2003 Honda RC51 - Me & My Bike - Up To Speed

2003 Honda RC51

Photography by Doug Linnett

"My 9-5 day job is delivering documents that need filing in courthouses. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights I deliver food for the Thai East Wind restaurant in Marina del Rey. I use my RC51 for both! I had it brand-new in 2003 and bought it because it's a championship-winning bike; I love racing and racing bikes. I also figured I could earn money with it and have fun on it.

"It has 73,000 miles on the clock, without a single mechanical problem, too. I take very good care of it and do all the maintenance myself. The oil (fully synthetic) gets changed every three weeks/4000 miles, the K&N filter every 20,000, and I get 30,000 miles out of the drive chain simply by lubing it every 400 miles. On average I do 200 miles per day.

"The carry box is attached under the pillion pad. It's going nowhere-if it goes, the seat goes with it! I've fitted a Dynojet Power Commander, but use stock pipes for work because it's easier to live without the noise. I ran Michelin Pilot Powers for a while, but for good mileage I now use Dunlop D220s and feel comfortable on them. I record every single part and the mileage it gets and keep a careful note of maintenance. For example, on February 3, 2007, I changed the front and rear sprockets-two teeth bigger on the back and one off the front for better acceleration. That was at 71,000 miles.

"I ride it on weekends, too, and high-speed sport-riding in the canyons is best. It's a fabulous sportbike for knee-down fun, and that engine is still awesome, especially with the gearing change I've made. I'll do 200,000 miles on the RC51, but as for my next bike, the new Ducati 1098 is in my dreams. It's beautiful and, for me, affordable."

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