Difference between revisions of "Honda RC51"

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Revision as of 14:11, 29 April 2006

Honda RC51 (RVT1000R)
Honda VTR1000 SP2

The Honda RC51 motorcycle is a racing motorcycle powered by a one liter (999cc) liquid-cooled 90-degree V-twin engine. The RC51 is also known in the United States as the RVT1000R, and in Europe it is called the VTR1000. It was designed as the motorcycle to be used by Honda's racing teams in World Superbike racing. The 2000-2001 models are designated SP1 while the 2002-2006 models are designated SP2 (the latter having updated fuel injection and suspension).

In 1988, new rules in superbike racing allowed V-twin engines up to 999cc's to compete. Prior to the rules change, 750cc four cylinder motorcycles were the dominant force in World Superbike racing. The first two years, Honda continued to win the World Superbike Championship with their RC30, powered by a 750cc V-4. In 1990, however, Raymond Roche secured Ducati's first world title aboard the Ducati 851. Throughout the next 11 years, Ducati would go on to win 8 World Superbike Championships with their V-twins (Honda won two and Kawasaki just one).

Despite having an excellent engineering team and a significant amount of money, Honda was unable to win consistently, particulary because of the V-twins' displacement advantage. In 2000 Honda released the RC51, powered by a 998cc liquid-cooled V-twin engine. That year, it won the World Superbike Championship with Colin Edwards riding for the Castrol team. In 2001, Ducati regained the title, but the RC51 was still a contender boasting reliability, speed, and power. The RC51 won again in its final year of factory-supported racing in World Superbike in 2002.

Honda stopped manufacturing the RC51 in 2005, 2006 being the last model year. Honda stopped official support for Superbike racing in 2003 (though various teams have had some factory support) and the RC51 was replaced by the CBR1000RR Fireblade as the Honda superbike racer (Superbike rules changed to allow 1000cc 4 cyclinder bikes in 2003).


999cc liquid-cooled 90-degree V-twin
Bore and Stroke 
100.0mm x 63.6mm
Compression Ratio 
Valve Train 
DOHC; gear driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder
Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) with two injectors per cylinder
Computer-controlled digital with three-dimensional mapping

Drive train

Close-ratio six-speed
Final Drive 
#530 O-ring-sealed chain

Chassis, suspension, brakes

Front Suspension 
43.0mm inverted HMAS cartridge fork with spring-preload, rebound and compression-damping adjustability, 5.1-inch travel
Rear Suspension 
Pro-Link HMAS single shock with spring-preload, rebound and compression-damping adjustability, 4.7-inch travel
Front Brakes 
Dual full-floating 320.0mm discs with four-piston calipers
Rear Brake 
Single 220.0mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front Tire 
120/70ZR-17 radial
Rear Tire 
190/50ZR-17 radial


23.3 degrees
94.6mm (3.7 inches)
55.9 inches
Seat Height 
32.5 inches
Dry Weight 
439 pounds
Fuel Capacity 
4.8 gallons, including 1.2-gallon reserve

External links