‘I fi­nally got my dream bike’

PAUL LEE 1990 HONDA VFR750R RC30

Performance Bikes (UK) - - YOUR BIKES -

THE RC30 was the bike I’d drooled over in my early 20s, but the thought of own­ing one was just a dream. Prices were never ex­actly cheap, even in the late 90s when they were no longer cut­ting-edge. But as an ob­ject of de­sire they were very much still on my radar.

I spot­ted this one on eBay, and af­ter men­tion­ing it in pass­ing to my dad (a man who be­lieved that if you wanted some­thing you saved up for it) one evening, he un­ex­pect­edly of­fered to loan me the money. So I went for it.

It’s a 1990 full-power model that was destined for Europe but had never left Ja­pan. It wore a few bat­tle scars and was clearly an hon­est used road bike that had been en­joyed as Mr Honda in­tended. Over the com­ing years it’s been slowly mod­i­fied and used ex­ten­sively. It has an NC30 front wheel to re­place the skinny 3in orig­i­nal item, and a Delke­vic 17in/5.5in rear with a 180-sec­tion tyre, af­ter­mar­ket rads which are thicker and greater ca­pac­ity, and I had the orig­i­nal sump ex­tended to al­low an ex­tra 300ml of oil ca­pac­ity. The forks were re­built by Max­ton, and the rear shock sprung to suit my weight. It also has a Max­ton ride height ad­juster for the 17in rear wheel. This bike has been used in all weath­ers, dropped, and thrashed on track­days. Only once has it ever let me down, when the pos­i­tive bat­tery ter­mi­nal snapped 10 yards from home. Apart from that, it has never been a source of con­cern or ex­pense. I have a spare seat unit with a cus­tom rack fit­ted to it, and a tatty beige top box to use on a Euro tour next year. Why? Be­cause I can...

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