8. Honda RC51 (2000-2006)


Everybody wants an RC30, and that’s why you’re not getting one. There’s a zero-miles 1989 model of Honda’s titanium-studded V-Four endurance racer on ebay UK now for £39,995, and you probably don’t want a bargain-basement one. Sure, if your car breaks down on a stormy night in the country and you find an RC30 in the barn where you take refuge, maybe buy it. But first ascertain your car wasn’t sabotaged by a British-accented person who planted a bent-framed RC in there with a VFR engine.

The RC51, on the other hand, is not quite so rare and is in fact more fun to ride than the RC30 (sez you … -Ed.) and the even rarer RC45, thanks to its big V-Twin torque. Honda only built the 999cc V-Twin to beat Ducati at its own game, which it did, winning two World Superbike titles under Colin Edwards, and the ’02 AMA title for Nicky Hayden. After 2006, a few years after World Superbike allowed Fours to also go up to 1000cc, the ’51 was discontinued.

Nice ones are out there for $5K. Not-so-nice ones are less. The less nice, the less restraint one tends to feel when it comes time to modify. The platform, though, is rock-solid and certainly less expensive to maintain than a desmo Ducati. You can’t open ebaymotors without Honda parts spilling out of your HTML ports.