Geoff's RC30 Page
*** HONDA IS NOW OFFERING SELECTED NEW RC30 PARTS (PISTONS, RINGS, BEARINGS ETC) VIA A NEW LEGACY MODEL PROGRAM ***
The link below is for the UK page, other countries may have their own, NZ doesn't seem to, we don't even have a Honda bike agent in the capital city anymore?!
Welcome to my thousand year old website (you can kinda tell it's hand typed html lol), it hasn't been updated in many, many years other than adding the link to the Honda Legacy Parts page and fixing the broken race kit PDF links (Jan 2023, sorry about that!) and updating the links page (Nov 2019) to reflect that the excellent RC30 Owners UK Yahoo Group is now the even MORE excellent HRCV4 group at groups.io. There's guys on there who make pistons etc, a lot of SERIOUS knowledge!
The RC30 members list died years ago, because back before gmail became a thing people used to change addresses over time and eventually more bounced back than worked. But fear not! The also-updated-in-november-2019 links section contains links to several fantastic and hugely subscribed Facebook groups dedicated to RC30s and RC45s, including a MARKETPLACE where everyone buys and sells used parts worldwide. With around 3,500 members it WORKS. I've bought stuff myself and it made it all the way to NZ no worries, dunno how we managed in the 1990's I really don't :)
Many parts have changed hands through the members list but a more direct approach to getting RC30 parts, new used and custom, is courtesy of the famous Thorsten Durbahn, who makes bodywork for RC30s as well as an EFI kit and tons of other extremly high quality and light weight parts. He also sells new and used HRC parts etc.
The page of mpgs & avis is going to be expanded at some point... yeah nah, November 2019 update says never gonna happen, youtube has everything now!
You can also find used parts on YAHOO JAPAN - just create an account at Rinkya, I've won plenty of auctions including forks (for a friend, mine ain't bent!), stock oil pump, triple clamps etc and the beauty of Rinka - a US company - is that you bid for it on THEIR site, they bid on Yahoo for you, collect the goodies, and you choose what to package up and send together and when (ie. you can leave some stuff in their warehouse for a while). They seemed cheap to me but I guess where they make their money is when two Rinkya customs get into a bidding war on their site, but Rinkya is about to win the auction for less than the top bid on their own site. Good idea. THERE MAY BE OTHER SITES THAT DO THIS NOW, this is the only one I've tried, customer services was amazing.
Huge thanks to Gordon Williamson for kindly scanning the HRC kit manuals for 1988, 1989 and 1991.
The pic of Dirk B's bike at left was far too impressive to sit on. Not only pretty but quick too. The engine has been rebuilt with HRC internals and kit deep sump and makes about 135 HP, a relatively mild state of tune as he doesn't ride it on the track very often. Weight including fuel is 172 kg, thanks partly to the removal of all non-essential parts such as thermostat, waterpump etc and to the use of carbon fibre parts (mostly ex-Thorsten Durbahn) where possible including fairing, subframe (which doubles as a breather box), airbox, ram air intakes and a special titanium exhaust system with a carbon cannister.|
Larger upper and lower radiators keep the operating temperature as low as 45 degrees C in summer, and he has to cover the whole lower radiator. Other bits inlude an hlins rear shock, HRC fork springs, some very nice AL-footpegs, ISR 6-piston callipers with PVM discs and Brembo radial braking pump, Kevlar brake lines, mechanical clutch conversion (also from Thorsten Durbahn) and PVM wheels (I get the impression there is more but the list ended there).
The bike still isn't finished, next on the list is a new magnesium alternator cover and a lightened alternator. Everything is pretty expensive so things are going slowly (we understand believe me).
The Sad Tale of my RC30 I lent it to a friend called Bruce Anstey many years ago to do a couple of quiet laps round Manfeild, and it died on him. The builder had wired an internal oil pipe on and while he'd warned me to check it, it was the thinnest, most overwound lockwire I've ever seen and it failed almost immediately. Fortunately for me, Bruce was one of NZ's finest 2-stroke racers and F2 champion, so he got the clutch in within milliseconds of feeling the tugging associated with little or no oil pressure, so no real damage.
05 August 2000 All these years later, I've finally made a bulletproof bracket for the oilpipes - necessitated by having the VF1000F oil pump with its provision for an external oil cooler, and the HRC deep sump which has no support for the two cooler crossover pipes.
04 September 2000 : While cleaning the crankcase upper for reassembly, I noticed for the first time a big gark in the bore, quite a nasty wound like something took a chip out of it 40mm down. At BDC it's about 8mm above the top of the piston. Subsequent study of the piston reveals that clearly there was a few ccs of water sitting on it for some or all of time the bike was off the road, garaged and intact - condensation, head gasket leak, I don't really care what caused it, I'm too busy being sick... It was parked hot and I'd assumed the cylinders would be nice and dry. The damage to the bore is severe, although the pitting in the top ring land of the number 4 piston's thrust face is insignificant.
06 September 2000 : I took the crankcase upper to the reconditioner, and he's looking into a sleeve for me as it will take quite a lot of overboring to clean this up, possibly more than the 0.20mm/0.40mm afforded by over d pistons. If the bores all check out within tolerance for standard pistons, then I'll be keen to sleeve the damaged cylinder (which is how Honda built it anyway) and bore/hone it as per the others.
16 November 2000 : Got a recommendation from a fellow Kiwi RC30 owner who'd had a sleeve fitted by Collier Motor Engineers in Levin. I rang the guy and he's talking a mere US$80 to make a sleeve, fit it, bore and hone it to .
30 June 2001 : Nearly 8 months later I finally take the block to Colliers. What the !@#$!@#$ is wrong with me? Too many projects I guess. Anyway, great guy and he's still quoting the same price. He apparently resleeves one motorcycle engine every week which suprised me, nice to know he's experienced anyway. I highly recommend Collier Engineering of Levin if you're anywhere in New Zealand. On a sadder note it looks like my HRC pistons are stock ones and I was ripped off, but on the bright side, the bores after 32,000km and a bit of racing are like new apart from the water damage in one so stock d pistons will go right back in there. There's obviously merit in changing your oil as often as I did, I was forever replacing it and the motor's virtually unworn as a result.
20 August 2001 : Good things take time they say... if so then I'm looking at GP material here! Picked up the resleeved crankcase, found that they'd decked ONE bank only, to trim the sleeve, and the nearest figure I could get was 0.004"!!! This is huge, in fact it's 0.010mm, and they didn't think it'd matter? Man, I can't believe it. Have to dummy it up and measure like crazy I guess, then get the other deck machined and have some shims made up for the valvetrain. Damn damn damn, nothing's easy is it :((
29 October 2001 : Astonishingly, I have only just gotten round to collecting the remachined crankcase upper, amazing huh. I'll dummy it all up and measure it and hope it's been machined right this time. I'll have to borrow some shims for the camboxes and start looking for someone to plasma cut a few sets in various s. Sigh... experts are crap aren't they? Why the frigging hell didn't they just brush machinists blue on the deck and machine the sleeve down until the surrounding blue was just removed?
23 September 2002 : The saying 'ggod things take time' I referred to a couple of lines above was actually a year ago. I got it from a cheese ad here in New Zealand and am starting to seriously question whether it makes any sense at all. Anyway when I collected the crankcases and measured it all up, they'd got it really close, within about 0.001 inch of the other bank based on piston depths at 4 points per piston averaged, with each at bdc confirmed by dial gauge. I've now started reassembling the motor and have fitted the completed crankcases into the frame and bolted the rear head on. Nearly every night that I've been for home over the last couple of weeks I've done a bit more and it should be running in a couple of weeks. Man I'm starting to get excited about riding my baby again... sniff
25 October 2002 : Have reassembled the motor but was horrified to find that even at 9 lbs-ft with a brand new name-brand torque wrench, all the smaller 5mm bolts around the periphery of the crankcase immediately stretched and in one case almost snapped, it was holding together by a tiny strand of metal. I had bottom tapped all the holes, and the torque wrench was good. Why? Heat? Age? Scary - new bolts purchased and the engine is in the frame. After 11 years I've lost only 1 cam bearing cap retaining bolt and one oil-restrictor, not a bad effort consider the mess and shifting houses. So it's hanging in the frame and I'm trying to work out how the wiring goes, and get my Moriwaki pipe and radiators back off a friend. My God, it looks like it really WILL run again! I'm such a loser. Eleven years... holy shit I can't believe it.
01 January 2003 : Okay, I made this date up. Anyway the motor is still together but I've got to remove the cam gears and put a pin in the bottom quietening gear so I can veryify that the clearance between the bottom gear and the crank gear is okay, not sure how to actually measure it but at the moment it feels aweful to turn and I think it's just the preloaded quietening gear. The reason I'm paranoid is the small amount of decking done on the block, which will have lowered the entire gear train slightly. I really must make sure that it isn't so lower that there is no clearance on the crank gear, or worse still, preload.
15 February 2003 : I did a very bad thing back in July last year, I agreed to swap my RC30 for a damaged 2000 VTR1000SP1 (RC51). The good news is that after all these months while the poor bugger was waiting for me to assemble the RC30 (haahaahahahaaaa) we agreed a price and I bought the RC51 outright, so now have both bikes. Thank god, I couldn't go through with losing the RC30. It's family! Although if I really cared about it, I'd finish it. God I need a workshop. Biggest problem is a project car (huge Falcon) stuffed in a single garage with the bike down the side of it. Have to remove the car to get close to the bike. But the flat is designed so that if I push the car out I cover the landlord's garage door. It sucks. I swear, useless as I am, that if I get a decent garage and some space I'll finish it all. Honest :)
12 March 2003 : I love eBay. It rocks, I'd never used it before but it's full of RC51 parts and I've bought lots of them, all on their way. This site isn't about RC51s though, it's about my poor neglected RC30 so I'll shut up about this big red throbbing thing. Amazes me how different these two bikes are since they're built for the same purpose. Having both is great, having both fixed and beautiful will be even better! Thanks to Ian Clint for kicking my bum into updating this albeit only slightly, sorry I've been so slack. Must do more huh.
20 March 2003 : It's not an RC51, it's an SC45 apparently, god knows. I thought all VTR1000Rs were RC51's but evidently that's the race model put out in the US, so mine is known here as simply an SP1. Which, to make things worse, is a VTR1000SPY in Honda circles, with the VTR1000SP1 being the SP2, go figure.
08 September 2003 : Wrong again, in the US all VTRs are called RC51s, crazy but true. eBay is proving to be an excellent hunting ground for 'RC51' parts. The RC30 is together, but I'm scared to run it because I haven't checked the clearance between gear stack and crank yet after the deck milling and while I wasn't originally worried, now that it's time to actually run it I'm terrified. Time to remove the gears and properly plastigauge the clearance I think.
Hey I just thought of something, the first entry I made mentions that Bruce Anstey was riding the bike when it died. Does that name ring any bells? It should - our Bruce just set a lap record in his class around the Isle of Man TT this year, Senior proddy and 600 I think he raced, absolutely brilliant effort. Wait til he gets used to the track! And I think it's all down to having ridden my RC30 you know, at the time he was on it nothing could touch the RCs on the Isle, and for many a year since. It was sort of destiny when you think about it (if you're as twisted as I am!). Well done Bruce, us Kiwis are proud of ya mate!!!!
12 October 2003 : AARRGGHH!!! My motor is almost ready to fire up, and I just receive a copy of 'The RC30 Performance Portfolio' in the mail having bought it off eBay, and by chance noticed a comment that said "titanium cannot handle rubbing... Honda coats the inside of the bigends... removing this coating will result in seized bearings". Guess what? My rods have all been resized and are now all USELESS [EDIT 2023 - STILL UNSURE WHETHER THE COATING IS CONFINED TO THE SIDES OR THE BEARING SURFACE AS WELL]. Not a happy chappie, I now have to source some rods (my friend Dale just offered me a set the same day at a very good price, thank god) and rebuild the motor again. On a happier note I didn't run it and destroy it so I can't complain, I'm getting off pretty lightly really. Still sad it happened though :(
03 November 2003 : Hey! A GOOD thing happened. Well two really. The first is the Falcon is gone, sold, ditched meaning I now have a bike garage thank god! The second is that I bought a set of brand new factory fresh RC30 titanium conrods from a place in the UK for 60 quid each!!! I also found somewhere who will recoat a set of stock rods with Dow Corning Molykote 7409 Bonded Lubricant for 100 quid a set, which is their minimum fee. Go to http://www.eastmidlandcoatings.co.uk/html/index.htm and email them if you're interested. I'll look around locally to see if I can get it done here. The stuff sounds indestructible, just not sure how thin it'll be. Be nice to rescue my original rods, seems a waste to turn them into desk paperweights with clocks in them.
27 November 2005 : Not only have I done NOTHING, but it's taken me two years. Good God has it been that long since I ditched the Falcon? I'm still trying to round up new kit pistons and rings.
23 November 2019 : FOURTEEN YEARS LATER... well, guess I'm old now. Nah, 53, spring chicken. Damn, haven't updated this in a while! Still not running, engine is together but has to come apart to shim the cam gears and cams up to accommodate the block being skimmed, not so easy when it's in a storage locker and I don't have a garage anymore. Maybe never again cos from 1st Dec I'm moving onto my boat - an '89 Yamaha SC38 Salon Cruiser with twin 350hp TAMD71B volvo 6 cyl diesels hur-hur-hur... maybe I need to hire a garage, the storage locker is double garage d but no lights, no power, and a very low tolerance to solvents!
08 January 2023 : Added a link to Honda's LEGACY PARTS program where they are now remanufacturing essential parts, see link at top (UK, but your country may have one - it gives the same list of parts and partnumbers I'm sure). So the poor old RC30 is still in a storage locker, only now it's a storage locker in Chaffers Marina. Just over three years living on a boat and it's the best thing I ever did! My totalled and kinda fixed CBR1000RR4 spent the first 2.5 years after leaving my old flat stuck in its garage, the landlord (great guy, if anyone calls property developers greedy lazy capitalists, spend a weekend watching this guy kill himself working and he's the skinniest guy I've evern known to have had a heart bypass, stress is an understatement!) let me leave it there free all this time as he'd been forced to swap the garge for free power before I left so he could store a ton of building goodies to create new apartments elsewhere in the same building. Worked out brilliantly, so now my Fireblade is making it even hard to get to my RC30 but that at least is a bike I shoudl be able to register and get back on the road, fingers crossed this is the year I actually, you know, achieve something... baby steps :)
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