There's nothing to settle because you can't go wrong on any of the
true exotic homologated racers from the 750 v 1000 golden age of
WSBK... they are 4 strokes of genius... In the span of 14 years 24
bikes emerged... so what??? well just look to the current crop of
sportbikes... they might have never reached such a high level of
competency composer or harmony if where not for the fierce battles
fought by the best racers during the golden age of World Super Bike
Wars... we should all bow in their presence...
Owning one of these two wheel jewels goes beyond their high cost...
which you'll never regret spending... it's the state of being part of a
special fraternity of consummate riders... heady in the rarefied air of
exotic lines... giggle in the helmet joy... proud with every passing of
a polishing cloth...
Although brilliant... a homologated racer... feels completely out of
place on the highway... subverting your sensibilities to the point
where you become a quick draw artist at pulling your thin as toilet
paper license out of your thick with appearance notices wallet...
but it's worth it... the memories will play like ripples of
pleasure... in jail maybe...
I confess the RC45 has got a hold on me... a bike I had always dreamed
about-Honda dreamed up in 94... and it soon became the perfect V4 for
me... From the aluminum tank... titanium rods to the twin
headlights... single sided swingarm and nose heavy knee dragging
stance... it's a technical rolling showcase of engineering that even
exceeded the RC30 milestone...
The RC45 may have disappoint some but it's never disappointed me or any
trusted test hopper... you may wonder what's it like to be lucky
enough to ride a $27,500 race bike on the streets??? First thing that
strikes you up close is diminuative size... "it's small"... yes the
RC45 is denser and more slender than it's boxy appearance the magazine
portraits have suggested... It's a shy bigger than it's little 400cc
brother the NC35...
Next impression... it's utterly functional... low... broad and
ballsy... totally free from foo foo rah... none of that Ducati
lipstick and high heels thing going on here... This is the spawn of
HRC where engineering rules and that leads to real authority... the
RC45 it doesn't ask for... nor need admiring looks...
Being in the company... no!!! but being in charge of an RC45 is horribly
addictive... why less than ten minutes in the saddle you begin to feel it's
teeth gnawing into your soul...
You may wear ear plugs but the distinctive syncopated beat comes right
thought like an glorious growl... Race oriented gearing means a fair
amount of clutch slip... but with a robust package straight off the
NR750 you may incinerate the plates with abandonment... instead focus
on smoking the pack off the line chanting more revs and more of that
wonderful angry exhaust note...
The RC45 makes familiar roads feel different... unlike many modern
sportbikes... the handling isn't nervous at speed... you don't brake
hard... flop into the corner and squirt out again suspension
pinging... no sir... the RC has far deeper reserves of composure than
that... "Don't slow down"... in a reassuring voice... "I can go a lot
quicker around here than you're used to"... You know that riding
quick is a mind game... and the kind of calm telepathic messages that
the RC45 sends is more of an advantage at our level of ability...
Nothing you have ridden feels as at home at triple digits... This...
after all... is the thin air environment for which HRC blessed it...
It's a dangerous combination... a 62 year old rider with racing blood
still coursing through the veins and a bike that feels more and more
at home the quicker you go... All to often you'll begin to ride in
that irritable way that's only enjoyable for you... Rushing up behind
packs of bikes that could and should be going quicker... you'll start
to overtake with ludicrous more throttle than is strictly necessary
taking jabs at the first opening...
The RC45 looks aggressive and you feel aggressive riding one... enter
your favorite bendy bits faster than you ever dare and the HRC voice
returns "you want to go back and try that again???
That's when I realized that I am old. None of them remind me of my youth
That NCR Hailwood is a beaut..... Either that or the 72 Imola 750SS. I'm a duc guy myself, but, the 916 doesn't seem like that much of a "classic". They had the same bike up until 8 years ago basically. I would think 851/888 would be better "suited" for this poll