Riding and collecting motorcycles are frequently two different hobbies. Sure, there can be overlap, but every once in a while, you see a bike like this 1989 Honda XRV650 Africa Twin RD03. It’s just about as minty-fresh as a pure collector piece can get. This beauty shows only 3 kilometers on the clock, or just over 1.8 miles.
While this bike is pretty rare to begin with, it’s made all the more so because this example is in such pristine condition. Most RD03s were ridden both fast and far, and so, it’s nice to see this particular piece of history preserved. The story goes that a collector purchased it new in Japan, and it remained in his care until a Washington State dealer in the U.S. imported it.
It’s currently located in Marietta, Georgia, where the seller has had it on display at his car club and storage facility. It’s said to have been kept in a climate-controlled environment its entire life, and if these photos are anything to go by, it shows. The bike has been stored without fuel, but the engine was turned by hand in 2019 to make sure that it turns freely. The seller says the cylinders were also lubricated at that time, but the bike has not been started.
Gallery: 1989 Honda XRV650 Africa Twin RD03
If you’re looking for bells and whistles, this beauty has a whole factory’s worth. It’s powered by a six-valve, 647cc V-twin engine that produced a claimed 57 horsepower when new, and is mated to a five-speed gearbox. It rides on a Pro-Link rear suspension, air-adjustable fork, and wire wheels with gold rims wrapped in dual-sport Bridgestone rubber. Wheel sizes are 21 inches in front, 17 in back, and it has shielded disc brakes all around.
This RD03 also comes with a 6.4-gallon fuel tank, as well as several examples of beautiful form following function, including the skid plate, the dual round headlights, the mesh headlight guard, and even the beautiful blue two-up saddle. Honestly, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for this era of Honda, and designs like this RD03 are why. Every bit on this bike was designed with a job in mind, and the proportions just work together in such magnificent harmony.
What’s that, you say? You want some documentation? Good thing this RD03 comes with the manual and all the little bits of literature that came with the bike new. It’s all in Japanese, of course. The original tool kit, a selection of HRC and other factory decals, and a license plate frame are also included.
This Bring A Trailer auction ends on Sunday, March 28, 2021. At the time of writing, the bid is up to $16,000.