Posted: 22 Feb 2014
To the unknowing, Honda has another motorcycle arm within its bike manufacturing division going by the name of HRC. HRC is short for Honda Racing Corporation, and its main focus is to design and build championship-winning motorcycles and components; from MotoGP rockets to 50cc race-going gag bikes. So when a Honda road bike appears wearing the HRC logo on its parts, you know it’s had the involvement and engineering clout of one the most successful racing companies weaved into it. Commonly known as SP-1 the VTR1000SP-1 (RC51 in the US) was essentially a bike built to win racing championships when V-twin power was all the rage – or rather when Ducati was clearing up in World Superbike (WSB). The SP-1 is powered by a 90-degree V-twin engine that combines ample midrange grunt and a decent top end kick, thanks to its four-valve per cylinder lump. At the time the SP-1 carried the largest injection inlets ever and, hand in hand with its ability to rev, when used hard could knock fuel consumption down to 25-29mpg from a respectable 46mpg. Short, compact and with track-focused riding position, the SP-1 isn’t geared for comfort but sub 6-feet-tall people won’t complain as much as six-footers! Surprisingly, Honda didn’t make the SP-1 perfect from the start. Early models made their owners suffer with horrible throttle control at low-to-mid rpm and the suspension wasn’t brilliant in terms of standard set-up – rear being solid and harsh over bumps, the front forks were a devil to set up for the road. It wasn’t long before the SP-2 appeared with these issues sorted. Prices for the SP-1 are gradually creeping up because a lot of people see them as an investment in years to come. Whether this Honda HRC-tinged bike will command the same values as the now legendary VFR750R RC30 and RC45 remains to be seen. But don’t rush to buy the first SP-1 you see; like all bikes you must check them thoroughly to ensure it is all legal and above board and not a tarted up race track refugee.
THE AD SAYS:
999cc, 11,911 miles, red
The Honda VTR is a brilliant sports bike with few foibles; you'd be hard pushed not to have a ball on it. That sweet V-twin has wonderful pull when you open it up in the midrange and sweet handling in town and on the twisties. Now just look at that Castrol Honda paint work, the mutt’s nuts of colour schemes for a bike like this! V5 Registration Document. Custom Paintwork. Seat Pod
Contact: 0114 2525454. Price: £5999
You can view the ad here.