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Used Motorcycles: Honda SP-1 buyers guide

By MCN -

 14 August 2009 10:42

Used price: £3,100 - £6,700
Engine: 999cc 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Power: 133bhp
Top speed: 170mph
Weight: 194kg    

The Honda SP-1 is a seriously focused machine that was built for the track. On the road it's harsh, cramped and unforgiving. But it is exquisitely made, sounds fantstic and looks set to be a modern classic.

Despite being a tasty piece of engineering that looks great in the garage and is guaranteed to impress at bike meets, The SP-1 makes very little sense most of the time on road. The firm suspension and massive twin-spar frame make for a jarring ride - get it on a smooth track though and it's sublime.

With a V-twin motor claiming just over 130bhp and 75ft.lb of torque, the SP-1 motor is strong everywhere. However it is let down by on/off fueling that makes it snatchy and a little unpredictable at low revs. When buying budget for a Power Commander, which can help level it out.

The build quality and attention to details on the SP-1 is much smoother. It's beautifully screwed togather and finished with top notch fully-adjustable suspension, great brakes and probably the coolest motorcycle dash ever seen.

When buying check the clutch isn't slipping. Also be aware that the side mounted radiators are vulnerable in a crash and expect steep fuel bills - the SP-1 drinks gas to the tune of 30mpg. 

Still, the SP-1 is a cult bike. A bike that cost 10 grand new can be had used for as little as £3,100 these days. That's a pretty good bargain for a WSB race rep. If you've got the cash, also consider an SP-2, the newer version with 4 extra bhp and 6 less kg.

MCN verdict

Handling

4/5

Engine

4/5

Reliability

5/5

Value

4/5

OVERALL

5/5

 

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