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· Registered
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In my search for a nice RC, I've come across some sweet deals on the earlier 00 and 01 models, but I've been told an 02 or later model is best. My question is what improvements did Honda make in 02, and are those improvements enough to justify buying a later model? I'm no knee-dragger by any means, so would I even notice the difference?


Oops! I'm new to the forum and just discovered posts regarding model differences. Sorry.

· Registered
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, Allen, unfortunately I didn't find squat in the Models Forum that gave me any information on the differences between the 00-01 and 02-06 models,
just general talk on minor problems. That said, can you or anyone else tell me
the specific diffrences between the SP-1 and SP-2? Everybody says the SP-2 is better, but does that mean I should overlook a clean SP-1 if the price is right? Just curious if the differences would justify NOT buying a nice SP-1? Can somebody clear this up for me?

· Premium Member
6,522 Posts
Any model of RC51 is a great bike.
The SP2 ('02-'06) was made in greater quantities.

The SP2 was developed from lessons learned while racing the SP1 in WSBK.
The engines mounts were changed to allow more flex for better rear wheel bite under hard throttle.
The rear shock was positioned better to clear the exhaust.
The throttle bodies were increased to 62mm from 54mm.
The rake was steepened slightly for quicker steering.
The swingarm was lengthened 16mm and is made of welded forged sections.
The rising rate ratio was changed for more linear rate.
The ECU was move next to the battery to use a racing subframe.
The exhaust ports were changed from round to D-shape for better gas flow.
The OEM wheels were changed from 6-spoke to 5-spoke for lighter weight.
Various other tidbits were changed to make the bike a bit lighter.
That's sort of the high points.

However, that being said, all of the RC51's (SP1 or SP2) are great bikes.
They have quite a racing history behind them and have quite a lot of character.
I have let several friends who own 600's and 1000's ride mine and they all love it.
Which is amazing how people who have the latest tech, love an old war horse.
That says a lot.
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