1987 Honda VFR750R RC30, 750 cc.
Registration number E513 LBT.
Frame number RC 1000182.
Engine number RC 07E 1032255.
Serial number 88013
One of the modern era's few immediately collectible classics, the Honda VFR750R - better known as the "RC30" - was created for just one reason: to win the World Superbike Championship, a feat it achieved in the nascent series' first two seasons of 1988 and '89. And while American Fred Merkel was bringing Honda its first two WSB crowns, Britain's Carl Fogarty used an RC30 to win the TT F1 World Championship in 1988 and '89, and the equivalent FIM Cup in 1990.
No mere short circuit scratcher, the RC30 and its derivatives proved durable enough to win a hat-full of Endurance Classics too. That this latter requirement was also part of the design brief may be determined from the fact that a quick-release front fork and single-sided swinging arm - essential for speedy wheel changes - were part of an unrivalled specification that included a twin-spar alloy beam frame, 16-valve V4 engine with gear-driven cams, close-ratio 6-speed gearbox and four-pot front brake calipers.
The RC30 was also the first production bike in the world to feature titanium alloy, which was used to make the con rods and no expense was spared on the rest of the machine either. Every component was the lightest and most expensive possible for a road bike and the result was a motorcycle which weighed a paltry 185 kilos (407lbs). Six years later Ducati's legendary 916 would still be heavier! Each RC30 was hand assembled one at a time in the firm's Hamamatsu plant where the factory race bikes were built meaning customers were virtually getting their own works bikes built for them.
All of which did not come cheap: at the time of its launch in 1988 an RC30 cost near double that of other super-sports 750s. Despite the passage of time and progress of motorcycle technology, the RC30 remains a match for the latest generation of sports bikes but possesses an exclusivity that none of them can approach. "No other bike from the late-Eighties is lusted after like the RC30," reckoned Bike, and few would disagree.
88013 would appear to be a very early Japan market example; production started at RC30-1000001 and this is RC30-1000182. It was imported into the UK by the Eddy Wright dealership in Leeds and at the time was thought to have been raced in Japan as it painted in Honda race colours with gold wheels. After eighteen months of it being in the shop he had it repainted in the correct colour scheme and put UK dials on it (zeroed with no record of the original mileage) and R. Haslin bought it. He rode it back from Leeds but it was down on power so he took it to Dean Ashton’s shop (Ashton Performance Centre) in Hornsea where it was fettled. He also fitted a VFR front wheel which gave a better tyre profile and set about improving it over the next 3,600 shakedown miles (see history file).
In May 2009 it changed hands and our vendor bought it on the 7th December 2013. The mileage is now up to 4,395.
Sold with the V5C, a letter from R. Haslin, and a UK history file.