1994 Honda RC45


Reserve Bike With Non-Refundable Deposit



Additional photos of this Honda RC45 are available here for your perusal.

The successor to the legendary RC30, Honda’s RC45 (or RVF750R) was a limited run homologation special created to help Honda re-establish supremacy in World Superbike. Though it was ridden to back-to-back titles in ’88 and ’89, by 1993 the RC30 had grown noticeably long in the tooth and it was clear that a new race weapon was needed to dethrone Ducati and its mighty twin. Honda’s answer came in 1994 in the form of the RC45.

Like the RC30, the RC45 was powered by a liquid-cooled, 749cc, DOHC, 16V, four-stroke, 90-degree V4, though unlike its carbureted predecessor, the RC45 was bestowed with tunable electronic fuel-injection borrowed from the development of the NR750. The bike also benefited from knowledge and experience gained in Honda’s RVF factory endurance race program. The RVF’s V4 boasted low-friction pistons, ceramic and graphite impregnated cylinder liners, titanium conrods, and close-ratio six-speed gearboxes with undercut shift dogs. The Euro and Japanese-spec RC45s made 118 hp at 12,000 rpm and 56 ft-lbs of torque at 10,000 rpm while the American model generated 101 hp — though the US version could be brought up to the Euro’s 118 via a simple tweak of the PGM-FI box.

Until the RC45, all of Honda’s V4 machines used a consistent bore and stroke of 70mm x 48.6mm, but the RC45 ended that tradition instead using a 72mm x 46mm setup. The RC45 also used gear-driven cams like the RC30, however, the drive was relocated to the side of the engine to allow for a narrower package. Wrapped around the V4 was a twin-spar aluminum chassis that had been slightly reworked with tweaked dimensions and slightly thinner walls. Suspension on the RC45 consisted of upside-down 41mm forks and a gas-charged shock absorber out back paired with ELF’s single-sided swing-arm which was slightly longer than the unit on the RC30. Both ends were adjustable for rebound, preload, and compression. The RVF’s riding position was still sporty but not nearly as hunched over as its predecessor’s, with a 50mm lower seat height.

Honda saw some races success with the RVF750R: Miguel Duhamel won the 1995 AMA Superbike Championship and the 1996 Daytona 200, while Ben Bostrom nabbed the 1998 AMA Superbike title, and Aaron Slight, John Kocinski, Carl Fogarty, and Colin Edwards all secured WSBK wins plus a trio of Suzuka 8 Hour wins in ’97, ’98, and ’99. While Honda’s current flagship supersport is powered by an inline-four, the firm still uses V4 engines in its current crop of MotoGP missiles that can trace than development back to bikes like the RC30 and RC45.

This example is VIN: RC452000109.

There is no odometer, true mileage is unknown.

In 2010, “Planet Design” in France repainted it with a period Castrol livery as a tribute to the John Kocinski and his #3 bike.

Here’s the bike at Magny-Cours in 2010.

The bike came to Iconic in early 2022. When it first arrived, Olly made it ready to ride with an oil/filter change, battery charge, chain service, coolant flush, brake fluid flush, clutch fluid flush, and a detail. We also sent the tail out to be touched up.

We wanted to take this RC45 out on the track before we let it go to a new home, so we took it to our two-day event at Laguna Seca. In preparation for the track time, we performed a safety inspection, replaced the front/rear brake pads, and installed new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 tires.

Alex did the work, and this was his condition report:
Tire Years – Front: 2022; Rear:2022
Tire Life – Front/Rear:100%
Brakes – Front/Rear: 100%
Battery: 12.52V
Hydraulic Fluid – Front: Ok; Rear: Ok; Clutch: Ok
Oil – Level: Ok; Quality: Ok
Coolant – Level: Ok; Quality: Ok
Killswitch: Ok

Adam put about a dozen laps on it: “I’ve ridden quite a few RC30s and 45s but this is BY FAR the fastest of the bunch. It most certainly has some motor work and undoubtably the HRC race kit as it revs faster and pulls exceptionally well through all the gears with plenty of power.”

Photo by Nathan May
Photo by Nathan May

In October 2023, we took the RC45 out to Barber’s Vintage Festival.

In preparation for the event, our service department replaced the battery, changed the oil and oil filter, and installed new Pirelli Diablo Superbike slicks. You can find the shop walk video here. We’ve also included a lap clip below!

A wonderful client helped us with some of the finer details of the upgrades to this bike (thanks, Jamie!):

The ECU (# 38770-NL5-003) is a ’94 HRC spec NL5 ‘privateer’ ECU.”

“The velocity stacks are similar to but not officially HRC ’95 spec – the ’94 spec were plastic and were 46mm diameter where they met the throttle bodies (also 46mm) but they found in ’94 they lacked a little mid range punch so they reduced the size of the velocity stack and had it ‘sit’ in the throttle body (thus slightly reducing the diameter and picking up airspeed) they still gave the same top end but better mid range. They sit in a genuine HRC ’94 spec NL5 (privateer) spec airbox.

“The PGM-FI adjuster is HRC.”

“The rear shock/linkage/dog bone is Ohlins Superbike (Ohlins made 2 shocks for the RC45, a direct bolt in on standard linkages and then this the Superbike shock/linkage), this was designed by Ohlins to work with a standard swinging arm AND works incredibly well, it has a great linkage ratio, somewhat better than the early HRC linkages!”

“The exhaust collector looks like ’94 spec but not sure. It was not uncommon for privateer bikes to upgrade bits and pieces through the years, so you may find a bike with a combination of 94/95/96/97 parts, by 98/99 the bikes were really the realm of works only and HRC parts did not flow down to privateers.”

HRC radiators.

HRC NL5A magnesium oil pan.

MiG exhaust.

Race radiator (likely HRC).

Fiberglass race bodywork.

Carbon/kevlar engine crash protection.

Braced headstock.

Braced swingarm, Ohlins shock.

Quick change rearsets.

Custom endurance tank with dry brake fuel filler.

PVM front wheel. Forks off a different model (possibly Suzuki GSX-R) with quick change fork bottoms. The front fender has been cut to assist with wheel swaps.

Not Pictured: Olly notes that the heads have been ported.

Cosmetic Blemishes: please see the album up top for all known cosmetic blemishes. Here is a selection:

Inside of the tank:

The sale includes a rear wheel stand.

If the next owner would like to take this bike to the track regularly, we also have some extra spares that can be sold separately – air lift system, sprockets, springs, gearing, etc.

Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), this Honda is offered on a Bill of Sale only. Have any RC45 stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!

Additional Information








True Mileage Unknown




Bill of Sale Only

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Shipping Information

Continental US:
Iconic has several private shipping partners that criss-cross the country for us. Please email transport@iconicmotorbikes.com or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to request a quote.

Haul Bikes will ship anything sold through Iconic for a starting rate of $750 in the Continental US (prices may increase in rural markets), and Iconic will handle the paperwork on your behalf.

Please note:

  • spares/extras will have to be shipped separately via FedEx or similar.
  • the fee includes $15,000 of insurance with a $500 deductible. Additional insurance can be purchased at a cost of $50 per additional $5,000 of value.
  • additional details can be found here

We are located in Santa Monica, California 90405. On a case-by-case basis, we can transport motorcycles in our van. Please email transport@iconicmotorbikes.com or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to request a quote.

Please email transport@iconicmotorbikes.com or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to request a quote.

We recommend TFX

$2,000 for Los Angeles, CA to Canada is a ROUGH ballpark, please contact TFX for an exact quote including shipping and customs.

Europe and Asia:
We recommend Shippio

$5,000 for US to Europe/Asia is a VERY ROUGH ballpark which includes transport as well as customs fees and duties. Please contact Shippio for an exact quote.

Australia/New Zealand:
We recommend Bikes Abroad

$3,000 for US to Australia is a ROUGH ballpark, please contact Bikes Abroad for an exact quote including shipping and customs.

Sorry, VIN Report not available.

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