Click here for an CycleVIN Motorcycle History Report on this Honda RC30. 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 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.
One of the connecting rods in the engine failed early in the bike’s life and the original owner had it sit for years. He eventually took it to a Honda shop – they disassembled but the bike again sat for several years. Eventually he decided he’d never get around to it after the bike had sat for a total of approximately 15 years without being touched, and he sold it to the current owner in 2014.
At the time, the owner was a partner at The Moto Station in Salt Lake City, Utah (which since closed and now has new ownership). “It sat at our shop for a while and became a project while we gathered parts for the next few years. It wasn’t a priority with all of the customer business we had, but we whittled away for four years and finished up in 2018, reassembling it with OEM Honda or race-type parts.”
“The guys who worked on the engine were professional race motor builders – they installed a new clutch assembly, new pistons, and new rods. The pistons were custom made to match HRC RC30 piston specs.” It was put together as a runner but it was missing a few small parts so he had it on display as part of a collection that we’ve recently sold here on Iconic, including a Honda NR750, a Ducati Desmosedici, and a Honda RC45.
Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), this Honda is offered on a clean Montana title. Have any RC30 stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the comments!