Click here for an instaVIN Motorcycle History Report on this 2005 Honda RC51 SP2. Additional photos for this RC51 are available here for your perusal. Please let us know if you require any additional photographs!
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 the year that 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. It’s not uncommon to come across RC51 specimens with more than 100,000 miles on the clock that are still going strong.
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.
This example (VIN: JH2SC45055M500047) is currently under a clean, non-op California title. It has 3,264 miles and just received a full service with fresh synthetic 10W-40 oil/Honda filter, coolant flush, and brake fluid flush.
The sale includes the tool kit and owner’s manual, and the bike is mostly original except it’s missing the OEM mirrors, windscreen, turn signals, passenger seat, and passenger pegs. On the positive side, it has a very rare Sato titanium oval low mount exhaust, Sato titanium exhaust hangers, Sato frame sliders, Sato rearsets, and a Power Commander USB that’s been mapped for the Sato exhaust. There are a few issues with the bodywork (documented in the photo album) that correspond to 14 years of moderate usage, but there is no major damage.
There’s just something about the sound and fury of a RC51 that riders appreciated over the competition. As Ultimate Motorcycling put it in a 2005 review, “a Yamaha R1 is faster; a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is lighter; and a Ducati 999R stops quicker. But you owe it to yourself to discover the reason why there are so many RC51 lovers out there. Only after you’ve ridden one will you understand.”