By John Burns
This Sabbath the Wayback Machine (Google) spat up a 20-year old scroll we don’t remember seeing before. We already looked back fondly at the original RC-51 track introduction earlier in Church, but this priceless archive speaks to what’s more important to most of us most of the time. What’s it like to ride every day? Actually, it barely gets around to answering that, but still fun to look back at one of the sweetest sportbikes Honda ever built.
Year 2000 Honda RC-51 Street Ride
… but can it go 55?
Los Angeles, April 4, 2000 — There may not have been a better venue for which to display the peg-scraping prowess of Honda’s new RC-51 super-twin than at the Laguna Seca International Raceway. Honda’s design team made race track dominance a priority and allowed the new CBR 929 RR to take the role of the more street-oriented sibling.Irregardless of how phenomenal the RC-51’s track manners may be, the majority will end up in the garages of enthusiasts who aren’t necessarily racers. After all, even though the 929 looks poised to be a better all-around street bike, who doesn’t want to wake up Sunday mornings and pretend they’re Nicky and Colin?
In a remarkably short period of time we’ve seen Honda take the RC-51 from crate-to-race-track and, in its AMA debut, finish in second place at Daytona by mere tenths of a second after 200 miles of racing.
Then, just this past weekend, Colin Edwards rode his RC-51 (VTR1000SP) to a first and a second place finish in the bikes WSBK debut at Kyalami. Granted, some of the credit goes to the riders, but even Suzuki, with their talented riders, could only muster one podium finish after one year on the AMA Superbike circuit with their TL 1000R V-twin. Honda has, …read more