Handcrafted at the Hamamatsu factory, the RC30 was powered by a liquid-cooled 748cc 90º V4 engine that incorporated state-of-the-art racing technology at the time – a hitherto unprecedented approach. Honda development engineers used proprietary materials such as carbon fibre, Kevlar and magnesium extensively. The engine featured gear-driven cams, titanium connecting rods and a slipper clutch that worked in conjunction with a close-ratio, competition-type gearbox. The bike featured prominently an unmistakable Pro-arm single-arm swingarm, designed to facilitate quick rear-wheel changes during endurance races, Showa fully-adjustable suspension, quick release wheels and brake pads, and a ‘Pro Squat Rear Brake Linkage’ to reduce the rear wheel hopping when you’re braking.
Many privateers bought RC30’s to race straight from the crate. An extensive race-kit was made available to teams to prepare the road-based bike ready for the track. Full-factory NL0 specification bikes were official entries in road racing, and world endurance, including the Suzuka 8hrs.
Winning the first two WSB championship titles with Fred Merkel,
153mph top speed from 118hp and 88kW of torque
1/4 mile time of 11.8 seconds
The ability to reach 82mph in first gear
Winning the first two WSB championship titles with Fred Merkel, World Endurance, 1989/90 Macau Grand Prix victories with Robert Dunlop and Steve Hislop, and multiple Isle of Man TT wins ridden by the greats: Joey Dunlop, Carl Fogarty, Nick Jefferies, Phillip McCallen, cemented the RC30’s legendary status.
It’s not surprising that the combination of technology and racing history means the price to buy a Honda RC30 has risen significantly since it’s original launch price at £8,500. You’re currently looking at somewhere between £30-£40,000 to secure a good secondhand example.