Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Honda RVF750R RC45: The most desirable Honda ever built?


Forget the Fireblade, this is the Honda to have!

The Honda VFR750R RC30 was beautiful, boasted of perfect proportions, and actually won a lot of races everywhere it went. The NR750, with its oval pistons and space-age (for 1992…) styling, was properly exotic. But for us, the most desirable Honda ever built is the RVF750R RC45. Launched in 1994, the RC45 was a piece of HRC-magic for the street.

The bike had all the ‘right’ bits – fuel-injected, DOHC, 118bhp, 749cc V4, single-sided swingarm, six-speed gearbox, and aluminium twin-spar chassis. And as you’d expect, it cost a lot – about US$36,000 – which meant very few people could actually afford one. But then this wasn’t a pretend-racer. The RC45, only 200 units of which were ever made (!), was based on Honda’s super-exotic RVF750 endurance racebike. And while its 118bhp and 260km/h top speed in stock trim may not sound that impressive, in full race-fettled mode the RC45 made all of 190 horsepower…


With 190bhp in full race trim, the RC45 wasn't for the faint of heart...

American rider John Kocinski won the 1997 WSBK championship on the RC45 and the bike’s other major triumphs included Jim Moodie lapping the Isle of Man circuit in 18 minutes and 11.4 seconds, at an average speed of 199.12km/h, in the year 1999. Miguel Duhamel won the 1996 Daytona 200 on an RC45, and Ben Bostrom won the 1998 AMA Superbike Championship on the Honda.

Only 50 units of the RC45 ever came to the US, and 20 of those went to professional race teams, which’ll probably give you an idea of just how rare the machine would be today. The bike got some major revisions in 1998, including the single-sided swingarm being replaced with a dual-sided unit, and updated suspension and brakes.


Honda made the RC45 till 1999. Today, finding a used example in very good condition is usually extremely difficult. What a pity...

Honda made the RC45 only till 1999, after which the RVT1000 SP1 RC51, fitted with a 1000cc v-twin engine, took over. Today, depending on condition and the year of manufacture, RC45s go for anywhere between US$15,000-30,000! Can’t rustle up that kind of money? Download the demo version of Castrol Honda Superbike 2000 then, and make do with ‘riding’ the very memorable Honda RVF750R RC45, on your PC. And here's MCN's riding impression of the RC45...

Also see:
Honda V4 revival in 2009...?
Greatest 11s: Kawasaki ZZR1100 and Suzuki GSX-R1100...
Face off: Yamaha OW01 vs YZF-R1!
Hubless wheels on motorcycles...?
Memorable: Bimota SB6 and Suzuki GSX-R1100...
1975 Yamaha TZ750 dirttracker. Awesome!
The amazing Morbidelli 850 V8...

External links:
BMW HP2 Sport riding impression...

10 comments:

m0ckery said...

Hmm, I dunno, I think i might desire an RC30 just a little bit more!
Still dreaming, either way...

Phil H said...

I'll have to agree with m0ckery here - while the RC45 is definitely rare and desirable, if I had to choose I think I'll take the RC30 over the RC45.

The RC30 has more race history / victories and DEFINITELY more iconic than the 45...

Phil H said...

Oh, for those who can't afford a RC30/45 (not that I can), you can always get the "mini" version - the NC30 (VFR400) and NC45 (RVF400)!!

mockery said...

i think you mean NC35 for the RVF400, not to be nit-picky...

NC30 is what I ride, it may be the poor man's version but still a cracker of a bike!

Phil H said...

Yes, I meant the NC35. Sorry!

The NC30 is a nice bike as well - just hard to find one in good nick!

Anonymous said...

I own #12 RC45 here in the US. Bought it new in 1995. Glad to hear good things about it still.

Riding in Ducati 1098S now.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous #12 RC45 owner, please contact me at netters2atcomcast.net I keep records of all the 56 North American RC45 and history of balls 12 is unknown.

BusyLittleShop said...

To the Anonymous owner of #12 RC45. please contact me netters2atcomcast.net I keep records of all the 56 North American RC45 and the history of balls 12 is unknown...

BusyLittleShop said...

I confess owning both the RC30 and RC45 is like having kids. you hate to show favoritism but one kid wants to stay home looking up to the ceiling blowing spit bubbles while 80's WSBK recordings play in the back ground whereas the other kid wants to leave home and join a gang staying out all night fighting the latest motors of death...
RC45 #2
RC30 #44

66bb8480-1ad5-11e2-b4fd-000bcdcb2996 said...

I own both too. I prefer the RC45 over the RC30.......just. But have to agree the 30 has far more appeal to most. It is certainly the one that folk admire and talk about.

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