1988 Honda RC30 By Mecum

This first-year, one-mile RC30 is simply amazing; is there another with fewer miles?

The VFR750R Honda is one of very few motorcycles in history that was collectible before it was even released to the public, a result of the perfection of its design and mixture of performance with compelling good looks. Honda designed the RC30 not for the machine to be put in a glass case, though. The bike was designed to win the World Superbike Championship, and with the usual “Honda races, Honda wins” aplomb, the model did exactly that.

The American rider Fred Merkel won the inaugural WSB championship in 1988, and the bike won it again in 1989. While in Europe, Carl Fogarty won the TT Formula 1 World Championship in 1988 and ’89. The RC30 possessed Honda’s usual impeccable reliability as well and won three major Endurance series races. To make the bike suitable for long-distance racing, it came standard with a quick-release front fork system, and combined with a single-sided swingarm, it made ultra-rapid tire swaps easy. The chassis of the RC30 was state of the art with its aluminum frame using two curved extrusions to wrap around the water-cooled motor, which was a V-4 DOHC design with four valves per cylinder.

The camshafts were gear driven, the brakes were top-shelf with 4-piston calipers, and the 6-speed gearbox had very close ratios. The model was launched in 1988 with a $15,000 price tag—about double the nearest 750 sport bike—but the RC30 must be considered a homologation special, and only about 3,000 were built in the 13 years it was nominally available. The 118 HP motor would propel the machine to well north of 150 MPH. This VFR750R RC30 has never been started. It currently displays just one “pushing” mile on the odometer and retains the original sales invoice from WG Bill Tillson Ltd. of Cleveland.

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Report by mecum.com

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