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