Friday Forum Foraging: 2002 Honda RC51 SP2

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

Honda's Ducati beater is now a modern classic

For the first Friday Forum Foraging feature of 2024, we have a motorcycle that needs no introduction. Honda's RC51 will go down in history as the bike that beat Ducati at its own game. Honda took advantage of the Superbike rules of the early 2000s that allowed V-Twin engines a 1000cc displacement while the four cylinders were capped at 750cc. In the hands of Colin Edwards, it would go on to win two World Superbike titles – both in thrilling fashion.

Today we have a clean example of a 2002 RC51 from Indianapolis, Indiana that comes to us from our sister site Being a 2002, this is the SP2 version with some small updates over the SP1 that came before it. This particular example has only had two owners and it appears to have been well cared for by its current owner. We only have two pictures to work with, but as far as we can tell, it seems relatively clean for having over 44,000 miles on the clock.

This one has some slight modifications common to the RC51, but otherwise seems ready for the road or the track. In fact, that's the very reason this owner is giving it up – he wants to downsize for a dedicated track bike. For as cool as the RC51 is, the fact remains that it's a heavy bike with a lot of torque – not the easiest for a new track rider.

RC51s are only going up in value, and at $6,000, this one seems priced fairly. As always, the full listing is below. If you're interested, sign up at and contact the seller directly.

2 owners

44300 miles

This is a great running RC51. I've used it on a few trips down to TN, NC, WV to carve up the mountains and have done 2 novice track days with no events. I'm easy on my bikes. This has never seen a wheelie or the ground (on my watch). There was a previous owner, which looks to have dropped it standing still. There's a quarter sized small dent on the left side of the tank and a small scrape on the left engine cover. Otherwise this is very clean.

I'm only selling because I want to downsize for my track bike. I quickly realized, that while this is fun on the track, I'm not yet experienced enough to give it what it needs. As pictures show, this has been trimmed down to be more track oriented while tracking. It is currently in full street trim now. I still have original mirrors if required. Missing foot pegs from exhaust hangers. This has been taken care of carefully with timely fluid changes with only top quality types (motul 300v, engine ice coolant, Bosch DOT 5.1 fluid).

Upgrades include

  • Kyle racing ohlins rebuild (2022) on front forks sprung for 175lbs.
  • Spiegler front and rear braided brake lines
  • EBC brake pads with 80% left
  • 50% used Bridgestone s22 tires
  • Power Commander III
  • Scorpion slip-on exhaust
  • Sargent seat
  • Ballistic lithium battery - EVO2 12

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Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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 1 comment
  • Duken4evr Duken4evr on Jan 09, 2024

    Good RC51 related memories. A riding buddy had one, I had a TL1000. He was the Base Commander at the Los Alamitos Air Station, so naturally I challenged him to a midnight drag race on the runway, loser to buy the winner a case of their choice of beer.

    He was seriously tempted by the sound of this foolishness, but thought better of it and declined, as the military doesn't take kindly to shenanigans taking place on it's bases. I argued our bikes are not nearly as loud as the jets going in and out of there and who would know, but that didn't work 😆

    His bike was faster than mine, but he was a much bigger guy then me - it would have been an interesting race. No thanks to me, he retired from the military some time ago after serving for decades.