Canadian RC-51 Hill-Climber dirt-bike - The Mangler - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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The Mangler - RC-51 Hill-Climber dirt-bike

Greets to you all.

Firstly I apologize (how very Canadian of me) for not being able to post links or images yet - as I still have noob cuffs prohibiting these functions.

Last October 2019 I happened to come across a pretty wild RC-51 build for a price that I just couldn't refuse.
For $1500 CDN I brought home an extended swing-arm SP-2 RC-51 dirt bike hill-climber which I now call the Mangler.

Just to re-assure anyone may be inclined to characterize this as the worst form of RVT 1000 blasphemy, please let me clarify that I'm not the original builder. I was just the fella lucky enough to bring her home. Buddy was selling her for the price of getting an 1992 MR-2 turbo shipped to Alberta from B.C.; He was in a panic to get the car and I was happy to oblige on getting this bike out of his garage.

Doing some digging I also found that the original builder - Cote Motorcycles of Edmonton posted a youtube vid from 2014 - which is great because it establishes some provenance for the bike, which I'm estimating was assembled 2013-2014.

Before exchanging $ with the seller I did a V.I.N. search and found that the bike is still listed as 'Active' which means that with some nominal work for lights, signals, brakes, DOT knobbies etc. it is plausible to get her registered for street use without too much bureaucratic difficulty. I also have an ace-in-the-hole motorcycle mechanic / inspector who is game to assist in getting her sorted.

While she is by no means a tight single-track dirt-bike at around +430lbs, my intention with this bike is to do some cross-country adventure riding - fully highway capable but also not afraid of mud, ruts and bushwhacking. This is a dirt-bike I'm hoping to ride across the continent.

Beyond lights, signals, speedo etc. the short version of my to-do list includes getting rid of the single rad mounted on the front of the forks to reinstall aftermarket rads in the factory locations, tucked battery tray, accommodate a factory tank in the stock location. . . etc. The tail tank we'll keep to use as an auxillary / reserve tank.
(We only bungee'd the battery on the handlebars to turn her over - there is no way I would ever ride with the battery on the bars.)

I could go on, but I'll try to keep this brief for now.
Let me know what you think. Good, bad and ugly.
And any ideas or recommendations for what you would do are totally welcome too.

And if anyone has a stock gas tank for sale I'm likely going to be shopping for one shortly when I can confirm that it will work with my planned configuration.

I'll post photos and youtube link once my noob cuffs are loosed.
You can also youtube search 'rc-51 dirt bike' and it should be the 1st result.

Cheers
-Jonny-

I <3 things that move
-------------------------
2002 Honda RC-51 hill-climber / dirt-bike
2015 KTM RC-390
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2006 PGO T-Rex 150cc 4T
2005 Aprilia SR-50 Ditech 2T
2003 Honda Ruckus - stretched and swapped 4T
1985 Honda Elite 150 4T
1979 Lambretta GP-150 2T
1972 Vespa Rally 180 2T
-------
1995 Volvo 850 Turbo Wagon
1972 Porsche 914 w/ 302DZ SBC V8

Last edited by jnrx; 03-05-2020 at 07:48 PM. Reason: additional info
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 11:20 PM
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Hi Jonny, and welcome.

Good post and a novel bike. I look forward to pics of this 'uncharacteristic' RC51!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2020, 10:36 AM
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I read "hill-climber" and you immediately piqued my interest. I've been to a couple hill climb events and even entered my WR450F into the Big Nasty in Idaho about a dozen years ago. Hill climb racers are definitely some crazy people. Super talented and fun, but crazy. These guys look at a CR500 and call it a kids bike. They will attempt to shoe horn just about any engine into a frame if they think it will get them up a hill fast. Ever seen a dirt bike with a GSXR motor or with a 2-stroke 700cc snow machine engine? This pretty much explains what you have purchased. A hill climber had a donor bike and went for it.

I looked up the video you mentioned and found it here:
. Hopefully you researched the cost of parts for the RC as you may be in for a bit of a shock in trying to find a decent tank or radiators. Start searching ebay...

Anyways, good luck with your build and new project. I've always wanted a KTM 950 Super Enduro because big bore dirt bike are a lot of fun.
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\_(ツ)_/
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2020, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks gents.

So far I've only started it and ridden it up and down my alley a few times after I changed the oil. The janky handlebar mounted battery has got to go and I really do not like the front-mounted rad.
The o.g. builder cut the bottom off the air-box and stuffed it with foam - not sure why - maybe starving for air? I would think that would throw off the EFI but for my purposes I've now fibreglassed a bottom back on it.

I've also got a pair rads coming from ebay and I'm just keeping my eyes peeled for a gas tank that could work - it doesn't necessarily have to be factory RC-51 tank, but something I could mount over the airbox for decent fuel capacity while still allowing dirt-bike-esque maneuverability. I have a very talented welder buddy and I'm half-tempted to pay him to TIG weld up a polygonal aluminum tank. It would look like Cybertruck meets Mad Max.

Cool that you mention Idaho as well. What town was the hill-climb near?
I lived in Idaho for many years in the 90's / early 2000's. I graduated from Boise State University about 22 years ago and Idaho is still one of my favourite states in the union. I also have a posse of crazy scooter peeps up in the Coeur D'Alene / Spokane area that I love to visit.
They were the scooter crew featured in that Macklemore video 'Downtown' from a few years back.

Cheers!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2020, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnrx View Post
Thanks gents.
Cool that you mention Idaho as well. What town was the hill-climb near?
I lived in Idaho for many years in the 90's / early 2000's. I graduated from Boise State University about 22 years ago and Idaho is still one of my favourite states in the union. I also have a posse of crazy scooter peeps up in the Coeur D'Alene / Spokane area that I love to visit.
They were the scooter crew featured in that Macklemore video 'Downtown' from a few years back.

Cheers!
I believe it's held on private property in Payette, ID. I remember camping in a field full of cow turds.

\_(ツ)_/
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2020, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by nigelrb View Post
Hi Jonny, and welcome.

Good post and a novel bike... 'uncharacteristic' RC51!
+1 Go motard with it, tail tank looks like it works, maybe all the air filter needs is something that covers it and keeps low like it is now, have you looked at an SV1000 rad?...this is cooler than I would have first thought, best of luck, looking forward to where you go with it...

2004 BMW R1150SR Project Touring Bike (in-work)
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