and still had the stock mudflap and blinkers. Guy said he mostly used it for track days, which was reflected by the melted tires hahahah. I threw a bid at it, fully expecting to get outbid within the 5 remaining days. To my surprise, I won, and was getting my black RC back. With shipping I paid $4600. Only mods were a jardine 2-1, pc IIIr, and lower gears. Not even free mods. Swapped parts between the two, and sold the '03 for $4200 with ~32k.

Anyway, short story long, the deals are still out there if you look. Prices are slowly rising, but the guys asking 8k are predicting (or dictating?) the future but not living in the present just yet, save for a select few pristine later model examples with <2k miles and bone stock.
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Last edited by S3Rc51; 12-18-2017 at 06:54 PM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 07:25 PM
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Good post, S3Rc51. Good points made regarding future value.

I'm one of those Barrett-Jackson "goofball" car auction guys that was mentioned in a prior post, and that post did have some meritorious points, too. The thing is--with RCs or musclecars or with crappy old British motorcycles that are now worth zillion$, it's originality that is the single most defining component of value when talking apples to apples vehicles [yes, rarity counts a great deal, but only among UNLIKE vehicles. A hemi-cuda will always outdo a any other car in similar condition mostly due to rarity. AND the hemi...]

So, when talking RCs, they're still getting cornball modifications and "paint jobs", and are typically totaled-out when laid-down because they're "not worth anything" insurance-wise, regardless of originality. So they slowly disappear or generally become undesirable due to stupid mods. At some point, original examples will increase in value, but will they ever go for $2.7M, like the hemi-cuda at Mecum Kissimee two years ago, with a window sticker of $4400? Well, look at it this way....if a $7K RC triples in value in 15 years....it'll only be worth $21K and you can't retire on that.

I conclude that investing in an RC because of some elusive future value is not a good idea.

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