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As promised, here's the start to my RC51 project. This is the sister bike to my fiancee, chixwithtrix's project.

This bike was found and purchased through some accidental craigslist ninja-ing thanks to the fact that we keep a pretty close eye on the low price motorcycle listings. She popped up listed as something like a RC1100 or some other oddball name that wasn't correct which I think is the only reason that I wasn't beaten out by a hundred other craigslist searchers. It was listed up for $1800 but the seller clearly said in the add that he would take $1500. For the heck of it I told chix to text the guy and see if he would take a flat $1000 cash on the spot and some haggling later, he agreed.

Within the hour I became the owner of a very much worse for the wear SP2 RC51 with parts of unknown provenance, a salvage title, and at least two wrecks and probably a theft recovery to its name. It wouldn't start, it had one headlight and the only fairing piece was a perfect condition left side. The list of other problems could go on for a while so I'll just cover them as I find and fix them.

Originally the plan for the bike was our standard fix and sell routine. I figured I would get it running and able to go down the road and pass it on to someone else for a project. We hadn't been riding much for the summer and I wasn't really feeling the need to have another bike. That all changed as the weather got nicer and we started riding again. Suddenly I was quickly reminded of what it is like to ride my first generation SV650 naked bike for Houston highway blasts with friends riding liter bikes... Needless to say the need for another big bike got back in the blood and I started taking another look at the ugly duckling RC in the garage.

My current plans are to get the bike running (no response from the start button when I picked it up) to make sure there's nothing major wrong on the mechanical front, then start into the major issues, then on to cosmetics. With any luck I plan to have the bike at least ugly and ridable by the time that the good weather comes to stay in Houston.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So here's the bike and chix as we are picking it up:
And here she is when we got her back to the garage



Earlier in the week I got her up onto the lift. By this time the power commander and better condition tank had been "borrowed" for project stitch.



Lets just take a quick look at some of the lovely work here... Here's the electrical tape that has been holding up a wiring harness for some time. That right next to the wonderfully rattle canned upper triple clamp. Yes, that is the entire roll of tape still hanging at the bottom.




How the guy managed to rash up this part of the fork is beyond me. I also noticed that one of the lower pinch bolts is missing...


It doesn't actually look that bad in the picture but this is the wiring for the tail lights. At least 8 butt crimps, all of them I could pull the wires right out, two that had already been pulled out, and twice as much wire as necessary. I'd be surprised if the lights on this thing worked half of the time.



My first bit of work, cleaning up that wiring. It actually looks worse since I haven't re-zip tied everything and put the ECU back in (currently working on a way other than looped zip ties to hold up the undertail).



Other than the work in the back, I've sorted out the "wiring issue" that was keeping it from turning over - blown fuse on the starting circuit. It turns over, but until I get a tank on it I won't get to hear it run, and that has to wait on a new banjo bolt for the fuel line since the old one was stripped out from someone using the wrong size allen on it.

I've also done some little clean up work to fix things the idiot previous owners did. The throttle tube and switch assembly are both pinned into holes in the right hand bar, but the PO had managed to miss the hole, smashing the pin out and mangling the hole for the throttle tube. I had to dremel the pin down on both pieces a little and got that all to fit cleanly. I've also got replacement bolts on the way for the stripped and oxidized ones on there right now.

Finally, I started doing a little clean up work on the rear cylinder head area.
 

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A bit of a long road...keep us posted, leakdown test maybe? Just to get a good idea what's going on...bent valves, worn rings dire need of a valve adjustment you know that sort of thing...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We'll see. If there's any issues with how it runs a leakdown will likely happen. If she starts up nice and happy and runs right, I probably won't bother.
 

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Really? Seems like it would be a good idea to get a check-up on the engine, considering how rough the rest of the bike is. That's a lot of time and parts money. I didn't catch it, but is the right side rashed? I noticed the left radiator looked straight. Nice stand too.
That scrape on the fork leg is where she kissed a concrete curb when it tipped over.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Both sides show some rash and damage. The left radiator is straight, but has a big weld on it from an old repair so it looks like crap.

The problem is that I'm not willing to tear down the engine. If there's anything suspicious about how it runs when I get it together I'll sell it as-is to someone who wants a more in depth project. That's just not what I'm looking to get into here. I'll deal with the basics, but if it gets that intense I'd rather put my time and effort into something else.
 

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Get chix to do it. :D
As fast as she rebuilt that fork leg in the video, she'll have those vavles checked in no time flat! :D :eek: :D
A compression check is easy and a good indicator...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh, valves? I might go through the top end and check the clearances on all of that. Its just the bottom end I don't want to get into. Anything under the valve cover is fair game.
 

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I am just learning about these bikes, and the pictures do not clearly show it, but does this bike have an SP1 swing arm?
 

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I am just learning about these bikes, and the pictures do not clearly show it, but does this bike have an SP1 swing arm?
Yes it is an SP1 swing arm
 

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Good to know! This bike looks to pretty much be a SP2 frame with all SP1 parts on it. I only post it in SP2 since it is one by the vin, if nothing else.
Im trying to understand why someone would go through the hassle of putting an SP1 swingarm on an SP2. Unless they robbed stuff off it before selling it?:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Im trying to understand why someone would go through the hassle of putting an SP1 swingarm on an SP2. Unless they robbed stuff off it before selling it?:confused:
Near as I can tell one of two things happened to this bike in the past or maybe both. It shows signs of being down multiple times. Either at some point it was a SP1 and the frame was damaged and replaced with a SP2 frame or it was a SP2 that had so much damage that it was rebuilt with SP1 parts.

Alternately it may have been a theft recovery SP2 and not much was left at all and the replacement parts came from a SP1 bike.

It has a salvage title so it has lived a hard life one way or the other. At this point I'm treating it as a SP1 bike and my work and mods will reflect that.
 

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Im trying to understand why someone would go through the hassle of putting an SP1 swingarm on an SP2. Unless they robbed stuff off it before selling it?:confused:
+1 That's what I thought too.

Fixed that for you.
:eek: Ahhh, Cmon here, guy's trying to do a build out of a very abused mutt of a bike, but one worth saving none the less. No need to rub salt in the wound. :rolleyes:
By the way, his freaking top bridge is hideous, huh?! :D :D :D


Near as I can tell one of two things happened to this bike in the past or maybe both. It shows signs of being down multiple times. Either at some point it was a SP1 and the frame was damaged and replaced with a SP2 frame or it was a SP2 that had so much damage that it was rebuilt with SP1 parts.

Alternately it may have been a theft recovery SP2 and not much was left at all and the replacement parts came from a SP1 bike.

It has a salvage title so it has lived a hard life one way or the other. At this point I'm treating it as a SP1 bike and my work and mods will reflect that.
Are you sure it is a SP1 swinger? I couldn't really tell from just the pictures, because every picture you have is from the left side. (I can really only tell from seeing the right side.)
Anyway, good luck, you got a shitton of work in front of you, but at least you two have plenty of other bikes to ride in the interim. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't know for sure one way or another. I've never searched out the tell tales that let you figure out if it is a SP1 swinger. Honestly I'm keeping my focus pretty tight on one thing at a time. First is getting it running right. After I've got it running I'll take it for a quick ride up and down the street to make sure that it doesn't have an immediately apparent quirks that make me want to pass the project on to someone else. Only then will I start into figuring out the rest of everything.

Its worth mentioning that this is a serious budget build so I'm not planning on investing a lot right off the bat. If there's major problems ahead, I'll ditch it for something else. As much heresy as it may be to say on a RC51 forum, I'm a R1 guy (the just suit me really well) and the RC is a cheap and easy way back onto a literbike, plus it will make a good track toy once I have another R1 for the street. If it gets too complicated or expensive, I'll revert to my original plan and sell it.
 

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I don't know for sure one way or another. I've never searched out the tell tales that let you figure out if it is a SP1 swinger. Honestly I'm keeping my focus pretty tight on one thing at a time. First is getting it running right. After I've got it running I'll take it for a quick ride up and down the street to make sure that it doesn't have an immediately apparent quirks that make me want to pass the project on to someone else. Only then will I start into figuring out the rest of everything.

Its worth mentioning that this is a serious budget build so I'm not planning on investing a lot right off the bat. If there's major problems ahead, I'll ditch it for something else. As much heresy as it may be to say on a RC51 forum, I'm a R1 guy (the just suit me really well) and the RC is a cheap and easy way back onto a literbike, plus it will make a good track toy once I have another R1 for the street. If it gets too complicated or expensive, I'll revert to my original plan and sell it.
Are you trying to be funny? Because your making me laugh.


Btw, those are also SP1 forks and triples on the bike.
 

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There is nothing cheap about rebuilding a rc at all....
Looks like you have to touch every piece on that one wich is gonna be costly

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