In the sad­dle

Old Bike Australasia - - 1994 HONDA RC45 - By Ren­nie Scaysbrook

I had a poster of the RC45 all through my high school years. It’s a bike I’ve lusted over, and dreamed about, never think­ing I would get the chance to even sit on one, let alone ride one. For me, the RC45 is a myth­i­cal ma­chine, steered by leg­ends like Slight and Ed­wards, and I’ll ad­mit I was scared it would dis­ap­point in a “don’t meet your he­roes” kind of way. I’m glad, this time, I was wrong. There are sev­eral high­lights when rid­ing an RC45, but none, ab­so­lutely none, tops hear­ing that gear-driven cam V4 at full song. It’s a flat, dron­ing roar, so far re­moved from any V4 since this bike came to mar­ket in 1995 for a lucky 200 rid­ers. But there’s a prob­lem with the 45 in that Honda was greedy. The power is un­der­whelm­ing and the mo­tor­cy­cle’s weight ex­ces­sive—Honda would sup­ply the RC45, but it was up to the re­spec­tive owner to pur­chase var­i­ous HRC kits to re­ally make them fly—hence why so many pri­va­teers went for a Suzuki or Kawasaki for a frac­tion of the cost. De­spite the lack of out­right power, the mo­tor is in­cred­i­bly smooth in its de­liv­ery for a bike with a prim­i­tive 25-year-old fuel in­jec­tion sys­tem, and the gear­box, with its short throw and close ra­tios, is how a su­per­bike ’box should be. There’s no get­ting away from the fact the RC45 is heavy, and you sit very low in the chas­sis. It’s heavy but easy to change di­rec­tion on and ex­tremely sta­ble at speed, although at traf­fic speed you’re not even scratch­ing the sur­face of what this thing can do. An­other high­light comes in the form of the dash. The twin ana­logue tacho and speedo is from a to­tally dif­fer­ent age to what we’re used to to­day, the revs sweep­ing up al­most in uni­son with the speedo and the crescendo of noise from the sin­gle out­let ex­haust, it’s as 1990s as hy­per­colour t-shirts and Nir­vana. The RC45 is not to­day-level fast. A modern 600cc Su­pers­port would an­ni­hi­late it. But the RC has a pres­ence about it to­day’s bikes can only dream of. A gen­uine, ho­molo­gated rac­ing mo­tor­cy­cle from the big­gest com­pany of all, the Honda RC45 may not have reached the rac­ing heights de­manded of it, but that doesn’t make it any less spe­cial. I’d still have one – in an in­stant – if only to hear that beefy, men­ac­ing drone from that gear-driven cam V4.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.