On May 14, 2022, a gorgeous, never-registered, 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 set a new U.K. auction record. The bike in question was in the hands of private collectors since it was new, was never registered, and shows just two of what the auction house calls “push kilometers” on the odometer. If the photos are to be believed, it’s in very pristine collector shape.
When new, it sold for £8,499—which, when adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to about £16,972.29, or $21,183.54. That is, of course, not what this extremely rare RC30 sold for. So, what was that magic number? A cool £65,250, or about $81,440.
As the listing states, this particular bike was exported from Japan to Italy, where it became part of the David Silver Honda Collection up until 2017. The bike was sold in “as new” condition, and the lucky auction winner will also receive the original tool kit as it shipped from Honda, as well as the owner’s manual, a paddock stand, and all relevant Italian paperwork to accompany this bike.
Gallery: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30
Depending on what sources you read, anywhere between 3,000 and roughly 5,000 RC30s were produced by Honda for all worldwide markets. Between 1987 and 1990, this bike quickly cemented itself in the minds of anyone who loved racing at the time. Road-racing legends Joey Dunlop, Carl Fogarty, and Fred Merkel all soared to victory aboard RC30s, which certainly didn’t hurt. This was THE BIKE to have, and it’s clearly still high on the list of desirable historic machines over 30 years later.
Is it the best-known, best-loved racing homologation special ever produced? That’s debatable, but there’s no doubt that it ranks pretty high on the list. It may also be the ultimate example of Soichiro Honda going all out to prove what amazing engineering feats his team could pull off, building each and every one of these production bikes alongside the actual factory racing machines. This is one of those stories where it isn’t just a case of nostalgic thinking to say “they just don’t build them like they used to.” No one would in 2022; it’s madness. However, that’s exactly what makes this model so very special to so many people.