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2001 Honda RC51

Rocket Fuel

Classic Velocity

If you have ever put race fuel into a vehicle that you have driven regularly, you know that something magic happens. You thought it was performing well before, but suddenly, you gained several more horsepower. There is a race gas dispensing station about 20 minutes away from me, so it is not as convenient as I would like. I generally trundle over there with 3 5 gallon cans and load up. They also have leaded gas, so I often get 2 containers of that. The race fuel does wonders for the RC51. It is a double espresso for an already sprightly machine. I consumed some of this liquid on one of my favorite loops through the country. I call it the TT, as it passes stone walls, ditches, sheep, and very small towns. It was impossible not to exceed 100 many times. This beast needs a track day, and I am looking at how to do that in the near future...

Transient

Patience Pays

Classic Velocity

I am not an implulse buyer, but I have what I describe as a healthy level of impatience. The only real flaw on the RC51 was a dent in the tank from a garage incident. There are no scrapes or scratches anywhere, so it supports the story of the orig owner. It turns out that since many of these bikes were tracked or otherwise hooliganized, a stock near perfect tank is a very rare thing. Several searches turned up nothing but race replicas and painted tanks. I stopped searching for a while.

I finally found one after many months, and paid the monopolistic price. Removing the existing tank while half full of gas was no fun. It took a day for the gas smell to exit the garage. There is not a lot of room to disconnect things under the tank before you remove it. 

Finally, the tank was free and could be fully emptied. Now to remove the pump and the gas cap and collar. The pump has a tear in the rubber shield covering the filter, so I will source one from Honda before putting things back together. Hopefully the pricing is reasonable for these small parts...

What Its All About

Classic Velocity

A beuatiful fall day, crisp air, dry roads, falling leaves in full plumage. The brutal acceleration of the RC along twisty undulating country roads following a river. Triple digits. The bike wants to go fast, and it is like flying forward through a kaleidascope of fall colors. At the coffee stop, I am wondering how a more modern bike can be any better. It is no wonder that they need a basket full of electronic aids to make them safe and rideable. I'll take the raw version please, and try to stay within my limits.

 

A Few Enhancements

Classic Velocity

Although in very good shape, the bike did have a few spots that needed attention. One of those was the tail fairing cover which was missing. The passenger seat was mounted instead. I had no plans to have a passenger on the back of this machine, and so I poked around on the web for a while until I found an original for sale. Issue #1 solved. The second change has to do with what I consider to be a shortcoming of the bike (one of the few). The instrument display is unreadable in sunlight. I am not sure how the factory missed this, but if the sun is high in the sky, you have to use your clutch hand to shield the display to read it. Not that I would endorse such an action, but I have heard that this has been done....

 

A new tinted windshield was cheap and easy to find. I opted for dark tint since I am never actually looking through the windshield. With both items installed, the bike actually looks quite a bit different. Now to find a tank...

Doing the Basics

Classic Velocity

Although it was claimed that a service was just completed, I make it a practice to immediately change the oil on a vehicle that is new to me. I often drop the oil pan as well to have a better look. In this case, the oil looked pristine coming out so it supported the claims of a recent service but you never know. I did the same for the brake fluid. With the fluids changed, I took the bike for a 100 mile ride to see how everything else worked.

This machine is fast. It lugs along under 2000 rpm, but other than that it lets you use most of the rev band. The motor feels tight, as it should given the low miles. Even so, I had it well into the triple digits and there was much more to go. Sorry officer, it's not me it's the bike ;-)

RCidivism

Classic Velocity

The RC51 is a magnetic boomerang. That is the only way to explain why another one has found its way to me. I guess I have another case of Repeat Offender. Same machine, same year, same fantastic sensations, same result. This one has a dent in the tank, but it has 1035 original miles !!! It scared the first owner, so he parked it for 10 years. This is a two-wheeled cult classic that keeps calling my name. I seem to have answered. Again.