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Discussion Starter #1
OK all apologies for posting such a newbie question, I just joined the forum. I'm thinking (hoping) this is the best place to post a question like this. I have no idea if this certain RC51 is a good deal or not, was hoping someone could offer a little advice? I've checked KBB and they don't offer anything but a full retail price suggestion and a trade-in value. & NADA doesn't even list RC51's (dammit.. =)

There is a guy in my city selling an '02 SP2 for $2000. He is actually a mechanic at the local bike dealership here in AZ. It has 37k miles on it, seems to run great. The plastics are less than spectacular. There is a little bondo on the gas tank and 1 crack in the fairing up by the headlight, but I think I can fix them up nicely. (I've done it before and the plastics I'm not too worried about.) They'll need paint too, the fairings are basically Krylon-black right now.

A few other things to note:
2 Brothers pipes, K&N air filter(s) setup, upgraded headlights (meh). Other than this it's stock. It doesn't seem like you need to do too much else to an RC51 to make it fly.

Is $2000 a decent deal? I've checked craigslist all over the country and almost every single RC51 around is cherry, but they're all going for at least 4k. Since it needs quite a bit of plastics work (well mostly just paint on the fairings and a little work to fix 1 or 2 cracks at most) and has relatively high miles, is this a decent deal? I know it's not much to go on, especially without pictures, but should I offer him $1500? Pay the $2k straight up? I'm mostly concerned about the high miles I guess... I know it IS a Honda, but I don't have any experience with these liter-v-twins.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I've owned a couple motorcycles in the past, but they were both I-4's (a ZX-11 :D and a 600GSXF :( ) so I'm not sure how long this big twin is supposed to go. Nor am I sure about the resale value on a higher-mileage RC.

Anyway, can someone offer any advice? Thanks for your time and for any help you can give!

- J in AZ
 

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Did this guy use this bike as a track bike, or was it in an accident?
Sounds like it got laid down by the damage description.

What's important is the mechanical parts. That's the expensive portion.
If the bike got laid down, I'd try to inspect the radiators for damage/repair since they're on the sides and vulnerable.

Good quality aftermarket bodywork can be had for around $700-800.
Cheaper quality bodywork will go for less, but....
You may be able to find a decent fuel tank for sale as well.

If the engine was maintained, 37K miles is no big deal on these bikes.
That just meant it completed it's 2nd valve clearance check.
However, if the bike was used a lot for track use, then make sure the gearbox shifts ok and doesn't pop out of gear under load. That would mean worn dogs on the gears.

Speaking of NADA, for an '02 the low retain is $3300 and high retail is $4300.
And this one sounds like it's no where near that much.
Photos would help, but I'd try to go as low as possible since you know you'll be replacing some parts off the bat.

Or...you could continue your search for a better condition model.
 

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as far as mileage goes, twins last a lot longer then I4s. RC51's and Aprilias can really rack up miles and be perfectly fine...i've seen quite a few reach up as high as 60k

What subsailor said is important you need to find out the specifics of how this bike was used. was it a track bike or a street bike.....was it laid down on the track, a few times here and there, or one big crash on the street.

Plastics are no big deal and if this bike is mechanically fine, i think you would make out ok. my only worry is the fact that this things is so banged up.....bondo on the gas tank, krylon on the fairings, smashed up fairings just makes me think this thing was used and abused and not taken care of. when i typically think of someone using krylon on fairings and putting patches of bondo on the tank to the point where its noticeable, i just don't see this person keeping up with the necessary maintenance and not riding this thing into the ground....but then again i could be wrong, i've been surprised before.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure if it was used as a trackbike, but I'm sure it was laid down at least once, and perhaps once on each side itseems? I'll check the radiators, they looked ok out of the fairing but I didn't inspect them closely at all, will tomorrow.

Great advice on the transmission, I'll be sure to run it wide open at least once thru each gear and make sure it doesn't pop out of gear. Also maybe let it sit for a while and make sure it doesn't get too hot too fast? Although I hear these bikes run hot anyway.

Well thanks a bunch for the advice and I'll let you know how it works out!
 

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if you do pick this bike up, get rid of those filters. grab some stock ones if you plan on keeping the airbox stock. filters in the stock airbox dont make any gains and have even been said to decrease the performance on this bike. the stock filter flow more then enough air for this airbox.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
as far as mileage goes, twins last a lot longer then I4s. RC51's and Aprilias can really rack up miles and be perfectly fine...i've seen quite a few reach up as high as 60k

What subsailor said is important you need to find out the specifics of how this bike was used. was it a track bike or a street bike.....was it laid down on the track, a few times here and there, or one big crash on the street.

Plastics are no big deal and if this bike is mechanically fine, i think you would make out ok. my only worry is the fact that this things is so banged up.....bondo on the gas tank, krylon on the fairings, smashed up fairings just makes me think this thing was used and abused and not taken care of. when i typically think of someone using krylon on fairings and putting patches of bondo on the tank to the point where its noticeable, i just don't see this person keeping up with the necessary maintenance and not riding this thing into the ground....but then again i could be wrong, i've been surprised before.
Yeah I'll ask if he knows if it was used on the track. Only thing he mentioned in the brief time I talked to him was that he had used it to drive from Phoenix to Los Angeles twice. "My ass is still sore" is what he said. I bet.. =)

He did start it, the idle sounded great and it fired right up. I'll call him and take it for a test ride tomorrow, and make sure it feels right mechanically.

I shouldn't have said Krylon, I exaggerated a tad. He painted it this matte-black dullish color and I'm not sure if he used clearcoat? If so not much, but I don't think it's really Krylon (hope not anyway!)

He is a mechanic at a bike dealership and mentioned he recently pulled the swingarm assembly off and did some polishing of the swingarm and wheels, they look good at least. So jury is out so far on how much maintenance he actually did with it.

Anyway a picture is worth a thousand words so I'll try to snap a shot tomorrow. I'll take it for a ride and if it all checks out to the best of my knowledge, then I'll grab it. Perhaps I'll take a picture from my driveway? Heh thanks much for all the advice!
 

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cool well sounds like it should be good mechically.would be a good project for you getting it cleaned up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bought it

Well I offered him $1500 for it, and he accepted. So I'm the proud new owner of an older RC51. The motor and tranny feel great. Plastics are somewhat shoddy. Still trying to figure out where to lock my helmet up on this bike! Maybe I'll buy a Masterlock and just hook it somewhere? Heheh...
If you'd like I can snap some shots with my phone and upload pics? Otherwise, thanks for all the advice and I'm glad to be here.. :D
 
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