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I know this article is about the SP1, but most of it works for the SP2... seeing that is what I ride, I figured it was relative. I didn't write this, just good reading.

From Super Street Bike website

2000 Honda RC51 - Project Garage

With a deep, thudding exhaust tone and seemingly enough torque on tap to tow an 18-wheeler, the RC51's 115-hp V-Twin engine is plenty of fun in factory form. But because too much is still not enough, we consulted tuning expert Eric Ierardo from Pittsburgh's West Hills Honda, a man who knows a few tricks when it comes to unearthing hidden power in Soichiro's toys, and asked for his assistance in tweaking this beast. Ierardo started by disabling the RC51's "soft" rev-limiter, a common mod on racebikes that freed up an additional 800 revs at redline and a none-too-shabby six horses at the top-end.

He also disconnected a few yards of energy-sapping emissions tubing and added a K&N filter to the stock airbox, too. The banged-up mufflers were replaced with a bitchin' set of Akrapovic carbon slip-on cans ($1125) from Lockhart Phillips. These Eastern European purveyors of all things loud and powerful make some of the best-looking carbon cans in the business, with a race-winning pedigree proven on Colin Edwards' RC51 World Superbike race bikes.

To insure that we got every last ounce of horsepower available to us, Ierardo also installed a Dynojet Power Commander III USB ignition module ($330), and, once adjusted, the RC51 pumped out 129 genuine ponies on the West Hills Honda dyno. Net result was 14 additional horsepower, not bad for a few quick and simple bolt-on engine mods.


While magazine reviewers raved about the effectiveness of the RC51's four-piston Nissin brakes when the bike was first released, I've learned from experience that even great components can be made to perform better. To that end, we installed a set of stainless steel brake lines ($90) from Galfer Performance Braking Systems. Made with Dupont Teflon-coated stainless material, these lines offer a far higher level of internal pressure than stock rubber brake lines, eliminating the "spongy" feel caused by expansion in those rubber pieces. And because we want this RC51 to represent as well as it runs, we ordered the brake lines and a matching line for the hydraulic clutch ($85) in bright red to match the paint on the RC51's tank and fairing.

The stock brake pads also hit the trash bin, replaced by a set of Galfer's own sintered "race/sport" pads ($32). Made from a graphite/ceramic composite for better bite, the Galfer pads are made to slow your sportbike in a hurry in any weather condition, without undue damage to your expensive rotors.


The rearsets fitted to the Project RC51 are more Cycle Cat goodness, the RIPS RS Series multi-adjustable rearsets (about $550) that are every bit as brilliantly conceived and executed as the aforementioned handlebars. Constructed from billet aluminum with a titanium main screw for durability, the RS footrests use a remarkably simple (and patent-pending) design to provide 216-yep, 216-different footpeg positions with the turn of a single bolt to accommodate anyone from Mini Me to your average NBA forward with equal ease.


I'm no Rickey Racer who spends all of his saddle time doing bad Valentino Rossi imitations. Even so, I did plan to use the RC51 for the occasional track event, and one lesson I've learned from previous track days is that the stock suspension on your average streetbike is seldom up for a day's hard cornering on the track, at least not for someone of my, ahem, considerable girth. A quick call to Works Performance lined up an UltraSport three-way adjustable rear shock ($1195), complete with remote reservoir and a spring specifically chosen to suit my weight and riding style. The shock has threaded preload, compression and rebounding damping adjustments with far greater range than the stock item, and as it's slightly taller than the Honda unit, the bike's rear end rides higher, making the front end steer even faster. If you're a heavier rider, we can't recommend an UltraSport shock highly enough for the additional control and comfort it provides.

Wheels and Tires

Choosing a set of rims appropriate for a bike to be used both on the street and the track is no easy task-sure, we'd love some lightweight, carbon-fiber rims, but one bout with a Pittsburgh pothole (or, just as likely, a ham-handed tire changer) and it's goodbye wheels. A classy and attractive alternative that adds style and performance came our way via Custom Sportbike Concepts. CSC set us up with a pair of polished, spun-aluminum RC Components Daytona wheels ($1500) that look great and shave a good five pounds of unsprung weight compared to the stock rollers. The rear rim comes complete with a matching polished sprocket, and the wheels mounted in minutes using spacers that were included in the kit.

Because a torque monster like the RC51 tends to eat tires in less time than it takes to learn a twisty road, we hooked up with the folks at Maxxis tires for a set of their low-price, high-mileage SuperMaxx radials ($100 for the front, $150 for a 190x17 rear). Said to offer comparable cornering prowess to much more expensive rubber with even better wear and durability, the SuperMaxx tires are fit to serve the gods of the street and the track with equal aplomb.
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