If you’d like to hear Adam and Steve discuss this project’s potential (and fixes), check out the below video!
Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
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 and Europe 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 monoshock 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.
This example is VIN: RC302100629. It came to Iconic from an estate in Arizona (along with the the Honda CBR900RR currently up for bidding and the RC51 bodywork/parts lot that we sold). The bike was imported from Canada and per the VIN it is a 1989 model, but we do not know where it was originally sold.
In preparation for the listing, our service department attempted to perform a compression test, at which point we discovered that the engine is stuck. Accordingly, we pulled the valve and clutch covers to inspect the bike for signs of possible damage. Steve did the work, he notes the following in his condition report:
Tire Year Front/ Rear: PRE 2000
Brake % Front/ Rear: NONE
Low Beam: NONE
High Beam: NONE
Tail Light: NONE
Brake Light: NONE
Plate Light: NONE
○ ENGINE DOES NOT FULLY ROTATE; NEEDS REBUILD
○ Project/parts bike missing SEVERAL components
○ Possible broken valve in Cyl #4
○ Transmission hard to turn; could be broken shift fork, etc.
Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), this Honda is offered on a clean
Arizona title. Have any RC30 stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!