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Discussion Starter #1
I've always wanted to pick up an RC51 so I have some questions.
I'd like to avoid problematic bike years.
What the best year bike to have?
What are some of the problems these bikes have? Every bike I've owned has a problem or two from the factory. I'd like to know what they are.
Thanks
 

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2000-'01 are exactly the same (SP1). Honda made a few small adjustments in '02. Colors have been the only thing changed from '02-'06 (SP2).
I've yet to hear of any real "problems" other than tank leaks on a few SP1 bikes which Honda will warranty...
If I was in the market, I wouldn't really search for any particular year. I'd be more concerned with mileage and condition. I do like the 2003's though simply because on the way the black flows into the windscreen on the front cowl. It looks sweet with a blacked out shield. :D
 

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Actually Honda made quite a few changes from the SP1 to the SP2, but most are under the skin so to speak and not quickly detected, except the swingarm.
All are nicely engineered bikes, with lots of old school HRC racing heritage.
 

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Actually Honda made quite a few changes from the SP1 to the SP2, but most are under the skin so to speak and not quickly detected, except the swingarm.
All are nicely engineered bikes, with lots of old school HRC racing heritage.
I meant the only thing between 02-06 was colors. SP1vs. SP2 definitely had a lot of other small changes.
 

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I was hunting for this kind of info before I bought my 2003. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with the bikes, other than the tank issue mentioned above. My interpretation of online info has been that the SP2 is a "better" version to buy...but not lightyears beyond the SP1.

Like Evolved said...just look out for a bike in good condition with decent milage at a good price. Heck, I'd pay a little more for a well maintained bike. Also, interview the sellers...that will tell you a lot about how the bike was treated.
 

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Let's just say the SP2 was an "improved" version over the SP1.
Unless you were aware of the changes, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two. The improvements were under the skin for the most part.
 

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The only problem I have is the constant need to go out to the garage and stare at it.. It's also hard to resist starting it all the time to hear the sweet sounds in makes. As for the SP1 or the SP2... It doesn't really matter, buy the one in the best condition with the lowest miles and you'll be happy. My 2000 SP1 only has 8,500 miles and looks like new. I like it better than my 08 CBR 1krr and it's vintage by comparison. The SP2 is just the the perfected version of an already awesome machine. Buy one and enjoy!
 

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Yeah too bad they quit making them, but they were more expensive to built than I-4's.
Especially with the gear drive cams.
The RC51 was reportedly co-designed by Mr. Saito, who also designed the RC30 and RC45, and also the RC211V. So it's old school HRC.
 

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The RC51 was reportedly co-designed by Mr. Saito, who also designed the RC30 and RC45, and also the RC211V. So it's old school HRC.
I've heard the same thing.. although there are lots of rumors out there floating around about these bikes. The guy I bought mine from said as far as he knew the first 500 SP1's were the best to own but I kinda assumed it was just a sales pitch to get me to buy it. I didn't care either way but I've heard others say the same thing. Why the first 500 would be any different, I don't know. My buddy has a later 2000 SP1 and we can't find any noticable differences. Mine does sound better but we have different exhaust systems so who knows.. Different or not, I was excited to buy one of the first 500 made in such good condition. I actually chose mine over a 2003 in similar condition with about the same miles for only $500 more. Hell.. to go even further, I chose my 2000 RC over a buying a brand new 2008 CBR 1krr for under 8gs.. I guess I'm just nuts..;)
 

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Because supposedly, the first few RC51's were hand assembled by a select few in a team,
(just as the RC30's and RC45's were assembled).
I can't verify if that's true or urban myth.
 

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2000-'01 are exactly the same (SP1). Honda made a few small adjustments in '02. Colors have been the only thing changed from '02-'06 (SP2).
I've yet to hear of any real "problems" other than tank leaks on a few SP1 bikes which Honda will warranty...
If I was in the market, I wouldn't really search for any particular year. I'd be more concerned with mileage and condition. I do like the 2003's though simply because on the way the black flows into the windscreen on the front cowl. It looks sweet with a blacked out shield. :D
New to this forum, and picking up an '04 Nicky Hayden Edition on Saturday (yeah pretty excited) :D I kinda noticed there aren't any pics of '04 RC51's in any color other than the Nicky Hayden theme... was that the only color scheme offered for '04?
 

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hi all new user here from NZ, I had to ride home in driving rain yesterday, after the bike sat outside in the rain for 4 hours while i got stuck at work, brrrr - anyway i noticed on the way home the neutral light high beam light and oil light, had condensation in them the main lcd on the dash adn rpm counter are all good no condensation ,

any body have this problem or know if this is usual , should i do anything??
 
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