The new ICON 1000 Slingbag

Honda RC30

Honda RC30
The king of the superbike hill at the end of the 1980s was Honda’s exquisite VFR750R, more commonly known as the RC30 in the USA. It was essentially a homologation special created for the World Superbike championship, and rider Fred Merkel accordingly won two titles. Motorcyclist Online described the machine as “a Rolex in a sea of Timexes”, but warned “Internal engine tolerances were exceedingly tight. Spinning the V-four hard before it was warm could seize it.” That jewel-like engine was a marvel though; different countries were given different states of tune, but peak power was up to 112 or 118 bhp depending on whom you ask. All RC30s were hand-built in the Honda Racing Corporation facility rather than on the regular production lines, and Honda created a promotional film to showcase its meticulous engineering. Rather than focus on the sound and fury of racebikes, it’s a distinctly Zen approach—soundtracked by one of Erik Satie’s melancholy Gymnopédie piano works. Enjoy.