By Mark Miller
Everyone reading this had one particular motorbike they drooled over as a child.
For me, it started with the all-metal orange-tanked 1977 Kawasaki KD80 two-stroke dirt bike, followed by a white 1979 Yamaha DT100. These were the days of longing, need, and hopeless, waiting-to-get-old-enough to have the opportunity to reveal the mysteries which were these unobtainables.
I was not one of these lucky kids born on a ranch riddled with drivable lawn mowers and rusted pickup trucks with shredded bias-ply tires. I was stuck in a lower-middle-class suburban neighborhood with parents who, after every Christmas and birthday, could only repeat their infuriating mantra, “There’s nowhere to ride a dirt bike around here, and no one for you to go with. I’m sorry.”
The Honda RC30, the stuff of youthful dreams.
Fast-forward to 1989; I spent every spare moment finding my way to the local Honda shop, which had a Honda RC30 on display up in their window. Only the biggest dealerships in California got one each, and I was told that despite the RC30’s ultra-high price for the day, there was an active lottery; buyers had to place their names into a hat for the chance and privilege to pay full retail price, plus a premium, to take one of these incredibly advanced and downright beautiful – Made In Japan – machines, home.
There had never been a motorcycle like this sold to the public before. It had a “diamond” type chassis (so-named like a precious stone set in jewelry), twin-spar frame that resembled a top Grand Prix racer of the day.
The newly founded 1988 production-based World Superbike series allowed for homologated “specials” to be made by manufacturers in limited numbers – as long as a required minimum was made available to the public. In all, only 3000 total units of the Honda RC30 were …read more