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.
When the seller bought it, “the guy who sold this RC30 to me put a Yoshimura exhaust on it and jetted it to work with the Yoshimura pipes. We took the Yoshimura pipes and muffler off of it and put the originals back on it but the jetting is still in place for the Yoshimura pipes. I also have the original jets that can be included with the bike if the next owner wants to change it back one way or the other.” He notes that the previous owner also replaced the chain and sprocket.
The sale will include the Yoshimura headers and exhaust, as well as the OEM chain and sprocket. Please note that if the winner elects to ship this RC30 with Haul Bikes, they will have to pay for the exhaust to be shipped separately.
Currently located in Northbrook, Illinois, this RC30 is offered on a clean Illinois title. He is only letting it go as he just acquired the 0-mile RC30 we sold last week and he’s making room for it! Have any RC30 stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the comments!