introduction 2.0 from Calgary - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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introduction 2.0 from Calgary

Hi All,
(itís gonna be a bit of a read since I have no one else that shares my infatuation with this bike)

So I joined here back in 2013 even though I was browsing thru the forum for quite some time learning about the RC. Anyway, I had made my original introduction in the thread below when I first started my serious quest to find an RC51.

Long story short, that search resulted empty handed as the bikes in my area were way too over-priced in my opinion even if I was willing to drive 6-7 hours.
Well after almost 2 years Iím back! I was bored and decided to window shop on kijiji last monday then low and behold, I saw something with potential Ė a 2001 rc51 23k (kms) already had a PC3, K&N filters and M4 exhaust. The owner was looking to trade for a 2 stroke dirtbike. The listing itself had only been on for a few hours, so I emailed him asking what he was hoping for in a cash price. Over the course of the past week, I coordinated a meeting time with him and bought it yesterday.

I had to drive about an hour to see the bike but had my gear ready and brought along my bro inlaw so he could drive my truck back if the purchase was successful. The other reason I brought him was to keep me from making any stupid mistakes. We have a ton of mileage together on our bikes he understood how bad I wanted the RC Ė he also knows how crappy I am at negotiating for something I really want.

Anyway, we finally get to see this bike, at first glance from about 10ft away, it looks great (but donít they all..! haha) The bike was sitting on a trailer as the owner just bought it home out of storage. This made it a little tricky to get up close and personal. As we talked to the owner, he explained how he has only put about 4-500kms on the bike in 2 years and recently changed the oil/plugs/air filters. He obtained it by trading a dirt bike for the experience and just never spent a lot of time in the seat.

Initial impressions:
Fairings were in ok shape and fit fairly snug. I couldnít quite place why they looked odd to me (I later realized they were 2004 fairings when I got home. The front fender was also busted by the bolts on one side)

Looking at the rubber, the bike had obviously seen some track days which the current owner said had been done prior to his ownership, I believed him. These tires felt hard as a rock and when I looked at the date stamps one of them from was 2004..!!! As I continued to scan, there was evidence of it likely being low-sided/dropped. Little things like the clutch cover now has a carbon fibre shell glued on. The swingarm had minor scrapes/gouges here and there. The rear brake didnít illuminate the brake light and I would bet there was also rearsets on previously so that stupid spring thatís used on the foot pedal switch doesnít have the proper tension. The handle bars were replaced with clips on/ crg levers, the grips felt like holding hands with a hobo they were so crappy and cheap. All things I didnít like but also all things that I could correct and wouldnít stop me from riding it asap. On a side note, Iím actually hoping the internals in the forks might be upgraded with better springs since it was tracked but I doubt it.

Not to be discouraged I asked him to fire up the bike. And that was pretty much all it took for me to have my cash ready.! The bike sounded great, we let the engine warm up as the inspection continued. No leaks, no strange sounds. I was good to go and asked if we could roll it off the trailer so I could sit on it and get a better feel. This is when I learned the front brakes didnít have any pressure.!!! He knew right away once that part of the conversation arrived, so did the negotiation. We all had similar suspicions on what it could be (air bubble/master cylinder) and it definitely put a damper on my excitement to ride this rocket home that day.

Long story short, he knocked off an extra $500 based on everything (it was priced to go quickly already) and he ended up delivering the bike to my house so I could start the repairs (I gave him an extra $20 for gas/lunch as karma for being so kind).
After blipping the throttle for a little while in front of the house, I drove over to the Honda dealership since itís only 5min away to pick up some brake fluid. Bled the front brakes, the right side had some air, the left barely any and voila!!, pressure was right back. Though Iím not sure if itís common to lose brake pressure in the lines if the bike is sitting for an extended period of time so Iíll be keeping an eye on it the next few weeks.

The to-do list for now is pretty basic for now since I just want to get a feel for the bike.
- Getting new tires immediately. Probably by Tuesday
- New grips (might look to find the stock clip-ons while Iím at it)
- I prefer tank grips to help reduce the strain on my wrist
- Iím a believer in damper/steering stabilizers so that will likely make itís way on.
- Minor tweaks to stock suspension till tracks days come around then who knowsÖ
- Aftermarket sidemarkers/tail light. Stock looks ugly to me.
Overall, pretty happy. The only thing that bugs me is that Iím not used to having an incomplete motorcycle. Thereís little things missing that I probably donít need: the mount for the front chair guard is snapped off, brake line clips on top of the front fender are non-existant, etc

. Oh and can someone identify whatís supposed to be in this hole inbetween the cluster and triple tree? Itís kinda bugging me, I feel like Iím missing out.. haha

thanks for reading.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 09:45 AM
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Congratulations. There are a few members here local to you.

That hole in the front snorkel is for the oem air flapper. You can/should seal it up. Cheap is tape. Nicer but have to spend some money is modding the original piece or doing a combo with an aftermarket cover. has a mods section. It is a good read and includes info on this aspect.

Google rc51 service manual and download it. I recommend buying a copy if you are going to use it much as the page quality if better and it is easier to use a book than a pdf.

I hope the bike works well. It is a mish mosh of parts.

There is a good chance if the brakes had air in them, it is because the caliper seals are shot. That was my experience. I found the brakes got spongy again after a bleed.

People are parting out bikes here from time to time so getting things like oem clip ons shouldn't be too hard or expensive. Always compare to new prices. Partzilla out of the US is a good comparison and the best prices I've seen.

Good luck and enjoy.

Last edited by kwtoxman; 03-16-2015 at 09:02 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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appreciate the info and the advice.!

i had already downloaded the manual and was fully prepared to bring my laptop in the garage as needed but can see how just buying a copy would be more useful.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 02:42 PM
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And you will need this site too.... it has all the fancy mods and tech data.

Looks like you found a nice ride too. Unfortunately, it is probably the slowest of the years that Honda made. I hear the '03's are the fastest year.

The very first schoolbook that was written had God all over it. --Dave Mustaine

Last edited by madbuyer; 03-16-2015 at 02:44 PM.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 06:42 PM
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Welcome! I sent an email to the previous owner but you had bought it already

Glad to see another enthusiast in the same city!

I've got many spare parts should you need them.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Haha. Thanks madbuyer.

Thanks cam_ron. I might hit you up once the weather is nicer to look over the bike and tell me what else might be missing.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 07:17 AM
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PM sent with my contact information. I think you'll find that this community is unlike any other. Some great people and discussion.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 01:01 PM
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Now that I've opened my trap on your thread in the general section, here's a big welcome for ya! Getting to be a few of us Cdn Rednecks on board, will gis a shout if I'm ever in Stampede City.

Duct tape can't fix stupid...but it sure helps muffle the sound
'03 SP2, '09 GL1800
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-02-2015, 02:44 AM
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Hi, Hope you enjoy your new bike.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 11:37 AM
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Edmonton here with 05 RC51. Let me know if you get this way for a ride and we do a few weekend trips to revelstoke every year with a week long ride every August in the east and west kootneys. Have fun on the bike.
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