The reason I asked is that I felt it was a fairly 'young' forum(no reflection of my age, ahem...), and these things take time to get rolling. As more and more people hear the word, we'll see people coming out of the woodwork from many different places, and threads about who-knows-what being posted up quickly, mark my words!
I think it's a good reflection of Honda's flagship Ducati-killer(OK, so I may be biased) for it to have got the following over a period of time, then a forum such as this to spring up years later.
I don't know how the US was for SP's/RC's, but Australia didn't get too many; they're considered a rarer Honda, and are rapidly being touted by many as 'collectable'. I might ask my contact at Honda Oz on some figures, for interests' sake...
Even in the States the RC51 was an expensive bike. That's why they didn't sell as many overall.
I remember drooling over a new '02 and the dealer marked at over US $11000.
Their I-4 model was around $1500-2000 cheaper.
I think one reason the bike has a following is because it's "different" than other Hondas.
It's not a ubiquitous I-4 that sounds like most other I-4's (one of my main reasons).
Also, it's sort of a poor man's Ducati. I can't afford a $20K+ Ducati, but I could afford a $10-11K Honda.
It's also a hell of a lot cheaper to maintain.
It's too bad they ceased production, it would be interesting to see what the hypothetical '09 RC51 would be like with current technology.
If you compare the advancements of Ducati and KTM, I'd say the fantasy RC51 would be in that neighborhood of 160-180 HP and weight around the same as the competition (sub-400 Lbs).
Still, I get looks and questions about the old girl.
Several friends I ride with have ridden her and come back with a smile.
The sound, the torque, the gear whine all contribute to that.
One jokingly asked if I'd put the bike in my will for him.