Additional photos 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.
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.
The bike comes with impressive documentation of the bike’ history, some of which we will summarize here: ‘This particular bike was produced for the German market specifically. This is shown on the “Frhzeugbrief” as the bike was governed to 155 mph and 100 bhp, as per German law at the time.
It seems that the bike’s build dates to November 30th, 1993, making it a 1994 model. As limited numbers of RC45s were made for Germany, it took until August 8th, 1996 to gain German type approval. This type approval was granted to Honda Germany at Offenbach. It appears that Honda Germany retained the bike…it is clear via the Abmeldebescheiniggung document that in March 3rd, 1999 Honda Germany chose to register the bike. This may have been an enforced action due to German laws at the time. The bike was PDI’d just a day before Honda registered by Reinhold Dippold (the supplying dealer) on March 29th, 1999 as per the Service Book. Interestingly, the “customer” for the bike was Honda Germany at Offenbach.
It appears that Honda Germany retained the bike until asking Reinhold Dippold to sell it for them in 2002, which coincided with their move to Frankfurt. The old site was then used by Honda Research and Development. Reinhold Dippold advertised the bike as “New” as per the ad copy.
On April 15th, 2002, Jean-Marc Souvignier of Easy Rider in Luxembourg (himself an owner of several collectible Hondas such as a RC30, NR750, and RS500 GP) acquired this bike from Honda Germany through Reinhold Dippold. Jean-Marc registered the bike in Luxembourg and the bike went through a MOT inspection on January 10th, 2006 with a recorded mileage of 1km.
Jean-Marc sold the bike to a Chris Saunders of the UK on January 27th, 2017. The bike then ended up with the Bike Specialists in Sheffield, UK, and Iconic sourced the bike for its current owner in April 2022. The current owner’s intent was to have us make it a runner so that he could ride it.
With that in mind, we sourced a used set of RC45 wheels so that he could keep the pristine wheels and original OEM tires for display purposes. We also sourced a used Honda CBR600F2 17″ wheel as the original front wheel is 16″ for better tire choices, then had the F2 wheel powdercoated to match. The sale includes all three wheels.
He has decided to sell it and focus his collection on race bikes with history instead.
Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), this Honda is offered on a clean Oregon title. Please note that it is titled as a 1995 model. Have any RC45 stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!