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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Honda’s RC51 Exceeding First Year Expectations

I read today that Honda’s RC51 was clocked at over 190 mph on Monza’s fastest straight this last weekend. I am sure it has happened before, but I cannot remember hearing that a superbike exceeded 190 mph anywhere.

By all accounts, the RC51 was also pulling hard out of corners (as v-twins tend to do) — a deadly combination with that kind of top speed. Add to this Colin Edwards’ comments about the RC51 “handling like a dream”, and Honda appears to have absolutely nailed the development of this new bike.

Remember the old adage that newly-homoligated superbikes perform poorly the first year? They always need sorting out, and that has to occur, to some extent, during the first race season. Not the RC51. Colin Edwards has been winning from the outset of this season, and it looks like he’ll be winning, off and on, through the remainder of this season. He has to be the odds on favorite for the title, at this point, particularly given Yamaha’s problems with the R7 at Monza.

After struggling with the RC45 for so many years (which saw a world championship only once — at the hands of John Kocinski), Honda apparently pulled out all the stops in its development of the RC51 race bike, and it is paying off.