Com­mis­sion ac­com­plished 1990 HONDA VFR750R RC30

We look back at some of Bonhams’ great­est hits from sales past, with the help of the men who made them hap­pen


Cho­sen by: Bill To, mo­tor­cy­cle spe­cial­ist Sold at: The Las Ve­gas sale, Jan­uary 2018 Sale price: $92,000 (£71,750)

Honda’s RC30 be­came an in­stant clas­sic when it was launched in 1988. Cre­ated to win the new World Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship, the RC30 did just that in 1988 and 1989 in the hands of Amer­ica Fred Merkel. Su­per­bike rules dic­tated that 500 ex­am­ples of each model that raced had to be avail­able on gen­eral sale, so the for­tu­nate (and well-heeled) could buy their own World Su­per­bike win­ner for the track – or the road.

Suc­cess fol­lowed suc­cess for the RC30, with Bri­tain’s Carl Fog­a­rty win­ning the TT F1 ti­tle in 1988 and ’89, and the model went on to score count­less TT and en­durance rac­ing wins. An un­ri­valled spec­i­fi­ca­tion in­cluded a twin-spar al­loy beam frame, 16-valve V4 engine with gear-driven cams, close-ra­tio six-speed gear­box and four-pot front brake calipers. That didn’t come cheap in 1988 and it still doesn’t to­day. But then, as Bike mag­a­zine ob­served: ‘No other bike from the la­teeight­ies is lusted af­ter like the RC30’. This RC30 was a beau­ti­ful ex­am­ple that was in stun­ning, as new con­di­tion and un-raced. It had just 14 miles on the odome­ter, with the orig­i­nal dealer putting in 10 road test miles be­fore de­liv­ery and the first owner push­ing it for the other four. The bike was sold with its orig­i­nal owner’s man­ual, sales brochure, fac­tory rear stand, un­used tool kit and the fac­tory key.

“As a lad grow­ing up, I was al­ways a mas­sive fan of the RC30. I had posters of this bike up on my wall. The RC30 is def­i­nitely a bike on my ‘wants’ list – it was my boy­hood dream to own one some day. This par­tic­u­lar RC30 had a very low mileage ex­am­ple with two own­ers from new and its sale price was a world record for an RC30 at auc­tion at the time we sold it. I was de­lighted to take the win­ning tele­phone bid on the day.” Bill To

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