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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm thinking about picking up an RC-51. I'm one of the "used to ride" guys, I've had 2 different gixer 750s and I'm looking to get back into it but this time I'd like something a little different and the RC has my attention.

I'm interested in a v-twin and was considering the TLS but the suspension and styling are a little dated, they are really cheap though and sound great. A ducati is a little out of my price range.

I've always liked the RC-51 so I'm wondering are there particluar models, years that I should look for? What things should I look out for? Is there a FAQ somewhere? There usually is but I didn't see one.

Thanks!
 

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Dont know much about ther RC-51, but what I do know is you should go after one 2003 onward. SP2 I think that models called. They got some tweeks at this point like a new swingarm and fuel injection. Hope thats some use to you.
 

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'00-'01 SP-1 is awesome if a bit finicky and not a great daily rider for some. 'Grabby' FI mapping when stock, likes to cook ya at slow speeds, hella-stiff chassis beats ya mercilessly. A PC helps fueling a lot though. The brakes are still DARNED good 10 years after the bike was introduced.

'02-'06 SP-2 makes a better streetbike and has better every-day refinements here and there such as a more flexible frame, lighter wheels, 12-nozzle injectors (vs 4 on SP-1) for better fueling 'smoothness', and a second fan in the right radiator (SP-1 only has a left fan)

I LOVE my SP-1 and don't plan on parting with her... after 7 years off bikes I was (and remain) truly smitten with the subsonic swine. :eyebrows:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi guys thanks for the info that's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for.

It would strictly be used for weekend rides, no commuting.

I'm not looking for all out speed or the latest and greatest, more just something that sounds and looks good and is fun for the occasional weekend ride.

Sounds like I'd be more interested in an Sp-2 model with the better efi and minor upgrades.
 

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Hi guys thanks for the info that's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for.

It would strictly be used for weekend rides, no commuting.

I'm not looking for all out speed or the latest and greatest, more just something that sounds and looks good and is fun for the occasional weekend ride.

Sounds like I'd be more interested in an Sp-2 model with the better efi and minor upgrades.
From what you wrote I would have to agree. :thumb:

Keep us posted!
 

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i own a SP 1. all my mates have 4 pot 1000cc's. yes sure they are all faster in a straight line than me, they don't have a jerky fuel injection and they all have a better seating position. but when we take out the bikes to play around mountain passes then its a different story. they fight with their bikes through every corner, while i glide through the corners. when we exit a corner i leave the bike in 3rd gear and just open the throttle, they have to go down to first to scream up the revs to be able to get out of the corner.
so, yes, there is much faster 1000's out there, but the vtr have the smile factor at 40mph, that those other guys only get from 170mph upwards.
 

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Dont know much about ther RC-51, but what I do know is you should go after one 2003 onward. SP2 I think that models called. They got some tweeks at this point like a new swingarm and fuel injection. Hope thats some use to you.
You are thnkin 2002 an on. Swingarm, different shock and linkage setup, different and lighter wheels, headers and pipes a lil different as far as routing. Motor improvements. More HP an TQ i believe. All RCs should be good though, as long as they are fairly taken care of IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So... I missed the bike I wanted by about 24 hours. I'm in Nor-Cal and I'm having a really hard time finding a SP-2 that is a reasonable price. Guys are asking 8-9k for some of them! I just missed a mint 04 for 6k which I was going to pick up I just didn't get there in time. There isn't really much to choose from but there are a few good SP-1's. Can the jerky fuel injection be corrected with the power commander? I had a 99 gixer 750 that jerked every time you rolled the throttle off and then back on no matter how smoothly you did it and it really upset the bike and drove me nuts. How much power difference is it between the sp-1 and 2? I might have to drive down to LA to find a reasonably priced sp-2.
 

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So... I missed the bike I wanted by about 24 hours. I'm in Nor-Cal and I'm having a really hard time finding a SP-2 that is a reasonable price. Guys are asking 8-9k for some of them! I just missed a mint 04 for 6k which I was going to pick up I just didn't get there in time. There isn't really much to choose from but there are a few good SP-1's. Can the jerky fuel injection be corrected with the power commander? I had a 99 gixer 750 that jerked every time you rolled the throttle off and then back on no matter how smoothly you did it and it really upset the bike and drove me nuts. How much power difference is it between the sp-1 and 2? I might have to drive down to LA to find a reasonably priced sp-2.
Power is really the same maybe a couple hp and torque difference...it just comes on stronger and smoother with the SP2. The 12 hole injector nozzles and 62mm Throttle bodies make the engine come alive faster than the SP1 4 hole injector nozzles and 54mm throttle bodies. It turns air and fuel into a RUSH!!:smilebig:
 

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You can mellow out the jerky throttle with a PC. I just use the clutch alot more.

One thing to consider is that the seating position is probably worse than other bikes you are used to. I would try and find someone you know that has one and see if you can borrow it for a day or two and put some miles on it. Some don't like it too much.

I commute on mine mostly now, and it really doesn't bother me a whole lot, but I still have done a few little things to make it more comfortable. You said that it is going to be a weekend ride. Do you mean taking trips or just heading out for a few hours?

Another thing of note is that the aftermarket is really dying for these bikes. It's only going to get worse. You won't be able to get very many things new anymore. Sato stopped making banzai pipes (and all others too I think) and rearsets. I think it is an acceptable assumption that most exhaust companies are just selling what they have left and might not be making new units. Ohlins doesn't have any shocks or forks left. Wheels are kind of hit and miss due to the fact that some cbr models can swap with RC wheels with different spacers. Getting parts from Honda is very expensive, especially plastics. Each panel is close to or over $500, if you can get one. They recently jacked up all their prices across the board.

If you are really looking for one, there are a few for sale on the speedzilla forum, not sure if they are close to you though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You can mellow out the jerky throttle with a PC. I just use the clutch alot more.

One thing to consider is that the seating position is probably worse than other bikes you are used to. I would try and find someone you know that has one and see if you can borrow it for a day or two and put some miles on it. Some don't like it too much.

I commute on mine mostly now, and it really doesn't bother me a whole lot, but I still have done a few little things to make it more comfortable. You said that it is going to be a weekend ride. Do you mean taking trips or just heading out for a few hours?

Another thing of note is that the aftermarket is really dying for these bikes. It's only going to get worse. You won't be able to get very many things new anymore. Sato stopped making banzai pipes (and all others too I think) and rearsets. I think it is an acceptable assumption that most exhaust companies are just selling what they have left and might not be making new units. Ohlins doesn't have any shocks or forks left. Wheels are kind of hit and miss due to the fact that some cbr models can swap with RC wheels with different spacers. Getting parts from Honda is very expensive, especially plastics. Each panel is close to or over $500, if you can get one. They recently jacked up all their prices across the board.

If you are really looking for one, there are a few for sale on the speedzilla forum, not sure if they are close to you though.
Is the seating position worse than a 07 gsxr 750? That's the most recent bike I've ridden and it was fine, no worse than my old bikes.

No long weekend trips, just a couple hours here and there. (On weekends)

I see there isn't a whole lot in aftermarket parts and the RC parts are expensive from honda that's why I'm trying to find one with exhaust already on it and plastic that's in good condition so i don't have to replace anything.

Everything you mention is true, I'm also open to a newer gsxr but I was hoping to get something a little different this time. i'll be lucky to ride once a month so I was thinking I could deal with the quirks of the RC.
 

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I have owned my Sp1 (2000) for sometime now. I bought it stock and have some mods done. The first thing I did was a PCII.

However, recently my bike started to idle very erratically. First thing I did was remove the PC2. Since then it has ran great. My point is not to say anything bad about the PC2 however.

Without the PCII my bike is not jerky at any RPM and runs great. I can idle along in traffic in first gear at any RPM above 2000 and the bike is fine.

As far as engine related mods, I have- Flapper completely deleted, PAIR completely deleted, 1/6th turn HRC throttle, 15/42 gearing, Jardine slip-ons, soft rev removed.

I had the PCII with these mods and after removal have not noticed a difference. Bike runs great at all RPM's and will power wheelie without clutch at any speed/rpm in 2nd gear. Haven't tried 3rd gear.

Anyway.... not trying to bash anything or anyone. Just never experienced the herky jerkies as others have described on the SP1.

On another note, since I have put water wetter, distilled water, a small amount of coolant and wired my stock fan to a toggle switch I have not had any issues with the bike getting hot. But.... if it is a hot Florida day and I flog it my beans do get baked. Join the club.... my buddies 2006 GSXR 600 does the same thing.

Buy the bike and love it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm going to look at/buy one this Friday. If it's as clean as it looks in the pics and the guy will come down just a couple hundred I'll buy it. It's an 02 with a little under 7k miles. Doesn't exactly have the exhaust I want but it's really clean with no broken or scratched up plastic, I can change the exhaust later. I don't think it's had any mods done to it which is good I'd rather do them myself. We will see......
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The search is over, ended up with an 00' SP-1 in really good shape with lots of aftermarket stuff. Kinda higher mileage than I would have liked but a good price, it sounds killer too. I will change a few things but not much.
 

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Although you now bought a bike, I can add my $0.02. I bought an '09 Kawasaki 650R last year as my first bike. I put just over 2,500 miles on it during the summer months. It was bought primarily as a commuter to use in place of paying high gas prices for my GMC Sierra truck, but my commute was only 12 miles round trip so I actually only saved $95 the whole year when I calculated costs at year end.

However, whether you can believe it or not the upright riding position on the 650R actually hurt my lower back! I couldn't believe it! By the end of the year I was sitting on sport bikes finding that the leaned over style actually suited me better and my back was more straight.

I researched RC's for a long time, but my reason to buy one was because I had a friend with an '04 back when it was new and it was the most badass sounding motorcycle I had ever heard (Sato banzai pipes). I started shopping for RC's very early in 2010 to replace the 650R and got myself a 2004 with 4,7XX miles on it last month. I tell what, it's the kind of motorcycle that once you own, unless you absolutely hate it, you'll likely keep it for as long as you can because they are that much fun!

Everything I read on the 'Net about how it gets hot, how your nuts roast with the cylinder literally under your crotch, how it's jerky at low speeds without mods, etc. is all true. But my lower back pain is gone and that to me was worth it alone. Fantastic bike, you'll love it. As for the aftermarket stuff disappearing, it probably will to some degree, but with enough demand out there any future group buy is possible if a company will deal with it.
 
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