Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
When the new World Superbike Championship was introduced in 1988, Honda had an issue as its highly successful custom-built RVF750 factory endurance racer (not the RC45) wouldn’t be eligible to compete. So they set out to create a new top-shelf, street-legal, limited edition race bike, producing the minimum number of units required to satisfy homologation rules. Knowing it would only have to turn out a relatively small batch of machines, Soichiro Honda wanted to use the new model to demonstrate what its factory race department was capable of. The result was a no-expense-spared race-grade legend brimming with features previously reserved for track-only machinery. Japan called it the VFR750R, but the bike we fell in love with in America was named the RC30.
At the heart of the RC30 was a liquid-cooled, 748cc, 90-degree V4 engine with four valves per cylinder, gear-driven double-overhead cams, titanium connecting rods, forged two-ring pistons, an 11.0:1 compression ratio, and a “big bang” firing order. Paired with a six-speed transmission with a trick slipper clutch, the sophisticated V4 made 118 hp at 11,000 rpm and 55 ft-lbs of torque at 9,800rpm (unrestricted). The VFR750R had a best-in-class dry weight of 396 lbs and a wet weight of 488 lbs, which was almost 10 lbs less than the game-changing Suzuki GSX-R750. The VFR had a top speed of over 150mph, and thanks to an incredibly high gear ratio, could break 80 mph in first gear.
The RC30 got fully-adjustable Showa suspension fore and aft — 43mm telescopic forks up front and a mono-shock out back. Braking duties went to a pair of fully floating 310mm discs bit by four-piston Nissin calipers in the front and a single 220m unit pinched by a dual-pot caliper in the rear. The bike’s fork sliders also allowed the front calipers to remain in place during wheel changes, a feature that, like the ELF-designed single-sided swing-arm, was born out of competition for ultra-quick pit stops.
Manufactured in November of 1988, this example is VIN: JH2RC3020KM100037. Per the RC30 Website, this is one of 50 RC30s sold in Canada in 1989. The seller purchased the bike through Iconic in the Summer of 2023 but has experienced a change in life situation that requires him to sell off some assets, including this bike and a Ducati 996R which is also on Iconic Motorbikes.
In preparation for the previous listing, we changed the oil and oil filter, cleaned and sync the carbs, flushed and filled the brakes, and serviced the chain.
After purchasing the bike, the current owner had us replace the fork seals and oil, vapor hone the forks, the step plate assembly, the shift rod, the handlebars, and the radiator grill, powder-coat the wheels, and replace the master link and left-hand turn signal switch. Finally, we had Brian of BKM Creations buff the windscreen and Matt of ColorZone Designs perform a complete respray of the bodywork.
Our service department notes the following in their condition report:
Gas Tank Condition: Ok
Tire Year Front: 0420 / Rear: 3721
Tire Life Front: 95% / Rear: 95%
Tire Press Front: 36PSI / Rear: 38PSI
Brake Life Front: 80% / Rear : 70%
Hydraulic: Front, Rear, and Clutch All New
Oil Quality: New / Level: Good
Coolant Quality: New / Level: Good
Low Beam: Ok
High Beam: Ok
Tail Light: Ok
Brake Light: Ok
Plate Light: Ok
Battery: 12.76V Standing
Test Ride: 10KM
Bike operates as intended
LH Switch is faded
Currently located in Santa Monica, California this Honda is offered on a clean Oregon title. Please note that as an import, this bike lacks certain compliance and emissions stickers that the state of California would require to transfer a title. Have any RC30 stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!