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Honda RC45 Sports Motorbike Review

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Honda RVF750R RC45 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Like the race version, Honda's road-going RC45 doesn't quite hit the spot, but it's still an impressive piece of exquisite engineering. As the ultimate ‘90s Superbike, the Honda RC45 lacks the pure focus of a Yamaha R1, the visceral punch of a Ducati 916 or the exotic edginess of a Bimota SB6R. Also, people might think your Honda RC45 is a Honda RVF400 NC35 from a distance, which is pants really.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

The Honda RC45's V4 motor is a beautiful hand-crafted statement of excellence. But 120bhp ( claimed ) just isn't enough to see off opposition like the Ducati 916, Kawasaki ZX7-R or the Honda CBR900RR FireBlade. For £18,300 buyers might have expected the Honda RC45 to be a 190mph racer with lights on it, a real Joey Dunlop TT replica. Close ratio gearbox makes it a pain to ride in town. 

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Again, the Honda RC45 is so close to perfection, but misses out by having 80s features like a 16 inch front wheel and relatively spindly 41mm forks. It handles impressively, with an uncanny fluidity at speed, but the inevitable march of progress means its overall handling wouldn't seem that advanced nowadays. For the money, you might be disappointed with a Honda RC45.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

What are 1993 Honda CBR600F wheels, mirrors and indicators doing on such an exotic masterpiece?  It's a shame that the Honda RC45 wasn't studded with some truly unique, one-off parts to help set it apart from the Honda RVF400 NC35 in particular, and from big Japanese sportbikes in general.

Honda RVF750R RC45 (1994-99)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£25,000 (1998) - £25,000 (1998)
Private used prices
£22,500 (1998) - £22,500 (1998)
  View full used price info
Engine size 749 cc
Power 120 bhp
Top speed 160 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 5
Value rating is 3 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 5

The Honda RC45 is arguably one of the best made motorcycles of all time, the RC45 is typical of the flagship motorcycles made when engineers were still in charge at Honda. Apart from the effects of time, extreme weather, or owner neglect, it's very unlikely that a Honda RC45 will break down or rust to bits. An undoubted classic built to last a lifetime.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Back in the 90s, the Honda RC45 was in the same price as exotica like the Bimota SB7 or the Ducati 916 SPS, but its parts bin styling and average performance didn't make it seem worth the outrageous price tag. Here's a sobering fact; the 1996 Suzuki GSXR750 was 10kgs lighter than the supposedly `exotic' Honda RC45 in fully fuelled up trim. Find a Honda RC45 for sale.


Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

1994: Honda RVF750R RC45 launched.
1999: Honda RC45 discontinued. 

Other Versions



Top speed 160 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.1 secs
Max power 120 bhp
Max torque 55 ft-lb
Weight 189 kg
Seat height 770 mm
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Average fuel consumption 34 mpg
Tank range 110 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 749 cc
Engine specification 16v, Vee 4, 6 gears
Frame Twin spar aluminium
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, sompression
Front brakes Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 130/70 x 16
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

See all Honda RC45 motorcycles for sale


2847 miles



1994 miles


Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(2 reviews)

  • RC45


    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    Having owned an RC30, I was intrigued to find how the RC45 would compare to such an iconic bike. Firstly the 45 feels a bit larger but just as comfortable and manoeuvrable. The power delivery is quite different with the 45 feeling much sharper but certainly snatchy at low speed. Care must be taken around roundabouts and junctions as the power is very much on and off. This is due to the injection system, but once on the move it's no problem. The gearbox feels slightly notchy in first and second but the faster you go the smoother it becomes. In fact the bike is not too happy at speeds below 50 mph, also the tallish first gear is not so good around town. Once the speed is above 50 mph the bike is a delight. It simply feels better and better as the speed rises. Everything seems to work beautifully. You can really feel the sheer quality of the engineering. This bike was built for WSBK and it really shows when you turn the wick up. Power certainly is considerably more compared to the RC30. The brakes on the 45 are much improved from the 30 and give plenty of confidence. My RC45 has an ohlins rear shock which has improved the handling quite a bit. I was amazed when cornering over nasty bumps how well the bike glided over them with no upsets at all. The USD forks are a big improvement on the 30. The bike feels very stable under heavy braking and direction changes. Overall, I much prefer the RC45 to the RC30. The 45 is much more up to date and generally feels much sharper and more powerful.They may be expensive but worth every penny and there's no other bike that feels that good.

    11 October 2012

  • love it


    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    best bike i v ridden in all my 20years of riding . usuall honda gbox but once ridden well words fail me .

    01 January 2008


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User's Badge


Since when did it have cbr600 wheels on it? its got a single sided swingarm ffs!

27 September 2009 17:26



rc45 review

as usual mcn manage to contradict themselves. ask trevor franklin his thoughts on the rc45 and compare with the above drivel. any one who has been lucky enough to own / ride one will tell you it is without doubt, one of the finest motor cycles ever made. forget the stats, riding is believing.   reggie. x


22 October 2008 18:58



talkin tripe

as usual in mcn...looks like a 400 ?...{to a numpty} 16 inch front wheel ?...{which are on their way back anyway} spindly forks ? {2mm down ?... did you feel them flexing ?...}cbr600 winkers ?...totally missed the point as usual...Why oh Why do I read it ?.

21 February 2008 21:47

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