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Discussion Starter #1
Whether we like it or not our baby is decaying, the few of us left to glorify this bike will most likely be around ten years later as dynosaurs of an old classic. There are also a few young ones who have found a great bike at a budget price but are dreaming of a brand new Blade, R1, ZX10, 1198 etc. I'd like to bet, despite the harsh economic conditions, by next year those guys will be gone.
If you have noticed in the past few months there are fewer and fewer new posts and threads on this side of the forum. Fewer and fewer same people participating and even fewer new members being introduced. Whether that's good or bad I think it is a trend we have to address as significant.
The quality I see in the newer bikes does not impress me much, although great designs and technological leaps, switches, plastic pieces, electrical gadgets made of much poorer quality than were 10-20 years ago. I have an 86 and an 89 Japanese bike alongside my RC and then I help friends out working on their 06-09 bikes and I can see the difference. Will those bikes be around for as long as our older bikes are? I seriously doubt it. The chinese syndrome of cheap mass production of the little things that make a big fast bike will fail much earlier, while my 89 gas pump will still be ticking.
It use to be an art to play with exhaust systems, air filters, and then try to match jets and needles to make a good bike faster. Now it is a bolt on and plug in software gizmos to a PC. Not just the fun, but the art is going away. With ABS and anti-spin systems already out, soon we will see computer programmable suspension. It won't matter who makes it, it will only matter which spreadsheet you load up to match the road conditions. The VFR1200 is the first of the auto transmission and soon they will all be like it. Accelerating and braking will be just like an on/off switch.
We are at the crest of evolution, and some of us are refusing to let go, to surrender to the shift. I have already lost pretty much all interests in things new, and even though I already have second thoughts of the RC being too much, I get more sentimental about a ZRX1200, an RZ350, a KZ1000MKii, even a TZ750/500! Trying to hold on to a time of riding and working on a bike was a skillful macho thing, instead of a sissy computer game. Back on the days where you tuned things with an angle grinder, you used duct-tape on a helmet and your boot, wheels had spokes and tires were meant to just hold on air.
No, I refuse to accept I'm getting old, I'm just not part of the targeted market. That's it, factories are marketing to the Nintendo generation, and although I've played the game I am not part of it. What worries me about the targeted market is that they are not screwing as much as we did, or even care about it. Bunch of sissy kids sitting around and bike talking with no girls around, listening to meaningless music, taking stupid drugs, and looking like zombies at an age where they should be bouncing off the walls with rebellion.
Is anyone else feeling anywhere along those lines, or am I alone?
 

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I feel exactly the same way. I ride like there's no tomorrow because I know soon enough gas will be unafforable and we'll all be riding around on soulless whining electric garbage.
 

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I feel your pain, I could not agree more with you and your opinion of the generation of youngsters coming around, although I like the technology side of bike development and as far as the RC51 its a bike that gets respect by anyone that knows anything about motorcycle lineage, so if someone that calls themselves a "bike guy" and does not know about it or any of the earlier trend setting bikes of the past, then they really don’t disserve to.
 

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I feel you guys, I love the RC51 in many ways. I have an 05, what originally got me into the RC was the sound, and I still love the sound. There is no other bike that sounds the same from the whining noise to the rumbling exhaust. I have had somewhere around 24 different bikes, mostly sport bikes, and I have held on to only two to this date, MY 2000 CBR 929 and the 05 RC. I saw where you guys are from and I just wish that I had your areas to ride, I lived out in the Santa Barbra Area for a while and that is where I started into riding, but the Military took me to Florida where it is all flat, straight roads, yea it sucks. Here it is either be into drag racing or custom show bikes, so after seeing this area and not being able to ride the twisties anymore, I decided to get into the custom show side of life. Keep in mind when you read this that I do have all my stock plastics and every stock part that came from my RC, from stock windscreen to stock exhaust, grips, levers, mirrors, rims, I have not even cut the undertail or the turn signal wires on the harness, completely 100% stock capable. Anyway, I do understand where you guys are coming from, but you can't hate on the newer bikes too bad, there is something to be said for the horsepower that they are all putting down now. My friend has an 06 GSXR 1000 and that is by far the fasted bike that I have ever been on, trust me I have ridden a lot of liter bikes and some with nitrous and still Modern Technology is great, he has 172 horsepower at the wheel, like you guys said, exhaust, filter, a few mods to the motor, a powercommander, mostly all bolt-ons, but no art to the build, but still 172RWHP is still impressive
 

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I equate these modern bikes to formula one cars. They are, indeed, magestically powerful, but at a price. A formula one racing car engine lasts for one or two races... max. After that... they start to... rot!!! Mostely magnesium, the crankcases corrode before your eyes. Same with the latest crop of bikes. Everything is as light and thin as it can be. Good engineering practice for power to weight ratio's, but not a recipe for long life.
The ones I have ridden feel and sound 'hollow', as if they have no substance, and the noise that comes out of them! No thick cases to absorb and deaden sound, you hear every pinging and rattle.
As for the power they make, it does all seem top endy to me. Sure they take off like banshees when wound up, but they dont seem to like a wiff of throttle and a slow potter.
Enough, its the works Christmas party, best wishes to you all, keep safe, happy new year.
 

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here's my 05 sp2 (rc51) i sold it last year as it was causing me a lot of pain in the shoulders and neck.

fabulous bike and i miss it dearly.

if this had been around when i was 25 i would have tried to breed with it.:evilaugh:

but at 44 it was giving my physiotherapist a good living:)



 

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I totally agree with you ,all the latest/fastest/lightest bikes seem to fade after a season or two and nobody remembers them, only interested in the (new) model,I have owned about 40 bikes in my time and the only bikes i've kept are my 03 SP2 from new and my recent 07 SP2 ,sure i've tried the latest RC8R and 1098s but i have no "FEELING" to own either brilliant bike.This year is the first year for 10 years i haven't bought a bike, i'm just so content with my SPs. The only bike that interests me enough to buy is the Desmosedici but i like being married so thats just a dream! I see the SPs as the final chapter in honda's dedicated race bike series now only developing their cbr for racing use.
LONG LIVE THE SP/RC51 but ssssshhhh dont let people know how good they really were, let THEM buy the latest cock piece.
 

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I believe the RC-51 is going through it's inevitable life cycle. Being preserved on one hand by riding enthusiasts who know what a good machine is and being moved aside by the latest 'ride till they 'drop' offerings from the manufacturers.
The RC-51 remains competitive because of it's advanced design and build quality. A large number of the 'newer' Sport Bikes are already finding permanent homes in locked garages and salvage yards while the RC-51 soldiers on in the hands of capable pilots.
I enjoy riding the big twin at speed within safe and sane limits because that's what it was built for. My RC will be part of the stable for much time to come....
 

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I recently took the new fireblade for a spin to see if it was worth trading my sp1 for? I have to say it was fast but only when you was right high the rev range! I didnt feel any difference bottom end between the blade and my sp1 if anthing the sp1 felt better up to 7000 rpm. I liked the blade but for what i use my bike for i think the sp1 was better! But that is just my opinion? More character and much better noise. They offered me a good trade in on my bike aswell. I might save up more money and get a blade in the future just for that top end buzz! But i wouldnt sell my sp1 for one or any of the newer 1000cc rockets!
 

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I've got an 2004 and figure it will last forever; my 1971 Yamaha R5 is 39 years older and still runs great and the RC51 is built a lot better. No worries here that my RC51 will "rot" in my lifetime, and the V-twin motor is the best engine I've ever had and probably ever will have, bar none.
 

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I've always been a twin fan and never cared for the IL4 regardless their astonishing numbers. When the RC came out in 2000, I really dig that bike a lot. It was very well built with better components than the CBR. I was told by several sources that Honda was actually losing money with the American market. For 10K it was a lot of bike and I remember that dealers in CA were charing up to 15K for it!

In 2001 I bought a SP1 but at the time one bike was the only mean of transportation I had. The bike needed some suspension work no doubt, pipes and a PC. In any case, the bike was not too practical for me so after less than a month I returned it to the dealer and he gave me all my money back as he had a list of people waiting for one.

I bought a BMW R1100S instead with hard cases and ABS that I still have and love but the itch for a twin sport bike never went away.

Year after year, lots of faster and lighter bikes came to the market but my heart always went towards the now "out-dated" RC.

Two years ago we moved to FL and we sold my wife SV650S and she was not riding at all. We had a garage that I turned into my business shop. Last year, I had some cash left over from my business investment so I treated myself with a 2003 SP2 with most of the mods I wanted. The SP2 overall was a more refined SP1 especially in the handling and suspension departments.

I doubt I will ever sell either bikes. So now I'm pretty happy about having two "older" but still very capable bikes, a sport-turing and a sport bike both twins.

I occasionally test ride other bikes, but the RC is just awesome! It is a quality bike, no doubt, very well built and put together plus they are super reliable.

They are for sure head-turners especially with a pair of cans. Even the Harley people look at it all puzzled because of the sound.

In any case, the RC is one-of-a-kind, just a capable as a Ducati but w/out all the issues that come with Italian temper!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've got an 2004 and figure it will last forever; my 1971 Yamaha R5 is 39 years older and still runs great and the RC51 is built a lot better. No worries here that my RC51 will "rot" in my lifetime, and the V-twin motor is the best engine I've ever had and probably ever will have, bar none.
I'm probably fascinated with the RC for the same reasons you are, although I'll have to admit it is as far as I can get excited with a heavy diesel. The engine probably weighs about three times that of an RG500, and there have been dyno tests of tuned RGs in excess of that of the RC's
The RG500 DYNO papers

I do miss my RD400f though and wish I had hem back someday.
 

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I've worked on all my bikes since day one.
To disassemble your bike and reassemble it by yourself is a wonderful learning experience.
Most folks these days either are afraid to work on their bikes (or cars) or they simply don't know how to.

As for the RC51, I doubt it's popularity is waning as most people these days have no idea what one is. They look at it and wonder why it sounds so different.
The ones who do know, or the ones who found out after being exposed to mine, now want one.

Honda has been a great company in supporting it's bikes parts-wise.
The RC51 is a very well built bike and should run forever if properly maintained.
Mine has 47K miles on it and going strong. Never fails to crank.
And I've never heard of RC51 frames cracking like on late model Gixxer 600's and 1000's.
 

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I've got a 12K mile 2000 SP1 and love it! I ride it for enjoyment and part of that is that your unlikely to see another one, the current 600 / 1000 are everywhere. Seems everyone has to have the latest and greatest.

No doubt the latest offerings are "superbikes", but for me the SP'S are a little bit special. I've been tempted by the dark side, my brother rides the latest Blade, but they look built to a cost, plastic, cheap! Not something that would make me smile for a long time. The novelty of owning a "new" bike would wear off.

I've decided that if I ever do change, i'll keep the SP.
 

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My RC has power delivery and handling beyond that of my skills. I've passed a number of 160hp liter bikes on the track not to see Them again until the end of the session (and that's in the "A Group").

I've been asked many times is it for sale. Emphatically "No!".

Now about today's youth. Mentor them. A little time riding and the wrenching with them will carry forward skills that wll last a lifetime. As far as tuning with a computer that's just part of new tuning. There are still wrenches, drivers, and the occassional hammer put to use. :)
 

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No worries here that my RC51 will "rot" in my lifetime, and the V-twin motor is the best engine I've ever had and probably ever will have, bar none.
Naw, it isn't as good as the in-line four that powers my 954. But I know what you mean. Computers, fancy this and and that, all made out of plastic. My 954 is already too much Flash Gordon and it doesn't hold a patch on the new bikes. Not for me. I prefer riding ability to gizmos, and will every time.
 

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I'll never sell mine. It's a track bike at this point, but I have all the stock stuff. The few thousand dollars I would get for it is pointless when compared to the joy of firing that baby up.

No reason to ever sell it at 40 yrs old I don't really care about the newer bikes. How fast do you or I really need to go??

Not to mention the styling of new bikes looks like the design teams are drinking too much red bull. How many stupid angles, cuts and lines can there be on one bike. The RC has simple smooth lines that still look good. I think the MV Augusta started all the ridiculous spaceship angled design fad. The current Duc motogp bike is the only modern bike I can think of that looks good with smooth curved lines. The rest of them are really getting cartoonish.

The RC is a unique bike that makes me smile. It will be in my garage until I'm too old to know my kids sold it.
 

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This is a great post! I have been riding, repairing, and relishing bikes since I was old enough to know what gas was. I remember how good gas smelled when my father gassed up the old car. There was lead in the fuel then.

The twins really did'nt get exciting until the Ducati's became popular. Those Italian beauties hit the mags and you lusted after them. You couldn't afford them but always wanted one. Then racing promoted them even more watching Carl Fogerty flip everyone off as he won race after race.

Then Honda developed the RC-51 and every Honda lovin rider now had a chance to own a piece of history. I could now experience what Carl did on the track and it was good! With fuel injection, real brakes, and the same size tires the racers used. Oh yea, an adjustable suspension. I compared the specs with all the Ducks and the playing field was now even.

Even better was the fact I could buy a pristine RC-51 for half the price of new. The younger chaps all grew up with the inlines 4's and to them the twins were foreign and heavy so there was a good selection of used RC's out there.

I was strapped to my VFR for ten years so I was ready for some fun. And I knew the RC was going to be reliable because it shared the gear driven cam-valve train.

The real appreciation came when I first rode a high revving CFR-450 dirt bike. Yes a dirt bike. This thing is a monster. Fast reving and all the power you could ever want. It made ruts, it wheelied in every gear, and it was light. Why the comparison? The RC has the same power delivery as the RC. The RC is actually 2 CFR-450's. If you ever get the chance to ride one you'll know what I mean. This made me appreciate the RC all the more. A seamless blend of torque and horsepower.

My RC occupies a special area in my family room during the winter months and will never be sold. During the summer the bike comes out and plays and every once in a while when I pass a Ducati I quietly smile thinking who's flipping off who now. I can't wait for the RC-61 to come out......then we will rule again on the track!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I may be over-reading into this but threads like this can be monitored by the big 4 and they can either discover where they have gone wrong or how right they have been not appealing to people like us.
I'm willing to bet nevertheless that bikes like GSX-r and CBR etc. have to appeal to people who take their bikes at correct intervals to licensed Honda shops for service and therefore new parts, which is where profit is made, not by selling the bikes. People like some of us do it ourselves like the performance of new bikes but hate the complexity, especially the unnecessary complexity.
These days some of the bikes that make sense have some nasty cheap parts on them that make us throw up, like steel boxy swingarms in GS500s and CB750s, or undertuned motors like the Hornet CBF600/900 series. Then the high tech stuff are marketed to kids mostly, buy one year, wreck or sell the next .... on and on. No space for a real passenger, no space to put some stuff for 3 day trip, and ergonomics to keep the chiropractor happy, as someone already said. Even back in the early 90s true sport bikes can be utilized for small touring easily. Now they are a joke.
I think the most beautiful bike produced, probably will be for me for a long while is the ZRX1200 LR. It is crappy as a sport bike but I think of it one of the last real bikes. It probably handles and accelerates better than the original Lawson race bike, thanks to new tires.
It is so confusing sometimes I don't even know what it is I am getting at or what it is that I want and can't find. A W650 looking bike, performing like an R6, touring like a ZX11, and have the technological advancements of .... the RC51, can't think of anything better at the moment :)
 

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sp1 there is no substitute!!!! and if someone doesnt know what its is, you can bet that after hearing it theyll want to know, now i have more to write, but am too excited about going for a ride,...ill be back in 4 hours...
 
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