Click here for an CycleVIN Motorcycle History Report on this 2002 Honda RC51. Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
Introduced in the latter-half of 1999 as a 2000 model, the Honda RC51 was a big-bore V-Twin superbike created to put an end to Ducati’s reign of supremacy in production-based racing. The RC51 featured a powerful liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 999cc, 90-degree, DOHC V-Twin paired with a six-speed transmission and an aluminum alloy twin-spar frame. Honda achieved some impressive results with its “Ducati killer” in the form of World Superbike Championship titles in 2000 and then again in 2002 — the same year the RC51 was ridden to an AMA Championship.
2002 was also when Honda made some updates to the original model (known as the SP1). The second generation RC51 (or SP2) benefited from a host of changes requested by Honda’s factory racers, including a taller windscreen, longer swingarm, reduced steering head angle, stronger yet lighter frame, and a power plant that got a few extra ponies. With around 130 hp on tap and a dry weight of 440 lbs, the 999cc V-Twin was good for a top-speed of over 165 mph. The RC51 was also markedly more reliable than its Italian twin counterpart, making it much more attractive to riders on the street.
A true racebike with headlights, the RC51 was brimming with competition-grade hardware and componentry. Even the instrumentation is configured with a race-style rev-counter, and the rest of the running gear is equally track-focused. Sold from 2000 through 2006, the RC51 was produced during an era in which American riders were at the top of the game and will forever be associated with legendary US-born racers like Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards.
As you may remember, Duhamel won a race in the 2000 AMA Superbike championship on the #17 RC51 as a teammate of Nicky Hayden, and said “the RC51 seems to give the rider a more relaxed sensation on the bike. It’s very stable, with predictable power delivery. When the power comes on it’s not as violent as the RC45, so I have more control exiting corners and I can carry more corner speed.”
This RC51 is ready for you to enjoy – she starts right up and sounds wonderful. It has new Michelin Pilot Power 2CT tires, a new battery, and fresh clutch fluid, but we’re not happy with the brake fluid color so we’ll flush that before you pick it up or we ship it to you.